Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Here’s the thing about spaghetti squash. You can’t go into it expecting it to taste anything like spaghetti. So get that thought out of your head now. In fact, stop calling it spaghetti squash. Just call it stringy squash because that is essentially what it is. Once you roast and cut open a spaghetti squash, you are left with stringy, somewhat crisp flesh that is delicious and totally adaptable to basically anything your heart desires. But it does not taste like spaghetti.

I think because it is called spaghetti squash, it is most often treated as such and served with meatballs and sauce. That is fine and dandy, since it is definitely tasty that way. I took mine, however, and turned it into a crustless pizza. I scooped all of the tender yellow flesh out and tossed it in a bowl with copious amounts of mozzarella and pizza sauce as well as a little basil and just a touch of red pepper flakes for heat.

And the result was excellent. I love the texture of spaghetti squash. It’s crisp and fresh. If you’re in that post-Christmas detox mode, this will fit the bill. It’s healthy while filling and incredibly flavorful. Give it a whirl if you’re still craving pizza without the added guilt!

Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Recipe type: dinner, vegetarian
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Serves: 2
 

Pizza stuffed spaghetti squash is a great, low-carb vegetarian alternative to classic pizza. All the flavor, no guilt!
Ingredients
  • 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Carefully slice the squash in half lengthwise. Place it in a baking dish, cut-side down, and fill the dish with about ¼ to ½ inch water.
  2. Bake for 60 minutes until the squash is tender. Allow it to cool until it can be handled.
  3. Once the squash is cool, use a fork and run the tines along the squash. The tender flesh will begin to pull away from the skin in ribbons, almost like spaghetti.
  4. Continue to score the flesh until it is all pulled from the skin. Take the flesh and place it in a bowl, reserving the skin for later.
  5. Add the pizza sauce, mozzarella, basil and red pepper flakes to the squash flesh and mix well to completely combine.
  6. Take the two squash skins and divide the flesh mixture between them. Top with an additional sprinkling of mozzarella cheese.
  7. Place the squash halves on a baking sheet and place in the oven for an additional 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese has fully melted.

 

Pizza Wontons

Everyone loves pizza, right? In my years on Earth, I honestly don’t think I ever met someone that isn’t a fan. I could probably eat pizza every day. Forever. And ever. And ever.

Since I am still on my wonton wrapper kick (seriously, people. I don’t think it’s going to end any time soon), I shoved pizza inside those too. I was skeptical. But the results were pretty awesome. Everyone in the house liked these. Usually, there is one person who objects. The recipe made 16. We could have used 20 or 25.

I think these would be great for football parties. Or holiday parties. Or any time parties.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Pizza Wontons
Recipe type: pizza, appetizer, snack, kid-friendly
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Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 20-25 slices pepperoni, chopped roughly
  • 15-18 wonton wrappers
  • oil for frying
  • pizza sauce for dipping

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, mozzarella and pepperoni will.
  2. On a clean, dry surface, lay out your wonton wrappers. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of cheese mixture onto the middle of each wrapper.
  3. Take a bit of water and run it along two edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over to form a triangle and press the edges together.
  4. Heat about ½ inch of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the wontons in small batches until golden brown. When the first side turns golden brown, flip to the other side and continue until brown.
  5. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  6. Serve with pizza sauce.

 

Chicken Parmesan Panini

We had these chicken parm paninis for dinner recently and they were a big hit. Everyone enjoyed them and requested them again. I’d say that’s reason enough to test them out for yourself.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Chicken Parm Paninis
Recipe type: sandwich, panini, fall, italian, quick and easy, lunch, dinner, kid-approved
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Serves: 3
 

Ingredients
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into 1″ strips
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 6 slices thick, sourdough bread
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, soft
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Whisk the egg with a bit of water in a small bowl. Pour the breadcrumbs in a separate, shallow dish.
  3. Dredge the chicken pieces first in egg then in breadcrumbs, coating completely.
  4. Heat a sauce pan with ½ inch of oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, place the chicken pieces in and cook until golden brown on one side. Flip and cook until golden on the other, then remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. Once the chicken has drained, place it on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through.
  6. While the chicken cooks, heat up the panini press.
  7. Take the butter and mix in the garlic until well combined. Slather some butter on each piece of bread.
  8. Take three pieces of the bread and line with 2-3 Tbsp. mozzarella cheese and 2-3 Tbsp. marinara sauce. Sprinkle on a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  9. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, lay 2-3 pieces on top of the bread. Top with the remaining three pieces of bread.
  10. Place on the panini press and cook until golden brown and cheese has melted, about 3 minutes.

 

 

 

Classic Carbonara

When your significant other tells you that they despise all eggs, you should probably not try to sneak eggs into their dishes. Because they will notice. And when they put the first bite into their mouth, they will make a face, then cringe. Then politely sit with you while you eat. They may push their food around on the plate to make it seem like they are eating it. They may pick up some food on their fork, raise it to their mouth then pretend to be struck with a brilliant, bite-stopping thought. These things do happen when you try to sneak ingredients into food.

Sometimes, however, you aren’t even sneaky about it. It is a common, well-known fact that carbonara has egg in it. It’s a generally accepted ingredient in classic carbonara. Carbonara = eggs, bacon, pasta, deliciousness. And thus, when you make carbonara, your significant other should not act surprised at the not-at-all-hidden ingredient mixed in with their pasta. They should just eat it and soak in all the delicious flavors that carbonara has to offer. Trust me on this one. Carbonara = great. Quick, easy, contains bacon. What could be better?

This recipe is from Martha Stewart.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Classic Carbonara
Recipe type: pasta, main course, quick and easy
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Serves: 4
 

Ingredients
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 8 slices bacon, cut 1 inch thick crosswise
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • ½ cup half-and-half

Instructions
  1. Set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. While that boils, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Place on a paper-towel lined plate.
  2. Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, half and half and Parmesan together and set aside.
  4. Drain the pasta. Quickly add it to the egg mixture then add in the bacon. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  5. Serve immediately. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese.

 

Homemade Hot Pockets

We really like our hot pockets around here. It’s like Christmas when they go on sale. We stock up on all different flavors and devour them as if we’ll never eat again. It’s kind of pathetic but it’s what we do.

I figured why not try my hand at homemade hot pockets. How hard can it be, right? I went with pizza since that is the flavor that goes first.  They turned out pretty tasty and pleased everyone. I’m thinking of adding them to our standard repertoire. It’s perfect for those nights when you need something fast. Give it a whirl!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Homemade Hot Pockets
Recipe type: appetizer, snack, pizza, quick and easy, dinner
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Serves: 6 to 8
 

Ingredients
  • 2 sheets of thawed puff pastry
  • Approximately 2 cups of pizza sauce
  • Approximately 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • Optional toppings: pizza, sausage, peppers, onions

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Roll the puff pastry out into a large rectangle. Cut the pastry into 3 inch by 2 inch rectangles. Set aside.
  3. On a clean surface, lay out half of your rectangles. Slather on sauce and top with cheese (the amounts are purely based on your personal preferences, hence the approximations).
  4. Take the other rectangles and lay them on top of the sauce and cheese, covering completely.
  5. Using a fork, press into the edges of all the rectangles to seal. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a bit of water. Brush it lightly onto the pizza pockets.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.