Hatch Chile Spaghetti Squash and Cheese

You know how everyone has certain staples that they keep in their pantries?  I feel like for most people that’s things like canned tomatoes, pasta sauce, pasta. Basics that you can use to throw together a meal pretty quickly.

For me, it’s canned beans and tuna.  Classy. I know.

I rarely ever buy pasta.  It’s one of those things I just don’t even think to buy.  But I’m human and I love mac and cheese.  Sometimes I want that cheesy goodness, but I don’t feel like going to the store to buy pasta.

So I’ll be honest.  This is one of those things I threw together because I haven’t been to the grocery store in almost two weeks (I know, how am I surviving right?).  Spaghetti squash will last a good while on the counter, and I roasted some hatch chiles that Melissa’s Produce sent me a week ago, so we’re good to go.  But don’t worry, just because I threw this together with ingredients on hand, doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.  I’ve been eager to use those hatch chiles and this was seriously delicious.

I think you’ll love it!

hatchspaghettisquashandcheesetextHatch Chile Spaghetti Squash and Cheese

1 spaghetti squash
1 tbsp olive oil
2 fully cooked sausages, diced (optional)
2 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups cheese
2 hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Poke holes in your spaghetti squash with a sharp knife and microwave for 5-10 minutes.  The cook time will vary depending on the size of your spaghetti squash.  You’ll know it’s ready when you can run your knife through it fairly easily.

While your spaghetti squash is cooking, heat oil in a large pot.  Once oil is hot, add sausage and brown until crispy on medium/high heat.  Once the sausage is browned, turn the heat down to low and add flour.  Toss with sausage and let it brown a minute or two.  Slowly stream in milk while whisking, breaking up any clumps in the process.  Once the milk is incoporated, add cheese and hatch chiles.  Stir until cheese is melted, taste and season with salt and pepper to your desired amount (I only added a few pinches because I don’t like things too salty).  Turn off heat and set aside.

Now go back to your spaghetti squash.  By now it should be cooked and cool enough to handle.  Slice in half, then spoon out the seeds.  Using a fork, fluff and pull out the strands of the squash.  Add the spaghetti squash to cheese sauce and stir until well combined.  Garnish with extra cheese and hatch chiles if you’d like then serve and enjoy!

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The spaghetti squash I used was enormous.  I’ll be eating this for a few days, but no complaints there.  This has an awesome kick from the hatch chiles, but it’s cooled by the creamy, cheesy sauce.  You can also easily make this vegetarian by omitting the sausage (or using vegetarian sausage).

What I also love about spaghetti squash dishes (oh hey, remember the Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash I made a while back?), is that it doesn’t feel too heavy. While I’m not claiming that this is healthy, I feel a little bit better about eating it than a full plate of pasta.  I think you could make this a bit healthier by reducing the amount of cheese and adding some greens in there.  We all need a little more kale in our life.  I’ll try throwing some in there next time.

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I’ll definitely make this again!

What are some of your pantry staples?

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Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash

My initial effort at making dinner more often, started with a bang.  After I wrote the last blog post, I started meal planning and of course, I turned to Pinterest for ideas. I found a recipe I thought looked tasty for Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad.  It looked great, but I decided I wanted it to be a bit lighter.  I don’t want to be eating a pound of quinoa for dinner (not that there’s anything wrong with that, just not my taste).

So instead of quinoa, I went with spaghetti squash, because I’m a huge fan and it’s lower in calories than quinoa.  The result…

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Delicious, and ready in less than 30 minutes!  Not to mention it’s super easy clean up, since you only use one pot/skillet.  To make life easier, I bought pre-cut and pre-washed shredded carrots and cabbage.  So the only chopping I had to do was the green onions and chicken.

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Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
3-4 green onions
1-2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage (I bought cole slaw mix)
1 cup Frank’s Buffalo Sauce (or more if you’d like)
1-2 oz Blue Cheese (or more if you’d like)

Poke your spaghetti squash a few times with a fork or knife.  Microwave 10-15 minutes or until tender.

In the meantime, cut up your chicken and toss in onion and garlic powder.  Next slice the green onions.  Slice the white part of the green onions and reserve the green tips for garnish.

Heat olive oil in a skillet or pot (I used a 12″ cast iron skillet).  Add chicken and green onions, cook until chicken is cooked through (about 5 or 6 minutes).

Remove spaghetti squash from the microwave.  Once it’s cool enough to handle, slice in half, remove the seed and discard, the fluff the spaghetti squash with a fork to get the strands loose.  Add spaghetti squash to the skillet and mix.  Add Buffalo sauce, cabbage and carrots.  Toss to combine.  Serve and sprinkle with blue cheese and chopped green onion tips.  This recipe will serve 4-6.

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I was really pleased with this meal.  I liked how quick and easy it was, but also tasty.  If you wanted to make this spicier, I would definitely add some sriracha for a little added kick.  You can also just get the spicy buffalo sauce instead of the traditional buffalo sauce.

Now I have a ton of left overs for lunch, but I’m excited for my next dinner creation!

What are you having for dinner tonight?