Friday, January 30, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Chili Boats

I love creating new recipes that I know will make me smile when I step on the scale the next morning. Cooking has always been a passion of mine, but now that I am a wife and mother I want to make sure that what I am serving on the dinner plates to my family is made with only the healthiest ingredients possible. I have seen all kinds of spaghetti squash recipes on Pinterest so I thought I would come up with one of my own! This recipe was simple and a big hit with my hubby (who had never heard of a spaghetti squash until he met me)! If you've never tried spaghetti squash before don't go into this thinking it's going to taste like pasta.....because it doesn't.  The best way I can think of to describe it is like crunchy angel hair. It's bland on it's own, but once it's covered in some delicious sauce you won't miss the pasta a bit! This recipe is versitile and can be changed accordingly to please your own taste buds. This recipe makes lots of chili so it's like two meals in one! My toddler has it in a bowl while we eat our boats and I always have enough chili leftover for dinner the next night (and my husband doesn't even realize he's eating the same thing in a bowl instead of a squash the next day!)

Spaghetti Squash Chili Boats


1 pound of Grass Fed Lean Ground Beef
1 medium to large spaghetti squash (this recipe makes enough to do more than 1 squash, I like to save the leftover chili and have it the next day as a meal)
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes (I used Tuttorosso)
1 15 oz can of red or kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 15 oz can of Great Northern Beans, drained & rinsed
1 tsp minced garlic
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
Green onions for topping

Preheat your oven to 400 and line a baking pan with tin foil. Spray the foil with some cooking spray and slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. This was the hardest part of this recipe for me. It took me a while to cut my squash because I didn't have a great knife to work with, but once you get it cut you are ready to go! Scoop out the seeds and stings like you would a pumpkin and put the squash (skin side down) on your baking sheet. Brush on a little olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt and cracked pepper.

Bake the squash for 40 minutes and remove from the oven.

Meanwhile brown your ground beef until it's no longer pink

Add garlic powder and garlic to the beef mixture

Next drain your ground beef

Add a dash of olive oil to your pan and saute the diced onion and pepper for about 3 minutes.

I love using my crockpot, so I created the chili in my slow cooker, but you can also make everything in a pot on the stove too.

Pour the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and beans into your crockpot. Next add the beef mixture and onions & peppers. Add italian seasoning and mix well.

Let your sauce simmer on low for an hour and relax while your house begins to smell like an Italian bistro!

When your spaghetti Squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork and scrape out some of the inside. As you do, strands of spaghetti like squash will easily come out.

Layer some of the spaghetti strands on the bottom of each boat 

Then top with your special sauce mixture!

Next top each boat with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese and broil until cheese is bubbly and starting to turn brown.

Top with some green onions and voila! You have an incredibly simple yet delicious healthy dinner!

Serve with a side salad or nothing at all! One of these boats filled me, although my hubby opted for the side salad.

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