Flavorful roasted spaghetti squash boats topped with a hearty meat sauce. This delicious stuffed spaghetti squash is a healthy, low carb version of an Italian classic.
Now don’t get me wrong…nothing beats a bowl of cooked pasta topped with homemade spaghetti sauce or bolognese. But when I’m trying to eat healthier, this recipe comes pretty close! It definitely hits the spot when I’m craving Italian food. You won’t even miss the pasta!
I’m always on the hunt for healthy dinner ideas, and this spaghetti squash with meat sauce is a new favorite. Swapping the squash for noodles is an easy way to turn a classic Italian dish into a healthier, low carb option that still has the same delicious flavor. It’s perfect if you’re completing a round of Whole 30 or trying to lower your carb or gluten intake.
And let’s be honest…who doesn’t love something that’s stuffed?! Serving them as spaghetti squash boats is not only fun to eat, but easy on the clean up too. They have the perfect ratio of “noodles” to sauce and are jam packed with flavor in every bite.
How to make spaghetti squash boats
- SQUASH. Slice the squash in half vertically, then brush the insides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a lined baking sheet with the insides facing up and bake for 15 minutes. Then flip upside down (so the outer shell faces up) and bake for 20 to 30 more minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on the pan for about 5 minutes. Then use a fork to scrape the strands of spaghetti up from the center. Find more tips for how to cook spaghetti squash.
- MEAT SAUCE. While the squash roasts, make the meat sauce. Sauté the onions and garlic in a large pan until soft, then add in the ground beef and seasonings. Cook until the meat has browned, then mix in the marinara and diced tomatoes. Let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes.
- ASSEMBLY. Place the squash boat on a plate, then ladle the meat sauce in the center cavity. Add a sprinkle of fresh basil or parmesan if desired. Then enjoy with a fork!
- Feel free to use ground turkey instead of beef. You can also replace the beef with sausage or use a mixture of both.
- Instead of making a meat sauce, you can stuff the quash with marinara and homemade meatballs (or turkey meatballs).
- For a cheesy top, stuff the squash with the meat sauce and then sprinkle some grated cheese on top. Then place the squash in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- You don’t have to serve this meal in the spaghetti squash boats. You can remove the squash strands from the shell with a fork, then serve in a bowl with meat sauce on top.
There are plenty of other ways to make stuffed spaghetti squash. Any of the below combinations taste delicious!
- Pesto: Shredded chicken, basil pesto, mozzarella
- Alfredo: Alfredo sauce, chicken, parmesan, fresh basil
- BBQ: BBQ chicken, mozzarella, red onion, cilantro
- Buffalo: Buffalo chicken, mozzarella, red onion
- Mexican: Taco meat or salsa chicken, cheese, guacamole and salsa
More healthy dinner recipes:
- Stuffed sweet potatoes
- Turkey meatloaf
- One pan balsamic chicken
- Taco lettuce wraps
- Pizza chicken roll ups
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- 2 spaghetti squash
- 2-4 teaspoons olive oil
- S&P , to taste
For serving: Parmesan, Basil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the squash in half vertically. If you're having a hard time cutting it, score it with a knife and microwave for a few minutes.
- Brush the insides with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes. Then flip upside down (so the outer shell faces up) and bake another 20-30 minutes, or until the inside easily comes up with a fork.
- Remove pan from oven and allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes. Then take a fork to scrape the strands up from the center.
- Add olive oil to frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until they become soft (about 3-5 min). Then add garlic and cook a minute longer. Next add in ground beef and seasonings. Cook meat until browned.
- Add in marinara sauce and diced tomatoes and let simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes.
- Ladle the sauce directly on top of the spaghetti squash boat and add fresh basil and parmesan if desired.