I’m super excited to share this recipe with you because it was born from my Tuesday hangouts with my favorite person.
Jon usually asks me to give him three choices for dinner, and knowing this, I always have three Jonny-bo-bonny worthy dinners on hand. A few weeks ago, he asked for baked ziti with spaghetti squash. Coincidentally enough, I had a few spaghetti squash on hand from a recent farmer’s market visit, but wasn’t really in the mood for all the pasta carbs.*
*I love them, please know and understand this truth. I love carbs more than anything. But so do my thighs. And we’re trying to get fit over here.**
**I realize now I haven’t once shared anything about our 5:45 am gym runs or our current obsession with after dinner yoga.
The hardest part of this recipe is cutting the spaghetti squash in half. I’m convinced anyone who can master safely and successfully cutting a spaghetti squash in half can master most of life’s challenges.
Once the spaghetti squash are perfectly cut in half, drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper*. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet, cover with foil, and toss into a 400° oven.
*Olive oil + salt + pepper + veggies is all I need where roasted vegetables are concerned. Anything additional is a happy bonus.
While the squash is cooking, cook up some Italian sausage, too. I tossed mine on another rimmed baking sheet and threw it in the oven with the squash. This was a first for me (cooking sausage in the oven instead of in a frying pan) and I thought it was a much easier way than that of nursing it in a skillet.
Look at that!
Once your spaghetti squash look like this, with a slightly softened rind and spaghetti begging to be torn away, it’s ready!
Let them cool for 5-10 minutes or your fingers will not be happy with you.
While waiting, slice the sausage and set aside.
When the squash are cool enough to touch, shred the spaghetti away from the rind with a fork, making sure to reserve the rinds for the next step, and place in a large bowl.
If you have a cutie like this with you, it will make the next part of the process even more fun…
Licking the lid of the spaghetti sauce jar. He’s lucky he’s cute.
Take the bowl full of the lovely, barely-any-calories-there spaghetti and add 1/2 cup of mozzarella, 1/2 cup of sausage, and as much sauce as you desire. I used about half of a 24 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce.
Mix it all together.
It’s going to look like a slimy, orange blob, but I promise, it’s going to taste incredible.
Place the four rinds on a foil lined, rimmed baking sheet. Separate the mixture evenly among the rinds.
Top with more sausage* and the remaining cheese.
*We had a few extra sausage links in the end. If you have a few hungry men around like I do, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Lower the oven to 375° and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and makes your mouth start to water.
Baked Spaghetti Squash Surprise
- 2 spaghetti squash
- olive oil
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage links
- 12 oz spaghetti sauce
- 2 cups mozzarella, shredded
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Discards seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place, cut side down, in a rimmed baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Cook for 45 min to 1 hour until rind is soft and “spaghetti” pulls away from the rind easily.
- While the squash is cooking, cook the sausage as desired. I put mine on a rimmed quarter baking sheet and cooked it in the oven while the squash was cooking for 20-25 minutes.
- Allow squash to cool for 5-10 minutes before handling.
- Cut up the sausage.
- When the squash is cool enough to touch, use a fork to pull the “spaghetti” away from the rind. Place in a large bowl, reserving the rinds.
- Mix the “spaghetti” with 1/2 cup of mozzarella, 1/2 cup of sausage, and desired amount of sauce.
- Evenly separate mixture into the four rinds.
- Top with more sausage and remaining mozzarella.
- Lower oven to 375° and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melty and bubbly.