squash mac & cheese

In culinary experiments, easy weeknight meals, leftovers, lunch, side dishes on 01.29.12 at 3:32 pm

it’s mac & cheese sans mac. that’s right, folks. no-pasta mac & cheese. true story.

ever have one of those days when you’re really craving comfort food like mac & cheese, but that little voice in your head tells you that you should know better? well, you should know better… there are healthy options for mac & cheese. this is what i fondly refer to as ‘faux pasta’ — spaghetti squash! and it works great as a pasta substitute in this squash-infused ‘mac & cheese’…

the spaghetti squash:
– gently wash spaghetti squash since you’ll be cooking it with the rind
– cut spaghetti squash in half, along the vertical. gently scrape pulp and seeds using a fork.
– gently brush the squash w/ extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle w/ ground black peppercorns
– place squash halves in a microwave-safe dish (squash side down) with 1/2 cup of water and microwave squash for approx 12-15min
– allow to cool before handling. using a fork, the squash should ‘string’ out nicely just like spaghetti noodles. true story. :)

(tip: cooking time varies depending on your microwave. if the spaghetti squash is still firm to the rind and doesn’t easily ‘string’ out like spaghetti noodles, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly. if you’d rather roast your spaghetti squash in the oven instead, check out this recipe modification for roasted squash.)

prep ingredients:
– 1 link of landjäger smoked sausage (diced. this sausage was already cooked.)
– 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
– 1/4 cup queso fresco (grated, or use another variety of cheese that melts well, such as gouda, cheddar or gruyere)

make the mac:
combine the following ingredients in a microwave-safe dish:
– 1 cup leftover cooked spaghetti squash (divided)
– sprinkle panko breadcrumbs, landjäger smoked sausage and grated cheese (between layers of cooked spaghetti squash)
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– sprinkle remaining grated cheese for a melted topping
– warm up the squash mac & cheese for approx 2min in a microwave-safe dish, until cheese is melted.

food styling:
– season w/ ground black peppercorns
– garnish w/ chopped fresh italian parsley (optional)
– pairs nicely w/ a glass of your fave white wine or elderflower water

  1. Oooooomg why have I never thought of this? Brilliant! The guilt-free version of mac and cheese. Now you’re talkin’. Sounds great!


    • so i picked up another spaghetti squash at the grocery store today! looks like spaghetti squash is quickly becoming a staple ingredient in my kitchen. :) love love love squash mac & cheese!


  2. Looks great and you always find the best sausage!


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