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Easy Spaghetti Squash Chili

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Easy Spaghetti Squash Chili is a beanless chili with corn that’s baked to finish for a filling, satisfying, delicious dinner.

Easy Spaghetti Squash Chili

More vegetables! It’s become somewhat of a mantra for me. How do we eat better? More vegetables. How do I fix my bad eating habits? More vegetables. How do I help my kids learn to eat well all the time? More. Vegetables.

As far as mantras go, this is a pretty good one. Vegetables are filled with vitamins and nutrients, those essential things that help our bodies function at their best and fuel our busy, fun days.

And this chili is a good example of how more veggies can mean great things for meals. I mean, it prominently features spaghetti squash, which I adore, after all. A beanless chili is combined with roasted spaghetti sauce and corn, and then baked to finish for a filling, satisfying, delicious dinner. Served with a variety of toppings, this dinner is especially great because we can all customize it to our likings.

chili-spaghetti-squash-recipe

And, as always with my recipes, making this is simple.

spaghetti-squash

You start by roasting a spaghetti squash. It takes a little less than an hour, but here’s the good news: You can do that ahead of time. With just 10 minutes of prep time — slicing it open, scooping out the seeds and sinews, brushing the flesh with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper — this is a hands-off part of the cooking process that’s super easy. Cook it in the morning while you’re getting ready, or the night before while you’re catching up on “This is Us.” And then keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

Aside from the spaghetti squash, cooking is quick and easy. Just brown the meat, add the onions, drain the excess fat and then add the tomato puree, tomato paste and seasonings. The new Hunt’s Recipe Ready Tomato Paste Pouches, which come pre-measured with two tablespoons of paste in each one, make this so easy. But more on that in a minute. Add the spaghetti squash (all forked up into strands!) and corn, and then bake this for 10-15 minutes to finish it off.

The Spaghetti Squash Chili thick and hearty. It’s so filling and since it’s packed with veggies, it’s also pretty nutritious too.

hunts-recipe-ready-tomato-paste

Back to the tomato paste for a second. This only calls for two tablespoons worth — but don’t worry, no need to open a whole can. Why not? Have you seen these Hunt’s Recipe Ready Pre-Measured Tomato Paste Pouches yet? They are perfect when you only need a few tablespoons of paste for a recipe, and don’t want to open a whole can. Plus, they can be used for so many things — from pasta sauces to chilis like this one. Why open a whole can when you only need a little paste?

hunts-recipe-ready-at-walmart

I picked this box of six up at my local Walmart recently, and can’t wait to try it in all sorts of other recipes.

recipe-chile-spaghetti-squash

Once this thick, hearty chili is ready, serve it up with a variety of toppings. Cheese, tomatoes and avocados are some of our favorites.

chili-spaghetti-squash-with-toppings

Now the only questions remains is … how will you top yours?

Spaghetti Squash Chili with Toppings

Spaghetti Squash Chili with Toppings

Yield: 4 servings

Easy Spaghetti Squash Chili is a beanless chili with corn that's baked to finish for a filling, satisfying, delicious dinner. 

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, , to taste
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 20- oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Hunt's Recipe Ready Paste Pouch, (2 tbsp tomato paste)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Toppings (all optional)

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • diced avocado
  • chopped tomatoes
  • red onions
  • cilantro
  • crushed tortilla chips
  • black olives

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Slice the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the sinews and seeds. Brush the flesh of the spaghetti squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45-50 minutes, until softened. Remove from the oven.
  3. In a large, oven-safe skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain any excess oil from the pan. Add the red onions and saute for 5-6 minutes, until the onions are softened. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, chile powder and garlic powder until well-combined.
  4. Meanwhile, use a fork to break apart the spaghetti squash into strands. Drain in a colander and then add to the chili mixture. Stir in the corn.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, until bubbly at the edges.
  6. Let cool slightly before serving with a selection of toppings.
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Susan Padfield

Tuesday 1st of November 2016

Must have baked the squash too long because it was mushy. Plus, I LOVE spaghetti squash and have always done it in the microwave before, without any oil or butter added. It gets steamed this way, a very healthy taste and mouth feel. I disliked the case of the squash with the oil and seasonings on it. It's unnecessary, especially when you're going to add it to the chili! When the squash isn't coated with oil, it absorbs more of the tomato and spice seasonings. After cooking the squash I ended up adding a can of red kidney beans instead. I just didn't want to add unnecessary butter or oil to it! I also use ground turkey instead of beef. I am 67y.o and live on the West Coast, Seattle area. Our tastes out here are different, loving extra veggies, but steaming and using butter or oil sparingly. I plan on doing this recipe again sometime, steaming the spaghetti squash and using it instead of beans as you did.

Sarah Walker Caron

Tuesday 1st of November 2016

Hi Susan: Thanks so much for the comment and letting me know what you thought of the recipe. I very much appreciate the feedback. So you didn't end up using the squash in the chili this time? My family and I very much enjoy the flavor of the squash when brushed with just that little bit of oil and seasoned with salt and pepper before cooking. It adds a richness to the flavor of the squash, and the overall flavor of the chili -- but if that's not for you, cooking it in the method you prefer is a great idea. Hope you do give this another shot with your preferred modifications.

Vicky Fanea

Thursday 27th of October 2016

Just discovered this site and enjoyed the chili tremendously! Will be looking for more interesting recipes. Thank you.

Sarah Walker Caron

Thursday 27th of October 2016

Thank you so much!

Sylvie

Friday 21st of October 2016

Love that you make the spaghetti squash ahead of time so this comes together more quickly!

Heather Kinnaird

Thursday 20th of October 2016

more veggies is our mantra as well, and this meal makes it so easy to gt more good stuff into the kids!

Kate

Thursday 20th of October 2016

I love chili. Serving it with spaghetti squash combines two great fall meals!