Cheesy Spaghetti Squash "Mess"
This is a big 'ol saucy, gooey, cheesy, yummy mess. Good inside a quesadilla sandwich, as a dip, or with nachos. Cut batch size in half, or use leftovers for more meals- such as a stuffed potato topping, or try my husband's twist: stir in lots of chopped veggies, then add to an omelet.
1 medium-large spaghetti squash (about 3-4 lbs.)
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1-2 Tbsp. chopped mild onion
2 Tbsp. flour
1½ c. milk, room temperature
2 c. shredded melting cheese like cheddar, mozarella, monterey or pepper jack, gruyere (or combo)
1-2 c. chopped tomato
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Trim ends of the squash and then cut in half vertically. (Poke with knife and microwave for a couple of minutes if you are struggling). Scoop out the seeds and any loose, stringy gunk. Brush the insides of the halves lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Place on the prepared rimmed sheet (cut side down) and bake for about 30-40 minutes, +/- depending on your squash size, until lightly browned on the edges and tender when poked with a knife or fork (it should still have body and texture- don't allow it to overcook and get mushy).
When the squash has cooled just enough for you to handle it, run a fork through the flesh in short, sweeping strokes to separate it into “noodle” strands. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile in a soup pot, gently saute the garlic and onion in butter; don't allow to brown. Whisk in flour and continue cooking and whisking on low heat for another minute. Next, whisk in the milk, and continue to whisk vigorously and often until sauce has thickened- about 3 minutes more. Add the shredded cheese and stir until melted. Lightly toss in the spaghetti squash noodle strands and chopped tomato, thoroughly incorporating all. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
For quesadilla sandwich: spread evenly on soft tortilla, top with a second tortilla, warm for a few seconds in microwave, and cut into wedges.
Tasty addition ideas:
Chopped/shredded cooked chicken, chopped, mild bell pepper or canned chopped green chili peppers, pinch of red pepper flakes and/or hot sauce. small cubes of ham and broccoli bits
Small-cubed ham, or crumbled, crisp bacon, and chopped broccoli florets
Recipe created or adapted by Liz Talley, Urban Graze
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