Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Skillet

This summer, Sean's work offered an optional new program to employees: A CSA Program!

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. The way it works is that a person, family, or in this case, an employee will buy a "share" in the program for a set amount. We opted for the bi-weekly share which costs us $25 per week. The program fills a sack with local, fresh produce, meat, and dairy products, and Sean picks it up on his way home from work every other week. The sack is never the same since it is filled with whatever is currently in season, so it's a surprise what we will get!

Because they send whatever the local farms have ready to go, we've received some different types of produce and products than what I'm used to cooking with. While I've cooked with most of the veggies at one point or another, a lot of them aren't regulars in our home. It's actually proven to be a fun challenge to get creative and familiar with different food items and expand our meal repertoire.

Last night, I came up with a pretty good recipe with most of the ingredients coming directly from our CSA bags. It's also a vegetarian meal, so meat wasn't an expense with this one. I like to have a few of these types of meals ready to go to stretch the budget!
Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Skillet
makes 3-4 servings

What you'll need:
-1 2lb spaghetti squash
-2 tbsp oil
-1 medium yellow onion, chopped
-1 zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2 cups tomatoes, chopped
-1 tbsp olive paste
-1/2 cup feta cheese
-2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

First, prick your spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Place in a pan with 2 cups of water and roast at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. The spaghetti squash is ready when it is a little soft or provides only a little resistance when punctured with a knife.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. I used the Sunflower Oil from our CSA bag. That's a new one! I've never tried that one before...and it was pretty good! Add your zucchini and onion and saute until the onion and zucchini are soft. (Side note: at this point, Sean came downstairs and said that it smelled good! That's a good sign this early in dinner prep!)

While your zucchini and onions are sauteing, mince three cloves of garlic. Honestly, I've never understood why anyone would add less than that to a dish. My garlic philosophy works like this: if you are going to add garlic, then add garlic. Otherwise, what's the point? But I obviously love garlic and this amount seems to add just the right flavor to the dish. Feel free to adjust as needed for your tastes. :)

Stir the garlic into the onion and zucchini and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Next, add your chopped tomatoes. We had heirloom tomatoes this week, so I used those. Amazing flavor and color! It's always a treat to get those in our bags! Stir your tomatoes into the mixture and heat through. You don't want to "cook" the tomatoes. Just warm them.

Add the feta cheese and olive paste and stir into the veggie mixture. 

(Side note about the olive paste: A can of chopped black olives would probably be a good substitute, but if you can get your hands on the olive paste, it is worth every penny! It is chock full of rich olive and Mediterranean flavors and takes the dish to a whole new level. A little goes a long way, so one jar of the olive paste lasts a really long time.)

Add your chopped basil and stir.

Split your spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. The half on the left is what it looks like when it's been scooped out. The half on the right is what it looks like when it is first split open.

Take a fork and scrap the squash into the skillet right on top of the veggies. It will easily separate into strands and look a lot like spaghetti (hence the name).

Toss the spaghetti squash strands with the veggie mixture. Yum!

I served it with hot biscuits covered in butter and drizzled with honey. Healthy, fresh, and easy!

Do you have any good spaghetti squash recipes that you enjoy? Or have you ever tried this type of squash? They are in season, so go grab one!


  1. Perfect! I have been looking for a new spaghetti squash recipe. Thank you for sharing this. It looks yummy!!

    Kelly @ Our Everyday Harvest

  2. do you kiddos eat cool foods like that??

    1. Actually, they do, Didi! This particular evening, Sean had to work late, so I fed them something different and then fixed this for us when he got home. But generally, they always eat what we eat. I don't cook separate meals for them, so they know that they need to eat what we put in front of them.

  3. Yes, my question was the same as Didi K's : did any of the kids eat this?

    I am having so much trouble getting my 15 month old to eat vegetables. He won't feed himself any vegetable finger foods, and I have resorted to spoon-feeding him pureed baby foods, which he semi-tolerates. But he likes spaghetti, so maybe I could trick him with this recipe?? :)

    1. I have 3 who will eat just about anything I put in front of them. I have one (Abby) who has always had some issues with eating. We've fought with her through bottles, spoon feedings, finger foods, etc. We are pretty sure that she has sensory issues and they are just exhibiting themselves through her eating (as opposed to her just being a picky eater). Just like with the other kids, though, she is served what we are eating. We always encourage her to try all the foods we put in front of her, but we don't force feed her. I do try to make sure there is at least one item that she will eat and we monitor her carefully to make sure that she gets enough nutrition. With her, it's a very fine balancing act between not fixing separate meals for her and making sure she eats something. The last thing we want to do is create a feeding aversion that turns into an eating disorder.

      It's so hard to figure out exactly what they are thinking at this age since they don't communicate well. Spaghetti squash looks like spaghetti but is a little more crunchy. You could probably steam it and soften it up quite a bit more. It's definitely worth a try with your little guy! They are in season now, so it's a good time to try it.

      Good luck! :)

  4. This looks great, I am going to have to try this out! I actually had spaghetti squash for the first time yesterday, I made... Drum roll... Spaghetti with it, ha, but it was delicious! You always cook the yummiest looking things!

  5. Spaghetti Squash is so versatile! That thing is like a little (BIG) magic trick! yum!

    Following from the wkend blog hop!
    Daydreaming Realist

  6. Yum!

    I am following you from the weekend blog hop

  7. Hi Lovely, I'm your new follower from Blog Hop.
    Love your awesome blog. Feel free to check out & follow my blog @

  8. I have never heard of spagetti squash until your post, and my mother-in-law does a garden every year that includes squash in it. It looks like it's pretty good. I love the ingredients in your meal.

    1. The ingredients are fantastic with the squash! Definitely grab a couple out of your MIL's garden and give it a try!

  9. I have never heard of spagetti squash until your post. This meal idea looks great to try. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I so enjoy your site and your recipes. Would you please consider adding a print option so we can enjoy your recipes a little more easily. Thank you.

  11. What a delicious meal we had tonight. I added the broccoli and red pepper flakes,. It was just wonderful and enjoyed by my husband as well. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe.
    Paul Brown


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