Southwest Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

The New Year has been off to a great start with our family. We just got back from the most wonderful winter vacation. We took the whole family and stayed in a cabin in the mountains and went skiing. I was able to break away from the baby for a few hours thanks to my amazing sister-in-law’s baby-sitting services. I got to go with my son and husband down the mountain from the top a few times. I’m not the best skier, but I had a great time. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with my son by next year.

The days were full of fun adventures and wonderful memories. In addition to skiing, we went hiking, did a rope obstacle course way up high, and the guys went snowboarding. We also climbed to the top of Grandfather Mountain, went gem mining and even trout fishing. It was the best week. After each fun-filled day of the week, we gathered as a family together and made dinner. Because our days were filled with so much activity, we needed some wholesome, healthy (and of course quick and easy-to-make) dinners to help fuel us for the next day.

One of my favorite things we made while we were in the mountains were these stuffed spaghetti squashes. I usually make stuffed spaghetti squash with Bolognese and top with Italian cheeses. But, for these we opted to go a different route, making them with southwest flavors. They only take a few ingredients and the whole family really loved them.

Spaghetti squash may look intimidating if you’ve never cooked with them before, but believe me when I say they are super simple. You can easily cook them in the oven or in the microwave. Sometimes when I’m in a hurry, I just stab them with a fork a few times and then microwave on high until tender. Because of size variations, you’ll have to continue to check and turn your spaghetti squash while cooking.

For these squash, I baked them in the oven, and then when they had just about 10 minutes to go, I added the filling and finished baking.

For the filling, I start with MorningStar Farms® Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles™. It contains whole black beans and flavorful southwest spices. These add great flavor to the squash and balance out the sweetness very nicely.

I also added some defrosted frozen corn and a can of Rotel to the filling. I heat in the skillet and then divide the mixture up evenly, filling the squash.

To top these off, I use Sargento Shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Cheese. It’s a quick-melting blend of Monterey Jack, Mild Cheddar, Queso Quesadilla and Asadero cheeses that adds creamy, smooth flavor to enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas and other Mexican dishes like this.

After the spaghetti squash halves are filled, I bake them again for about 10 minutes.

Before serving, I top with some fresh cilantro for garnish and serve. You could also add spicy salsa and cool sour cream for garnish too. Yummy!

There are so many creative and fun recipes you can make with simple ingredients found in the dairy aisle and freezer section of your grocery store like I’ve used here. And, with the New Year, this makes it easy to keep those healthy eating resolutions. Be sure to check these out and other great ingredients on your next shopping trip.

And for more mealtime inspiration, visit www.EasyHomeMeals.com and follow on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest too!

Southwest Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 medium spaghetti squash

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 package MorningStar Farms® Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles™

1 cup Sargento Shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Cheese

1/2 cup defrosted frozen corn

1 (10oz) can Rotel

1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

Directions:

Heat oven to 375°. Have spaghetti squash and scoop out seeds. Brush each half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down in a shallow baking dish. Add 1/2 cup water to dish. Place in oven and bake until tender, 30-40 min.

Heat medium skillet over medium heat. Place MorningStar Farms® Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles™ in skillet with 1/3 cup water. Add corn and Rotel to skillet. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until sauce is very thick and most of liquid has evaporated.

Turn oven to 450°. When squash are done remove from oven and spoon black bean and corn mixture evenly among the squash. Top with Sargento Shredded 4 Cheese Mexican Cheese. Return squash to oven and bake at 450° for 5-7 min or until cheese is melted.

Serve stuffed squash garnished with fresh cilantro.

NFRA is a non-profit trade association representing all segments of the frozen and refrigerated dairy foods industry, including distributors, logistics providers, manufacturers, retailers/wholesalers and suppliers. Headquartered in Harrisburg, PA, NFRA is the sponsor of March National Frozen Food Month, June Dairy Month, June/July Ice Cream & Novelties promotion and October Cool Food for Kids educational outreach program. NFRA provides consumer information such as food safety guidelines, meal preparation tips, recipes and sweepstakes opportunities at EasyHomeMeals.com. For additional information on NFRA or to find recipes or tips, visit NFRAweb.org or EasyHomeMeals.com.

This post sponsored by NFRAweb.org. I was compensated for my time. All opinions 100% mine.