Why should you make space for more vegan spaghetti squash recipes in your cooking arsenal? Not only is spaghetti squash a tasty way to serve up your daily portion of vegetables, but it’s also an innovative way to cut back on carbs. You’re still getting that pasta-like texture and versatility, but at only 10 grams of carbohydrates per cup of cooked spaghetti squash “pasta.”1
Not only that, you’re getting some fiber, vitamin C, and other valuable vitamins and minerals essential to your daily nutrition.2 Read on for tips to master cooking spaghetti squash, along with three tasty vegan and gluten-free recipes sure to make your next meal a memorable one.
How To Cook Spaghetti Squash
These three methods all make perfectly cooked squash pasta, but with varying cooking times and kitchen appliances.
The fastest way is via microwave:
- Prick the surface of the spaghetti squash all over with a fork, then place in a microwave-safe dish.
- Microwave on high for about six minutes, flip over, then microwave for another six minutes.
- Set aside to cool for about ten minutes before handling (it can be very hot).
- Halve through the squash lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and use a fork to shred and pull up spaghetti squash pasta strands.
Slow Cooker Method
A fuss-free method is via a slow cooker:
- Leave whole squash (pricked all over) inside a slow cooker or crockpot with half a cup of water, then cook on low for 4-6 hours.
- Remove, set aside to cool before handling, then slice horizontally as in the previous method.
- Remove seeds and use a fork to make spaghetti squash pasta.
The final way is via an oven:
- Halve the spaghetti squash, sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the flesh, and place cut side-up on a baking sheet or ovenproof dish.
- Roast in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for an hour, or until flesh is tender.
- Let cool before fluffing strands into pasta “noodles” using a fork.3
The following vegan spaghetti squash recipes sure make this versatile ingredient more than just a hastily-thrown together plant-based meal.
Spinach Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
You won’t have to worry about dry and bland stuffed squash – the creamy spinach sauce and melted non-dairy cheese makes this a rich, indulgent, and easy weeknight meal.
- 1 spaghetti squash, prepared into pasta and set aside
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 200g spinach leaves, fresh or thawed if frozen
- ⅔ cup vegan cream cheese or cashew cream
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup vegan feta cheese (optional)
- 1 cup shredded non-dairy cheese (optional)
- Vegan parmesan cheese (garnish; optional)
- Pine nuts (garnish; optional)
- Thyme sprigs (garnish; optional)
- Set aside prepared spaghetti squash. Make sure it is cool enough to handle.
- Make spinach cream. In a skillet, heat up some olive oil. Add garlic and saute until soft and fragrant. Add spinach and saute until wilted, draining any excess water from the pan before adding the vegan cream cheese or cashew cream. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the spinach cream mixture evenly between the spaghetti squash halves and mix into the “pasta.” Top with cheeses (if using) and broil in the oven for a few minutes until cheese bubbles and takes on a golden-brown color.
- Top with garnish before serving, if desired.4
North African Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Tired of the usual spaghetti squash casserole? The unique flavor of exotic spices and creamy sauce will change the way you cook casseroles for good.
- 1 spaghetti squash, prepared and set aside
- 1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 200g tempeh, sliced into thin strips
- 3-4 pieces of white mushrooms (or 1 large oyster mushroom)
- ½ cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ tsp ras el hanout spice blend (available in most Middle Eastern groceries or online)
- ¼ tsp red chili flakes (optional)
- ¾ cup soy or other plant-based milk
- 1 Tbsp tapioca starch
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp crushed tomatoes (optional, for garnish)
- Chopped cilantro (optional, for garnish)
- Set aside prepared spaghetti squash, already prepared into “pasta.”
- Heat cooking oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Fry tempeh strips until crisp, then drizzle with soy sauce before setting aside.
- Add mushrooms to the same pan, along with some salt. Saute until cooked through.
- Toss in the spaghetti squash, spices, and crushed tomatoes. Season with salt. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a separate bowl or measuring cup, stir together milk, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, and some salt. This will be the sauce for your dish.
- Pour into the skillet. Arrange tempeh strips on the skillet and dollop spoonfuls of crushed tomatoes around the skillet if desired. Sprinkle thyme on top.
- Bake skillet in an oven preheated to 375 degrees F, until sauce thickens. Remove from the oven and top with chopped cilantro before serving warm.5
Creamy Mushroom Spaghetti Squash Boats
The combination of nutritional yeast and other savory condiments results in a creamy sauce that complements the sauteed mushrooms and spaghetti squash perfectly.
- 1 spaghetti squash, prepared and set aside
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 28 oz (about 3 ½ cups) cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
- 1 medium shallot, finely minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup coconut cream
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp miso paste
- 1 ½ Tbsp tahini
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ¼ tsp salt (and more, to taste)
- ¼ tsp pepper (and more, to taste)
- Chopped parsley and chives, for garnish
- Make sure you’ve prepared the spaghetti squash pasta, and set it aside.
- Make the stuffing for the squash boats. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add shallots and saute until soft and fragrant. Turn up the heat a little and add in mushrooms, stirring until cooked through and slightly browned.
- Make the cream sauce. Combine coconut cream, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Whisk the sauce ingredients until well-blended.
- Add sauce mixture to the skillet once mushrooms are properly cooked. Stir well until sauce thickens. Taste and season accordingly.
- Spoon creamy mushroom sauce stuffing into each half of the spaghetti squash, topping the squash “pasta” and making sure there’s enough sauce. Garnish with chives and parsley before serving.6
Get Creative With Spaghetti Squash
The texture and flavor of spaghetti squash holds up well to a variety of sauce and topping combinations, as evidenced by these recipes. Make this low-carb vegetable a staple in your vegan grocery list and you’ll never find yourself short a delicious meal that satisfies both your dietary needs and your cravings.
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