TexMex Spaghetti Squash

A friend saw a post I’d made on Facebook about playing with spaghetti squash recipes. He got excited and asked another friend to share the following recipe with me. I’ve done my best to recreate the dish from the notes I was given, and write it all up in a recipe format to share with readers.

Raymond’s TexMex Spaghetti Squash Bake

Ingredients:
1 medium spaghetti squash (2-3 lbs), rendered
1 lb ground beef or turkey
12 oz frozen chopped spinach
12 oz frozen cauliflower
1 medium onion, diced
Chili seasonings (chilipowder, paprika, cumin, garlic, oregano to taste)
15 oz can of black beans, drained
8 oz can of Ro-tel
8 oz Neufchatel or cream cheese
2-4 oz shredded cheddar or cheddar jack

Split the squash into halves. Remove the seeds and seed membranes. Spray the open areas of the squash with a light coating of olive oil. Place face down on a plate and microwave in five minute increments until the whole squash is softened. Scrape the insides of the squash out into a bowl and reserve.

In a large skillet, add a dollop of olive oil and diced onion. Cook until onion begins to clarify. Add the meat to brown and allow to crumble as if for tacos. Drain the meat if needed.

At any time after this point, if the mixture becomes too voluminous, move it into an oven safe pot or dutch oven and continue.

Add the spinach and cauliflower. Sprinkle the spices into the mixture. Fold into the meat and onion mixture and allow to cook until veggies soften.

When the meat and veggies are browned to taste, add the drained beans and can of Ro-tel.

Slice up the cream cheese and fold it into the mixture. Continue to mix until all ingredients are well integrated.

If you are still in the skillet at this point, move the mixture into an oven sfe pot or dutch oven.

Fold in the squash gently. Sprinkle a layer of grated cheese over the top of the mixture and place in preheated oven.

Bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, additional shredded cheese, corn ships and/or tortillas, as desired.

Due to a lack of a conventional oven in my kitchen at the moment, I fell back on my trusty crock-pot to try this recipe out. It turned out to be a good way to go, with excellent results.

Crock-pot Variation

Set up your crock pot with either a liner or olive oil spray.

Diced onion.

Diced onion.

 

 

Add diced onion and Ro-tel. Allow to cook on high for 2 hours or until onion begins to clarify.

Spinach, Ro-tel, and cauliflower added. Isn't this colorful?

Spinach, Ro-tel, and cauliflower added. Isn’t this colorful?

 

 

 

 

Add spinach, cauliflower, and spices. Stir gently. Continue to cook for 2 hours on high.

 

 

All the spices for a good chili.

All the spices for a good chili.

DSC_0993

 

Add browned and drained ground beef. Drain beans and add. Stir gently.
Allow to cook for 1 hour on high. Taste test and adjust spices as needed.

Add cream cheese.

Add cream cheese.

 

Slice cream cheese and lay in on top of the current mixture to soften. Stir into pot. Add about a third of the grated cheese and stir.

 

DSC_0006

 

Add spaghetti squash and fold gently into the mixture.

 

Smoothed mixture will look something like this.

Smoothed mixture will look something like this.

 

Smooth out the top of the mixture. Add remaining shredded cheese and spread evenly over top. Allow this to continue to cook on medium for at least half an hour or until all the cheese is melted.

Cheese!

Cheese!

 

Finished cooking.

Finished cooking.

DSC_0011

¡Sabroso!

–Ann Cathey

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