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Terra Cotta Spaghetti Squash: Recipe from Now We’re Cookin’

We tested this recipe on a group of young fraternity men who came to our facility for a hands-on cooking lesson. They weren’t really sure what they were eating, but that didn’t stop them from consuming every bite! Southwestern in sensibility (go ahead and add more chili if you like your food hot), this makes a great alternative to pasta for kids and a complete, healthy meal for adults. ~Chef Mary McMahon

Terra Cotta Spaghetti Squash

Serves 4

4 cups cooked spaghetti squash
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup sweet corn (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp. chili powder
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, rough chopped
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sea salt

To cook squash:
Use either of these methods.

Oven: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash down the middle lengthwise and remove any seeds. Place on baking sheet and roast in the oven for 50 minutes, until tender.

Microwave: Cut squash in half, remove seeds, and place in a microwavable dish with 1/2 inch of water. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 20 minutes on high, until tender.

When cooking is completed and the squash is cool enough to handle, drag a fork across the flesh to release spaghetti-like strands from the halves. Work all the way around each half until all the flesh has been released.

To complete the dish:
Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion, jalapeño pepper and red pepper for 2 minutes or until softened. Add the beans, corn and chili powder, stirring well. Sauté one minute longer, then add the cooked squash and all remaining ingredients, cooking until heated through. Adjust seasonings, serve hot and enjoy!

About spaghetti squash:

Generally available year-round, with a peak season from early fall through winter, spaghetti squash is an excellent source of niacin, vitamins C and B6, pantothenic acid, potassium and manganese. It’s high in dietary fiber and low in saturated fat and cholesterol, with only 37 calories per four-ounce serving.

When buying spaghetti squash, look for hard fruit with a pale, even color that is heavy for its size, about eight to nine inches in length and four to five inches in diameter. Avoid any squash with green color—a sign of immaturity—or soft spots. The average four-pound spaghetti squash will yield about five cups.

Spaghetti squash can be stored at room temperature for about a month.

About Now We’re Cookin’:

This unique culinary center promotes culinary education and entrepreneurship. In its demonstration kitchen, Culinary Director Mary McMahon and her team of talented chefs conduct a wide range of cooking classes and host private parties and events, as well as corporate meetings.

Now We’re Cookin’, 1601 Payne Street, Evanston 60201. For more information, call 847-570-4140 or visit