Pasta with 1/2 the calories!

by Bethany Vessey, Registered Dietitian on July 21, 2015

I know many of you have heard of, if not tried spaghetti squash. It has a bit of a sweet flavour, which is not surprising as ~40% of the carbohydrates found in spaghetti squash are coming from sugar; 20% from fiber, and 40% from starch. When cooked right it has a different texture of normal pasta, more of an al dente texture. Besides these 2 features you would never know you are eating squash as apposed to noodles; however your waistline and belly will, as 1 cup of spaghetti squash as approximately only 44 calories and 1 cup of cooked whole wheat pasta has approximately 4oo calories. I don’t now about you but I grew up in a home where we were served large servings of pasta, and therefore, I find it quite challenging to limit my pasta serving to only 1/2 cup. To help my eyes feel as satisfied as my belly, I enjoy substituting this delicious squash for noodles or even just adding some to my 1/2 cup noodle serving to help me feel more satisfied.

Spaghetti squash is very easy to cook. It does take time but it is soooo easy. It also taste great in casserole and it makes delicious leftovers and freezes great!

To cook it all you need to do it cut it in half. Sounds easy but be careful as it is pretty tough to cut. Once cut take a spoon and clean out the seeds.

Sp squash cut





Then place the squash on a cookie sheet filled with water, flesh side down. Place in your oven for 40-45 minutes at 350.

sp squash cooked



Once cooked take a folk and very carefully, as it is hot, peel out the flesh of the squash. It will come out as strands, which look like pasta.

sp squash cleaned out




Below I have added the pasta sauce recipe I make. Basically my policy it to LOAD UP THE VEGGIES. Spinach would also be delicious in this sauce. Once everything is cooked I then top the squash with 1 serving (makes 8) of the pasta sauce and 2 tbsp of low fat crumbled feta. YUM!

The nutrition information on 2 cups of spaghetti squash served with 1 serving of the below pasta sauce and 2 tbsp of low fat feta you would be eating 375 calories, 13.5g of fat, 42g of carbs, 6g of fiber and 26g of protein. If I was to have only 1 cup of whole wheat noodles and everything else the same my calories would be approximately 687.



Bethany’s Pasta Sauce

8 Servings

454 g (1lb) extra lean ground beef, cooked weight
1 cup onion, raw, chopped
2 cloves garlic, raw, minced
3 large bell pepper, red, yellow or orange, chopped
1 medium zucchini, raw, quartered and diced
3 cups mushroom, raw, chopped
1 jar pasta sauce, low sodium preferred
1 tsp oregano, ground, dried
1 tsp ground spices, basil, dried


Add onions, garlic and ground beef to pan. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Then add peppers and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add zucchini and mushrooms and cook until desired textured. Then add pasta sauce and herbs, and let simmer for 5 minutes.

CALORIES (kCal) 236
FAT (g) 8.47
TRANS FAT (g) 0.192
SODIUM (mg) 530
FIBRE (g) 2.4
SUGARS (g) 13.18
PROTEIN (g) 21.38
VITAMIN A (µg) 114
VITAMIN C (mg) 126.7
CALCIUM (mg) 54
IRON (mg) 3.16


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