Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spaghetti Squash, Spinach and Feta Toss -- A Great Side

I know that spaghetti squash is supposed to be a great stand-in for pasta for those of us who, at least from time to time, keep an eye on calories and carbs. But frankly, I think that it’s great in its own right, with no apologies, even if it is a dieter’s dream. (A four ounce serving has only 37 calories, but it does need a few extras to jazz it up.)

My last raid into my neighbor Dude’s garden -- “I’m turning it over tomorrow. Get what you can find!” – landed me one nice 4 pound spaghetti squash and two acorn squash. (More about the acorns another time.)

I’d thought about making the squash do the spaghetti substitute gig, but after rooting through a few recipes, I was inspired by the Cookin’ Canuck to make a spaghetti squash and spinach dish. Her recipe had cannellini in it and can be, I’m sure, an excellent meatless main dish. But with no beans and grilled chicken, it was a great meal for us, and satisfied the carnivorous male (and female) in our house.

I loved cutting things into ribbons. The spinach took on a new look mimicking the strands of spaghetti squash and slices of onions. There’s plenty of varying texture and tastes and I could have eaten this without any kind of protein alongside, legume or otherwise, and been quite content.

If you’ve never manhandled a spaghetti squash, it is a hoot to see the humble squash transform itself and take on a new form as you scrape the flesh into noodle-like strands. I so wished I had a kid around while I was shredding it just to see their eyes bug out when you’d say, “See, honey? This is why they call it spaghetti squash!”

Spaghetti Squash with Spinach and Feta
adapted from the Cookin’ Canuck
and Six O’Clock Solutions

1 3-4 pound spaghetti squash
1 bunch spinach, washed and stems removed, about 6 cups (packed) leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup sliced onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup feta cheese crumbed
Salt and pepper to taste

Using a large sharp knife, pierce the squash in several places. Place squash in a glass baking dish and cook in microwave on high for about 15 minutes, turning the squash halfway through cooking. Before handling, let the squash stand for 5 minutes. (I still used hot pads to hold the squash.) Cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seed and fibers. Using a fork, twist out strands of spaghetti squash flesh and place in a large bowl.

Working in batches, stack the spinach leaves and cut across the leaves into ¼ inch wide strips.

In large skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook stirring constantly for one minute. Add the spinach ribbons and cook just until the spinach is wilted, about one or two minutes. Add the squash and feta cheese and gently toss. Serve.  Makes four servings.  (Or two helpings for my husband, one for me at dinner, and one for me at next day's lunch!)


  1. I agree, spagetti squash is yummy and fun!I love your additions, so healthy and flavourful!

  2. This sounds scrumptious! What a fantastic combination of ingredients.

  3. I adore spaghetti squash (we eat it in abundance during the winter months) but I've never thought about adding feta (which I'm sure is just amazing!) Thank you for inspiring me with this side dish. It would be great alongside a vegetarian thanksgiving meal.

  4. I so love this recipe - enough that I shall forage and find some spaghetti squash. Been awhile. Feta and spinach can do anything.

  5. I love spaghetti squash - I think your additions of spinach and feta are perfect. Nice recipe.

  6. I so agree - spaghetti squash is great on it's own! This looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for linking up to my squash blog hop :-D


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