Wondering what to do with that spaghetti squash you bought…the one that’s still sitting in your kitchen? Then wonder no more. Try this unbelievably easy yet tasty recipe to wow your family or your guests! Using just 7 simple ingredients and less than 30 minutes of your time, you’ll be amazed at just how easy and quick it is to make this delectable dish. Not only that, each serving portion comes packed with 6 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, 2 milligrams of iron, and 67 milligrams of calcium. Try it, you won’t be disappointed!
Here’s a little background to this dish: some time ago when my eldest child was still a preschooler, we were invited to a friend’s house for dinner. Another couple brought in the vegetable dish they had made to contribute to the dinner. It was the first time I had tasted spaghetti squash and I was instantly hooked to its delicious taste and noodle-like texture. I decided to come home and try my hand at this dish. After a few modifications, I came up with the recipe below. This is such an extremely easy dish to whip up at dinnertime or as a vegetable side dish for guests. In fact, for the next holiday dinner, I taught my husband how to cook this dish and the guests all enjoyed this Toasted Corn & Spaghetti Squash dish immensely. So that’s why now I can’t wait to share this dish with you!
A delightful vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free vegetable side dish that forms the perfect accompaniment to the main course.
- 1 small spaghetti squash
- 3 cups frozen corn [411 g] (or fresh corn kernels)
- ½ teaspoon olive oil (or use 2 tablespoons vegetable broth for an oil-free recipe)
- 3 large garlic cloves (minced)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (add more if desired)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
The fastest and easiest method to cook the spaghetti squash is to microwave it (for other cooking methods, see the recipe notes). First, cut off the blossom end of a washed spaghetti squash, then slice it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. When done, put one of the spaghetti squash halves face down in a large shallow microwaveable dish and add ¼ cup of water. Then microwave this spaghetti squash portion for about 5-6 minutes. Let this cool slightly so it can be handled and then check to see if the cooked flesh can be scraped easily with a fork (these will appear as stringy strands). If not, microwave this spaghetti squash again for another 1-2 minutes, then recheck. The cooked strands should come off easily from the shell when scraped with a fork. Repeat this process with the other half of the spaghetti squash.
While the squash is being cooked, put frozen or fresh corn kernels into a medium skillet on a low-medium heat setting. Cook these corn kernels for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted.
Meanwhile, mince the garlic cloves and scrape the cooked spaghetti squash strands into a separate bowl. Then mix these spaghetti squash strands with salt, ground black pepper, and garlic powder. Combine well then let it sit to marinate for about 5 minutes.
Now add ½ teaspoon of oil into the skillet with the toasted corn (or use about 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth for an oil-free method), then toss in the minced garlic pieces. Stir to combine then let the garlic pieces cook 1-2 minutes or until golden.
Finally, add in the marinated spaghetti squash strands into the skillet with the toasted corn kernels and minced garlic. Stir to combine well.
Let this mixture cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Then taste the combined mixture and adjust seasonings as needed (you may add in a little bit more salt or ground black pepper if desired). If you like, feel free to sprinkle on toasted pine nuts, roasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds as a finishing touch (optional). Ready to be enjoyed!
Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. If you would like a little more salt, you can increase the total amount of salt added to 1 teaspoon of salt.
To roast the spaghetti squash, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 177 degrees C. Next, wash the outer surface of the spaghetti squash and then cut the spaghetti squash into 1 inch rings. There is no need to scoop out the seeds yet. Place these cut rings on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, then lightly brush the cut surface of the rings with a tiny bit of olive oil (about 2 teaspoons total for all the butternut squash rings). Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the spaghetti squash rings cool before removing the seeds, and scooping out the strands into a large bowl using a fork.
To boil the spaghetti squash, read Tips on Using Spaghetti Squash). When the spaghetti squash is cooked through, remove it carefully from the pot and let it cool/drain in a colander. Then cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the inner strand-like flesh with a fork into a large bowl.
It’s surprising how filling this can be as a side to a meatless dinner! My eldest child loved this paired with mashed potatoes. I’m sure you could also just combine the strands of spaghetti squash into mashed potatoes as you are mixing it. However, it also works great separately as you can come up with all sorts of fun creations which are sure to appeal to little ones. My then nearly 4-year-old loved having a monkey face on her plate using yellow spaghetti squash ‘hair’ and a white mashed potato ‘face’!