Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust

I recently tried making Spaghetti Squash for the first time, after hearing about it for ages.  It was easy to make, and with marinara sauce made for a fantastic, healthy replacement for pasta.  I'm always happy for a chance to improve the healthiness of my meals without sacrificing flavor, so I was delighted at how well the experience went.

It turned out so good that I went out and grabbed another squash at my first opportunity.  I could have made another pasta dish and tried it as a substitute (something I still will be doing in the future), but then
I got to wondering what else could be made with it.


I found a recipe for spaghetti squash pizza crust and decided to try my own version out with a couple adjustments just to play around with the recipe.

First, I cooked the spaghetti squash the same way I had for Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Red Pepper Marinara,by scooping out the seeds, spreading some olive oil on the inside, then topping it off with some salt and pepper.  This time, I flipped the spaghetti squash upside down before roasting it in the oven.  I let it cook for 45 minutes, until the squash was tender enough be shredded easily with a fork.


Roasting the spaghetti squash upside down seemed to keep it more moist, and the end result was softer than the first time. I'll stick to this method in the future.  I shredded all the squash with a fork, then pressed into a strainer to get as much of the liquid I could out.


I mixed the drained squash with 2 eggs, some shredded Italian cheeses, minced garlic, parsley, oregano, and a bit of cornmeal to add some texture.  The original recipe called for mozzarella cheese in the crust, but I went with a mixed variety.  The crust was easy to make, since unlike dough there was no stretching required.  I lined a pan with some parchment paper to prevent sticking, and spread the squash mixture over it into a crust shape.


I baked the crust for about 20 minutes to solidify it and dry it out.  The original recipe called for it to bake for about 15 minutes, but I let it go longer since it looked fairly moist at first.  Once it was slightly cooked, I spread sauce on top, some seasoning (fresh oregano makes everything better!), and then topped it off with cheese and some mushrooms.


Finally, I baked the finished pizza for about 12 minutes longer, until the cheese was melted.


This was SO delicious!  The crust was stable enough to be picked up, which can be tough to create when working with a vegetable crust.  Despite using the mixed cheeses in the crust instead of just mozzarella, it turned out perfectly flavorful.  This ended up being a super lean and delicious dinner, and I felt good eating it instead of disappointed in my food choices. The only thing to worry about was the cheese, and that's something I can live with with the majority of the meal being vegetable-based.  I could see this going great with a flatbread, too.  Next up for the pizza crust trials is cauliflower crust.  Thumbs up!

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust Recipe

Ingredients:

small spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 eggs
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon parsley
2 cups shredded mixed Italian cheese
2 teaspoons corn meal
1 can tomato sauce (4 ounces)
1 can mushrooms (4 ounces)

Instructions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and innards from the center, leaving only the firm parts of the squash. Rub or spray the insides with some olive oil to coat and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange face down on a baking tray. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the squash is fork tender. Use a fork to run through the squash, creating the spaghetti. Add to a large bowl. Press cooked spaghetti squash through a strainer to drain most of the water, then add to a bowl. Mix in eggs, minced garlic, oregano, parsley, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, an the corn meal until well combined.  Line a round baking sheet with parchment paper.  Form spaghetti squash mixture into a crust shape and bake for 15 minutes, until crust is firm.  Remove from oven and add sauce, any desired seasonings, and mushrooms.  Bake for 10-15 more minutes, until cheese is melted.

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