• I Wish This Meal Photographed Better {Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Bake}

    September 19, 2013

    I tried. Really, I tried.

    cheesy spaghetti squash bake

    I tried really hard to get an appetizing shot of this meal, but it just never happened. I apologize, and I assure you it’s a really tasty recipe. Just try to put the way it looks behind you, okay?

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    When I posted a picture of this meal on Instagram the other night, a bunch of you guys wanted the recipe, so here it is. Again, I swear it tastes better than it looks.

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    (Please note the pug tongue in the lower right-hand corner of the photo above. What a little butthead. Murphy will never try to eat food off of my plate, but he definitely pushes the envelope when he can!)

    Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Bake

    Ingredients:

    • 4-5 cups of cooked spaghetti squash
    • 3/4 pound ground beef (or turkey)
    • 1 cup peas (I used frozen)
    • 6 wedges of Garlic & Herb* cheese from The Laughing Cow
    • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
    • 1/8 cup breadcrumbs
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. Cook ground beef and peas as directed.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, while they are still warm, combine spaghetti squash, ground beef, and peas with the Laughing Cow cheese wedges until cheesy is fully blended.
    4. Mix in grated Parmesan, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
    5. Pour the entire mixture into a 9” X 9” baking dish, spread evenly, and flatten with a spatula.
    6. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top and bake for 25-30 minutes until the top begins to lightly brown.
    7. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.

    Makes 4 servings

    *I originally planned to make this recipe with the White Cheddar flavor, but Stop & Shop didn’t have it, so I went with the Garlic & Herb instead. The Garlic & Herb was definitely delicious, but I think the White Cheddar might be better since it has a stronger, cheesier flavor. Just throwing it out there as a suggestion!

    I am an official brand advocate for Bel Brands in 2013. While I receive compensation for participation as a brand advocate, opinions are my own.

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    { 47 comments… read them below or add one }

    Kate September 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Looks delicious, I love spaghetti squash!! I have been following your blog for awhile now but am having trouble finding a variety of laughing cow flavors in grocery stores near me…. they seem to only carry the basic swiss. I would really love to try the white cheddar!

    Reply

    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom September 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    @Kate: I found the different varieties of laughing cow (cinnamon, chipotle, etc) in a non-refrigerated section of the store. in my publix, it’s usually located on an end of an aisle relatively close to the dairy section.

    Reply

    Kate September 20, 2013 at 10:11 am

    @Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom: thank you so much for sharing! I will take a deeper look! =)

    Reply

    Molly September 20, 2013 at 11:03 am

    @Kate: At our grocery stores – Walmart, Meijer, Kroger, etc – they put the more “cheese” flavored Laughing Cows with the other cheeses – shredded cheese, feta, brie, etc. The “cream cheese” flavors are usually with the cream cheese. As for the white cheddar last time I checked they only sold it at Sam’s. If you go onto the Laughing Cow website they have a store locator.

    Reply

    Tina September 20, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Target too!

    Reply

    Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind September 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Looks pretty tasty. What do you think a good vegetarian sub would be? Soy turkey?

    Reply

    Jessie B. September 20, 2013 at 7:03 am

    @Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind: have you ever tried trader joe’s soy chorizo? I would probably use some of that myself and just use a different flavor laughter cow. Mmmmm, might be making this this weekend…

    Reply

    Jackie September 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    This sounds fantastic!!! Thanks Tina!

    Reply

    Lisa September 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I love spaghetti squash, so I am sure this has to be delicious! This will definitely be on my list to make for dinner one night next week. :-)

    Reply

    Marissa@ohhhsolovely September 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    this is funny because i’m getting ready to make a green bean dish that is delicious, but i know will look gross in photos!

    Reply

    Nicole September 19, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Sounds great!

    P.S. Really wish the McDonalds ads would go away.

    Reply

    Sarah September 19, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    @Nicole: why do they bother you? theres a million ads on every site that dont pertain to your hobbies etc.

    Reply

    Samantha @ 10,000 Squats September 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Looks really good to me! I always get my bf to photograph my meals, I can’t figure out how to take a good shot. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

    tiffany September 19, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    that pug tongue cracks me up! my dog would actually have the guts to sample to food. :) btw, looks delicious!

    Reply

    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl September 19, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I just hate when no matter what I try I can’t get a good photo…. I feel your pain. The recipes sounds really delicious, though, and I never judge a food by it’s photo. Okay, maybe I do, but I won’t this time! ;)

    Reply

    Aditi September 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    This looks great! I am currently doing the Whole 30 program right now – any suggestions on how to make this recipe more Whole 30/Paleo friendly? Thanks!

    Reply

    Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit September 19, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I was just introduced to the spaghetti squash phenomenon and I’m SO glad. The stuff is incredible! And I feel like peas are like my forgotten vegetable, yet I love them so much. I will be making this very soon!

    Reply

    Summer September 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Gotta love Murphy!

    Reply

    Sophie @ life's philosophie September 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I’ve been meaning to cook something with Spaghetti Squash and this looks like the perfect option! I think the most delicious things are the hardest to photograph (oatmeal, mac n’ cheese, chili…)

    Reply

    christina September 19, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    lol you tried

    Reply

    Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties September 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    that looks like an awesome comfort meal! Kinda like mac n cheese but healthier :) love murphy’s tongue in that picture- i didn’t even notice until you pointed it out! hah

    Reply

    Kelli @ Hungry Hobby September 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Spaghetti squash is seriously impossible to photograph well! Unless you edit the photo to the point of in recognizablility then forget it. This recipe sounds amazing though, you are definitely the queen of easy, simple, and healthy family dinners! Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply

    Emily @ Emily Rocks the Road September 19, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    None of my food ever looks good. Because I use an iPhone and am too cheap and lazy to get a real camera; plus, my kid would probably gum it up and break it anyway.

    I love throw-together bakes, this looks super easy and delicious!

    Reply

    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance September 19, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Some recipes just can not be photographed. I have a recipe for Blueberry and banana baked oatmeal and have not posted it due to the fact that it resembles a big blob of blue oatmeal on a plate. Haha!

    Reply

    Tina September 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Totally agree. Meatloaf is one that never looks pretty!

    Reply

    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat September 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Photographing food can certainly be challenging, but I think this dish looks delicious anyway!

    Reply

    megan September 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Sounds a pretty easy recipe. I want to try cooking with spahgetti squash and this seems like a great option!

    Reply

    Paula September 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I would eat a whole squash-worth of this myself — and I’d have to. I’d never be able to sell my fiance on this dish.

    Reply

    sarah @makingitmyhome.blogspot.com September 19, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    i love the garlic and herb laughing cow cheese spread. its a weekly staple in my house

    Reply

    Liza September 19, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Hahaha thanks for pointing out the pug tongue!

    Reply

    Sierra @ Posh Meets Pavement September 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I’ve seen spaghetti squash back in the stores….yay! I haven’t done anything baked like this, but I love roasting a big batch at the beginning of the week and getting creative with different toppings and sauces. It looks like a bake will have to happen soon

    Reply

    Julie @ Health Nut Julie September 19, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    I love everything about this! Sometimes the ugliest recipes are the best… Never judge a book by its cover ;-)

    Reply

    Alex @ Kenzie Life September 19, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    This looks great though I’d omit the meat for myself. I bet it would still be good with some tofu or another veg protein!

    Reply

    Sammy @ Peace Love and Ice Cream September 19, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I actually think that the first pic looks super delish! I love dishes that start on the stovetop and end in the oven! Everything tastes better when you bake breadcrumbs (or cheese!!) on top!! I’m gonna go to bed because this is making me hungry! lol
    -Sammy @ peaceandloveandicecream.blogspot.com

    Reply

    She Rocks Fitness September 19, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Sometimes the food that doesn’t look the prettiest is actually the best! Love the simplicity of this recipe and it looks easy and perfect for leftovers. :)

    Reply

    Clairerose September 19, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    I’ve learned through experience that some of the best tasting eats don’t exactly look fantastic;-)

    Reply

    Meredith @ CouponBride September 19, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Nevermind that it doesn’t look all that spectacular – it sounds delicious! I always make my spaghetti squash the old-standby way with a marinara sauce. I’ll have to try this out to mix things up!

    Reply

    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen September 20, 2013 at 5:23 am

    I completely understand that it is HARD to make some thing look pretty…but I’m sure it tastes great :)

    Reply

    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner September 20, 2013 at 7:48 am

    Refried beans never photograph well, and I also have a hard time with curry. Love Murphy’s tongue in the picture!

    Reply

    Annie @ Annie Get Your Run September 20, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I’m going to have to try this! I just made Laughing Cow alfredo for the first time. I love finding new ways to use it other than just spreading large amounts of it on crackers (which I still do!).

    Reply

    Elizabeth September 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I think it looks and sounds good! I’d like to try it with the Chipotle Laughing Cow.

    Reply

    Erika September 21, 2013 at 4:20 am

    I was trying to think of spaghetti squash recipe to make this weekend and this sounds perfect! I’m not a huge fan of peas so would substituting the peas for green beans work?

    Haha love that pug tongue!

    Reply

    Tina September 21, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Sure! :)

    Reply

    Amelia Winslow September 23, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Oh man, I feel you on delicious recipes that don’t photograph well! I make this amazing homemade version of “hamburger helper” that’s full of veggies and flavor, but it looks like a pile of brown slop. Ha!
    This looks worth making though :)

    Reply

    Michelle K September 23, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Made this tonight with the Queso Fresco & Chipotle Laughing Cow. Delicious!!

    Reply

    Tina September 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Yay! So glad you liked it!!

    Reply

    Nichole September 23, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Sounds super easy and delicious, and I love squash! I’m vegetarian so might have to try this out without the meat. :)

    Reply

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