Vegetable Spaghetti Squash Recipe (Mexican-style)
This is a vegetable spaghetti squash recipe with bold Mexican flavors. We top the 'spaghetti' with a rich sauce of beans, onions, tomatoes, peppers, corn, salsa, spices and cheese for a great weeknight meal.
Servings (change as needed): 4 -6
- 1 spaghetti squash. medium-large 3-5 lbs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
Mexican Topping/Sauce (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onions (1 medium onion)
- 1 cup chopped peppers (1 bell pepper)
- 3 minced garlic cloves (2-3 tsp)
- 1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
- 2 teaspoon chili powder (or more if salsa is less spicy)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup salsa from jar - mild, medium or hot (or homemade)
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained (about 1/2 can)
- 1 cup frozen corn niblets
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 cup grated cheese like Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Cheddar
- chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onion, sour cream, Greek yogurt, crushed tortilla chips, squeeze of lime juice, chopped red onions.
Heat oven to 425F/218C. Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up.
COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH and MAKE 'SPAGHETTI': Pierce squash a few times with a knife. Microwave on high from 5-7 minutes. Timing will depend on size of your squash. Remove from microwave to cutting board. Let cool a bit or use towel to protect fingers (it's hot!). Scrape out seeds and discard. Cut squash lengthwise. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place both halves, cut side down, on pan. Roast for 25-40 minutes or until squash is fork tender and easily pierced with a knife. Turn over squash, cut side up. Using a fork, rake squash to create spaghetti-like strands. Note 2.
MAKE MEXICAN SAUCE: While squash is roasting, heat oil in large saute pan or skillet to medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook for a 5 minutes until tender. Stir in garlic for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium heat. Add chopped tomatoes, beans, corn, cumin, oregano and chili powder. Stir and cook for 5-6 minutes until tomatoes break down. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on cheese, turn heat to low, cover and cook for 3 minutes to allow cheese to melt. If you don't have a cover, use tinfoil as a cover or just stir the cheese directly into the mixture.
ASSEMBLE: Place cooked spaghetti squash strands on a serving plate. Scoop out sauce with cheese from skillet and place on top (I use a spatula). Sprinkle with cilantro or chopped green onions if desired and serve. Alternatively, make individual servings with squash and a scoop of sauce on top.
Nutrition values are calculated on 4 servings
- Shortcut for seasonings: You can replace the seasonings in the recipe (chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin) with 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning.
- Serving options for spaghetti squash:
- Family style: Remove squash strands - scraping right to the skin of the squash - to a serving platter or individual plates, then cover with sauce.
- In squash bowls: Alternatively, scrape strands, leaving 1/2 inch of squash in the shell, and serve the squash and sauce directly in the squash 'boats"/shell.
- Variations and Substitutions
- Veggies and Beans:
- Add other vegetables like spinach, mushrooms and zucchini while making the sauce.
- Substitute canned tomatoes (drained) for the fresh tomatoes.
- Substitute black beans with other cooked beans such as navy, pinto, kidney, etc.
- Non meat version: Add sausage, ground beef or ground turkey. Cook it with the onions and peppers.
- Make Ahead:
- Cooked spaghetti squash can be stored in airtight container for 4-5 days in the fridge. Same with 'sauce'. I suggest storing sauce separately.
- To reheat, warm cooked squash in microwave, covered for 1-2 minutes. Heat sauce on the stove or microwave, then ladle over warmed squash.
- For left overs where the squash and sauce are already combined, just refrigerate and reheat in microwave.
Calories: 389kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 866mg | Potassium: 1034mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 2813IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 331mg | Iron: 3mg