Texas Chili stuffed spaghetti squash
Well since the weather has cooled down, I figured I might as well make some chili, this will last me a couple days and keep me warm from the inside out. Plus it’s a whole meal in one pot. But today I’m adding a different component and stuffing my chili inside spaghetti squash. I’m Starving… Lets Cook!!
Chili, it’s a universal recipe can be made many different ways, with so many variations. I grew up eating chili all the time; it was and probably still is one of my favorite soups. You can eat it in the spring, the winter, and summer. Depending on the time of year I add or take away different spices. In the fall I add cinnamon, and recently sage. In the winter I like to add butternut squash and sage. And in the spring and summer I keep it simple with my original recipe. Tonight you get two recipes in one. My Spaghetti squash, and my chili recipe, and at the end we will combine the two and get Texas chili stuffed Spaghetti squash.
My Chili is a variation of Paula deans Chili. Paula has always been a favorite chef of mine, despite the amount of butter she uses. She’s awesome! I bought a cookbook of hers while in Georgia about 4 years ago while on vacation with my husband. I found this recipe for chili, and me being a lover of chili, I decided well i’ll make this. I didn’t realize at this time that her recipe would feed an army of people; I think we ate chili for 4 day’s and still ended up freezing half of it for a later date. I never made that mistake again. Over time I’ve found that for my taste I added some other stuff, or increased, or decreased others to make the flavors more specific to me, and to make the recipe about half or even ¼ of hers.
First I diced up my onions, and garlic, added my onions to my 5 quart pot, and cooked until translucent, then added in my garlic (you don’t want to over cook your garlic, cook it just enough to get the flavor out of it. See Tip A Below) Then I add in my ground beef, and ground sausage cook thoroughly until brown all over. Then add in your spices (not flour) stir, mix well and cook for about a minute. Then add in your Tomatoes, and beans stir and let sit for about 5 minutes add in your flour stir, and cook on low for about 30-60 minutes. The longer you cook your chili the more flavors come out with the final product.
It’s best to cook your chili before you start working on your squash, or else your squash will be done before your chili and you’ll have cold spaghetti squash with your chili. This also gives your chili time to simmer down, and absorb all those flavors you’ve added.
Now for the squash!
I started seeing squash in a different light ever since I worked for a nutritionist, experiencing new foods, and different ways to eat them. I’ve heard of Spaghetti squash for years, but always thought nothing compares to the real thing, so I kept putting it off. When I finally decided to cook the darn thing, I was surprised by how much I liked it and shocked at how much my husband liked it. So I decided I would venture out and find different ways to eat spaghetti squash. Although right now I only have tomato meat sauce stuffed squash, and now chili stuffed squash, I’m still venturing and exploring for other things to try (stay tuned).
As you see here I have my beautiful spaghetti squash, I take that and cut it in half. There are some ways to make this easier but I prefer to just cut in half raw (See Tip B below for easier ways to cut) Scoop out the seeds, and guts. (You can save the seeds for later if you’re a savvy gardener, and want to grow some See Tip C)
After I scoop out the seeds, and guts, I take about 1 Tbs of olive oil per half, and rub it into the meat of the squash. I used to get a basting brush, and do it that way, but this way I can massage the oil into the squash. Then I sprinkle on some garlic powder, basil, and oregano.
Place face down into a baking pan, bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until meat pulls apart easily.
Now that those two are done, the time to stuff has come. This is the simple part, just scoop about a cup to a cup and a half into half of the squash. Then top with your favorite chili toppings, and garnishes. Today I topped with goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, and garnished with sour cream, and fresh cut Jalapeños.
Now all you have to do is Plate, fork, Eat and Enjoy. I hope you enjoy this recipe, don’t forget the tips, and recipes below.
If you like this recipe please feel free to leave a comment, and go like me on Facebook at Meals At The McElroy’s.
Until Next Time…
What you need:
- 1lb of ground beef (you can use turkey, or chicken if you like)
- ½ lb of Ground sausage (you can substitute with beef, turkey, or chicken, if you don’t like/eat pork)
- 1 Onion (or 1 cup diced)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1/8 cup of chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon of all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon of sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of fresh chopped Oregano (You can always used dried if you don’t have fresh, I do when I’m in a hurry)
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 2 15oz cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 16 oz can of chili beans (or kidney beans)
What to do:
- chop your onions, and garlic
- Add to a 5 quart pot about 1tablespoon of olive oil and add in your onions, and sauté until translucent.
- Add in your garlic and cook for about 30 seconds ( you don’t want to over cook your garlic)
- Add in your ground beef, and sausage and cook thoroughly until brown all over.
- Add in your Chili Powder, Sugar, salt, and oregano mix and cook for about a minute.
- Add in your tomatoes, and beans cook for about 5 minutes
- Add in your flour, stir and cook on low for 30-60 minutes
- Preheat oven for 375
- Cut your squash in half (See Tip B)
- Coat with Approx. 1 Tablespoon of olive oil on each half of your squash.
- Sprinkle with Garlic Powder, Dried Oregano, and Basil
- Place face down in baking pan, then place in oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes or until meat is easily pulled apart.
When all is done:
- Scoop about 1-1 ½ cups of chili into each half of your squash
- Top with Cheese, you can use Mozzarella, Parmesan, or Goat cheese (any cheese you like really) I used goat cheese, and Parmesan.
- Top with sour cream, and Jalapeños
- Serve (best with a fork) and enjoy
It’s Tip Time:
- When cutting Garlic, for better flavor slice your garlic, if you don’t like chunks of garlic when you eat slice vary thin, or cut long ways in half, then slice thinly. When you dice your garlic you loose a lot of that flavor, especially on your hands.
- When cutting spaghetti Squash it can be hard to cut in half when raw. An easy fix to this, is cut a few slits around your squash, and microwave for about 5 minutes to get the skin, and flesh a little more tender and make it easier to cut in half. (I skip this and just cut mine raw, I apparently like to do things the hard way!)
- SEEDS!!!! I enjoy gardening, I don’t do it often with veggies, I garden more herbs, than anything. I love learning new things. So this year I saved seeds from multiple squashes, and am excited to plant them, come springtime. All you need to do is rinse off your seeds (COLD water, you don’t want to cook them) make sure you get all the guts, and remnant of the insides off, (this keeps the seeds from germinating while in the vegetable. Then you want to set out and dry for about a week, flipping over every couple of days to make sure its evenly dry, and none stick to your paper towel, or plate. (Ooops… I once did not let mine dry completely, and when I stored them, and took the container out a couple weeks later, there was mold growing on them, so in the trash they went. This is an important step, do not skip) Then store in an air tight container (Mason jars work great!!) and store in a dark cool space until you are ready to plant, the last about 3-4 years this way according to what I’ve read.