Spaghetti squash-topped nachos with spicy jalapeño cheese sauce
There's nothing like nachos with lots of warm, stringy and delicious squash. Say what? Is there really squash in these nachos? Yes, but it's kind of disguised, because it blends right in with the cheese.
So have you ever tried spaghetti squash before? I think it's the most fun squash to make because there's absolutely no fuss involved. The hardest part is cutting it in half lengthwise, but I'll share my secret with you. I grab the one I want in the grocery store and then take it to one of the employees working in the produce department to cut it in half for me. They generally have a big old cleaver kind of knife that gets the job done.
The fun part about making spaghetti squash is that it's over-the-top easy. Just scoop out the seeds, add some water in the middle of the squash, cover with a wet paper towel, and heat it up in the microwave. Then it's like magic when you take a fork to loosen up the strands of squash.
OK, enough about squash already. Let's check out the recipe for these nachos so you can get your veggies on for the day — not to mention get your daily requirement of roasted jalapeño cheese sauce.
Spaghetti squash nachos with roasted jalapeño cheese sauce recipe
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes | Total time 45 minutes
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup canola oil (or more depending on the size of the pan)
- 5 dashes salt
- 1/2 small spaghetti squash, cut lengthwise
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 large jalapeños
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/4 cup half-and-half (or cream)
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
For the tortilla chips
- Cut each tortilla into 5 triangles.
- Heat a medium-size skillet on medium heat, and add the canola oil.
- Test the heat by adding just 1 piece of tortilla. When it sizzles, add the remaining tortillas in batches.
- Cook each side of the tortillas until they're golden brown, and then set them on a plate with a paper towel on it.
- Sprinkle the tortilla chips with salt, and transfer them to a serving plate. Set aside.
- Lay the squash open side up on a microwave-safe plate, and add water inside the cavity.
- Cover with a wet paper towel, and cook in the microwave for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove the squash (it will be hot) from the microwave, leaving the paper towel on top.
- Let set for about 5 minutes to steam a bit more.
- Using a dinner fork, scrape out the strands of squash.
- Let cool for about 5 minutes, and then spread out the squash evenly on top of the tortilla chips. There will be some squash left over.
- Turn the gas burner on medium heat. Using tongs, carefully hold the jalapeño over the heat for 60 to 90 seconds, until the skin on 1 side chars and blisters.
- Turn the jalapeño over with the tongs to heat the other side for 60 to 90 seconds, until the skin chars and blisters.
- Still using the tongs, put the charred jalapeño into a baggie for about 5 minutes so it will steam and the skin will be easier to remove. Repeat the process with the remaining jalapeño.
- Use the tongs to pull the jalapeños out of the baggie, and lay them on a plate or cutting board.
- Use the tongs to hold the stem of the jalapeño, and with your other hand, use a knife to scrape off the skin.
- Carefully cut out and discard the stem and seeds. Avoid touching the jalapeño with your hands.
- Chop the jalapeños, and set them aside.
- Heat a small pan on low heat.
- Add both cheeses, the half-and-half and the jalapeños.
- Stir constantly until the mixture turns into a sauce.
- Drizzle the cheese sauce over the tortilla chips, and top with red bell pepper and green onion.
- Serve while the cheese sauce is hot.