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Spaghetti Squash 'Pizza'

Servings:
2
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Chef notes

All aboard the comfort food express! This recipe is so simple and a boatload of fun, so you can skip delivery and dive into this wholesome dish. If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash yet, allow me to introduce you to one of my fave veggie vehicles for an easy dinner. It’s a special squash that, once cooked, creates yummy noodle-like strands you can add to a bowl or enjoy directly from the shell (aka “boat”). This special squash also brings a whole host of nutrition (hello, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants!) to your supper table.

I typically serve each person half a squash, which makes this recipe a breeze to scale up for larger groups. One squash will make two servings; two squashes will make four servings, and so on. You can also personalize the toppings to your tastebuds and eating style — skip the sausage and add leftover veggies to take it in a veggie pizza direction, or go for sweet and salty scrumptiousness with classic Hawaiian pizza flavors. Whatever floats your spaghetti squash boat!

Technique tips: Cutting squash can be a little intimidating at first, but once you know a trick to simplify, you’ll become a slicing savant. All you have to do is microwave for about 3 minutes to soften it up, then cut, and it’s ready for the oven. Also, when you start to shred the spaghetti, if it feels too hard, you can always put it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes or so.

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 pre-cooked poultry sausages, sliced into thin wheels, optional
  • 3/4-1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • 2-4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Preparation

For the spaghetti squash:

1.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

2.

Microwave spaghetti squash for about 3 minutes to slightly soften it up and make it easier to slice in half. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds using a large spoon and discard or use for another purpose (you can roast 'em!). Rub 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil on the inside flesh of each half and sprinkle on salt and pepper. Lay both halves on baking sheet with the cut side down. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the skin is softened (you may notice some slight browning; this is for a medium-sized squash–the time can vary depending on the size of your squash and the temperature of your oven).

3.

While the squash cooks, prepare the sausage pieces, if using. Liberally mist a skillet with oil spray and warm over medium-high heat. Add the sausage pieces and sauté them for a few minutes, searing all sides to slightly brown and deepen the flavor. Turn off the heat and let them sit in the pan until the squash is cooked.

4.

When the squash is ready, remove from oven and allow them to slightly cool. Then, flip them over so the cut side is facing up, shred the insides of the squash using a fork, fluffing the interior to create spaghetti-like strands. Keep the strands within the squash shell, as this will be your serving bowl.

To make the 'pizzas':
Set oven to broil.

To each squash half (bowl), add 1/4 cup of your favorite marinara sauce and mix into the strands. Stir in optional seared sausage slices, too. Then, cover with 2 tablespoons sauce and heaping 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle on 1 to 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and optional crushed red pepper flakes for heat or any other preferred seasonings. Place back in oven on the top rack and broil (watching closely so it doesn’t burn) for a minute or so until the cheese is melted with some charring.