The end of the school year brings on a million projects and other things to get done before that last day. On my list this year? Turn my 5th grader into Jim Henson (didn’t he wear flannel shirts a lot?) and make a (realistic) plan to build a tree house for a 2nd grade presentation. There are the days there is not much time to plan for lunch. And because there is still a chill in the air in Colorado though, I get to break out my favorite spaghetti squash recipe for an easy lunch!
Lately I’ve started keeping spaghetti squash on hand. Winter squashes keep for a while, so if I don’t have a use for it right away, I’ll have it for a day like this. And I love this spaghetti squash recipe because I can use up all those random leftovers in the fridge or what ever else I’m in the mood for. Whatever combination of protein, vegetables, and cheese I have goes into the boat!
My Ridiculously Easy Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Start with getting the oven pre-heated to 400 degrees (Fahrenheit). Then slice that squash in half, lengthwise. Soften raw squash in the microwave for a few minutes to make cutting through it a bit easier. Gather anything you want to add to your boat. Today I used:
- Chicken (sausage also works great, or omit for a vegetarian option)
- Spinach (kale and mushrooms are good additions)
- Monterrey Jack Cheese (I added cheddar as well, but you can you whatever you have on hand)
- Seasonings (since I was short on time, I just used salt and pepper today, but dried or fresh basil, parsley, or oregano are some of my favorites)
Bake squash for 30-45 minutes, until softened. I bake them skin-side up, with a small amount of olive oil on the flesh of the spaghetti squash to prevent sticking.
Once softened, remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Remove the flesh with a fork and watch it turn into spaghetti (the kids always think this part is so cool!). Then transfer to a separate bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix well and fill the empty squash boats with the mixture.
Busy day? this #easyrecipe for #spaghettisquash boats makes an easy lunch! Click To Tweet
Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until warmed throughout.
Make it a fun make-your-own dinner night with the kids
Set up shop Subway-style, with a line of everyone’s favorite ingredients. Let the kids pick and choose what they want to add to their boat. They can add their mix-ins to a bowl, and you can add the mixture to the mostly-baked squash.Get the kids in the kitchen tonight with this #recipe for #spaghettisquash - the perfect DIY meal! Click To Tweet
Gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegetarian? Yep! Just leave out the ingredients that don’t work for you – it will be just as yummy!
Spaghetti Squash Boats
- 1 whole spaghetti squash
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp grated cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded chicken breast
Pre-heat oven to 400.
Slice squash in half, lengthwise.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until softened.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, remove flesh and put in separate bowl.
Mix in remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste.
Place back in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
Be creative with the ingredients, using whatever proteins, vegetables, and seasonings you have on hand!
What is your favorite ingredient to keep on hand for a healthy lunch on busy days? Tell me about it in the comments – I’m always looking for new ideas!
(And make sure to Pin this spaghetti squash recipe for the next time you need some meal time inspiration!)