Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In the Kitchen With the Toddler: How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Our kitchen is really tiny, so whenever we cook as a family, we do a lot of our prep work on our dining table. Over the weekend we made a spaghetti squash bake (very similar to this one here); the toddler didn’t remember ever helping when I made spaghetti squash and was fascinated. So much so, that he ended up sitting on top of the table for most of the time. Because it had been a long day and he was very tired, I decided not to fight the issue. Just know, we usually do not sit on top of the table!

Our squash came with a handy little sticker with instructions on how to cook it in the microwave. I followed the instructions pretty much, except I had to use a knife to poke holes into it (a fork wouldn’t budge at all!) and I cooked it for 18 minutes. The squash was huge. Even after cooking it for 18 minutes, it was still al dente (which we enjoyed, and it did get a bit softer when I baked it, but not much).

Here are all the ingredients. I just realized there are 6. Another 6 ingredient meal

While the squash was cooking in the microwave, I cut the mushrooms and sautéed them. Then I added the Laughing Cow cheese wedges to make a sauce. Next, I coated the bottom of a casserole dish with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce.

And then the squash was done. I cut it in half

and removed the seeds and “stringy things” attached to the seeds.

And then the magic began. Can you see my helper’s hands right there?

And here he is, sitting on top of the table!

And here are the “spaghetti!”

And now we assembled the bake in the casserole dish:

Yes, the toddler is still sitting on top of the table…

The casserole dish is ready to go into the oven, where it baked for 55 minutes at 350 degrees.

And then it looked like this!

By now, the toddler had come back down from the table. But now he decided it was time to take off his shirt… As I said, it had been a LONG day, and we decided to forgo the battles…

A good ending to a LOOOOONG day! Winking smile

Questions: Do you like squash? If so, what’s your favorite type of squash? I love all squash, from summer squash to butternut squash to spaghetti squash. Making spaghetti squash is so much fun, but I don’t really think it tastes like spaghetti (and people shouldn’t expect it to taste like spaghetti). Of course adding lots of “spaghetti things,” like tomato sauce and cheese, makes it “taste more like spaghetti”…

Be well,


  1. I am pretty sure my daughter wouldn't have eaten spaghetti squash at the toddlers age, but then again, I didn't back then either - now I love it!

    Great idea Andrea!

  2. I'm SOO glad you posted this!! I tried spaghetti squash last year & it was an utter failure! lol! I eat squash a few times a week, I *LOVE* it! My absolute favourite that I could eat daily is Buttercup squash loaded with cinnamon, EVOO, & a sprinkle of brown sugar. Yum!!

  3. Yummy good! I cooked a spaghetti squash in the microwave oven one time and it exploded all over the place. I had poked it with a fork but maybe not enough. It was a huge mess!

    I like butternut squash and Kabocha the best!

  4. Andrea, I love spaghetti squash...and use it instead of pasta :-) Like how you prepared it...looks yummie! And, love the pictures!
    Hope you are having a fantastic week :-)

  5. Butternut squash has got to be my favourite. I just love it roasted!

  6. oh the recipe looks so tasty and i love how the little one is helping!

  7. I'm making this!!! Ironically I just bought a spaghetti squash at the store today, and I was trying to think of what to do with it. I literally have EACH of these ingredients, and will be making this tomorrow night :) Thanks!

  8. What a wonderful way to teach kids young! Love the steps to make the spaghetti.

  9. I love all sorts of squash too! It's staple in my house and I use it in place of pasta and rice. I wish I would have exposed my kids to such a wide variety of foods like you do with the toddler. It's one of my bigger parenting mistakes.

  10. It does look like a good ending to a long day :-). I do like squash, especially butternut squash. Can't wait to try this recipe!

  11. Spaghetti squash is probably my favorite just because it is so much fun. I am glad the toddler was a fan. I always suggest this one to parents for getting their kids involved in the kitchen. Seriously this is a fun veggie, and even my hubby thought it was so neat the first time I introduced him to it. I am happy that our new base commissary does stock them.

  12. I am SO ready to bake up a batch of spaghetti squash this just pushed me over the edge.

    JJ has to help me if he's in the vicinity and I am cooking.

    and I so hear you on those "long days".
    you have to pick your battles.

    I am not sure JJ would have tried the squash. I made it before but no one had any interest in it...I just was all...woo hoo..more for me!


  13. I love squash - this dish looks fantastic!!!

  14. Greta sagt....
    eine tolle Idee,Kürbis hat auch noch viele Mineralstoffe und Vitamine,Der Auflauf sieht sehr
    appetitlich aus.Ich mache nächste Woche eine exotische Kürbissuppe mitApfel,Ingwer,Curcuma,Curry und Kokosmilch mit meiner Gruppe.
    Gruß Greta

  15. I love all manner of squash. In fact, I was just judging a cooking competition last night at Macy's Union Square, where I declared aloud that I was a "kabocha whore.'' LOL I can't help it -- I do love kabocha any way and every way. ;)

  16. I love spaghetti fun! I think it's also really neat that you got your son involved...I think that helps food acceptance. :)

  17. I like all squash except for yellow squash. We made spaghetti squash a few times last year and everyone liked it!


    I love squash! Spaghetti squash is AWESOME! Random trick: if you want it more spaghetti-like, cut it widthwise instead of lengthwise. The "pasta" is formed in a circle.

    Kabocha and butternut and pumpkin are my other favs.

  19. Thank you for this post! I really wanted to try spaghetti squash, but I just didn't know anything about it. It's strange to try new things without a little advice. You made it look simple and easy. I won't be afraid of the spaghetti squash in the grocery store anymore!

    :-) Marion

  20. YUMMMMMMM! What a great way to cook it, I've never had it baked like that!!