Famed chef and restaurateur David Chang has a series on Netflix called Ugly Delicious and I highly recommend it to anybody who loves food. The name of the show is how I feel about this dish. I am not going to lie. The picture I took of this dish is ugly. My plates hale from the 70’s and aside from the squash, a loaf of meat slathered in ketchup also feels 50 years dated. It belongs on some ugly food hashtag for Instagram and I apologize for how ugly it is, but I do not apologize for this recipe because it is DELICIOUS!
This dish was almost an accident but in hindsight I couldn’t be happier with it. I’m a huge fan of meatloaf, it takes me back to childhood and you’ll usually find me eating it with a volcanic mountain of mashed potatoes surrounding a caldera of sweet snappy green peas. I “frost” my meatloaf with Heinz ketchup and eat all three together. It’s a mystery to me where I learned this method, but I love it and this dish brought me most of those flavors in a whole new form. It skips the taters completely and though there are no green peas rolling around the plate the squash itself fills that void with a fresh and slightly sweet “vegetable”. The meatloaf gets a big boost of flavor from the mushrooms and swiss while completely leaving out the breadcrumbs making this a gluten free winner! You could even kick the sour cream and swiss to the curb and sub in a scrambled egg for a gluten and dairy free option.
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with beef, mushrooms & Swiss
1 spaghetti squash
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 large white onion chopped
8 oz shiitake mushrooms stems removed & caps chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1 lb good quality ground beef
3/4 tsp salt (plus additional for sprinkling the squash in step 3)
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp sour cream
3/4 cup swiss cheese shredded, divided
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Slice the squash length-wise. Clean out seeds, sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place cut side down and roast for 30-40 minutes till “al dente”
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent and slightly browned. Add shiitake mushrooms and garlic. Sauté 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are slightly browned and have given up most of their water.
Turn the heat up to medium high. Add the ground beef to the skillet. Season with salt and black pepper. Sauté 7-8 minutes, breaking up the pieces with a spatula or spoon, until the beef is browned, and the onions are caramelized.
Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and half of the shredded Swiss cheese. Spoon the filling into the squash halves.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the squash is cooked through and the filling is bubbly.
Turn the oven to broil. Sprinkle the remaining shredded Swiss cheese evenly on top of the squash boats. Broil 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned.
Note: I found this dish best reheated. Once it’s been refrigerated you can slice the squash like a meatloaf. Peal off the squash shell and when you’re ready to prepare your meal set the oven to 350 and lay your slices on a lightly greased baking sheet and cook about 10-15 minutes depending on how thick your slices are. We served it childhood style – with plain old ketchup!