During harvest season, few vegetables offer the bang-for-the-buck value of spaghetti squash.
The nutritional value isn't off the charts, yet many people are switching out pasta for spaghetti squash. Its selling point is that it has only 17 percent of the calories as the same amount of pasta, and one-fifth the carbohydrates. With childhood obesity an epidemic, those are two big positives for using spaghetti squash.
Here are 10 kid-friendly recipes you'll want to bookmark.
1. Bacon and parmesan fritters
Did someone say bacon? Mm! These bacon and parmesan fritters will bring anyone to the table, even your kids! Use a quality non-stick pan and cut back on the oil to curb fat.
2. Spaghetti squash and meatballs
Where there's spaghetti... squash, there's gotta be meatballs, right? Make extra of this recipe to freeze for the future. This recipe's rated as a big winner.
3. Lasagna spaghetti squash bowls
I don't know many kids who think olives are a winner, though, despite what this chef says. The 370+ reviews offer some great alternative ideas, like adding seasoned browned ground beef or Italian sausage instead. Read the reviews for more great methods with this "lasagna-style" spaghetti squash and find one that works for your family!
Alternatively, you could bake the lasagna right in the shell of the spaghetti squash and save some time, like the recipe found here.
4. Mock coconut pie
Here's a left-field recipe the whole family might love - a mock coconut pie made with, you guessed it - spaghetti squash! The reviews are exceedingly positive, and worth reading for more tips on how to make it just right.
5. Spaghetti squash with a Thai kick
For kids who enjoy peanuts, this quickie version of a Thai peanut sauce with spaghetti squash might become an easy weeknight dinner solution. Get a healthy un-boring dinner on the table in under 30 minutes!
6. Spaghetti squash carbonara
This baked carbonara-style casserole uses cooked chicken - grab a rotisserie bird if you're pressed for time - and easy ingredients like bacon bits and canned milk. Easy meals with leftovers never hurt mid-week, right?
7. Spaghe-pizza squash?
Say no more! This recipe involves using fluffed pre-baked squash in its skin, topped with pizza sauce, pizza toppings, cheese, and re-baking it, making it a great gluten-free pizza substitute.
8. Latkes for days
Also potentially gluten-free are these latkes, a cross between a pan-fried fritter and a pancake. For kids who don't like spice, substitute the jalapenos with garlic or green onions.
Top these latkes with some sour cream and you've got a yummy side for any protein!
9. Chicken and red pepper sauce spaghetti squash boats
That title is a mouthful, but these look mouth-watering delicious. These chicken-and-red pepper sauce-stuffed spaghetti squash "boats" are sworn kid-approved by this chef.
It's a no-fuss recipe. Pick a rotisserie chicken clean rather than cooking some up for an easy after-work solution.
10. Broccolini spaghetti squash lasagna
Broccoli and cheese was a win with me as a kid, and this recipe's got all that and more. Plus, it's a casserole cooked in the squash, so less dish-washing makes it extra-appealing!
Have you made any of these recipes before, or will you be adding a few to your weeknight rotation?