Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...
Gluten-free comfort food: Spaghetti squash bake with a Southwestern flair
Spaghetti squash is so versatile (sort of like spaghetti itself), and it’s a healthy ingredient option to make your meal wonderful. No need to seek out gluten-free spaghetti either, as this veggie has you covered.
I love this gluten-free, Southwestern-style spaghetti squash bake. Is it the colors, the flavors or the fun of it all? It's all of those things! If you’ve had spaghetti squash, you’ll understand what I mean by fun — to me, there’s something entertaining about scraping this cooked veggie and turning it into spaghetti-like strands.
This is an easy dish to make, and it serves about six people. All the ingredients are combined into one dish and baked warm and tasty, so serve this with your favorite corn tortilla chips and guacamole or a side salad for a special gluten-free meal.
Note: Gluten can be found in many different foods and products, from ketchup to soy sauce to candy and seasonings. While SheKnows tries to ensure that these recipes are gluten-free, carefully read the ingredient labels of all food and food products you use for these recipes to ensure they are also gluten-free.
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice, pulsed in a food processor
8 ounces black beans
4 ounces corn kernels (frozen or canned)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground chili powder (more or less, to taste)
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Diced tomato, for garnish
Crumbled cotija cheese, for garnish (if you can’t find this Mexican-style cheese, you can use feta)
Nonstick cooking spray
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a large baking dish with the nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
Start to cook the squash by placing the whole, scored squash on a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high heat for about 5 minutes, then remove. When cool to the touch, carefully cut the squash in half, vertically, with a sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds and strands.
Place both halves cut side down in a microwave-safe dish, and add about 1-1/2 inches of water. Microwave on high heat for 10 minutes, then remove.
When cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape out the inside of the squash in a downward motion to remove the spaghetti-like strands. Be careful, as the inside may still be hot.
As the squash cools, add some of the oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the ground beef, and cook until browned. Remove the ground beef from the skillet, and set it aside.
Season the tomato mixture with the salt, black pepper, cumin, coriander and chili powder. Set aside.
To a clean, large skillet over medium heat, add the remaining oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, and cook for about 3 minutes or until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the tomato mixture to the skillet, and stir to combine. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes.
Add the black beans and corn to the skillet. Mix to combine. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Add the browned ground beef to the mixture, and stir to combine. Remove from the heat, and add the spaghetti squash strands to the mixture. Toss gently to coat.
Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and garnish with the diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro and cotija cheese.