Despite the fact that I blog about food, I love to watch cooking television shows as well!
Some of my favorites include Bitchin' Kitchen, Good Eats, Top Chef, and Giada at Home. Giada was one of the first shows I watched when I started cooking and baking, and she is a huge inspiration for me to this day. She actually inspired today's recipe.
She did a show a while back that showed viewers how to have fun with their kids in the kitchen. Her Mac and Cheese Cups stood out to me as something I could take and make even healthier for my little girls.
By adding spaghetti squash in place of the noodles, these vegetable-packed cupcakes are a savory treat for both kids and adults. Check out my one-year old munching on the broccoli from one of the cupcakes.
Both my girls adored these and asked for more!
....yummy, sneaky broccoli...hehe.
No-Pasta Mac and Cheese Cupcakes
- 4 t. olive oil divided
- ¼ c. yellow onion chopped fine
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 c. broccoli chopped into bite-size pieces
- ½ c. tomato chopped
- ¼ c. green peas washed and drained
- 2 cups prepared spaghetti squash noodles blotted dry
- 1 egg optional (these will work without the egg, but they hold together better with it)
- 1 c. cheese any kind that you can tolerate (I like extra sharp cheddar or goat cheddar)
- ¼ c. + 3 T. parmesan cheese grated
- 6 T. almond meal
- ½ t. salt
- a few grinds of black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet.
- Add the onion and garlic with a bit of salt, and saute 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the broccoli, and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and peas, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Continue heating the mix until the majority of the moisture is dissolved.
- Turn heat off.
- Stir in the spaghetti squash noodles, making sure that everything is mixed well (it's important that the noodles are dried well, as the cupcakes will bake better and not be soggy).
- Season the mix with salt and pepper.
- Allow the entire mix to cool (this is helped by transferring everything to a bowl).
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the egg (if using).
- Mix in the cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup of the parmesan.
- Pour the egg/cheese mixture into the veggie bowl, and stir everything until well combined.
- Oil a muffin tin using either a cooking spray or an oiled napkin, and sprinkle almond meal (about 1 teaspoon) into each muffin cup to coat it (alternatively, you could also use muffin cups, which I did for some).
- Fill the muffin cups as full as you'd like without them overflowing (I got 9 cupcakes).
- Top each with about 1 teaspoon of almond meal, 1 teaspoon of parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake the cupcakes for 15 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Replace them on the top rack, and bake for another 7 minutes.
- At the end of 7 minutes, crank the oven to 'broil' and let them bake for 1-2 minutes, just until the tops are golden. Be sure to watch them carefully!
- Cool and serve!
Inspired by this recipe
These get a nice golden crust on the outside, while staying creamy and cheesy on the inside...
Healthfully filling, deliciously satisfying, and low carb to boot!
What's your favorite kid-friendly meal?
I'm always on the lookout for new ideas, since my 3-year-old is so hard to please!
Your website and recipes are my go to these days : ) I love them and love that most are so simple to make. I am wondering if you have a recipe for making spagetti squash noodles? I am a little unsure of how to go about making it and do you let them dry before using it in this recipe?
I don't have a post for it, but because I hate pre-cutting the squash, I throw it in the oven WHOLE at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes until I can stab it with a fork. I then let it cool and cut into it as usual. I'm so happy you're enjoying the recipes, and I hope this helps you! 🙂
Oh, and I just blot the noodles dry with a clean towel to remove any extra water. 🙂
I found an easy way to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave. Using a butcher knife I pierce the squash about ten or so times all over the squash. Put about an inch of hot water in a microwaveable bowl. Put the whole squash in the bowl and microwave on high about 20 minutes. Take out of microwave. The squash will be hot! I use my high temperature gloves to hold the squash and slice it longways in half. Spoon out the seeds and use a fork to shred the squash. It is so easy and yum!
These are so yummy. We made them tonight and I swapped out a few of the veges\goods for what we had. I used shredded carrots for broccoli, canned sprouts for tomatoes, corn for green peas and rice noodles for spaghetti squash. I had more leftover than calculated, but these were fantastic. I also topped with a bit of cheese. So they did have pasta for me. The cooking method listed is just perfect. Thou I was careful to top mine with aluminum foil until the broil stage to prevent my cheese from burning to a crisp.
That's great Hannah, I'm so happy you enjoyed them! 🙂
These look delicious! Can't wait to try these. But I think your Nutritional Info tracker goofed. There's absolutely no way something with spaghetti squash broccoli, peas, tomatoes, garlic and onion has 0 carbs, no matter how small the serving. You might want to re-run your stats and update.
Each 'cupcake' has 4.5 grams of carbs, not 0. I think you may be loooking at the trans fat amount. Happy cooking!
Oh, I was (she says blushing. So sorry. Guess my coffee hadn't gone to work yet.
What are spaghetti squash noodles? This sounds delicious!
They are from the vegetable. It's literally a large, yellow gourd that, when baked, elicits noodles! You have to try it! 😀
I agree with the above the comment about missing the Food Network! Honestly, it's the only thing I miss about TV! So being new to Spaghetti Squash - what do I need to do to prepare it? These look fantastic! (Although I think I will leave out the peas and possibly just add more broccoli!)
The way I prepare the squash (since I HATE cutting it) is to stick it in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes or so (until it is easily pierced by a fork). You can also cut it in half first, but I always have trouble, so I do it the lazy way. 🙂
Awesome! I didn't realize you could just stick it in the oven without doing anything to it first. Fantastic. Thank you!
Thank you so much! I do not have either of these tools but will be looking for one and then will try these. Can't wait!!
Lauren, These look amazing and I think my grandkids would really like them, but the stores I have been to do not have the spaghetti squash. Is there some other vegetable that I could use in place of it? It must not be the season for it I guess.
Hi Sandra! Do you own a spiralizer or a julienne peeler? You could make noodles out of a zucchini using either tool. 🙂
Katja @ the Savory Lotus
YUM!! I've been doing all sorts of things with spaghetti squash lately. Was going to make fritters similar to this but this is much more simple that frying in a pan. My little one would love these. Thanks for sharing....
Loriel @ Healthy Roots, Happy Soul
I’d love for you to share this at my blog hop on Tuesday. http://www.healthyrootshappysoul.com/2013/03/tuned-in-tuesday-blog-hop.html
Hope to see you there,
These look so yummy. I have made similar "muffins" using quinoa, but I will have to try it with the squash now. I think leaving out the cheese is fine. To help with binding, maybe some flax seed meal in water? I know that can be an egg substitute.
Thanks, Amber! I wonder how much psyllium. Also, do you use psyllium husk or powder?
Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
I canceled my cable a few years ago, but the ONE thing I miss is my subscription to the Food Network. Giada was one of my very first inspirations as well...long before I ever discovered food blogs, I used to sit and watch show after show taking so many notes!
I love the idea of this recipe! Cheese, veggies, what's not to love? And how awesome that they are little finger food treats because I totally eat like a four year old...um, because I hear that kids really like to eat with their hands and stuff! 😉
My favorite kid-friendly recipe is my PB&J Chicken Fingers...sounds weird, but hey, if chicken nuggets are good and PB&J is good, why not combine BOTH? 😉 http://www.kissmybroccoliblog.com/2013/01/18/kids-are-strange/
If I may...I am guessing these would work well with nutritional yeast for the "cheese" flavor and chia egg or psyllium husk would also work great as the egg sub. psyllium husk binds things together like crazy! Just chiming in. 🙂
Can these be made without egg and cheese? Maybe replace the egg with chia egg to hold together. However, I am allergic to cheese and I do not care for the additives in cheese alternatives like Daiya.
The egg is optional, but, like I said in the recipe, they won't hold together quite as well. If you eat yogurt, that may be a nice substitute as well! As for the cheese, Amber is right about nutritional yeast. I don't like alternative cheeses, as there are so many unnatural additives, so I can't vouch for any of them!