Turning things that are not noodles into noodles is the “thing” right now, if you didn’t know. While this can be rather delicious, there are a few rules I’ve learned about this process. #1) Never turn vegetable “noodles” into spaghetti. #2) Never try to make vegetables be a “noodle”. So basically you can see that I’m not convinced that noodled vegetables can function as real noodles. However, in the process of trying all these noodle varieties, I did find new vegetables to love and flavors to try. This Caprese Spaghetti Squash is a perfect example of what you can do with vegetables that are pretending to be noodles!
Caprese typically refers to a salad comprised of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. It’s obviously a winner because I can think of three amazing foods that include these things: pizza, spaghetti, and lasagna. Tomatoes plus basil plus cheese equals YUM! You could obviously eat this spaghetti squash without stuffing the shell, but how fancy and awesome does it feel to eat your food out of this cute bowl?
First let’s talk about spaghetti squash. If you’re going to noodle this stuff, there is a different process to cook it which yields long strands. For this recipe we just want fork-able pieces, and we still need the shell. Every time I deal with a winter (i.e. thick skinned) squash my life flashes before my eyes as I try to cut it without losing a limb. To make life a little easier I put the whole thing in the microwave for about 3 minutes to soften it up. After that the knife slices right through (mostly).
I then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. I spray a little coconut oil on the inside and outside. Place seed side down on a pan, and cook at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Once it’s out and cooling enough to handle, I begin work on the rest of the insides!
While caprese doesn’t include any meat, I added some to give more flavor. For whatever reason, the BEST spaghetti squash recipes I’ve tried include sausage. I used ground Italian sausage and cooked all the way through. I then added it to a bowl, along with halved cherry tomatoes, and the cooked spaghetti squash. For the spaghetti squash, I like to hold it with an oven mitt (because it will still be so so hot) and pull the strands out with a fork. Be careful not to completely strip the shell or it won’t be strong enough to withstand the stuffing.
Next we’ll make our basil cream sauce. I started with ghee, 1/2 cup milk and the entire contents of a laughing cow original wheel. Using a whisk, stir over medium low heat until the cheese is creamy. Then we add the basil, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, then add 1/2 cup mozzarella and remainder of milk. Whisk gently until just melted, then pour sauce over squash, sausage, and tomatoes in bowl. Mix well, then scoop fill bowls with the squash mixture. Top liberally with mozzarella and place in oven for 10-15 minutes until cheese is lightly browned.
I so enjoyed photographing this finished product, because it was just so pretty! But you know what else? It was good! Not “I’m trying to be a noodle good”, but “what a great use of a vegetable” good! I’m only just kidding, a little bit! There’s nothing wrong with finding healthy replacements for unhealthy carb and junk filled versions of foods we love! But sometimes the best use of a replacement is to let it shine for what it really is: a vegetable!
Did you try this recipe? Love it or hate it? Let me know in the comments!
A stuffed squash recipe that uses the flavors of caprese salad.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- shredded mozarella
- 1/2 tbsp ghee
- 3/4 cup milk
- 6 oz original laughing cow cheese
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place spaghetti squash in microwave for 3 minutes.
Slice lengthwise and scoop out seeds.
Coat lightly with coconut oil. Place cut side down on baking tray and cook for 40 minutes.
Cook ground sausage in skillet.
Place sausage in large bowl with halved tomatoes.
Using a fork, scrape out inside of spaghetti squash, leaving 1/4 inch in shell. Add spaghetti squash strands to sausage and tomatoes.
In large saucepan, place ghee, 1/2 cup milk, and laughing cow cheese wedges. Cook over medium low heat until well blended.
Add basil, salt, and pepper to sauce and mix well.
Add mozzarella and remainder of milk to sauce. Stir until cheese is just melted.
Pour sauce mixture over sausage mixture and mix well.
Spoon squash mixture back into the empty shells, dividing evenly.
Sprinkle shredded mozzarella liberally over filled shells.
Place in oven for 10 minutes, until cheese is slightly browned.