Do you like lasagna? I’ve had all types of lasagna, from those inexpensive Italian restaurants to the frozen type that they sell in supermarkets and convenience stores. Each one of those experiences has given me the joy of eating comfort food which is just so flavorful and rich. However, later on, I end up feeling bloated – like I ate way too much. Is that just me or have any of you felt the same way?
Anyway, that had been my fate with lasagna, until I came across the idea of using spaghetti squash to make lasagna. “What is spaghetti squash?” you ask.
Great question! I love this recipe, so let me tell you.
Spaghetti squash is a bright yellow-orange vegetable that looks just like butternut squash. They taste sweet. When cooked, the insides can be shredded into long and thin noodle-like strands. It has been a replacement for noodles for a very long time, serving in various recipes that call for noodles. On its own, it can also be roasted and eaten with dips and sauces.
Spaghetti squashes may be heavy and bulky, but the weightlifting exercise suddenly becomes so worth it when you take your first bite of this low-carb lasagna masterpiece.
The difference between spaghetti squash lasagna and classic Italian lasagna is also in the cooking process. Traditional lasagna is usually made by repeatedly layering big sheets of pasta, meat sauce, and cheese in a baking dish, and finally baking it in the oven.
To make spaghetti squash lasagna, you simply need to cook the spaghetti squash and use a fork to run through the flesh, turning it into noodles. Then, the squash strands are mixed with meat sauce and cheese in one big bowl before being transferred into the baking dish and subsequently, baked. (Some recipes use the squash as the bowl itself and fill it up with the meat sauce and cheese before baking – so smart!)
If you ask me, I much prefer the latter because it’s way easier to do. Though, I do have to remind myself to take off my wedding ring before I start making this recipe. It just might get buried in the lasagna… (Remember what happened to Rachel Green from Friends?)
This delicious recipe is gluten-free and keto-friendly. Serve it as the main course for any lunch or dinner party and complete it with these side dishes to make a satisfying meal:
- Summer salad – Try this easy strawberry salad or peach salad as an appetizer.
- Vegetables – Bacon roasted Brussels sprouts will be the perfect savory companion for this lasagna.
An excellent wine to pair with this dish would be a bottle of Pinot Noir. (Speaking of wine pairings, I have a free eBook that I’d love to share with you.)
If you’ve ever wished there existed lasagna without carbs, I’ve got you. And that’s not all. It’s tasty. It’s still got the meat. And the best part is, it’s healthy.
Is This Recipe Really Healthy?
This spaghetti squash lasagna may not be the healthiest food to have every single day, but it may very well be the healthiest lasagna to exist. Eating comfort food has never felt this good. Still don’t believe me?
- This is a low-carb lasagna – There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some real pasta, that’s for sure. I love me some carbs, but if there are already loads of carbs in all my other meals, I try to find alternatives. This lasagna doesn’t use any processed pasta sheets at all, yet it does not compromise on taste and texture.
- Spaghetti squash is good for you – Spaghetti squash is so healthy. It’s packed with fiber, antioxidants, manganese, plus vitamins C and B6. If none of that means anything to you, the bottom line is that spaghetti squash is great for our bodies.
- It uses a good blend of cheeses – Ricotta and mozzarella are cheeses with low calories and fats. Ricotta is made from whey, which is good because it is high in protein and is known to decrease cholesterol levels. Mozzarella, on the other hand, is a great source of probiotics and can help boost our immune system. Go, cheese!
To make this spaghetti squash lasagna, you will need these ingredients:
- Lean ground beef – Load up on those proteins with some lean ground beef. This recipe is flexible and works with any choice of meat, like ground chicken, turkey, or pork. You can even combine the meat if you have a bit of each type.
- Spaghetti squash – When cooked, the inside of spaghetti squash can be shredded into long, thin strands like noodles. It’s a healthier, low-carb replacement for real pasta.
- Ricotta cheese – Ricotta cheese has a slightly sweet and milky taste but its rich, luscious texture is what makes this lasagna super creamy.
- Parmesan cheese – Grate 1 cup of parmesan cheese. You can’t go wrong with parmesan cheese in Italian food.
- Crushed tomatoes – Crushed tomatoes are all we need for pasta sauce here. These are sold in cans, usually in the spaghetti sauce aisle. If there are no crushed tomatoes, get the diced ones or even a bottle of marinara sauce.
- Eggs – Egg binds ricotta cheese and prevents it from oozing out of the lasagna. Whisk 4 eggs.
- Garlic and sweet onion – Chop up some sweet onion and mince some garlic into the lasagna. Ooh, these will add so much flavor to the lasagna…
- Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper – Season to taste, and feel free to use red pepper flakes for some spice. Instead of Italian seasoning, you can also grab any dried herbs you have at home (like basil, thyme, and oregano) and fire away.
- Mozzarella cheese – Finally, we will use some shredded mozzarella as a topping. Yum!
After 15 to 20 minutes of prep time, most of it after that is about 2 hours of cooking time.
Step One: Bake your spaghetti squashes to soften them. Preheat the oven to 425°F and line your baking sheet with foil. Place the spaghetti squashes onto the lined baking sheet (they’re a bit bulky but bear with it) and cover them with tin foil.
- Pro Tip: If your squash is tumbling about, peel off a small part of the skin to create a stable base for it to sit on.
Roast the squashes in the oven for 45 minutes, flipping over halfway through. The spaghetti squash is ready when the skin stabs fairly easily with a knife. Remove the squashes from the oven, then let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Pro Tip: Although some people poke holes in the squash and microwave them, I find it the easiest to cook the spaghetti squash whole in the oven. This way, when it comes out, it is a breeze to cut in half and way safer, too.
Step Two: Meanwhile, grease a large skillet with cooking spray and cook the ground meat over medium-high heat along with your onion and garlic until fragrant. Break up the meat with your spatula to make sure all of the meat is cooked.
Step Three: Once the baked spaghetti squash has rested, discard the seeds using a spoon. Then, use a fork to scrape the insides of the squash, creating thin and long strands. Remove strands and place them in a large bowl.
Add cooked ground meat to the strands, along with the rest of the ingredients (ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, whisked eggs, tomatoes, and seasoning). Mix well to combine, until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Pro Tip: I use plastic gloves for mixing and really get hands-on. Not only is it more fun, but you can also mix everything evenly and that means fewer dishes to clean. Hooray!
Step Four: Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour your lasagna mixture in and evenly sprinkle the top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover with tin foil.
- Pro Tip: The tin foil tends to sink into the cheese topping and stick to the cheese. This could end up super messy. To prevent that from happening, stick toothpicks around the perimeter of the baking dish and in the center. Double down on these precautions by spraying your tin foil with cooking spray first.
Step Five: Bake at 425°F for 1 hour. Cover with foil for the first 30 minutes of baking, then remove the foil for the rest of the time. Remove from the oven once the lasagna is set and the mozzarella on top has browned and started bubbling.
Step Six: Let the lasagna cool for 20 minutes before cutting into it. I like to cut it into squares or small rectangles depending on how many people are eating it and the serving size. Optional: Garnish with sprigs of fresh basil.
- Pro Tip: This cooling time will allow the lasagna to set after it’s removed from the heat, and prevents the cheese from oozing out when you slice into it.
Freezing & Reheating
This lasagna makes incredible leftovers. If I am not packing these to give to my parents or my neighbors, Walt and I are most definitely having them over the next few days.
Luckily, freezing and reheating spaghetti squash lasagna is a breeze. With the right methods, you’ll get your lasagna back to its first-day texture.
To store: Place cooked and cooled lasagna in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Lasagna has to be completely cool.
To freeze: Wrap it tightly in saran wrap, pressing any air out. Freeze for up to three months.
To reheat: Remove the lasagna from the fridge or freezer and directly microwave in 5-minute increments or bake at 350°F at 10-minute increments. Do not thaw – if you thaw frozen spaghetti squash, it’ll end up mushy. Remove from the oven once the top cheese surface starts bubbling.
Enjoy your baked spaghetti squash lasagna. If you’d like more recipes that use vegetables to substitute carbs, check out these recipes:
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Recipe
- 2 lb lean ground beef
- 2 medium spaghetti squash's
- 1 475 grams container ricotta cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 eggs whisked
- 7 garlic cloves minced
- 1 medium sweet onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups shredded mozzarella
- Bake your spaghetti squash’s! Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line your baking sheet with foil.Place the spaghetti squash’s onto the lined baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, flipping over halfway through. It's done when the skin stabs fairly easily with a knife. Remove from the oven, then let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
- While your spaghetti squash is roasting, chop your onion & mince the garlic. Then spray a large skillet with cooking spray and cook meat over medium high heat along with your onion and garlic, breaking up the meat as it cooks.
- Once spaghetti squash has rested, remove seeds and discard then remove strands and place in a large bowl. Add cooked ground meat with spaghetti squash, along with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well to combine, until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Pour everything into a 9x13 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray and top with mozzarella cheese. Place toothpicks around the perimeter of the baking dish as well as a few in the center to prevent the tin foil from sinking into the cheese topping. (Pro Tip: spray your tin foil with cooking spray. This way no cheese will stick to your tin foil).
- Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour. Cover with foil for the first 30 minutes of baking, then remove foil for the rest of the time. Remove from the oven once the lasagna is set and browned on top.
- Let cool for 20 minutes before cutting into.