Crockpot Marinara & Spaghetti Squash
Ok, now that Fall is officially here I’m going to be using my crock pot even more! Yes, I know its hard to believe! I just love it because there’s NO FUSS when it comes to cooking. Just dump and cook! Coming home to the aroma of delicious food is enough for anyone to have a guaranteed great night!
So Fall is one of my favorite times of the year! I love the changing season and I LOVE the colors you see in the trees. Its such a magical time of year! On top of that I LOVE the winter squash foods that can now be created and let’s not forget our favorite - Pumpkin!
So I shared a funny story about me making this in a hurry as I usually do or trying to keep my daughter occupied long enough to chop of some veggies and throw it in the pot. Its quite a challenge you know! She happened to be playing quite well on her own for the 10 minutes this took to prep and just as I was getting to the last of the spices, wouldn’t you have it that she came running up to me grabbed my leg while I was pouring out the pepper to which the top came off and everything dumped into the beautifully curated stewing sauce! I almost died. But then I decided to salvage any hope it had left my scooping out the pile that was most easily accessible. Well, it salvaged it! The final product was actually quite amazing even with that major added kick!
So getting to the HOW of the recipe. First, I want to say the spaghetti squash was done simultaneously with the sauce but NOT TOGETHER! I baked the spaghetti squash in the oven because I wanted the sauce to really stew for a few hours alone. Therefore, the crock pot didn’t do the entire meal but it can be given the credit of at least 70% of the meal, ok or even 80%!
Since I do not eat meat and I was fine with the filling nature of this meal so I kept mine with just marinara and once the marinara was done I removed 70% of it and left about 30% to cook two chicken breasts in - genius idea! It added so much flavor to the chicken ad my hubby and the baby sitter loved it! lol Yes, on occasion the babysitter gets home cooked meals! You have to find a way to keep that sitter forever!
So first, its just about the sauce. Really letting the juices mold together and marinate to the point where its the perfect balance of savory, sweet and a bit of spice! So start by turning on the crock pot to high so you can add the oil and garlic to start to simmer and fill the entire pot before adding anything to the mix.
Let’s start with the ingredient list below:
1- 8 oz can of Muir Glen Organic tomato sauce
1- 14.5 oz can of Organic diced and no salt added tomatoes (or chop your own)
1 tsp white miso paste
4 tbsp grapeseed oil (two for the squash and 2 for the marinara)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 cup chopped jarred or canned artichoke hearts
1/2 cup chopped organic crimini mushrooms
1 cup water
*2 - 4 chicken breasts
1 spaghetti squash
Turn on the crock pot to high. Add in your oil and chopped garlic. Let it simmer and melt.
Once your base layer has heated up, add in the rest of your ingredients: diced tomatoes, miso, sea salt, cumin, basil, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and water. Stir and let sit in the crockpot on high for approx 2 hours or 4 on low.
As mentioned above, when the sauce is done remove about 70% of it and set it aside. The remaining 30% keep and threw in a couple chicken breasts and let stew for another 1.5 hours or so. Set on warm and keep it until you’re ready to serve!
While you’re cooking the sauce you can preheat the oven to 350. Cut squash in half down lengthwise and remove the seeds from the center.
Place on flat cookie sheet and add your 2 tbsp of oil and pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes or until you can touch the shell and its soft to the touch.
Remove from heat and scrape out the squash with a fork to get it all. Top with your marinara and enjoy!