I saw this Crockpot Spaghetti Squash, Meat, Tomatoes recipe on Instagram the other day, and I just had to try it! It’s essentially spaghetti squash bolognese, and I love some spaghetti bolognese. It’s something Mom used to make all the time when I was growing up.
Spaghetti squash is one of those things I mean to try but never have gotten around to it. Add to that an Italian flavor and the ease of using my slow cooker, and there was no way I could pass this up. I’m finally going to find out what spaghetti squash is like, and I’m so chuffed!
This crockpot spaghetti squash, meat, tomatoes recipe is an easy & healthy one-pot meal. Spaghetti squash, your preferred ground meat, tomatoes cook together in this tasty recipe that can be tailored to your liking.
My pre-shopping kitchen check showed me I had several items for this recipe on hand. My pantry had Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cooking oil. That left me with 4 items to shop for, and they were all easy to find.
Since I have never made anything with spaghetti squash, I wasn’t sure my usual grocery store would carry it. But I did check online before I went, and they had it whole and halved. I chose a whole squash, as you can see. It was 4.39 pounds and cost me $6.54 (1.49 per pound).
I always tell my husband what’s on the menu each week, and I ask him to choose which meat to use. He was all for ground beef. I had some ground turkey in the freezer, but I went with ground beef. It’s just tastier. But I did make this recipe again with the second half of squash and the ground turkey. Both versions were great!
The beauty of using a slow cooker is that it does a lot of the work for you. There is little or no time spent standing at your stove.
Prepping & Cooking
This Crockpot Spaghetti Squash, Meat, Tomatoes did have a few minutes at the stove to brown the meat. I used my largest skillet and had it done fairly quickly. Tip: The pan and all that meat were a little heavy, so I used a colander to drain off the fat and juices. It’s so much easier on my wrist!
I had the ceramic crock next to the sink, so it was easy to pour the meat right in. I had been working on prepping the other ingredients while the meat browned, but I didn’t have them all done when it finished.
It took me a few more minutes to get the spaghetti squash cut in half and seeded. I’m not gonna lie: it wasn’t easy to cut it in half even with a sharp knife. Tip: My serrated bread knife actually worked better for this job than my chef’s knife. But I did manage to get it done, and scoping out the seeds and whatnot was easy to do.
Finally, I was ready to assemble my meal in the slow cooker. I began layering on the ingredients in the order listed and finished with the squash. lt was ready a mere 2 hours later. Pretty fast for a slow cooker!
While it cooked, I thought about how I was going to get the spaghetti squash out of the slow cooker to shred. Tip: In the end, I used 2 pairs of tongs to place it onto a plate covered in paper towels. The paper towels kept the squash from moving around as I scraped out the flesh with a fork. It was like buttah, so it only took me a few minutes to scrape and mix it back in with the meat and tomato mixture.
This recipe lists 10 minutes of prep time, 4 hours of cooking time, and a total time of 4 hours and 10 minutes. I came in way below that because I chose the shortest cooking time.
The recipe gives the option of 2-3 hours on high or 4-6 hours on low. I simply adore that as it makes my life easier when I’m struggling! Here’s how my time was spent on my Crockpot Spaghetti Squash, Meat, Tomatoes:
- 16 minutes to prep
- 2 hours to cook
- 4 minutes to shred and mix
- 2 hours 20 minutes total
My prep time was a total of 20 minutes, and I’m sure that was because I struggled with having the spaghetti squash. It was a new experience, so I think that’s to be expected.
Next time I will go with the packaged spaghetti squash half to speed things up, make it a little easier, and reduce waste. I’m not sure what I would do with the other half under normal circumstances, and I would hate for it to end up in the trash.