Although spaghetti squash does have some carbs, it is relatively minimal (5 grams per 1/2 cup), and it is oh-so-easy and delicious. Add some rehydrated heirloom sundried tomatoes, some butter and chicken broth and you’ve got a great low carb lunch. Add some prosciutto and broccoli and it turns into a great fall dinner.Jump to Recipe
Spaghetti Squash as a Substitute for Pasta
Some people say spaghetti squash is a poor substitute for pasta, but it works for me, providing the texture that the slow carb diet is often lacking.
I used to enjoy pasta dishes quite a bit, and made them on a regular basis. After excluding pasta from my diet for years, however, I can’t say that I really miss it at all.
What I did miss was using pasta as a vehicle for soaking up great sauces and different flavor profiles. That’s where spaghetti squash really comes to the rescue, perfectly soaking up butter, tomato sauces, pesto sauce, vegetables, etc.
Is Spaghetti Squash Low Carb?
Although most types of winter squash are considered starchy vegetables (butternut squash, acorn squash, etc.) , spaghetti squash is classified as a non-starchy vegetable. One-half cup of cooked spaghetti squash has about 20 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrate.
It also provides vitamin C, B vitamins, and fiber. It’s extremely low in fat and sodium, and has no cholesterol, but the game changer for me is that it has flavor, unlike some of the other pasta substitutes.
Other Low Carb Substitutes for Pasta
Mashed cauliflower or cauliflower rice can stand in as a great bed for sauces. Zucchini noodles is another popular substitute.
Both of these work fine for adding texture and nutrients to the dish, but they don’t provide the additional flavor that spaghetti squash can lend to a dish.
Other Recipes using Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti Squash & Sun-dried Tomatoes
- 1 spaghetti squash medium (about 2 lb)
- ⅓ cup sundried tomatoes rehydrated in warm water and chopped
- 3-5 cloves garlic
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ to 1 cup chicken broth
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese freshly grated if possible
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- The squash can be either microwaved or baked. If you are baking it, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- With a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise (be careful not to cut yourself, the shell can be difficult). Scrape out the seeds from both cavities with a spoon.1 spaghetti squash
- If you are using the microwave, place both halves cut side down on a plate and microwave in 4 minute increments until a fork slides into the squash easily without pressure. If you are baking the squash, place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes (or until fork tender).
- Let squash cool. Using a fork or spoon, scrape the strands of squash out into a bowl.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute briefly (about 1 minute). Add spaghetti squash and saute 2-3 minutes, stirring so as not to burn.3-5 cloves garlic, 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- Add chicken broth, salt and pepper, and sundried tomatoes and simmer until heated through. If it is too thick for your taste, add some more chicken broth. Taste and add more salt if desired.1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, 1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper
- Sprinkle grated parmesan on the squash while it is still on the burner and gently simmer until it melts in (2-3 minutes). Cover the skillet to speed the melting process if desired.1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Garnish with thyme or savory herbs.
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