I’ve been researching new food trends for 2016 and seeing some consistent and recurring themes. For one, the local and farm-to-table trends will continue to grow and that is certainly good news. Another is that fried chicken will be big this coming year.

But one of the best trends, in my opinion, is the “veggie swap”. In other words, swapping out a less healthy ingredient and replacing it with a vegetable. Last year we saw a lot of spiralized zucchini ribbons replacing pasta, and when summer rolls around, that will be fantastic. But this winter, there is another tried and true substitute for pasta!

Meet your new best-friend, the easy-peasy, oh-so-versatile, Spaghetti Squash!

Basic Spaghetti Squash, Oven Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half.
  3. Deseed the squash with a spoon.
  4. Roast cut side down in ½ cup of water, 45-50 minutes.
  5. Cool cut side up for 10 minutes.
  6. Scrape out the strands with a fork into a bowl.

Microwave Method

  1. Pierce a whole spaghetti squash in 6 places.
  2. Microwave on high for 12 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking.
  3. Check with fork to be sure it is done (should easily pierce the shell).
  4. Let cool for a few minutes before further handling.
  5. Cut in half lengthwise and de-seed.
  6. Scrape out the strands with a fork into a bowl.

Now you’re ready to serve your un-pasta with your favorite topping. Think pesto, marinara, Bolognese, or (if you’re so inclined) chili! You can even do something as simple as tossing it with butter, garlic, and parsley! Add a salad and you’ve got a healthy supper!

Here are some more delicious ideas for making spaghetti squash your go-to veggie-swap in 2016!

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna with Spinach

Low Carb Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Veggies

Spaghetti Squash Mac & Cheese

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken, Mushrooms, and Spinach