Quick Beef Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti Squash
By Kath Dedon
This Quick Beef Sauce with Spaghetti Squash is an easy recipe that lets you get dinner on the table fast during this busy season! I hesitated to share this because it’s so simple, but thought some of you might appreciate this quick idea.
Using a top quality jarred tomato sauce is the key to making a tasty sauce without any fuss. I really like Mezzetta’s Roasted Garlic & Caramelized Onions sauce. I find it’s well-seasoned and needs no “doctoring”. The ingredients are California plum tomatoes, imported olive oil, fresh onions, roasted garlic, fresh basil, sea salt, and spices. There’s no added sugar, no dehydrated vegetables, just good fresh ingredients.
I was able to cook the spaghetti squash very quickly with my Instant Pot. I was inspired to give it a try after reading Michelle Tam’s blog post on Nom Nom Paleo. Using the Manual setting, I set the time for 7 minutes. It took 13 minutes to get up to pressure, then 7 minutes under pressure, and less than a minute for a quick pressure release. So it took just twenty-one minutes to cook the squash. While the Instant Pot was doing its thing, I put the sauce together. Quick and easy!
What? You say you don’t have an Instant Pot and/or you’re afraid to attempt to cut the hard squash in half? Here are a couple of good alternatives for you.
- You could roast spaghetti squash halves in the oven. It’s easy. I’ve used the same method that Chungah Rhee describes on her damndelicious.net blog. It works great but does involve cutting that hard squash in half.
- Apparently, you can roast the whole squash. I haven’t tried it. Here’s Martha Stewart’s recipe for a whole Roasted Spaghetti Squash.
Spaghetti squash does NOT taste like spaghetti. It’s squash. But it pairs very well with tomato sauce. Bob and I both enjoy it and it has become part of my regular rotation when I want to make a quick and easy meal.
Quick Beef Sauce with Spaghetti Squash
(Inspired by Michelle Tam’s recipe on Nom Nom Paleo)
(I had leftover squash that I refrigerated to use later. To serve 4, use all of the squash and double the sauce ingredients.)
1(2½ – 3 pound) spaghetti squash
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 – 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
½ pound ground beef
1½ cups good quality jarred tomato sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
To cook the squash in an Instant Pot (I have suggested a couple of links in the blog post above if you want to bake the squash in the oven.)
- Wash the squash and cut it in half across the diameter. (I have read that you get longer strands when you cut it this way instead of end-to-end.)
I find it easy to cut the squash using my cleaver and mallet.
2. Scoop out the seeds.
3. Put the squash cut-side up on the Instant Pot rack in the pot.
4. Add the 1 cup of water to the pot.
5. Seal the lid. Using the Manual mode, set the time for 7 minutes.
6. In about 20 minutes, when the Instant Pot is done cooking, use the quick release.
7. Using a fork, scoop out the squash strands.
Prepare the sauce while the squash is cooking
- Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are browned a bit.
3. Add the ground beef to the pan, breaking it up as you put it in. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is cooked through and browned a bit.
4. Add the tomato sauce and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir and cook until the sauce is hot.
5. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
6. Serve the sauce over the spaghetti squash.