Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Beef and Corn Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Boats

Woohoo!! This is an Amazing Dinner Alert!!

There it is. Right up there.

Spicy, cheesy, beefy - these are a few of my favorite things. 

These Beef and Corn Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Boats are a wonderful lightened-up alternative to one of my favorite comfort foods. I could eat these every week! Spaghetti squash makes the perfect vessel for homemade enchilada sauce, lots of cheese, crunchy corn and hearty ground beef. 

The best part about this meal, besides the deliciousness of it all, is that it can be customized in any way to your tastes. Lighten things up more with shredded chicken or ground turkey; make it entirely vegetarian by stuffing these with chopped cauliflower; perhaps you just want lots of cheese, in which case you can take out the beef, add some black beans and extra cheddar. 

No matter how you stuff it, I'm sure you're going to love it. 

Here's what you need for Beef and Corn Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Boats* (Print Recipe!)

2 small spaghetti squash
olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3/4 pound lean ground beef (85/15 works)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chipotle chili in adobo sauce (or more, if you like it spicy)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon each ground chili powder and ground cumin
3/4 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
chives and chopped cilantro for garnish

Here's what you do

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Slice the stems off the spaghetti squash if it has hard ends, then carefully slice in half lengthwise. Season the inside with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until the skin can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven to cool slightly.

While the squash cooks, heat a teaspoon of oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan with high sides. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until brown and crumbly. Remove from the pan and strain out the grease.

In the same pan, add a teaspoon more of oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and cook for 90 seconds over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until fragrant. Add the adobo, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, and broth. Stir to combine. Bring to a slight boil, then reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the corn, tomatoes, and beef mixture.

Flip the squash and use a fork to loosen the spaghetti-like strands. Add about 1/4 cup of the sauce filling to each half of the spaghetti squash. Top them with cheese then return to the oven. Cook until the filling is bubbly and the cheese has melted, 10-15 minutes. Let the boats rest for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with chives and cilantro before serving.   

*Adapted slightly from Skinnytaste 

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