Spaghetti Squash Lasagna is a tasty alternative to traditional lasagna recipes for those of us who are gluten free… and anyone who loves a good meal!
This simple recipe uses baked spaghetti squash instead of lasagna noodles for a tasty and easy dinner. And it includes a from-scratch meat sauce recipe that’s quick and easy to make.
The entire family will love this delicious spaghetti squash recipe. Plus, serving your meal in boats makes for easy cleanup… who wouldn’t love that?
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Recipe
- 2 medium spaghetti squash - about 5 pounds total
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup onion - diced
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage - or ground beef
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon sea salt - divided
- 15 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup flat leaf parsley - chopped
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese - grated
- Chopped parsley or basil - to garnish
- Parmesan cheese - grated, for garnish
- Cutting Board
- Baking dish
- Large roasting pan or rimmed baking dish
- Silicone baking mat or parchment paper
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large skillet
- Mixing bowls
- Mixing spoon
- Cheese grater
- Preheat oven to 400° F. While the oven is pre-heating, cut the spaghetti squashes in half-length wise and scoop out the seeds.
- Place the spaghetti squash cut side down in a lined roasting pan or other large rimmed baking dish. Roast for 45 minutes, or until soft when poked with a fork.
- While the squash is roasting, warm the olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onions and cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the Italian sausage or ground beef. Cook until the ground meat is well-browned, approximately 5-8 minutes.
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning and ½ teaspoon of sea salt then bring to a simmer. Continue simmering the sauce until the squashes are ready, 5-20 minutes. Taste the sauce and add more salt if desired.
- Use a fork to shred the inside of the spaghetti squash, leaving just enough squash in the shell so it maintains its shape and structure.
- Mix the shredded squash into the tomato sauce.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, parsley and remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Empty and wipe out the roasting pan, then arrange the squash shells inside, like boats. Use a spoon to spread half of the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the shells.
- Next, spoon half of the meat-tomato-squash mixture evenly into each of the 4 boats on the top of the ricotta cheese.
- Top with another layer of ricotta and meat sauce, using the remainder of each.
- Bake shells for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the tops of the squashes.
- Place back in the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
- Remove pan from oven and transfer spaghetti squash lasagna to plates. Garnish with parsley or basil and parmesan cheese.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
By the Numbers: How to Make Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Step 1: Preheat Oven and Gather Ingredients.
The first thing you want to do is preheat your oven to 400° F. Then gather all of your ingredients:
- 2 whole, uncooked spaghetti squashes
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 pound ground Italian sausage
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning (get my Italian seasoning recipe)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 15 ounces ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
- 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
Step 2: Prepare Your Spaghetti Squash
While the oven is pre-heating, you’ll want to cut your spaghetti squash in half length-wise. If you haven’t cut one before, they have a thick shell, so you need a strong, sharp knife to cut through them.
Once you have two halves of each squash, use a spoon (preferably one with a sharper edge) to scoop the seeds out of the inside of the squash, just like you’d do with a pumpkin. Discard the seeds (don’t try to grow them in your garden or you’ll end up with mutant squash).
Step 3: Bake the Spaghetti Squash.
After spraying them with a light layer of oil, place your cleaned spaghetti squash halves face down on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
When the oven in pre-heated, put your sheet pan into the oven and allow the spaghetti squash halves to bake for about 45 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when you can easily stick a fork into the squash.
You don’t want it to overcook though, or you won’t get the individual strands of spaghetti squash you’re looking for.
Step 4: Prepare Your Meaty Tomato Sauce.
While the squash is roasting, it’s time to make your meat and tomato sauce. Start by warming your extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan.
Once warm, add the onions to the pan, stirring frequently, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds – you’ll start smelling the aroma of garlic quickly.
Next, add the ground Italian sausage or ground beef to the pan with the onions and garlic. Cook until the meat is completely browned, which should take around 5-8 minutes.
Finally, add the can of crushed tomatoes, the Italian seasoning and ½ teaspoon of sea salt to the pan. Bring the pan to a simmer, then cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until your squash is done baking. This should take anywhere from 5-20 minutes, depending on how fast you work in the kitchen.
Step 5: Shred the Spaghetti Squash.
Once you remove the pan of squash from the oven, you’ll want to take a fork and shred the inside of the spaghetti squash. This is when you get to see those individual spaghetti strands.
Leave just enough squash inside of the shell so that it can retain enough structure to serve as a bowl.
The rest of the spaghetti squash gets added to the pan with the meat sauce.
Step 6: Make the Ricotta Cheese Mixture.
After you’re done shredding the squash, get out a mixing bowl and add the ricotta cheese, fresh parsley and the last ½ teaspoon of the sea salt to it. Use a fork to mix it really well.
Step 7: Stuff & Layer Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats.
Make sure your roasting pan and silicone mat are clean, then take the spaghetti squash shells and lay them out in the pan so they can become bowls or boats.
Spread half of the ricotta mixture into the bottom of the squash boats (about ¼ cup per shell).
Top with half of the meat sauce on top of the ricotta (save the other half for another layer).
Repeat by spreading the remaining ricotta mixture (around another ¼ cup each) over the meat sauce, then spread a final layer of sauce over the top of the ricotta mixture, using all of the sauce-squash mixture.
You should have two layers of cheesy goodness and two layers of sauce in each boat at this point.
Step 8: Bake Your Lasagna Spaghetti Squash.
Place the pan back in the oven, still at 400° F, and bake the stuffed squash shells for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven.
Step 9: Top with Mozzarella Cheese.
Now it’s time to top each of the four stuffed spaghetti squash halves with ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese each.
Place the pan back in the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted and starting to bubble and brown.
If you like a crispier cheese topping, you can place the pan in the broiler for about 2 minutes – totally optional.
Step 10: Serve your Spaghetti Squash Lasagna.
Once the Spaghetti Squash Lasagna is done baking, remove the pan from the oven and transfer the boats to individual plates.
Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese, fresh basil or parsley and/or crushed red pepper flakes.
Tips for Making the Best Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
This recipe will make your family love spaghetti squash! Here are some important tips.
1. How to make spaghetti squash lasagna casserole?
Sometimes it’s easier to make a casserole instead of serving boats – especially with young kids! If you want to make a spaghetti squash lasagna casserole, here’s how you do it using the same ingredients:
- In a 2-quart baking dish, layer ⅓ of the cooked spaghetti squash and sauce mixture into the dish.
- Top with half of the ricotta cheese mixture.
- Add another ⅓ of the sauce mixture.
- Add the remaining half of the ricotta cheese mixture.
- End by topping with the last third of the tomato-squash mixture.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 400° F.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbly.
- Serve in a bowl or on a plate garnished with fresh basil or parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
2. Can you make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes. If you want to make this spaghetti squash recipe in advance, stop after stuffing the squash shells. Place them in the roasting pan you plan to bake them in, cover them with foil and place in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
When it’s time to bake them, remove from the fridge and cook as directed above. You’ll need to add an extra 10-15 minutes to the cooking time since you’re cooking from cold.
3. What can I substitute for ricotta cheese?
If you don’t have ricotta on hand, you can substitute cottage cheese.
4. Can you use ground turkey?
Yes, you can use ground turkey if you want a leaner cut of meat. Any ground meat that works in Italian recipes will work with these spaghetti squash boats.
5. How long do leftovers last?
While it tastes best the next day, leftovers will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. Be sure to store your leftovers in an airtight container.
6. Can you freeze spaghetti squash lasagna?
I don’t recommend freezing cooked spaghetti squash lasagna since spaghetti squash tends to become watery and mushy after being frozen, especially when you can’t drain the liquids from it well (and you can’t in this recipe).
If you’re looking for a way to simplify meal prep, you can make ahead and freeze the meaty pasta sauce to make preparing this dish easier next time.
7. How to reheat spaghetti squash lasagna?
If the shells haven’t been eaten into yet, you can reheat them in the oven on 350° F, just until they’re hot.
If you’ve already eaten a portion of the squash, I find it’s better to scoop everything into a pan and reheat on the stovetop on low heat. If you try to bake them again, you’ll end up with burnt bits where the layers have been eaten into.
8. What does spaghetti squash taste like?
While spaghetti squash does not taste like regular pasta, or even gluten free pasta, it does make a great pasta substitute. It has a pretty neutral taste compared to most winter squashes and the “noodles” often have a slight bit of crunch to them as long as they’re not overcooked.
When cooked, spaghetti squash takes on the flavors of the other foods it’s cooked with, which makes it great in this lasagna recipe.
9. Is spaghetti squash low carb?
Yes, spaghetti squash on its own is a low carb food. There are about 10 carbs in 1 cup of spaghetti squash. Net carbs are around 7.8 per cup, but vary depending on the squash.
If you look at the nutrition facts above, you’ll see this recipe is not low carb. That is primarily because of the sauce. You can substitute a low carb pasta sauce alternative to reduce the carb count.
10. How to make vegetarian lasagna stuffed spaghetti squash?
Omit the ground meat and substitute cooked mushrooms (make sure to drain the excess liquid). You can also just use a thicker marinara sauce instead of making your own meat sauce from scratch.
11. What appetizers pair well with Spaghetti Squash Lasagna?
If you want to serve a side dish with this meal, I recommend a simple side salad. You are going to want some appetizers while your Spaghetti Squash Lasagna is baking though… it smells amazingly appetizing!