Baked "Spaghetti" with Two Cheeses

Makes 6 to 8 servings

If you haven't tried spaghetti squash, you're in for a treat! This light yellow, watermelon-shaped squash (most readily available in late fall and early winter) has a surprise to offer. When cooked and scraped from its rind, it falls out in perfect long strands that look a lot like real spaghetti noodles. Its rather bland-tasting flesh makes it a great foil for all kinds of sauces and preparations. Be sure you kids are standing by when you magically create noodles from a vegetable!

1 spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds*)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (24-ounce) jar SCD-legal spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese**
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese**

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Bake the spaghetti squash by cutting it in half lengthwise and placing it flesh side down in a baking dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until tender. (You can also cook it in a microwave. Poke the rind several times with a fork, and place it in a microwave-safe dish. Cook about 10 minutes, or until tender.) When the squash is cooked, scoop out the seeds and strings and discard. Using a fork, scrape the flesh of the squash into a large bowl; it should resemble spaghetti noodles. If watery, place in a colander to drain.
  3. While the squash is baking, brown the ground beef, draining any excess fat. Pour in the spaghetti sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  4. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F.
  5. To assemble, lay the squash “noodles” in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (you probably won't need all of the squash; refrigerate any extra for another use). Add the cheddar cheese in an even layer. Ladle the meat sauce over the cheese and top with the Parmesan (you can add more cheddar on top if you'd like). Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. You can't really overbake this—my family likes it when the cheese has browned and the dish is bubbling.

— Stephanie, SCD mom from Indiana

Chef’s Notes

*Spaghetti squashes run on the large size, with an average weight of 4 to 8 pounds. Ask your produce person to cut one in half for you, or offer to share half with a friend. Or cook the entire squash and try it a couple of different ways.

**We have a "salad shooter" kitchen tool that we use to shred bars of aged cheeses. We freeze the shredded cheese in containers to have on hand as needed.