Spaghetti squash with italian-style meat sauce (or, the easiest dinner EVER)

I know this recipe isn’t rocket surgery. Spaghetti squash & italian-style meat sauce (which is a thing I kind of made up that means meat sauce with a can of artichokes dumped in) is not anywhere near some of these amazing, creative, cheftastic creations that many of my peers come up with out of their genius foodie brainz.
I’m OK with that. I’ve learned that there are lots of people just like me, who are terrible cooks, who burn, slice or scrape an important body part nearly every time they’re in the kitchen (note to self: buy kitchen armor), and who just need some great, easy IDEAS that’ll keep healthy food on the table. Maybe even a great, easy idea that will impress a few people.
(PS: that’s part of the reason I created the Good Food for Bad Cooks community.)
This dinner uses one of my favorite kitchen tools: a clean, junk-free bottle of tomato sauce. I love Dave’s Gourmet heirloom tomato sauce, which you can find at Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, Price Chopper and lots of other places. If you can’t find Dave’s, choose a sauce with ingredients you recognize – should just be tomatoes and spices and olive oil. Skip the sauces with soybean oil, canola oil, and anything else wonky or processed.
(You can certainly make your own tomato sauce, but that would make this dinner far less easy and quick.)
To make this “italian style,” I simply dumped (such an elegant word) a can of chopped artichokes and a can of black olives into the meat sauce. As Elle Woods would say, “I think it adds a little something extra. Don’t you think?”
spaghetti squash with italian meat sauce
To make this meal even faster, you can microwave (gasp!) the spaghetti squash instead of baking it. Just stab some holes in the whole squash and pop in the microwave for about 10 minutes (for medium squash) or until easily penetrated with the tines of a fork.
Spaghetti squash with italian-style meat sauce is simple, healthy, filling and so easy a bad cook could do it.

Spaghetti squash & italian-style meat sauce (or, the easiest dinner EVER)
Author: Liz
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
  • For the spaghetti squash
  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tbs. high-quality butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • For the sauce
  • 1 jar of high-quality pre-made tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs. high-quality butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef (grass-fed if possible)
  • 1 can chopped artichokes
  • 1 can whole or sliced black olives
For the spaghetti squash
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash ends off, then cut the squash in half and scoop out seeds.
  3. Place the halves cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes (al dente) or an hour (more mushy)
  4. Once done, shred the flesh with a fork and toss with butter, salt & pepper.
For the sauce (make it while the squash bakes)
  1. Melt 1Tbs butter in a saucepan.
  2. Sauté the chopped onions in butter until browned (about 5 minutes)
  3. Add ground beef and cook until no pink remains.
  4. Dump in that sauce, the artichokes, and the olives.
  5. Instagram dat.

Enjoy, and tag me on Instagram when you make it!

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