I have a thing for winter squash. Like, I’m obsessed with it. It is not uncommon for me to come home with a bushel of miscellaneous squash and a huge cheesy grin on my face. They are cheap, they store well, they are super nutritious, and they are delicious … what more can you ask for?! So, today, when I came home with 5 spaghetti squashes and 2 butternut squash, Matt didn’t even raise an eyebrow. By this point, its common knowledge. Also, if I am bringing home that many squash, I am more than likely making this cheddar jalapeño spaghetti squash which is seriously one of the most delicious things I make. Its creamy and cheesy and slightly spicy. It is basically mac and cheese, but with spaghetti squash instead of noodles.
Yeah, you heard me, I am saying this tastes like MAC N CHEESE. Wha?!?! I know, I know, it is a bold statement to make. It is impossible to make a winter squash taste that good. Trust me, it’s possible. You will want this on your dinner plate every day. You will forget mac and cheese even existed. Okay, okay, just kidding, nothing can make mac n cheese disappear. Especially if you are digging into my butternut squash mac n cheese. But, seriously, this stuff is good.
Matt and I have been in the middle of our first renovation project in our house (aside from painting walls). We have a “sun room” on the back of the house that is wood paneling, drop ceiling, old old windows, just kinda BLEH. Now, for a while, we just accepted it as being “rustic charm” but when your drop ceiling is sagging a good 6 inches in the middle and your windows are drafty as heck, it is time to say sayonara! So, down came the ceiling, up went new windows, and on went cute, bright cape-cod-esque paint colors. Bless my parents hearts, they drove 7 hours to come help us finish our drywall on the ceiling. Like I said, we’ve never done any reno like this before and we’ve definitely never finished drywall. Let alone on the ceiling!! Thank goodness for them going out of their way to help us because otherwise, it probably wouldn’t have looked as good as it does! That ceiling is totally smooth, you can’t see a single seam!! And now, we are putting on the final touches, floor trim and crown moulding, and our room will finally be complete!! Yay!! I’ll have to post some pictures when it’s done. But, for now, here is a cute picture of Paco, who we are babysitting, photobombing my photoshoot.
But, anyways, back to this tasty goodness. This is really an easy dish to make. You just microwave (or bake) the spaghetti squash so you can scoop it all out. Then you make your creamy cheesy sauce on the stove. Mix it all together, and into the oven it goes! Yum, yum, yum, yum. It is great as a side dish for dinner, or all by itself for lunch. We usually make it for dinner and then have the leftovers the next day for lunch. Perfection. And, of course, if you aren’t a fan of spicy, just leave the jalapeños out and skip the step where you simmer the milk with the jalapeños! It would be equally delicious either way!
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 cups milk
- 2-3 jalapeños, halved
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- Halve and seed a spaghetti squash. Pierce the outer skin a couple of times with a fork. Put the spaghetti squash halves cut side down on a plate and microwave for 10 minutes. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly before handling.
- Once cool, shave off the spaghetti squash "noodles" into a large bowl. I like to use a fork for this step.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat milk and jalapeño halves over medium low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Do not boil, but a slight simmer is fine! This step gives you the spicy kick! Remove the jalapeños and discard after this step.
- NOTE: You can omit the jalapeños completely if you don't want it spicy, or cut out the ribs and seeds to reduce the heat level.
- In another small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, add flour and salt. Stir constantly, to avoid burning, and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until it smells like pie crust.
- Add milk to the flour/butter mixture and whisk together over medium heat until thickened slightly.
- Add cheese until melted.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and stir together until everything is coated.
- Pour mixture into a 8x8 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (or until bubbly and slightly browned on the top).
OVER TO YOU: Are you a fan of spaghetti squash? What is your favorite way to cook it?