Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash
Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash is a creamy, cheesy, and satisfying meal. It’s also a low-carb and gluten-free alternative to traditional pasta.
Why We Love This Recipe
This healthy twice-baked spaghetti squash is a delicious alternative to spaghetti bake. It’s packed with artichokes, spinach, garlic, and cheeses and can be customized to your liking.
- Low in Calories and Carbs: Easy twice-baked spaghetti squash is a great option if you’re trying to cut back on calories and carbs without sacrificing flavor.
- Packed with Nutrients: Spaghetti squash is also a great source of vitamins and minerals and it’s also a good source of fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
- Versatile and Delicious: You can fill it with a variety of ingredients, just like our turkey stuffed bell peppers or chicken stuffed portobello mushrooms. Feel free to experiment with meat sauce, other cheeses, vegetables, and herbs, to create a dish that’s tailored to your taste buds.
To make this vegetable squash recipe, you will need a few key ingredients. Here is what you will need:
- Spaghetti Squash: The star of the dish is, of course, spaghetti squash! When choosing it, look for a medium spaghetti squash that is firm and heavy for its size.
- Vegetables: This recipe includes chopped spinach, artichokes, and garlic.
- Cheese: Mozzarella cheese, parmesan, ricotta, and provolone make this a super cheesy dish!
- Herbs and Spices: Oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations and Substitutions
This spaghetti squash recipe is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions. Here are some variations and substitutions you can try:
- Cheese: If you’re a cheese lover, you can experiment with different types of cheese to add flavor to your dish. An excellent option is cream cheese.
- Vegetables: You can add more vegetables to make it more flavorful. Some vegetables that pair well with spaghetti squash include broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
- Protein: Try adding cooked chicken, ground beef, or turkey to the mixture.
- Vegan: To make the dish vegan, simply omit the cheese and use vegan cheese or nutritional yeast instead. You can also substitute the mayonnaise with vegan mayonnaise or mashed avocado.
- Breadcrumbs: Add some breadcrumbs for texture and crunch to the dish. You can use regular breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs if you prefer.
What is the Easiest Way to Cut Spaghetti Squash?
The easiest way to cut a spaghetti squash is to first nuke it. It slightly softens, making slicing a little easier. Simply place the spaghetti squash into a microwave and cook on high for 3 minutes.
You can place the squash directly into the microwave or on a plate. Remove from the microwave and cool just enough to handle. Using a very sharp knife, slice through from the top to bottom lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and then prepare the squash as needed.
How To Make Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Check out the recipe card below for detailed instructions.
Step 1: Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
Step 2: Rub with a little oil, salt, and pepper, place cut side down on a baking sheet, and bake until fork tender.
Step 3: Scrape the inside of the squash into long strands with a fork.
Step 4: Combine the artichokes, spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, mayo, garlic, oregano, and basil.
Step 5: Layer the provolone cheese over baked squash, then top with the artichoke mixture and more cheese.
Step 6: Bake until the cheese is melted and heated through. Serve garnished with red pepper flakes and fresh basil.
Here are some expert tips to help you make this recipe.
- Choose the Right Squash: When selecting a spaghetti squash for your recipe, look for one that is firm, heavy for its size, and free of soft spots or cracks. The skin should be a uniform color, either pale yellow or ivory.
- Don’t Overstuff the Squash: The filling should be level with the top of the squash, but not overflowing. This will ensure that the squash cooks evenly and the filling doesn’t spill out.
- Experiment with Fillings: Try adding cooked bacon, sausage, or ground beef to your filling for a heartier meal. Or, add some herbs and spices to give your dish a unique flavor.
- Serve Hot: Baked spaghetti squash is best served hot, straight out of the oven. If you’re making it ahead of time, stuff the squash with the filling and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bake when ready to serve.
The best way to cook spaghetti squash is to roast it in the oven. Scoop out the seeds and excess moisture from the squash. Brush the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender.
Once the squash is cooked, use a fork to scrape the flesh into long strands. You can also cook spaghetti squash in the microwave or on the stovetop, but roasting it in the oven will give it the best texture and flavor.
If your roasted spaghetti squash is watery, it could be due to overcooking or undercooking. Overcooking can cause the squash to become mushy and release excess water while undercooking can leave the squash too firm and not allow the water to evaporate.
To avoid watery spaghetti squash, try roasting it at a temperature of 425°F for 30-40 minutes or until it is tender but not mushy. Also, make sure to remove the seeds and excess moisture from the squash before roasting.
If your spaghetti squash is still hard after cooking, it could be due to undercooking or using an immature squash. Immature squash has not fully developed and will not cook properly.
To ensure that your spaghetti squash is fully cooked, pierce it with a fork before roasting to allow steam to escape, and cook it for at least 30-40 minutes until it is tender. If the squash is still hard, you can microwave it for an additional 5-10 minutes until it is fully cooked.
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Twice baked spaghetti squash is incredibly easy to make for an easy side or meal! It’s stuffed with garlic, four cheeses, artichokes, and spinach.
- 1 spaghetti squash, about 3 lbs.
- 1 cup canned artichokes, drained + roughly chopped
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach (lightly packed), chopped
- 1/2 cup ricotta, part skim or whole milk
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into ribbons, plus more for garnish
- 8 slices of deli Provolone cheese
- Red pepper flakes, for serving
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard them.
- Rub the inside of the squash with a little olive oil, about 1-2 teaspoons, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Bake time will depend on the size of the squash. I used a small squash (about 3 lbs.) and it took about 35 minutes till it was done. When squash is done, cut sides should be golden and the interior easily pierced through with a fork.
- Cool just enough to handle and using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash into long strands.
- In a bowl, combine artichokes, spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, mayo, garlic, oregano, and basil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Top each squash halve with two slices of provolone cheese and an equal amount of the artichoke spinach mixture. Add two more slices of the provolone cheese over the artichoke mixture and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the filling is heated through. If desired, broil for 1-2 minutes for a golden top.
- Serve with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and more basil.
- Prep Tip: If you microwave the spaghetti squash for about 3 minutes it makes it easier to cut and scoop out the seeds. Just make sure to let the squash slightly cool before handling.
- To Make Ahead: Prepare the recipe as written through step #6 but do not bake the squash. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When ready to bake, uncover the squash, place on a baking sheet and bake as directed. After 15 minutes, check the squash to make sure it’s warmed through and if needed add additional bake time.
- To Store Leftovers: Scoop out the filling with the strands of spaghetti squash and transfer into a container with a lid. Discard the squash shell. Store leftovers for up to 2 days and reheat on the stovetop or microwave with little liquid.
- Serving Size: 1/4 squash
- Calories: 397
- Sugar: 4.2 g
- Sodium: 762.7 mg
- Fat: 23.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.7 g
- Fiber: 5.1 g
- Protein: 30.7 g
- Cholesterol: 52 mg
Keywords: low carb, healthy, easy, side, vegetarian
Recipe originally published May 2019 but since been updated with new information.