In the northern hemisphere, winter has certainly arrived. This time of year, many of us reach for “comfort foods.” These warm dishes may be comforting during cold weather, but these often heavy dishes are typically full of salt and sugar and low in nutrition — inconsistent with a cancer-preventing diet. But this dish brings together the best of both worlds. This delicious creamy vegan mushroom alfredo spaghetti squash makes the most of fresh produce while still offering that creamy pasta texture.
We’ve written about the nutritional value of squash before, and with good reason. All varieties of squash are versatile and healthy — different kinds of squash can strengthen the immune system, protect your heart, prevent inflammation, prevent cancer and much more.
Spaghetti squash in particular is rich in the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin and thiamin, which aid in cell function. Spaghetti squash also contains lots of potassium, a nutrient that maintains healthy muscle and nerve function. Manganese helps maintain healthy bone and tissues, as well as metabolism and nerve function. And to round out this nutritional powerhouse, spaghetti squash also contains omega-3 and omega-6 fats; these good fats can help prevent inflammation and boost brain function.
This dish is not difficult to prepare, but save it for a day when you have extra time: spaghetti squash can take up to 45 minutes to roast. It’s a perfect option for when the weather is chilly and you want to spend a bit more time in a warm kitchen! Serve this creamy mushroom alfredo spaghetti squash with a fresh, green salad for a rounded and delicious dinner.
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Alfredo Spaghetti Squash
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 pound mushrooms, medium sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs or spice blend
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, to garnish (Optional)
Coconut cream sauce:
- 1 can coconut milk, refrigerated
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (adjust to your level of “cheesy”)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, flakes (adjust as needed)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, or 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare spaghetti squash for roasting: slice the squash in half and scrape out the seeds and strings, stopping just as you reach the flesh.
- Place squash halves in a roasting pan, cut side down. Add a splash of water to the pan to hasten the steaming process.
- Roast the squash for 30-45 minutes. Smaller squashes roast more quickly than larger ones, so check the squash at 30 minutes to gauge cooking. The squash is done when tender and flexible to the touch.
- While the squash is roasting, prepare the coconut cream sauce. Measure and combine all sauce ingredients, then add to a high-speed blender.
- Blend 20-30 seconds or until smooth.
- Adjust seasonings as needed, adding salt and pepper to taste. Set sauce aside.
- When squash is fully roasted, remove the squash from the oven. Let cool slightly, then use a fork to gently pull the squash flesh from the peel and separate into strands. The strands wrap around the squash horizontally, so pull your fork in the same direction as the spaghetti strands for the longest “noodles.” Set aside.
- Slice mushrooms into uniform pieces.
- Bring a large (2 quart capacity recommended) Dutch oven or non-stick pot to medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook down until mushrooms have reduced in size by half, about 10 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients (including spaghetti squash strands) to the pot; swirl with tongs to combine.
- Add coconut cream sauce to spaghetti squash and gently toss to combine. Remove from the heat and serve immediately, topped with chopped parsley (optional).