Creamy, cheesy, spicy spaghetti squash? Yes please!! Say hello, to South of the Border Spaghetti Squash!
It all started when I had a great idea for some leftover pulled pork…at least it was great in theory. I thought a southwest enchilada version of green chili pork would be delish, but the seasoning and smoke of the pork just didn’t go to well with the mellow southwest spices. I’m not giving up on it but this version definitely wasn’t a keeper. I hate when I have high expectations for a dish and it bombs…but in the end I always learn something!
On the up side, to go along with those enchiladas I needed a side dish but didn’t feel like rice. Well, I happen to have a spaghetti squash that needed to be used, so I just went with it. I definitely wanted something with all the flavors of traditional Mexican rice but I needed a kind of sauce to bring it all together. I have seen recipes for spaghetti squash floating around that fill the cavity with a sauce and top it with cheese and bake it off making a super delicious looking dish. So using this method for inspiration, I created this South of the Border Spaghetti Squash! It really reminds me of a cross between my King Ranch Chicken and my mom’s incredible Chicken Spaghetti recipe that she has from her grandmother.
South of the Border Spaghetti Squash is super simple to make and has tons of Tex-Mex veggies to spice it up and a creamy sauce to bring all home. Did I mention it has a layer of crispy, golden cheese on top? The squash adds a little sweetness that is right at home with all of the veggies and spices, making for a low carb side dish sure to satisfy even your toughest critics. Cowboy and kid approved, it definitely has a permanent spot in my weeknight meal repertoire!
Vegetarian? Just sub veggie stock for the chicken stock. Want to make it a meal? Add diced chicken breast or left over baked chicken for a quick, delicious and nutritious, low carb meal that doesn’t even dirty a pot!
Never cleaned a spaghetti squash? Listen up…
If you have never worked with spaghetti squash it can be a little intimidating, but I promise it’s easy. The outside of the squash is really hard so I microwave the whole squash for 4-5 minutes to soften it up enough to cut the ends off. The outside will be hot when you remove it from the microwave, so be careful! Put the squash on a kitchen towel and trim the ends off, then stand it on end and cut it down the middle lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and you are ready to go!
South of the Border Spaghetti Squash
South of the Border Spaghetti Squash has tons of Tex-Mex veggies to spice it up and a creamy sauce to bring all home. Did I mention it has a layer of crispy, golden cheese on top? The squash adds a little sweetness that is right at home with all of the veggies and spices, making for a low carb side dish sure to satisfy even your toughest critics. Cowboy and kid approved, it definitely has a permanent spot in my weeknight meal repertoire!
- Olive Oil
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced (I used 1/2 green & 1/2 red)
- 1/2 - 1 jalapeno, finely diced
- 1/3 cup chicken stock
- 2 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup shredded Colby jack
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Step 2 To soften the squash before cutting, microwave whole for 4-5 minutes. Be careful when removing, skin will be hot. Trim both end off the squash and cut lengthwise down the middle making two boats. Scrape and scoop seeds out and discard.
- Step 3 Drizzle cut side of squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on parchment lined sheet pan and roast at 350 for about 30 minutes.
- Step 4 While squash is in the oven, melt butter in large skillet. Add onion and bell pepper and cook over medium high heat for about 7 minutes or until softened. Throw in garlic and jalapeno and cook for another 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and continue to cook till stock is reduced by half. You should have about 3 tablespoons of liquid left. Remove from heat and place veggies in a small mixing bowl.
- Step 5 Add cream cheese, cream, salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin. Stir till combined and cream cheese is melted.
- Step 6 After 30 minutes, remove squash from oven and carefully flip over. The squash should be tender on top but not completely done all the way through. Fill the cavity of each squash with cream mixture and top each with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
- Step 7 Return to over for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Let sit 10 minutes before mixing all together and digging in! To store, remove squash from shell and refrigerate in air tight container.