Try This! Spaghetti Squash Instead of Pasta

Whether you're making an effort to eat lighter this month or just want something a little different for dinner, you've got to try this. We're not sure why it took us so long to discover this buttery, tender, and yes, spaghetti-esque squash, but we're glad we did!

No, spaghetti squash isn't exactly like spaghetti pasta. It's more tender than it is chewy, for one thing. It also has a lighter and cleaner flavor somewhere between butternut squash and zucchini.

But it makes a pretty darn good substitute if you want something other than regular pasta or if you just want to add another vegetable to the meal!

Cook them just like any other winter squash: scoop out the seeds and rub the inside with salt and olive oil, then roast in a 400° oven until the flesh is completely tender. We check it every 15 minutes or so, and it's usually done after about 45 minutes. Use a fork to gently lift out the tender flesh in long delicious strands.

Honestly, we love this squash just tossed with some butter or olive oil, parmesan cheese, and pepper. It also makes the perfect bed for just about any topping, from simple roasted vegetables to cheesy pasta sauce. If you eat meat, you can toss in some sausage, crispy bacon, or ground beef to round out the sauce.

Any leftovers can go into frittatas or baked "pasta" casseroles!

Here are some other tempting ideas from our archives:

Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta, Sage, and Pine Nuts
Spaghetti Squash with Chunky Tomato Sauce
Spaghetti Squash with Olive Oil, Avocado, and Parmesan

And a few from around the web:

Spaghetti Squash with Sage and Orange from Martha Stewart
Maple-Glazed Tofu with Spaghetti Squash from Epicurious
Spaghetti Squash Gratin with Walnuts and Bacon from Chocolate & Zucchini

Related: Harvest Cooking Tip: Roast Garlic Cloves Inside Squash

(Image: Martha Stewart)