I will readily admit that as obsessed as I am with spaghetti squash, my family members are not so enthusiastic. They will eat it, but always seem to let me know just how not thrilled they are to have it show up on the menu. They provided plenty of honest feedback for last night’s dinner, which I’m happy to pass along to you.
I adapted this one from I Breathe, I’m Hungry; it looked like the perfect dish to feed the chili cravings I’d been having since cold weather returned here in CT. I figured the cheese involved in the equation would seal the deal for the rest of the brood.
While made the recipe exactly as written, I think I would make one major change next time. Instead of making a bed of spaghetti squash topped with the chili, I would combine everything together to better incorporate the squash. While I loved the dish prepared as is, the kids and my husband ate all of the chili (which they loved) and found themselves left with squash in the bottom of their bowls. I had to coax them to top it off with a little extra salsa to get it down.
So, if you have reluctant spaghetti squash eaters as I do, I’d suggest mixing everything together. I also think having some good garnishes on hand is key. The cilantro and chopped tomatoes really added color and flavor. I had also wanted to add some sliced avocado, but sadly couldn’t find ones in the right state of ripeness at the store.
As written this dish is gluten and grain-free. I’m presenting it as Melissa wrote it for her blog, with the squash separate from the meat. If you want to combine everything, I’d recommend stirring the meat and squash together and sandwiching a layer of sour cream and cheese in between them.
Chili Cheese Spaghetti Squash Bake
adapted from I Breathe, I’m Hungry
1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tbs. chopped chipotles in adobo (optional)
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
½ cup prepared organic salsa
salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups cooked spaghetti squash
2 tbs. butter, melted
¾ cup organic sour cream
1¾ cup shredded Mexican cheese
possible garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, extra sour cream & salsa, minced green onions, chopped tomatoes
In a medium saucepan, brown the ground meat. Season with salt and pepper. Pour off any extra fat and discard. Add the rest of the chili ingredients and simmer for about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine the cooked spaghetti squash and melted butter, tossing to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread the squash out in a 12 – 14 inch casserole dish. Sprinkle with ¾ cup of shredded cheese. Spread the sour cream over the cheese layer. Spoon on the chili and spread it out, leaving a 1 inch border of spaghetti squash around the edge.
Top with the remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until heated through. Garnish as desired.