Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bowls

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: We love squash—summer squash like zucchini, crookneck, and patty pan, or the heartier winter squash like acorn, butternut, and kabocha. Spaghetti squash may be our very favorite, a winter squash named for its strand-like flesh. Roast a cut winter squash, serve with butter, salt and pepper, and a sprinkling of Parmesan for a simple, yummy side dish. Of course, they make fabulous soups, like this Gingered Pumpkin Apple Soup I shared a year ago.

But squash play well with others, too. This recipe combines veggies, beans, and cheese, making it a complete protein for vegetarians. It's also gluten-free. The combination is terrifically pretty. The cilantro-averse—you know who you are—can substitute parsley without losing the color.

The outer skins that allow winter squash to store well can be tricky to cut. The original source for this recipe—which I have changed quite a bit—suggests microwaving the squash for 5 minutes to soften it, but I have not tried that.

We ate one bowl each—one half of the squash, stuffed—as our dinner, but each half could be cut in half again and served with chicken as a side dish.

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bowls

1 large spaghetti squash
olive or vegetable oil
½ chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1-2 jalapenos, cored and sliced (optional)
1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernels (if frozen, place in a colander and rinse with hot water to defrost)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
salt & pepper
½ cup salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a cookie sheet or baking dish with foil.

Wash the squash and slice off the stem at the top. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and loose pulp with a spoon. Oil the cut edges of each half and place, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Roast about 45 minutes, until the inside of the squash is tender when pierced with a fork.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion 3-5 minutes, until softened, and add the bell pepper, jalapeno, and tomato. Saute lightly, 4-5 minutes.

Stir in the beans, corn, cilantro or parsley, cumin, salt and pepper, and mix well. Remove from heat.

When the squash is done cooking, allow it to cool for a few minutes before handling. Turn the oven to broil. Using a metal spoon, scrape out the spaghetti-like strands and add them to the vegetable mixture, being careful not to pierce the skin. Mix the strands into the vegetable mixture, then spoon into the squash bowls.

Divide the salsa between the bowls and sprinkle with the cheese. Broil about 5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.

Serves 2-4.
From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming soon!): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. This sounds really yummy. A great combination.

  2. I love spaghetti squash, and these stuffed spaghetti squash bowls look so delicious! It's going to be really cold and snowy here this week, and it will be the perfect dish to make. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. Celia, I think it will be a great cold-weather dish -- both hot and warming! Let me know what you think.

  3. Yum! Thanks for the recipe--spaghetti squash is a favorite of ours and this looks too good to pass up.

    1. Quite a flexible recipe, too, I think -- lots of possible substitutions. Enjoy!

  4. Lovely recipe, Leslie! Looks beautiful too. Thank you. Hugs. MJ and Victoria

  5. Thanks for the recipe. We are always stuffing one squash or another with something. Meatloaf or something if they are big. Mashed potatoes or something, if they are small. It does look delish. Della

    1. Ah, meatloaf -- stay tuned for my recipe next Tuesday! Thanks, Della!

  6. Wonderful looking and sounding recipe. I'd leave out the corn in my husband's bowl, but will try this on the weekend for the family. I'm also looking forward to reading Killing Thyme.
    (The anonymous) Nancy R in Ottawa

    1. Thanks, Nancy -- enjoy the book and the recipe. It's quite flexible -- many additions or omissions are possible!