My friend Emily brought me a spaghetti squash and a butternut squash from her dad’s amazing garden and I knew I wanted to make something special with them. The creamy butternut-garlic sauce is packed with flavor and so easy to make and I love using spaghetti squash as a pasta replacement. The bacon, mushrooms and sage toppings are what really tie the dish together and add a salty, earthy element that takes the flavor profile to the next level! This is truly healthy, comfort food at its finest.
I don’t use bacon often in my recipes, but when I do I make sure it’s good quality bacon. I can’t stress how important it is to buy good quality bacon from pigs who are responsibly raised. Factory-farmed bacon is not healthy as these pigs are raised in horrible living conditions, not fed their natural diets, given additives and anti-biotics which in turn causes so many health problems in the pigs leading to a buildup of toxins that are stored in their bodies. When I buy bacon I always make sure it is free of nitrates, sustainably-farmed and sugar-free (which is pretty easy to find at most grocery stores these days with the whole Paleo movement).
And no, I do not use turkey bacon… ever. Turkey’s don’t have bacon. Meaning turkey’s don’t have a belly to slice bacon from. Turkey bacon is lots of different mechanically-separated turkey parts that have been ground together and shaped into a bacon-like form. It’s usually highly processed and has just as much sodium as bacon. Sure it is leaner and has less calories, but bacon actually has more protein per slice. Neither turkey bacon or pork bacon are really that great for you when it comes down to nutrients and having any nutritional benefit to your body. Bottom line is I’d rather have the one that tastes better (a.k.a. pork bacon) and just eat it in moderation.
Now, let’s get down to business.
Isn’t the color of the butternut squash just gorgeous?? The easiest way to cut up a butternut squash is first cutting off each end then peeling the outer skin with a potato peeler. You can then easily cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and cube it. Of course, you can always buy pre-cut butternut squash at the store if you want to do one less step!
The first step is to put the spaghetti squash in the oven because that takes about 45 minutes to cook. While that bakes you can start on the butternut-garlic sauce and toppings. Boil the butternut squash in water until it is fork tender and while that boils you sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until the onions are translucent and nicely browned. It’s really important to let the onions brown, it adds a rich, deep flavor to the sauce. Then you put the boiled and drained butternut squash, sautéed onions, garlic and chicken broth in a blender and puree until the sauce is completely smooth. If you have an immersion blender you can use that also and skip this step.
For the toppings you simply sauté the bacon in a skillet and once it begins to get crispy you add in the mushrooms and sage. If the bacon doesn’t render a lot of fat you may need to add in some olive oil. Once the bacon is crispy and the mushrooms are browned you can set the toppings aside.
Once the spaghetti squash is done cooking allow it to cool a few minutes then use a fork and scrape the spaghetti squash out from the skin. Then you mix the spaghetti squash in with the butternut cream sauce and top each dish with the bacon, mushrooms and sage.
This recipe is so insanely delicious. Plus it has bacon in it and lets face it… bacon makes everything BETTER!
Creamy Butternut-Garlic Sauce Over Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Mushrooms and Sage
5 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 ½ cups yellow onions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
8 slices all-natural bacon, diced
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sage, minced
Dash of salt and black pepper
4.5-5 pound spaghetti squash (about 6-7 cups cooked)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Slice the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray then lay the spaghetti squash (face down) on the baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the squash.
For the butternut-garlic sauce boil the cubed squash in water until fork tender, about 10 minutes. While that’s boiling, in a skillet sauté the onions in olive oil. Once they begin to soften add in the garlic and continue to sauté until the onions are nicely browned. Drain the butternut squash and add it to a blender along with the sautéed onions, garlic and chicken broth. Blend on high speed until the sauce is completely smooth. Transfer the sauce to a Dutch oven or large skillet. Add in the salt and turn the heat to low, letting the sauce simmer.
For the toppings, sauté the diced bacon in a skillet. Once it cooks down and begins to get crispy add in the mushrooms and sage. Sauté everything until the mushrooms are browned and the bacon is nicely crisp. Season with salt and pepper as desired then set aside.
Once the spaghetti squash is done cooking allow it to cool once out of the oven. Using a fork gently scrape the spaghetti squash away from the skin then add the squash to the butternut-garlic sauce and combine everything well.
To serve, place the spaghetti squash combined with sauce in a bowl then top it with a heaping spoonful of the crispy bacon, mushrooms and sage. If you like spice you can also top it with crushed red pepper flakes.