My favorite season is here which means I’ll be cooking squash-and-pumpkin everything for the next three months. I’m so excited. I just can’t hide it… seriously, squash makes me so happy. This spaghetti squash casserole made with ground beef is the absolute perfect way to welcome the season. It’s super easy to make and if there’s just two of you, it’ll feed you for days. I planned on freezing the leftovers but it was just so good that we finished it all so quickly. I think one day I ate it for breakfast and dinner. Is that weird?
Spaghetti squash is a versatile fruit (yes, it’s a fruit). Some say the flavor of the squash itself is a little bland – but in my mind, that’s a good thing. That means you’re not limited in what you can do with this squash; it can take on the flavors of whatever other spices or sauces you are cooking with. When you cook this type of squash, it produces slightly crunchy spaghetti-like strands that you can use in any recipe calling for noodles – for example, Chicken Spaghetti (paleo), Paleo Drunken Noodles, or Paleo Kheer (dessert)! This squash is also a great way to sneak in fiber and make one pound of meat stretch for several meals (see my Breakfast Cups!). Can you tell that I use this squash a lot?
You can cook spaghetti squash several different ways (oven, boiling, crockpot, microwave). I usually cook my squash in the oven because I think it gives the squash more of a roasted flavor. I cut it in half (or I get Roby to do this), scoop out the seeds and put the squash on a baking dish cut side down. Sometimes I’ll put a little oil, salt and pepper on the halves. Then, I’ll pop it in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes or until I can easily glide a fork or knife into the squash (roasting time depends on the size of your squash).
Growing up in an Indian household, I’m used to food having a lot of flavor. I’m not saying I need food to be spicy but if it’s bland, in my book that = boring. Because spaghetti squash is kinda sorta bland, it’s important to add a lot of spices to this dish. I used fresh garlic, serrano peppers, paprika, cumin, thyme, chili powder, red pepper flakes and of course, the big S&P. I also made sure to create a base of onion, serrano pepper and garlic to help flavor both the oil and the meat.
I think you’ll really like this casserole. It’s nicely spiced and it’ll keep you feeling full and warm this fall.
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, minced (more if you like it spicy)
- 5 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound grassfed ground beef
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper, adjust to taste (be sure to season well)
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can organic diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 egg, whisked
- green onion, garnish
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and add a little oil, salt and pepper to cut sides.
- Place squash cut side down in a baking dish.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until you can easily pierce the skin with a knife (cooking time depends on size of squash).
- In a pan, add oil on medium heat and then add the onion, serrano pepper and a pinch of salt.
- Once onions turns translucent, add garlic and after a couples minutes add the ground beef and spices. Continue cooking until the beef is done.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the cooked beef, spaghetti squash strands, green bell pepper and the diced tomatoes.
- Add the whisked egg to the mixture, combine well and pour into a casserole dish.
- Bake the casserole at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until golden on top.