Calling all pasta lovers looking to make healthy changes in the new year! This delicious low carb Spaghetti Squash Casserole is a great alternative to traditional pasta, packed with vegetables but you’d never know it! Tasty, flavorful and oh so comforting on a cold winter day.
Hey there! Hope the new year is going well for you so far. It’s the last week of school break here, and we’ve been enjoying play dates, fun outings and cooking with my littles.
Today I’m excited to share with you Spaghetti Squash Casserole recipe that I’ve had on a weekly rotation lately. It’s perfectly comforting on a cold winter day, and the prep time + effort is minimal. Even better? –>> You will reap health benefits from adding this dish to your menu.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole is a perfect detox meal after a few weeks of Holiday indulgences. Your digestive system will thank you for a little break with this simple meal.
Get this. One cup of cooked spaghetti made from white, enriched noodles, contains approximately 220 calories, compared to only 42 calories in one cup of cooked spaghetti squash (source). Less calories and more vitamins and minerals? — Sign me up!
You probably wouldn’t think of spaghetti squash as a nutritious food, compared to popular broccoli and carrots. Yet it is a great source of Omega-3 fats, Vitamin A, potassium, folate and host of other vital nutrients (source). It’s packed with fiber helping you feel full longer without all the calories.
All these amazing nutrients in spaghetti squash work to maintain proper muscle and nerve function, regulate blood pressure, assist in bone and tissue heath, and prevent inflammation. So load up your plate and enjoy all the benefits!
Hilarious but for the longest time I was convinced that producing spaghetti out of a squash required an enormous effort. What mom has time for all that fancy stuff I thought?
It all changed when I tasted the most delicious dish my mother in law made for Christmas one year. She swore it was quick and easy. And then I tasted another meal at True Food Kitchen in Scottsdale.
My interest in spaghetti squash has peaked and I knew I had to re-create all the yummy meals. The recipe I am sharing with you today is a True Food Kitchen copy cat and it will rock your world!
There are only a few ingredients: zucchini, onion, spaghetti squash, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. The key here is a quality marinara sauce. I’ve tried store varieties and found that Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce has the best flavor (and ingredients!).
Many websites suggest baking the squash in the oven and I still do it when there’s time. But for this recipe I usually pop it in the microwave for 3 minute intervals turning each time for a total of 9-12 minutes depending on the size.
Make sure to pierce the squash with a fork a few times to avoid an explosion. It happened to me once and let’s just say the little spaghetti strings covered more kitchen surface than I thought was possible.
While the squash is cooking away in the microwave, I shred the zucchini and saute chopped onions. My grocery store sells frozen chopped onions, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I love this short cut.
When the squash is turning soft, it’s ready.
If you are a little intimidated by spaghetti squash, like I used to – fear not. I’m here to tell you it’s easier than you think! Once cooked, the inside flesh pulls out of the shell in long strands, resembling spaghetti pasta. Hence the name 🙂
Let it cool for a bit, then shred with a fork.
I mix all the ingredients along with the marinara in a large bowl, then pour into a casserole dish.
For baking I usually end up using my large dish plus some leftovers go into a small cast iron pan or another little dish. I like to freeze a part of the casserole for later, so this works out great.
On a side note, who loves colorful casserole dishes? I’ve been eyeing this Le Creuset set for a while now. So pretty!
Bake the casserole at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, then top with sliced (and I prefer also chopped) mozzarella cheese.
For a finishing put the casserole back in the oven for another 10 minutes and let the cheese melt into a gooey goodness.
For a restaurant quality meal, garnish the dish with freshly chopped basil leaves and grated Parmesan.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole comes out smelling like a fancy Italian dinner! The squash absorbs all the marinara flavors and the gooey melted cheese on top will have you coming back for more. This recipe totally cured my cravings for pasta and I now have it on a weekly rotation.
I love it as is main dish but if you like to add a protein, the casserole would go fabulously with meatballs, grilled sausage or chicken. For a vegetarian option, skip the cheese.
Here is the recipe! Print now or Pin for later. Hope you enjoy!Print
Easy Spaghetti Squash Casserole
- Pierce the squash with a fork 3-4 times. Microwave for 3 minutes, then rotate and microwave for another 3 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times.
- While the squash is cooking, saute chopped onions in butter on medium heat for 5-6 minutes stirring frequently.
- Shred the zucchini and put it in a large bowl. Add the sauteed onion.
- Let cooked squash cool for a few minutes. Carefully cut in half and shred with a fork into the bowl.
- Add marinara sauce and mix well.
- Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
- Spread sliced mozzarella cheese on top of the casserole and bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional).
- 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
- 2 small zucchini
- 1 medium onion
- 1 jar Marinara sauce
- 8 oz mozzarella
- 1 Tbsp butter
- fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional