Spaghetti squash is a great swap in for pasta when you’re trying to avoid carbs or want to make a gluten-free version of your favorite pasta dish. The prep is easy—just cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise (you won’t be able to see any strands until it’s cooked). Now all you need is patience while the squash roasts long enough to render into tender strands reminiscent of spaghetti, hence the name. Once cooked, you drag a fork through the inside of the squash to separate it into strands.
Broccoli tops the dish for color, texture, and nutrition. If you'd like to add some protein to this vegetarian dish, also top with sliced grilled chicken or shrimp.
The sauce comes together quickly, so having all your ingredients measured out and ready to go is essential. By cutting the butter into pieces, rather than adding the whole block into the pan, you ensure it melts evenly without browning. Once the cheese is added, you’ll want to work quickly so it melts properly into the spaghetti squash to form a smooth sauce.
Another thing we love about this recipe is by using spaghetti squash as a stand-in for regular pasta, you’re also sneaking in a serving of veggies for picky eaters!
- 1 (2 1/2-pound) spaghetti squash (halved lengthwise and seeds removed)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 pound broccoli crowns (cut into bite-sized florets)
- 6 tablespoons butter (cut into pieces)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic (about 1 large clove, finely grated)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 1/2 cups Pecorino cheese (or Parmesan, finely grated)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Flat-leaf parsley (chopped, for garnish)
Gather the ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the squash, cut-side down, on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the squash is very tender and easily pulls apart into strands when the cut side is scraped with a fork, about 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let sit on the pan until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Drag a fork through the squash to separate it into spaghetti-like strands.
While the squash cools, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the broccoli and 2 tablespoons of water, cover, and cook until the broccoli is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet.
Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cream and milk, and cook until mixture is heated through and little bubbles appear near edges of the pan (do not let it come to a rolling boil).
Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the squash to the skillet toss to combine with the alfredo sauce.
Serve in deep bowls topped with the broccoli and parsley.