Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Today I bring you a MOST delicious recipe that I found on SkinnyTaste… Gina has some really good things on her website if anyone who likes to cook healthy food has never checked her out! She includes Weight Watchers points on each recipe, and develops and shares weekly meal plans. THAT is a lot of hard work! I’ve found plenty of awesome recipes from her that have entered the rotation, and this one is at the top of the list.

I always say that I could quit eating meat if it wasn’t for sausage.

Something about it just keeps me coming back. Perhaps one day we’ll break up, but for right now, we are in a loving relationship, thank you very much.

Yes, Sammy is aware. He’s willing to share in this case.

This recipe I’ve made two ways: casserole-style, and served inside the spaghetti squash skins in “boats”. Both are equally delicious and it’s really only your container that changes.

Baked Spaghetti Squash Boats

The boats look pretty, but I think the casserole is easier. I find it hard it locate spaghetti squash at our grocery store that are smaller than say, MY HEAD. So I can’t ever finish one, and we save half the boats until the next day when they can end up looking pretty sloppy after being in the fridge.

If you’re a person who cares about that sort of thing. Which I’m not.

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole 1

Whichever way strikes your fancy!

Lots of people have been switching to using spaghetti squash in the place of actual pasta to cut back on carbs and calories. To compare, a one cup serving of squash has 42 calories while the same serving size of pasta has 221. The carbs ring in at 10 grams for squash and a whopping 42 grams for pasta. Spaghetti squash also has a nice dose of beta carotene, the same stuff found in carrots and sweet potatoes that benefits your eyesight, skin, and immune system. Superfood! And it goes great with a plethora of different flavors, sweet, salty AND savory.

Spaghetti squash can be cooked in the microwave if you’re short on time, but I personally think it’s so much better roasted.

If you have ever tried cutting a spaghetti squash before and didn’t know what you were doing, congratulations, me too! That’s like a freakin death wish though, because they slide around and don’t tend to cooperate. I even had a picture (believe me, I searched for it just for you guys but I couldn’t find it) of Sammy trying to cut one in half with a machete. This is real life, people. You just don’t see this everyday.

But I have educated myself and watched some videos and there is a really easy way to do this.

Cut off the ends first! You may have to do what Jon Snow told Arya to do with Needle, and “stick ’em with the pointy end” first (Game of Thrones reference for anyone who doesn’t watch). Drive the pointy end of the knife in there until you can easily chop one end off. Do the same with the other, and then stand the squash up to halve it; now you have a nice flat surface to do this. No machetes required!

Slicing Spaghetti Squash

Slice the squash in half alllllll the way down making it as even as you can. Then scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon.

Sliced Spaghetti Squash

Next you’ll roast the squash and allow it to cool. I am not the most patient person ever, and I usually stick mine in the freezer until they’re manageable. Meanwhile, brown the sausage of your choosing and make the marinara sauce. The recipe calls for chicken sausage which is a healthy option. I have used this, and spicy ground pork sausage, and both have been really good.

But then again, I’m really obsessed with sausage. Use whatever you like!

Once the spaghetti squash is cool enough, you will either scoop out the strands and make your boats with them, or you can easily scoop them all into a casserole dish and go from there. Whichever method you choose gets layered with sauce and a mixture of cheese and is baked to golden-brown mouthwatering perfection.

Salud!

Print Recipe
Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole
A versatile recipe using roasted spaghetti squash, homemade marinara sauce, and browned sausage, topped and baked with a mixture of mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta cheeses. Serve in boats or casserole-style!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Ingredients:
For the Sauce
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Ingredients:
For the Sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds and membrane. Season lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper then turn the cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake 45 mins to an hour depending on the size of your squash.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 2 Tbsp. of parmesan and the basil or parsley.
  3. In a large deep sauté pan, heat oil and add onions and garlic; sauté on medium-low for about 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces until browned and cooked through. When cooked, add the crushed tomatoes and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add the bay leaf and cover, reducing heat to low. Simmer 20-30 minutes, then add in fresh basil at the very end, and remove the bay leaf.
  4. When spaghetti squash is cooked, let it cool keeping the oven on. If you microwaved the squash, preheat the oven to 400° F.
  5. When the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove flesh which will come out in spaghetti looking strands. Reserve the shells if you plan to make these into boats. Drain the squash on a paper towel to soak up any excess liquid, then toss with half the sauce. Place the spaghetti squash back into the shells or in a 7x11" baking dish. Place shells on a baking sheet.
  6. Top each with remaining sauce, 1 Tbsp. ricotta cheese mixture, and 2 Tbsp. Mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until everything is hot and the cheese is melted.
Recipe Notes

You could add sautéed spinach, grated carrots, diced zucchini or whatever you have on hand for additional vegetables. I've added spinach to the sauce and it was great, not to mention supplied plenty of added fiber.

If you wanted to use your pasta sauce of choice right out of a jar, you could supplement this instead of making your own if you're short on time or supplies.

Use any meat you wish, or go meatless for a vegetarian option! The choice really is yours 🙂

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One thought on “Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole

  1. Deborah Sweeney

    Looks yummy!

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