Like cauliflower and kale, spaghetti squash is a great secret gone wild lately. And while even the newbie health food lovers know the low-cal, fiber-rich veg can replace pasta in a heartbeat, they probably aren't using it in their desserts or eggs. You, however, are about to be. Scroll below and get inspired. And to take your veggie IQ to the next level, don't miss these 20 Vegetables—Ranked By Protein Content!
LEMON AND HERB SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH ROASTED SHRIMP
Nutrition (per 2 cup serving ): 235 calories, 10.4 g fat (4.2 g saturated), 203 mg sodium, 25.7 g carbs, 4.3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 9.7 g protein
Aside from transporting your taste buds to warmer months, this meal contains two potent weight loss foods. According to a report published by The Centers for Disease Control, when compared to 27 other powerful fruits and vegetables, lemons stole first place. Better yet, juice from half of the tangy fruit will fulfill your daily vitamin C quota—the same nutrient that can boost weight loss by as much as 25 percent. Shrimp, on the other hand, packs in lean, low-calorie protein that'll keep you full for longer and boost your metabolism.
Get the recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny.
PULLED BBQ SPAGHETTI SQUASH SLIDERS
Nutrition (per sandwich): 243 calories, 9.9 g fat (1.6 g saturated), 432 mg sodium, 34 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 6 g protein (calculated with whole wheat rolls)
While this probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think spaghetti squash, passing up on this recipe would be like turning away tickets to Beyoncé—a huge mistake. The super squash is dressed up with cumin, paprika, BBQ sauce, garlic powder, crushed pepper, and onion topped with coleslaw and pickles and sandwiched in a whole wheat bun.
Get the recipe from Hot For Food Blog.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH BURRITO BOWL
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 177 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated), 208 mg sodium, 35.2 g carbs,5. 3 g fiber, 1.7 g sugar, 8.3 g protein
Burrito bowls hardly, if ever, disappoint. However, they aren't always doing wonders for your waistline. While you may opt for belly-slimming black beans, the processed sour cream, mounds of cheese, a day's worth of protein and salty tortilla chips cater to belly bulge. Next time you're inclined to stand in line at Chipotle, whip up this instead.
Get the recipe from Emilie Eats.
THREE CHEESE CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI SPAGHETTI SQUASH BAKE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 230 calories, 13.6 g fat (7.7 g saturated), 266 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 2.5 g sugar, 18.2 g protein
Antifungal garlic, detoxing broccoli, protein-boasting chicken, and three satiating kinds of cheese pair up with spaghetti squash to transform one of your favorite guilty pleasures. Low in carbs and rich in healthy fats and metabolism-boosting protein, this meal will fill you up without filling you out.
Get the recipe from Whole and Heavenly Oven.
CHILI STUFFED SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 231 calories, 11.6 g fat (5.3 g saturated), 666 mg sodium, 23 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 1.8 g sugar, 13 g protein
Beans are packed with slimming, gut-friendly fiber—but we're not just talking any average joe fiber. Pinto, black, kidney and cannellini beans contain resistant starch. This leads to prolonged satiety, more efficient fat oxidation and a slimmer you. In fact, one study found replacing just five percent of your daily carbohydrate intake with resistant starch can boost post-meal fat burn by up to 30 percent!
Get the recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch.
BAKED EGGS IN SPAGHETTI SQUASH NESTS
Nutrition (per nest, yields 6): 152 calories, 8 g fat, 353 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 10 g protein
You may be tempted to opt for just the whites (hello pure protein), but the American Heart Association recommends eating one yolk a day. It contains vitamins A and D, B vitamins, and choline, the nutrient responsible for cell membrane structure, building healthy neurotransmitters in the brain and preventing the accumulating fat in the liver.
Get the recipe from Skinny Taste.
PESTO SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH ROASTED TOMATOES
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 140 calories, 8 g fat (1.8 g saturated), 124 mg sodium, 15.9 g carbs, 1.3 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 4.4 g protein
Pesto pasta tends to run on the calorically high side due to the nutritional dense sauce, carb-laden noodles and toppings it's paired with. But to avoid it would mean to abstain from basil's antioxidant, antimutagenic, antitumorigenic (inhibits the formation of tumors), antiviral, and antibacterial properties, as well as olive oil and nuts' heart healthy fats and waist-shrinking benefits. Plus, pesto is a guaranteed taste bud and aroma pleaser. We're not one to pick favorites but…you see where we are going with this.
Get the recipe from A Happy Food Dance.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH BAKED MAC AND CHEESE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 160 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated), 340 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 9 g protein
Your favorite comfort food, just as cheesy and satisfying—minus the horrific caloric costs.
Get the recipe from Dashing Dish.
BACON SPAGHETTI SQUASH FRITTERS
Nutrition (per fritter, yields 6): 220 calories, 15 g fat (4.7 g saturated), 484 mg sodium, 10 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 12 g protein
Looking to take blah out of breakfast? We get it. There is nothing more unappetizing than the same bland oats or dry eggs day in and day out. Fortunately, there are endless ways to trick out your breakfast and these spaghetti squash fritters are just one! For more diet-friendly ways to start your day, check out these 50 Best Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss—Ranked!
Get the recipe from Julia's Album.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH CHOW MEIN
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 118 calories, 4.4 g fat (<1 g saturated), 262 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2.1 g sugar, 2 g protein
One order of chow mein from Panda Express contains 510 calories, 22 grams of fat, 60 grams of carbs and half a day's worth of milligrams of sodium. Now look at the nutritional profile for this one and tell us you're not as smitten as we are.
Get the recipe from Little Bits Of.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH TATER TOTS WITH MAPLE MUSTARD
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 160 calories, 2.8 g fat (0 g saturated), 105 mg sodium, 32 g carbs, 4.2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 3.5 g protein
This healthified version of tots is so amazing that you'll never buy the freezer kind again. Four wholesome ingredients, no gluten, no trans-fats, and no worries. For more ways to enjoy your favorite side, check out these 20 Guilt-Free Recipes for Tater Tots.
Get the recipe from She Likes Food.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH PUMPKIN BISQUE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 199 calories, 19.2 g fat (12.2 g saturated), 180 mg sodium, 7.9 g carbs, 2.2 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 3 g protein
We can't think of anything more heavenly than velvety pumpkin soup. Except perhaps that this one uses coconut milk. The nutrient powerhouse does everything from shrink your waist and curb your appetite to protect your organs and preventing Alzheimer's. And according to research, fatty acids in coconuts are more efficiently used for energy.
Get the recipe from The Calmning Kitchen.
CHEESY BUFFALO CHICKEN SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 242 calories, 12 g fat (6.5 g saturated), 451 mg sodium, 10.2 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1.2 g sugar, 25 g protein
Protein-packed chicken, gut-friendly Greek yogurt, filling spaghetti squash, fat-burning hot sauce, and jalapeno all combine to give you a fiery meal that'll boost your metabolism and please your taste buds.
Get the recipe from Peas and Crayons.
SPINACH ARTICHOKE SPAGHETTI SQUASH DIP
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 250 calories, 17.8 g fat (9.5 g saturated), 321 mg sodium, 15.3 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2.5 g sugar, 11 g protein (calculated without salt)
Packed with fiber and a compound called cynarine that promotes fat digestion and helps to naturally eliminate water retention, artichokes are a flat belly rockstar. Dip your way to a six-pack.
Get the recipe from Taste and Tell Blog.
ORANGE SPICED SALMON SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 219 calories, 8.3 g fat (1.2 g saturated), 346 mg sodium, 12.6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 6.3 g sugar, 25 g protein (calculated without salt)
Make sure to opt for wild
salmon (not farmed), which is not only packed with protein that increases post-meal calorie burn, but also heart-healthy omega-3s that prevent metabolism-slowing inflammation.
Get the recipe from Foodie Crush.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH PRIMAVERA
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 255 calories, 10.5 g fat (2 g saturated), 267 mg sodium, 28.5 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 4.5 g sugar, 10.5 g protein
Spaghetti squash and mixed vegetables topped with marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella for a light, healthy meal that comes together in less than 30 minutes. Bonus: Tomatoes contain an antioxidant called lycopene that actually increases after cooking. Better yet, studies indicate that lycopene reduces the risk of some cancers and skin damage, as well as fights heart disease.
Get the recipe from Skinny Taste.
LOW CARB LASAGNA
Nutrition (per serving, yields 6): 273 calories, 12 g fat (6 g saturated), 601 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 23 g protein (calculated without salt)
Making lasagna can be super time consuming and a lot of work. Not to mention, it's a dieter's nightmare. This recipe resolves all three. First, it's made in a crock pot, so you can throw in the ingredients, turn it on and go about your day. Second, it's made with spaghetti squash instead of noodles so there aren't layered empty calories inside each slice. Talk about an easy way to get dinner on the table and a smaller waistline in the meantime! For more slow cooker meals, check out these 35 Healthy Crock Pot Recipes.
Get the recipe from Well Plated.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH CAKE WITH ORANGE CREAM
Nutrition (per slice, yields 8): 313 calories, 13.1 g fat (7.7 g saturated), 180 mg sodium, 46 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 23 g sugar, 5 g protein
Shhh…don't let the family know you've just found another way to sneak vegetables into their diets. And this time, it's via cake.
Get the recipe from Recipe For Perfection.
SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH CHICKPEAS AND KALE
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 287 calories, 14.4 g fat (1.6 g saturated), 69 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 6.6 g fiber, 3.4 g sugar, 9.4 g protein (calculated without salt)
Kale gets more publicity than the Bachelor these days, but did you know that chickpeas are one of the best weight loss superfoods? In fact, a study published in the journal Obesity found people who ate a single serving of chickpeas each day reported feeling 31 percent fuller than their bean-less counterparts. What's more? They're rich the amino acid, lysine which repairs skin tissue and collagen to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Get the recipe from Love and Lemons.
SPICY KIELBASA SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Nutrition (per 1 cup serving): 223 calories, 15.3 g fat (4.6 g saturated), 593 mg sodium, 14.5 g carbs, 2.5 g fiber, 4.9 g sugar, 10 g protein (calculated without salt)
Most kielbasa contains wheat or rice fillers and is highly processed. Always you opt for the one with the largest meat content and no nitrates. Although excess consumption of processed meats is linked to cancer, biting into the occasional kielbasa or eating a BEC in moderation won't derail your diet or health.
Get the recipe from The Brooklun Cook.