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My husband excitedly brought home a spaghetti squash – dredging up some fond memory of having tried it once. He jauntily microwaved half of it, and then it sat in the refrigerator uneaten for days, even after being smothered in butter!!

When I came across this recipe for Chili with Spaghetti Squash, I was looking forward to baking the other half and enjoying a wholesome, fun family meal. However, the kids (and my husband) dished up their dinner without any visible strands of yellow vegetable, so this half of the squash went the same way, and after a week or so, was scraped out of the container it had been languishing in at the back of the refrigerator, and into the trash.


chili with spaghetti squash

1 spaghetti squash

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pound ground beef

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

shredded cheddar cheese for serving

Heat oven to 400F. Halve and seed the spaghetti squash, place in a pan with a little water, cover and roast for about 30 minutes. Scrape into strands.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the beef, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, oregano, cayenne, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the beef is browned, about 7 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups water to the beef mixture. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes, season with salt and black pepper.

Top each serving of chili with the spaghetti squash, kidney beans and cheese.


Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine, October 2015