Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Updated April 24, 2017
large spaghetti squash, baked
cup fresh basil, chopped
oz thick bacon, cooked crispy
oz gruyere or Swiss cheese
teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Slice squash in half longwise. Bake squash, skin side up, at 350°F for 50-60 minutes, until very soft. Let cool and pre-heat oven to 375°F.
Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and a pinch of salt. Let tomatoes cook until they get soft. Use a spoon to press on them and burst them open.
Continue to cook tomatoes down for 10 minutes. Add crushed red pepper if you're using it.
Once tomatoes are thick, turn off heat and add fresh basil. Stir to combine.
Bake bacon on a baking sheet at 350°F for 15 minutes so it stays nice and crispy. It works best if you can cook the bacon on a wire rack.
Once squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds and use a fork to lightly scrape out the inside flesh of the squash, which should form strands that look like spaghetti.
Mix squash flesh with ricotta cheese in a small bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Lightly butter a 2.5 quart baking dish. Then layer in half of the spaghetti squash mixture.
Top squash with tomato sauce and bacon strips. Then cover with other half of squash mixture. Top with grated Gruyere or swiss cheese.
Bake casserole at 375°F for 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately!
More About This Recipe
- Let’s face it. Most veggies in the store can be a bit boring. Nobody gets excited about broccoli or celery.Even the more exotic looking veggies (different colored radishes, for example) are still pretty standard. Don’t get me wrong. I eat all of these delicious veggies and love them. But I’m not sure that I would describe them as fun.Enter spaghetti squash, hands down the most fun gourd on the market. It’s seriously a magical thing. I dare you to make one and not smile when you start shredding the squash flesh and it somehow turns into spaghetti strands.It’s just cool.I’ve cooked spaghetti squash a lot of different ways over the years (because it’s fun) but this spaghetti squash casserole is one of my favorite ways to prepare it.Talking about the casserole now though is getting a bit ahead. First you have to master the art of cutting one of these things in half!This is always kind of awkward, but this is seriously the hardest part of the recipe so just work through it.The easiest way I’ve found to cut one in half is to start with my biggest knife (10 inch chef’s knife) right in the center. Push down on the knife so it stabs into the squash. Then, once the knife is all the way into the squash, push it down and it will slice half of the squash open.Repeat on the other side and you should be done.Once your squash is halved, bake it (skin-side up) for about 60 minutes at 350 degrees.
- After it comes out of the oven, let it cool until you can handle it. Then scrape out the seeds and use a fork to start lightly shredding the flesh.This is the fun part!You could use cottage cheese instead of ricotta without a problem for this recipe.There’s nothing especially hard about this recipe, but the end result is a pretty impressive casserole. People will think it’s some kind of crazy baked pasta dish until they try it. The squash actually makes it a much lighter dish.It’s fun, reasonably healthy and just plain tasty.Next time you see a spaghetti squash, grab it!
Southwest Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Southwest Spaghetti Squash Casserole is loaded with chicken, black beans, corn, enchilada sauce and topped with gooey melted cheese! A delicious and easy to make casserole that’s gluten-free and a lower carb alternative to pasta or rice.
It’s been a minute since I made a new recipe using spaghetti squash or even eaten it. I’ve had one sitting in my pantry for probably a month and finally decided I better use it before it went bad. Instead of stuffing each half of the squash with a delicious filling, I decided to make it more like a casserole or skillet recipe, which you all seem to love.
Since Southwest cuisine is high on my list of favorites it only seemed fitting that I make a Southwest Spaghetti Squash Casserole. You guys, this casserole does not disappoint and there’s nothing to feel guilty about while eating it!
Casseroles often get a bad reputation for being heavy and full of ingredients that are questionable, canned soup is definitely questionable in my opinion. It’s jiggly and makes a gross slurping, burping, suction noise as it falls out of the can. Why?! And how can it be shelf stable for so dang long?!
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about jiggly canned soups in this Southwest Spaghetti Squash Casserole or any questionable ingredients. What you will find are black beans, chicken, corn, onion, a jalapeño, enchilada sauce, a couple spices that are staples in Southwest cuisine, the spaghetti squash and of course I had to top it with some cheese.
Once the spaghetti squash has roasted, the rest of the preparation takes place in a skillet and then the whole thing is baked in the oven. Minimal dish washing is a must when I’m cooking. If you don’t have time to bake it, simply add the cheese on top and loosely cover the skillet with a lid or piece of foil until the cheese melts.
The Southwest Spaghetti Squash Casserole is great for meal prep, but I don’t recommend freezing the leftovers. Spaghetti squash isn’t the most freezer friendly vegetable.
- 4 cups sliced yellow squash
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 35 buttery round crackers, crushed
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Place squash and onion in a large skillet over medium heat. Pour in a small amount of water. Cover, and cook until squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well, and place in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, mix together cracker crumbs and cheese. Stir half of the cracker mixture into the cooked squash and onions. In a small bowl, mix together eggs and milk, then add to squash mixture. Stir in 1/4 cup melted butter, and season with salt and pepper. Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cracker mixture, and dot with 2 tablespoons butter.
- cooking spray
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- ¼ cup chopped fresh oregano
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Pierce spaghetti squash in several places with a knife. Microwave on medium-high, rotating every 5 minutes, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from microwave. Let cool until easily handled, 5 to 10 minutes.
Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Scrape insides of squash into spaghetti strands with a fork. Transfer to the greased baking dish.
Pour tomatoes, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil, garlic, and salt over spaghetti squash mix well. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese on top.
Need More Vegetarian Recipes?
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for the baking dish
- 1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoon flour
- 1 1/2 cups (5 ounces) grated Jarlsberg or baby Swiss cheese
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely grated Parmesan
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Brush or spray a shallow 2-quart baking dish with oil.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place on the baking sheet with the cut sides down. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife.
Remove from the oven and turn the squash so the cut sides are facing up. Return the squash to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes to dry out any excess liquid. (The squash won’t necessarily look dry.) Remove and let cool.
In a large skillet set over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened.
Stir in the garlic, red pepper slices, and sage. Cook and stir for another minute. Transfer to a large bowl.
In a blender (immersion or countertop), pulse the eggs, milk, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper 3 to 4 times, or until the mixture is smooth.
With a fork, flake the squash strands into the bowl on top of the onions. Add 1 teaspoon salt and mix until combined. Add the egg mixture, grated Jarlsberg cheese, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan to the squash. Stir to combine.
Transfer the squash mixture to the baking dish and sprinkle it with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving as a side dish or a vegetarian main.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Spaghetti squash casserole is here to make your vegetarian casserole dreams come true.
I cooke a lot of vegetarian food, and I&rsquoll be honest, casseroles are one of the hardest things to make meatless. This one is special because it combines the heartiness of spaghetti squash with even more veggies and a bit of cheese to create something scoopable and main dish worthy.
Spaghetti squash doesn&rsquot taste exactly like regular spaghetti, but when paired with tons of veggies it comes pretty darn close. This spaghetti squash casserole is a great little detox when you&rsquore regretting eating too many chocolate covered pretzels or light dinner if you&rsquore planning a trip to pilates and don&rsquot want to feel all bloated when you&rsquore trying to sit up without lifting your legs (seriously, try it, it&rsquos impossible&hellip for me).
This easy squash casserole is vegetarian, gluten-free, and easily made vegan by leaving off the cheese. I think it makes a tasty addition to any vegetarian (or, altered, vegan) Thanksgiving spread.
The casserole can get a little watery as the squash bakes the second time, but I don&rsquot mind it because it keeps the squash soft (I hate crunchy squash!). If you don&rsquot like the extra moisture in your squash casserole recipe, simply squeeze and drain the spaghetti squash after shredding it, before adding it to the other ingredients.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
My favorite season is here, which means I’ll be cooking squash-and-pumpkin everything for the next three months. I’m so excited! Squash makes me happy because it signals to fall in my mind. This spaghetti squash casserole made with ground beef is the absolute perfect way to welcome the season.
This casserole is easy to make, and if there are just two of you, it’ll feed you for days. You’ll think about freezing leftovers, but it’s so good you’ll end up wanting to eat it for every meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it’s done, and when it is done, you’ll be sad about it. I know from experience.
Spaghetti squash is a versatile fruit (yes, it’s a fruit). Some say the squash’s flavor is a little bland – but I think that’s a good thing. That means you’re not limited in what you can do with this squash it can take on the flavors of whatever other spices or sauces you are cooking with.
When you cook this type of squash, it produces slightly crunchy spaghetti-like strands that you can use in any recipe calling for noodles – for example, Chicken Spaghetti (paleo), Paleo Drunken Noodles, or Paleo Kheer (dessert)! This squash is also a great way to sneak in fiber and make one pound of meat stretch for several meals (see my Breakfast Cups!). Can you tell that I use this squash a lot?
You can cook spaghetti squash in several different ways (check out my post on how to cook spaghetti squash). I usually cook my squash in the oven because it gives the squash more of a roasted flavor. I cut it in half (or I get Roby to do this), scoop out the seeds, and put the squash on a baking dish cut side down. Sometimes I’ll put a little oil, salt, and pepper on the halves. Then, I’ll pop it in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes or until I can easily glide a fork or knife into the squash (roasting time depends on the size of your squash).
Growing up in an Indian household, I’m used to food having a lot of flavors. I’m not saying I need food to be spicy, but if it’s bland, in my book, that = boring. Because spaghetti squash is bland on its own, it’s important to add aromatics to this dish.
I think you’ll really like this casserole. It’s nicely spiced, and it’ll keep you feeling full and warm this fall. Here are my 10 favorite ways to eat spaghetti squash in case you are looking for more ideas.
How to Make Spaghetti Squash Casserole
There is a full recipe card below.
- Cook and prep squash: Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. The squash may seem undercooked, but I promise it will soften up while cooling down. Overcooked spaghetti squash is soggy (and you don’t want that). Once cooled, separate strands with a fork.
- Make meat sauce: First, saute garlic and onion in a large non-stick skillet. Add ground turkey and cook until brown. Stir in mushroom soup, tomato sauce and cornstarch and simmer until thickened.
- Combine: Mix ground turkey mixture with spaghetti squash, breadcrumbs and cheese. Spread into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
- Make topping: Mix melted coconut oil/butter, cheese and breadcrumbs and sprinkle over casserole.
- Bake: For 35 minutes at 350 degrees F. For a golden crust, broil for another 5 minutes.
Shortcuts in the Kitchen
I confess… I am lazy… well, I am BUSY like most of you are I am sure! Over the past year, I have had my hands full with two cute little boys. In some ways, it is easier now that my youngest is one years old, but in other ways, it’s even harder! Now I have 2 little ones to keep out of harm’s way, feed, bath, love …. My cup runneth other! I love my little guys and I love cooking for them, however, I am experimenting with ways to cut my cooking time down to a minimal, and cutting my dirty dishes down as much as possible. I feel like I spend ALL DAY in the kitchen and I would rather spend it with my boys.
One of my favorite shortcuts has been using more frozen veggies. I will use fresh when in season but for the rest of the time, frozen is the way to go! My freezer is stocked with diced onions, bell peppers, green beans, broccoli, spinach and sliced carrots. Having these veggies in the freezer has really cut my prep and cooking time down significantly! Also, no more cutting before I can start cooking which also means no dirty knife or cutting board!
I have also determined that frozen veggies cook quicker than fresh. Freezing vegetables breaks down the cell walls which sounds like a bad thing but for me, it’s not. This just speeds up the cooking time!
You can use fresh onions and bell pepper in this recipe but save yourself a little time and get the frozen!
Tips And Variations
- Sub ground beef with ground Italian sausage, pork, turkey, or chicken. Opt for high quality meats that are grass-fed or pasture raised.
- If you aren’t able to make homemade meat sauce, use jarred sauce instead. You can use a marinara or pasta sauce. Look for sauces without added sugars, artificial ingredients, gluten, and canola or soybean oil. If you are Paleo or Whole30, look for Paleo-certified, Non-GMO, or Whole30 approved. My favorite sauces are Primal Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce, and Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce.
- Store leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
- To make ahead, roast the spaghetti squash and shred it into a container. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days, and combine it with the meat sauce when the casserole is ready to be made.