Caprese Spaghetti Squash Nests


Roasted cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, spaghetti squash, and fresh chopped basil make this dish a delicious refreshing meal! The muffin cups make this a fun twist on Caprese. You can easily make this into one larger casserole, but I thought it would be really cute to make little spaghetti squash nests using muffin cups. You know... with Spring being around the corner and all. Before putting the cheese over the tomatoes, my 6 year old leans over to tell me that the roasted cherry tomatoes look like eggs in a nest. By golly, yes you are right! There you go! Perfect for Spring!


Begin the recipe by preparing and cooking your spaghetti squash. You can prep your squash the day before! Cooked squash can lasts 3 to 5 days in the fridge. I included two ways in the recipe below, oven method or slow cooker method. I love roasting my spaghetti squash in the oven which brings out the subtle sweetness of the squash. Using your Instant Pot, air fryer, or microwave or other options as well. Choose your preferred cooking method and reserve 2 cups of spaghetti squash strands for this recipe. Save the rest for another use.


Mix 2 cups of spaghetti squash with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 3 tbsp egg beaters. Scoop 1/4 cup of spaghetti squash into each muffin cup.


Press down on the bottoms and sides to create nests. Place in a preheated oven for 20 min.


Put cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with non-stick foil or a silicone mat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 min. Save time by roasting them with the spaghetti squash nests.


Scoop roasted tomatoes into each cup. I had 24 cherry tomatoes so I put 3 in each cup. Top each cup with 2 tbsp mozzarella cheese . Bake for an additional 8 to 10 min or until cheese has melted.


Garnish with chopped fresh basil. You can enjoy 4 of these delicious nests with 1/2 a Lean more! I served these with 3 oz of rotisserie style chicken breast meat (bones and skin removed) I picked up from the grocery store. So yummy!


Caprese Spaghetti Squash Nests

Ingredients:
For the Nests:
1 medium spaghetti squash ~ 
reserve 2 cups cooked for recipe (4 Greens)
1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp black pepper (1/2 Condiment)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (1/2 Condiment)
3 tbsp liquid egg whites (1 Condiment)

For the Filling:
1 cup cherry tomatoes ~ about 5.26 oz (2 Greens)
1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
1/4 tsp black pepper (1/2 Condiment)
4 oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 Lean)
1/4 cup basil, chopped (1/2 Condiment)

Directions:
Oven Method for Spaghetti Squash
Preheat oven to 375. Wash spaghetti squash.
With a sharp knife, slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. If the squash is too hard to cut, puncture several holes around the spaghetti squash and microwave for 3 to 5 min to soften a little. Let cool before cutting in half. Scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh. Spray lightly with cooking spray. Place squash cut side down. Bake for 40 to 45 min. Let cool. Shred the flesh into noodles with a fork. Reserve 2 cups for recipe.

Slow Cooker Method for Spaghetti Squash
Wash spaghetti squash. Puncture several holes around the spaghetti squash. Place the whole spaghetti squash in the slow cooker with 1 cup water. For a 3 to 4 lb medium squash cook on LOW for 5 to 6 hours or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH. Let cool for about 15 to 30 min before slicing in half. Scoop out seeds. Shred the flesh into noodles with a fork. Reserve 2 cups for recipe.

To Make Spaghetti Squash Nests and Roasted Tomatoes
Preheat oven to 400. 
Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium sized bowl, combine spaghetti squash, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and liquid egg whites. Transfer 1/4 cup spaghetti squash to each muffin cup, pressing down on the bottoms and sides to form nests. Place in the preheated oven and bake 18 to 20 min.

Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil or a silicone mat. Spread tomatoes on baking sheet. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 min until tomatoes are soft. These can be put in the oven the same time as the spaghetti squash nests since they cook at the same temperature.

Scoop roasted tomatoes in each cup. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of cheese per cup. Bake for an additional 8 to 10 min or until cheese has melted. Let cool for a few min. Carefully scrape around the edges of each nest with a butter knife and remove from the tin. Place on a serving platter. Sprinkle with fresh basil.

2 Servings with
1/2 Lean, 3 Greens, and 2.5 Condiments per serving (4 Nests)

Serve with an additional 1/2 Lean such as: 
2.5 oz 93% lean ground beef or steak
3 oz chicken breasts or 3 oz Jennie-O Sweet Italian turkey sausage (need 1/2 Healthy Fat)
3.5 oz shrimp, tilapia or 99% lean ground turkey (need 1 Healthy Fat)

Slightly adapted from:

Tasty


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