Southwest Spaghetti Squash Bowl

Servings: 4; Prep Time: 10-minutes; Cook Time: 20-minutes

Recipe developed by: Shannon Costello, RDN, LD with CFW


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Southwest Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small white onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat shredded Monterey jack cheese

Optional Garnishes:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped green onion

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.
  2. With a very sharp knife, carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Brush olive oil on the inside of each half, and sprinkle with salt.
  3. **Place halved squash face down in an edged microwave-safe dish. Add just enough water to the dish to coat the bottom. (**See below for alternative oven cook instructions.) Depending on size of dish, each half may need to be done separately. Microwave on high for 6-7 minutes. Use a fork to test the tenderness of the flesh. Microwave an additional 1 minute at a time until desired tenderness. (Squash can be al dente with a slight crunch or soft similar to pasta noodles.) Once cooked, use a fork to fluff and scrape out the spaghetti flesh into serving bowls.
  4. While squash is microwaving, prepare Southwest sauce. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Sauté onion and bell pepper for 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Add black beans, spinach, and cumin. Stir and let cook 2-4 minutes until spinach is wilted. Reduce heat to medium-low and add salsa and shredded cheese. Stir to incorporate. Let cook for 3-4 minutes until salsa is warm and cheese is melted.
  5. Serve Southwest sauce over cooked spaghetti squash in serving bowls. Top with optional garnishes. Enjoy warm! Allow leftovers to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.

Helpful Tips:

Prefer to cook using the oven?

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place halved and seeded squash face down on baking sheet. Use fork to poke a few holes in the skin. Bake for 30-40 minutes until flesh is of desired tenderness. Remove from oven and flip squash face up and allow to cool until ready to fork the flesh into serving bowls.