Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Mexican Casserole is low carb, gluten-free, vegetarian and Keto friendly. It’s also a one pan meal that you can make ahead and heat through later. Meal-prep friendly!
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A lot of people use spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute because, well, I mean spaghetti is in the name! It shreds into lovely little threads that can double for angel hair pasta, but there are so many more uses for it than just as pasta. I guess it should really be called Angel Hair Squash.
One of my favorite things about spaghetti squash is that because it’s a little bit sweet and very easy to eat (chewing wise) I can mix it into a lot of things like chili, soup, chunky sauces, and casseroles like this Mexican Casserole, and my kids don’t even notice it’s there! Parenting win for sure.
Is Spaghetti Squash Good For You?
Spaghetti squash is winter squash, just like the Acorn, Butternut and Pumpkin varieties of squash. However, unlike the rest of its winter family, Spaghetti Squash contains less carbs and more good nutrients than the others. Meaning, it’s a great vegetable option when on a low carb diet, like Keto; you just need to watch your portion sizes as it’s not completely carb free.
A 1 cup serving of spaghetti squash contains about 7 grams of carbs and 31-42 calories, according to Livestrong.com.
In addition to far fewer calories than the same amount of pasta, Spaghetti Squash contains a ton of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C and a whole host of other nutrients.
A study done by Colorado State University Extension says that eating a high fiber food, like Spaghetti Squash, could be better for you than taking a supplement for the same thing, and it also finds that the majority of people get all of the vitamins and minerals they need through a varied diet and exercise. A supplement is generally just excess that is excreted by the body. Take that info for what you will, but you can’t deny that eating a powerhouse like Spaghetti Squash is excellent for you!
How To Cook A Spaghetti Squash
I have a post how to for Roasted Spaghetti Squash which is still my favorite way to cook them. Roasting ALWAYS brings out better, deeper flavors that enhance whatever you’re eating. But when making a casserole where you are adding a lot of other flavors on top of the Spaghetti Squash and it’s all mixed together, there are a couple of other ways to prepare it that are more time efficient.
I try my best to stay away from the microwave because I don’t think it’s the healthiest way to prepare food, but if the microwave is your friend, it will work in a jiff for cooking Spaghetti Squash! The Gunny Sack has an excellent post on how to do it from a whole squash or cut in half. Check it out HERE.
This is my second choice when cooking Spaghetti Squash. It’s completely hands off and super quick, and it’s how I prepared the spaghetti squash for this recipe.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the ends off the squash and then cut it in half. Remove the seeds and pulp with a spoon.
- Place ½ cup of water in the bottom of your pressure cooker and add a steaming rack or basket.
- Place the halves of the squash cut side down into your pressure cooker and secure the lid. Make sure the pressure valve is set to “seal”.
- Turn your pressure cooker on to high pressure for 7 minutes.
- When it is done cooking, manually release the pressure (be careful the steam doesn’t get you), and remove the squash with a pair of tongs. Let sit for 10 minutes until cool enough to handle, then either shred with a fork and use immediately, or place in a zip top bag or container and put in the fridge for later.
Cook your Spaghetti Squash on the weekend or in the morning before work, pop it in the fridge, and use it when you’re ready! It will keep in the fridge in a zip top bag or container with a lid for 3-5 days.
There are a few essential tools you’ll need to prepare this Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Mexican Casserole. Here are some suggestions of products that will be great.