Spaghetti Squash with Italian Sausage

spaghetti-squash-with-italian-sausag

A delightful new stuffed spaghetti squash graced our dinner table last night. It was creamy yet not too heavy.  The overall flavor is Italian with the Italian Sausage in it.  But you can substitute regular breakfast sausage and totally change the flavor outcome.  Unless you grow them yourself, it’s very hard to get small enough spaghetti squash to make a half shell serve just one person.  So in this recipe, each half serves TWO people.  :)  This delicious and very filling dish will make your family smile and ask for an encore performance!  This dish is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto and Primal diets but would not be acceptable for Paleo due to the two cheese in it.

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INGREDIENTS:

1  medium spaghetti squash (or 2 small 5-6″ small ones if you can find them)

12 oz. mild Italian Sausage, removed from casings (preferably homemade)

2 oz. onion, chopped

1/3 c. red bell pepper (coarsely chopped)

2 oz. cream cheese

½ tsp. dried oregano leaves

2 T. parsley, chopped

Dash each onion and garlic powder

1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

VARIATION:  Use “regular” breakfast sausage instead of Italian sausage for a distinct flavor change.  Using “Hot” sausage or “Hot” Italian sausage will also change things up considerably, but be careful there. 🙂

DIRECTIONS:   With a large kitchen knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, place cut-side down in a baking dish with ½” water.  Microwave on HI for 13 minutes.  Remove and cool a bit for handling.  With a fork, scrape out the squash threads onto a paper plate or bowl.  You will be using 2-2½ cups of the threads for this recipe and reserve the rest for some other use.  Preheat oven to 325º.  Set the shells (used as bowls) onto a baking pan or dish.

Remove the sausage from the casings and place in skillet over medium-high heat to brown, crumbling it up with your spatula as it cooks.   Add the onion and red bell pepper and cook until they are tender.  Stir in the cream cheese until it is melted and uniformly distributed.  Add onion and garlic powder as well as the oregano. Stir well.  Add about 2 cups of spaghetti squash threads and stir well.  Only add more if you think you need more to fill up your hungry family, but be sure to recalculate the nutritional info if you increase the squash.  Spoon the mixture into the two large shell halves (or 4 smaller ones).  Top each portion with and equal share of the mozzarella cheese.  Pop the pan into a 325º oven for 30 minutes to blend flavors and melt cheese.   Serve with a nice green Italian salad.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings.  With 2 c. squash threads, each serving will contain:

473 calories, 38 g fat, 9.55 g carbs, 1.8 g fiber, 7.75 g NET CARBS, 23.9 g protein, 465 mg sodium

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