I’m doing it again. Each year as the cold air blows in and busy holiday schedules fill the calendar, I spy my crockpot in the back corner cabinet and vow to become in Crockpot Queen. The simple appliance could become my version of the Jetson’s maid robot, Rosie. I’ll just plug it into the wall and let it do all the work while I’m out. When we return from work, the house will be filled with welcoming, mouthwatering aromas and dinner will be just a serving spoon away.

Filed together on my cookbook shelf are a few bibles of slow cooker cuisine. Many pages are marked but not tattered. Why hasn’t my action matched my enthusiasm in past years to catapult me full tilt into the world of crockpot cooking? Well, as much as I want to love the recipes, they often turn into a sloppy mess. Or, I’ve found the bottom burned, the whole thing overcooked, or the flavors not quite right. Probably, I just haven’t mastered the technique and timing yet.

This year, I came across this Pizza-stuffed Spaghetti Recipe and it was the spark that reignited my enthusiasm to dust off the slow cooker. Hope at Slow Cooker Adventures has a new book, Gluten-Free Slow Cooker (Fair Winds Press, 2015), and this is one of her recipes. The idea of full halves of spagetti squash make me think that the whole dish won’t be a sloppy mess. And, the “pizza” part of the equation will help me sell it to the kids!

If you have favorite, foolproof crockpot recipes or tips and tricks, I’d love to hear them. Perhaps this will be my year… maybe this winter my slow cooker cookbooks will get tattered and stained with all the delicious recipes that will feed my family with ease.

Pizza-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

These little boats of pizza goodness are a fun way to spice up your usual dinner “sides.” With all
of the tastiness of pizza, but with the healthier twist of spaghetti squash, your family will fall in
love with this super-creative side dish.

1 medium to large spaghetti squash
15 ounces (425 g) pizza sauce
¼ cup (35 g) grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup (30 g) gluten-free bread crumbs
1/3 cup (30 g) turkey pepperoni, diced, plus 12 to 16 whole pieces
½ cup (60 g) shredded mozzarella, divided

Spray your crock with nonstick cooking spray.

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds and “guts.” Place the squash halves
into your slow cooker(s).

In a bowl, mix together the pizza sauce with the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and diced
pepperoni. Gently pour the mixture evenly into both squash halves. Top each half with the whole
pieces of pepperoni and the mozzarella cheese.

Cover the crock and cook on LOW for 4 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours. When it’s time to
serve, gently scrape the squash with a fork to make it “spaghetti” up for you.

RECOMMENDED SLOW COOKER SIZE:
5 to 7 quart (5 to 7 L) Note: You may need to
use two slow cookers—one for each half of squash, depending on the size and shape of the
squash that you choose.

YIELD:
6 servings