Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls – sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? There’s your 5 dollar word for the day. Because I am always looking for new ways to use spaghetti squash (Spaghetti Squash Peanut Noodles, anyone?), and because the food ideas are ever-revolving through my brain, I decided to give spaghetti squash burrito bowls a whirl. And friends…they were everything I hoped they would be, and more. That’s not hyperbole, either. Another 5 dollar word! You’re raking in the vocabulary green.
I figure if I’m going to be the self-appointed Ambassador of Spaghetti Squash (unpaid), then I’d better step up to the plate and let this wonderfully strange curcubit really shine. That word’s gotta be worth $10, at least. Anyway…let’s dispense with the big words and get this burrito bowl party started, shall we?
This is less of a recipe and more of a template. The basic idea is – take all of the ingredients that you would normally put in a burrito, and then put them in a spaghetti squash bowl instead. It’s not revolutionary, but it is delicious. But if I may, here are some suggestions for what you might want to put in your own bowl.
Protein | I used Instant Pot Mexican Pinto Beans, but you can use whatever burrito-bowl-appropriate protein floats your boat. If you happened to have some leftover chili hanging around, that would also be a great option.
Vegan Cheese/Sour Cream | Because it’s awesome and super versatile, I use Savory Cashew Cream, thinned out with a little bit of water to make it pourable and also to stretch it out so I can use more. I make at least one batch of this recipe every week and use it for so many things. In this bowl it’s used two ways, plain and spiked with some chipotle puree. It’s like getting two sauces for the price of one. SCORE.
Fresh Toppings | This is where you can really get creative and follow your own tastebuds. I love avocado, green onions/scallions, tomato, roasted red peppers (more on this in a sec), fresh jalapeño (SO GOOD), pepitas (for crunch), black olives, and, of course, cilantro.
Have you ever made your own roasted red peppers? It’s so easy, and super delicious. Basically, you char the outside of the skin either directly over a gas burner or in the oven on broil (turn on the fan!), and then let them hangout in a sealed environment for a few minutes to steam the skins off. Then you just use a kitchen towel to brush off the blackened skin. For the love of all things flavor, please do NOT rinse off the peppers after you do this. You’ll basically wash a whole bunch of flavor down the drain. The skin should peel right off, and if there are a couple of tiny black bits left over, no biggie.
On the topic of simple ways to use peppers, let’s also chat about one of my very favorite fridge staples – chipotle puree. This is so easy to make, and it keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator in a pint-sized mason jar. If you use a wide-mouth jar, and you have an immersion blender (I’ll convince you to get one of these handy tools one day if you don’t have one), you can just dump the can of chipotle peppers into the jar, and blend away. Then store the puree in the fridge and dip into it anytime you need some smoky, spicy flavor. And you can control the amount, which is important. I also use this in Southwestern Potato Salad and Southwestern Coleslaw, because YUM.
As far as the spaghetti squash bowl itself, you can have that cooking away while you prep all the toppings, and have burrito bowls on the table in less than an hour. Even faster if you use the microwave to cook the squash, which I’ve been doing lately with great results. This post covers how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven, the microwave, the slow cooker, and the pressure cooker. I’ve got you covered, friends.
Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls, people! Make them for dinner, or lunch, or heck, even breakfast. I won’t judge. I won’t even know unless you tell me. 🙂 Give them a chance any time of day and surprise yourself with a new way to enjoy the flavors of a burrito without the carb-bomb tortilla situation. There’s a time and a place for that, for sure, but this is a nice change of pace. Let me know if you try it! Makes my day, for real.
- 2 spaghetti squash
- 2 cups pinto beans or other burrito-appropriate protein
- 1/2 cup savory cashew cream thinned to pourable consistency with a bit of water
- 1 tomato chopped
- 6 oz can sliced black olives
- 1 red bell pepper roasted, peeled, and diced
- 1 jalapeno sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 avocado peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup raw pepitas
- 4 green onions sliced thinly
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cut the spaghetti squash across the width, and scoop out the seeds.
Place the squash on an oven-safe cooling rack set over a baking sheet, and sprinkle the flesh liberally with salt. Set aside for 10-15 minutes to let salt draw out some of the water in the squash.
Pat the squash dry with a kitchen towel and roast the squash for 30 minutes. See this post for alternate cooking methods such as microwave, slow cooker, and pressure cooker.
While the squash is roasting, prep the toppings.
Make savory cashew cream (recipe follows), and set aside 1/2 cup (store the rest in the fridge for another use). If desired, mix in a bit of chipotle puree into part or all of the reserved cashew cream. Start with a 1/2 teaspoon and add more if you like it really spicy.
Roast the red bell pepper, if using, and cover with plastic wrap to steam the skin off. After 5 minutes, remove the skin with a kitchen towel, remove the seeds, and dice the flesh.
Slice or chop the tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, avocado, and green onions. Set aside in individual bowls for easy customization of each bowl.
When the spaghetti squash is cooked, use a fork to separate the “noodles” in the bowl, then add the toppings and drizzle with the sauce. Enjoy!