Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
Meal prep is the only way I make it to Friday still making healthy choices and avoiding take-out. But with that being said, I’m not a huge fan of making a recipe on Sunday to reheat it two, three, and four days later. Monotonous meals – that lose freshness by the day – aren’t going to leave me satisfied after a while.
Is there any way to prep ahead but also avoid this?
YES, and here’s my secret trick for how I’m able to have freshly-cooked meals most nights with light to no cooking: I prep key ingredients and recipe components like spaghetti squash strands. Then, a few days later adding them to a recipe allows me to serve a freshly cooked meal in a matter of minutes!
I do this spaghetti squash prep almost every Sunday, so that I then have veggie noodles that I can reheat to use as a base for a quick meal like Mexican Spaghetti Squash or a simple side. Spaghetti Squash Carbonara is just like the classic – but veggie-based so it has much fewer carbs (and calories!).
Let me know what you think by sharing your final product on social media! Be sure to tag me : Instagram @realfoodreallife_rd / Facebook @Real Food. Real Life. - Carolyn Williams, PHD, RD. Enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
Makes 4 Servings
1 (3 ½ to 4-lb) spaghetti squash (or 4 to 5 cups of cooked squash strands, another veggie noodle or pasta)
½ teaspoon salt
6 slices uncured thick-sliced bacon
½ cup leeks, chopped
¾ cup fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed
1 egg yolk*
2 tablespoons half-and-half or canned coconut milk
3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
OPTIONAL: Extra Parmesan cheese for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half, and scoop out seeds. Place cut-side down in baking dish. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until strands are beginning to get tender. When cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape out strands. Set 5 cups aside for recipe; store any remaining for another use.
Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, 6 minutes or until crisp. Place bacon slices on paper towel to drain, reserving 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in skillet. While bacon cooks, whisk together egg yolk, half-and-half, cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl.
Cook leeks in hot drippings over medium heat 3 minutes, stirring often. Increase heat to medium-high, and add spaghetti squash. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until hot throughout. Add peas, and remove from heat.
Stir egg mixture; pour over squash strands in hot skillet. Toss mixture quickly and frequently to prevent egg from scrambling for about 2 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken.
Stir in half of bacon crumbles. To serve, place in pasta bowls or shallow plates and top with remaining bacon crumbles and shaves of Parmesan cheese.
276 Calories | 15g Fat (7g Sat Fat) | 19g Protein | 19g Carb, 5g Fiber, 7g Sugar (0g Added Sugar) | 990mg Sodium
* Individuals who are pregnant or have a compromised immune system should use an egg yolk from a pasteurized egg or use an egg product due to egg not being fully cooked.