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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

These Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats are a healthy, homemade and low-carb weeknight dinner that gives you that same cheesy, saucy, meaty lasagna appeal. Serve it up during spaghetti squash season for a golden, Italian-inspired meal any night of the week.

spaghetti squash halves filled with meat, sauce and cheese on baking sheet

Why you’ll love this spaghetti squash recipe

It’s like healthy spaghetti! I like to think of spaghetti squash as the perfect vegetable substitute for carb-heavy spaghetti. It gives me the same sensation and interactive twirl as pasta, without the added carbs that, let’s face it, slow us all down. Plus, spaghetti squash is packed with tons more nutrition, which we will talk about a bit later. A great option when you’re craving lasagna or spaghetti, but want something a little lighter.

Perfect for spaghetti squash season! Fun fact – spaghetti squash is available all year round, but its peak season begins in early fall and lasts throughout the winter. And since I am always craving heartier fare during the cooler months, this makes it the perfect recipe to serve during those long, cooler nights.

A low-carb weekday dinner treat! I don’t know about you, but if I can get a lasagna-esque dinner baked and on the table in less than an hour, that’s good enough for me. Unlike lasagna, which is a labor of love, these little guys get a lot of help from the oven, which means I can cook the meat sauce while the noodles become nice and tender. And if you cook the spaghetti squash in advance, you’re already one step ahead.

spaghetti squash halves filled with meat, sauce and cheese on baking sheet

Ingredients for baked spaghetti squash

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Spicy Italian sausage
  • Jarred marinara sauce
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Basil

onion, basil, garlic, spaghetti squash, ricotta, ground sausage, marinara, parmesan

How to make spaghetti squash lasagna recipe

  1. Par-cook squash: Pierce spaghetti squash with a fork all around the outside of the squash. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 3 minutes. Let cool for five minutes.
  2. Prep the equipment: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. 
  3. Bake squash: With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. Rub flesh sides with a light drizzle of olive oil and rub with garlic cloves. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until squash can easily be shredded off with a fork. 
  4. Shred the squash noodles: Let squash cool for 10 minutes and shred the insides and set aside in a separate bowl. Should yield about 4-5 cups of shredded squash. 
  5. Cook the sausage: While the squash is baking, begin to prepare the Italian sausage marinara mixture. In a large saute pan, add olive oil and onion and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add in the ground sausage and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook onions and sausage for 8-10 minutes, or until sausage is cooked through. Drain any excess grease out of the pan. 
  6. Finish the meat sauce: Add the marinara sauce into the Italian sausage and the shredded insides of the spaghetti squash. Mix sausage, spaghetti squash and marinara sauce together and bring mixture to a light simmer. Cook mixture for 5-8 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  7. Fill the squash: Arrange the hollow spaghetti squashes on a large baking sheet and adjust the oven to broil. Spoon mixture evenly into the hollowed-out spaghetti squash.
  8. Top with cheese: Dollop the tops of the squashes with ricotta cheese and sprinkle evenly with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. 
  9. Broil: Broil for 5-10 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and brown. 
  10. Finish and serve: Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!

six grid photo preparing spaghetti squash lasagna boats

 

How to cut a spaghetti squash

After a ton of trial and error, I finally discovered the best way to cut a spaghetti squash is to first microwave it. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Pierce each spaghetti squash all over with a fork – this helps steam to release.
  2. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 3 minutes. You can do two at a time or in two batches, depending on the size of your microwave.
  3. Cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Lay the squash on a cutting board and slice off the stem. Then, cut in half lengthwise.
  5. Use a spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the seeds inside of each half.

How to spot a ripe spaghetti squash: Look for squash with a golden to dark yellowish skin that is very thick and hard. When you slice the squash in half, it should be bright yellow. If there are any signs of discoloration or the texture is mushy, the squash has gone bad.

Spaghetti squash nutrition facts

Did you know spaghetti squash is packed full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and just so happens to be low-carb? One serving of spaghetti squash (about 1 cup) has only 7g of carbs and is high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and antioxidants.

spaghetti squash halves filled with meat, sauce and cheese on baking sheet

 

Storage and reheating instructions

The stuffed squash will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing the squash boats as the squash will become watery and mushy.

Reheating Instructions: Place in a 350 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through. Alternatively, place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high in 1-minute increments, until the squash is warmed through.

Recipe variations

  • Homemade sausage: Feel free to swap out the ground Italian sausage for plain ground turkey, chicken, pork or beef and jazz it up with 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon each garlic and onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  • Vegetarian: Swap out the meat for 1-2 cans of chickpeas or white cannellini beans that have been rinsed and drained. Season just as you would the meat with the spices mentioned above.
  • Greens: Add one 10-ounce package of frozen spinach, drained and squeezed out as much as possible, along with the meat sauce.
  • Cheese: Add another level of flavor by replacing the mozzarella with smoked mozzarella, fontina or provolone.

fork digging into spaghetti squash half filled with meat, sauce and cheese

Looking for more lasagna recipes? Check these out!

If you make this Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boat recipe, be sure to tag me on Pinterest and Instagram!

I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife community!

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spaghetti squash halves filled with meat, sauce and cheese on baking sheet

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats are a healthy, homemade and low-carb weeknight dinner that gives you that same cheesy, saucy, meaty lasagna appeal. Serve it up during spaghetti squash season for a golden, Italian-inspired meal any night of the week.


Ingredients

Scale

2 medium spaghetti squash

4 garlic cloves, cut in half

1 tsp olive oil, plus more for coating the squash

1 small onion, diced

1 lb spicy Italian ground sausage

124 oz jar marinara sauce

3/4 cup ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Fresh basil, for garnish


Instructions

  1. Par-cook squash: Pierce spaghetti squash with a fork all around the outside of the squash. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 3 minutes. Let cool for five minutes.
  2. Prep the equipment: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. 
  3. Bake squash: With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out the seeds. Rub flesh sides with a light drizzle of olive oil and rub with garlic cloves. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until squash can easily be shredded off with a fork. 
  4. Shred the squash noodles: Let squash cool for 10 minutes and shred the insides and set aside in a separate bowl. Should yield about 4-5 cups of shredded squash. 
  5. Cook the sausage: While the squash is baking, begin to prepare the Italian sausage marinara mixture. In a large saute pan, add olive oil and onion and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add in the ground sausage and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook onions and sausage for 8-10 minutes, or until sausage is cooked through. Drain any excess grease out of the pan. 
  6. Finish the meat sauce: Add the marinara sauce into the Italian sausage and the shredded insides of the spaghetti squash. Mix sausage, spaghetti squash and marinara sauce together and bring mixture to a light simmer. Cook mixture for 5-8 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
  7. Fill the squash: Arrange the hollow spaghetti squashes on a large baking sheet and adjust the oven to broil. Spoon mixture evenly into the hollowed-out spaghetti squash.
  8. Top with cheese: Dollop the tops of the squashes with ricotta cheese and sprinkle evenly with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. 
  9. Broil: Broil for 5-10 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and brown. 
  10. Finish and serve: Garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Reheating Instructions: Place in a 350 degree F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warmed through. Alternatively, place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high in 1-minute increments, until the squash is warmed through.

Keywords: low carb, meat sauce, cheese

 

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