Crock It! Spaghetti Squash

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I love the switchover to fall smells, colors, flavors and yes, vegetables. Until several years ago, the only fall squash I had eaten was an acorn squash, and growing up my favorite part was the brown sugar my mother added to it. Over the past few years, I’ve expanded my fall squash palate and tried as many new varieties as I could. But, I didn’t do much experimenting. I baked them all face down in the oven, added some butter, and that was about it. If you are not familiar with the available array of fall squashes, they share some basic similarities across the varieties: the flavors are mostly mild, the skins are all tough, and the seeds are definitely worth trying to bake and eat just as you would pumpkin seeds.

Even with the arrival of fall, my herb garden seems to be lasting longer, creating an environment for blending the flavors of both summer and fall. In my latest experiment, spaghetti squash provided a perfect opportunity to be creative, embrace fall, and have a last little taste of summer.

Cooking a spaghetti squash in a slow cooker is extremely easy and practically foolproof. If you’ve never tried cooking a fall squash in a slow cooker, this is a perfect vegetable, and recipe, for experimenting. It’s also great in the timing department because you can start cooking around lunch time, and the squash will be ready by dinner time with almost no necessary work from the cook. This is my kind of vegetable!

And, as far as feeding this to kids goes, it worked in my house. The flavor of the squash is mild. The pieces come out in strings, so it really looks like clear spaghetti, and with a little added butter and grated Parmesan cheese, my kids thought it was delicious.

Crock It! Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

1/2 cup water

1 tomato, seeded and diced

10 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon butter

salt and pepper to taste

What’s Next:

Cut the stem end off of your squash.

Cut in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds.

Pour water into slow cooker and place spaghetti squash “face down” with scooped out side resting on bottom of crock.

Cover and cook on high for four hours.

After four hours, remove the squash and set on a cutting board to cool for about 10 minutes It will be very hot!

Scrape out the flesh with a fork. It will be clear and stringy. Place in a large bowl.

Add butter, diced tomato, basil, cheese, salt and pepper. Mix together and serve.

Notes from my experience:

I used tomatoes and basil because the end of season tomatoes are still delicious and the basil is still growing in my herb garden. If you have leftovers, they will keep in the refrigerator and are just as good the next day.

As we approach fall, dried herbs can be used, or fresh rosemary with lemon would also be a good combination.

This recipe will only use half of your squash. Cover the remaining half in plastic wrap and save for another meal.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I love your recipes, Tracy! They’re easy and delish. I’m trying this one today! It was nice to meet you at Kinderfest; it’s always fun to put a face with a name!

  2. Thanks so much Judy! It was great to meet you too at Kinderfest, as I never know who makes the recipes until someone tells me in person. I’ll add this too: if you are the type who likes to steam and puree your own pumpkin, the slow cooker is great for that too. Just add 1/2 cup of water to your seeded pumpkin and cook on high for 3-4 hours. Enjoy the squash!

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