Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Spaghetti squash lasagna

I imagine we all have women in our sphere who evoke the phrase “I Don’t Know How She Does It” after the best selling novel by the same name. That’s what comes to mind for me, at least, when I think of one particular friend who volunteers for more than her fair share, has a special needs child in her care, and always has a smile on her face. It’s what I was thinking recently as a listened to an interview with Shonda Rhimes, the  writer/creator behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, who also happens to be raising three children on her own. And it’s what I thought when I learned that the cook  behind today’s recipe, Sonali Ruder, is not just a mother and food blogger, but an emergency room physician, who, by the way, just published a cookbook.

I don’t know how she does it.

It makes sense to me that Sonali created a recipe like this. It’s exactly what a busy parent needs, especially this time of year when life gets even busier. This Spaghetti Squash Lasagna is everything:  Freezer-friendly, can be made ahead, perfectly portable, ideal for a potluck or a crowd, and makes enough for leftovers. It’s also plainly delicious. I think the only thing this recipe doesn’t do is clean up after itself (how inconsiderate).

The recipe comes from Sonali’s new Natural Pregnancy Cookbook (Hatherleigh Press, 2015), which features over 125 recipes and a bundle of smart and practical information about eating during pregnancy. Like the recipes on her blog, the ones in her book are wholesome and inspiring. And while the book is written for the nine months of pregnancy, the recipes are just as suitable for life before and after the baby is born.

As for this particular dish, to my mind, it’s superior to traditional lasagna in every way. I found it easier to make, it’s not heavy in the way that lasagne so often is, and it delivers of boatload of nutrition. One piece provides:

  • Nearly half your daily needs for calcium
  • 16 grams of protein
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • A decent dose of iron
  • All at just 244 calories

In case you don’t know how to cut, seed, and shred a spaghetti squash (as well as a how-to in case you want to cook it in the microwave) you can check out this post.

It’s good stuff, and whether you’re preganant or not, it may be what’s called for on those “”I don’t know how she does it” sort of days. We all have them.

A Healthy, No-Pasta Spin on Lasagna: Spaghetti Squash Lasagna. #glutenfree Click To Tweet
Spaghetti squash lasagna
5 from 16 votes
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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

This nutritious twist on lasagna uses spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Spaghetti squash has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and is packed with nutrients. The strands of squash are tossed with creamy ricotta cheese and chopped spinach. It’s then layered with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese and baked in the oven until it’s bubbling with cheesy goodness. Packed with protein and fiber, this dish will keep you feeling full and satisfied. It also has a hefty amount of iron and folate and almost half your daily calcium needs!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 244 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, about 3 ½ pounds (See Notes)
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • teaspoons salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 container (15 ounces) part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 ounces baby spinach, steamed and chopped (can use frozen spinach)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush the flesh with 2 teaspoons oil. Place them cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven until tender, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. When the squash is cooled, scrape the flesh with a fork so that it forms spaghetti-like strands. You should have about 6 cups total.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating 2 teaspoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until partially softened. Stir in the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer the sauce for 15 to 20 minutes until thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the ricotta, egg, spinach, ½ cup of the mozzarella cheese, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl. Squeeze all of the liquid from the spaghetti squash and add the squash to the ricotta mixture (the squash releases a lot of water as it cooks so make sure to squeeze it well). Stir to combine all of the ingredients.

  4. Turn the heat on the oven down to 375°F. To assemble the casserole, spread about 1½ cups of the sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 11-inch baking dish. Add the squash mixture on top and spread it out evenly. Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top of the squash and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted. Garnish with parsley. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Recipe Notes

To cut down on cooking time, you can also cook the squash in the microwave. You can find instructions by following this link: http://www.momskitchenhandbook.com/uncategorized/how-to-cook-spaghetti-squash-in-the-microwave/ Recipe and photo reprinted with permission from the Natural Preganancy Cookbook by Sonali Ruder.

Comments

11.17.2015 at 4:19 PM #

Sonali- The Foodie Physician

Haha, I wouldn’t be able to do it all without the help and support of my wonderful husband (and a lot of caffeine)! Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Katie! I’m so happy that you enjoyed the book and think that it would be a useful resource for expectant moms. So glad you liked the spaghetti squash dish too- it’s one of my favorite make-ahead meals!

11.17.2015 at 4:19 PM #

katiemorford

I appreciate you sharing the recipe with my readers!

11.17.2015 at 4:19 PM #

Mary Loebig Giles

I made this for my family of skeptics. The 12-year old raved and my husband and I went back for seconds. Delicious and guilt-free!

11.23.2015 at 6:29 AM #

Heidi Roth

Just made this for dinner last night and my family loved it. Even my 11 yo son who “hates squash” asked for seconds – which makes it a winner in my book!

11.23.2015 at 6:29 AM #

katiemorford

Success! I’m so glad. That was my experience too.

12.02.2015 at 9:54 AM #

Karen

Hi. Sounds awesome. Then, this is just one layer? Baked spaghetti??

12.02.2015 at 9:54 AM #

katiemorford

Yes….the flavors rather than the technique are more in keeping with the idea of lasagne.

01.06.2017 at 6:44 AM #

Marie

Yum! What would you serve this with?

01.06.2017 at 6:44 AM #

katiemorford

I served it last night with a big salad and a loaf of crusty bread.

01.26.2017 at 6:19 AM #

Julie Leishman

Is there anyway to make this for an 8×8 pan or in a 2qt. Casserole? The rest of my family I know will not eat this and I have decided for health reasons I have to eat more healthy.

01.26.2017 at 6:19 AM #

katiemorford

Hi Julie,

You could scale the recipe back by 1/3 and it should work for an 8×8-inch pan. I will tell you, though, that even the non-spaghetti squash lovers in my house happily eat this, so you never know 🙂

02.01.2017 at 12:12 PM #

Mich

this is just delicious! I will make again and again!

Just a tip I had found on another blog that actually works. Slice the squash cross wise and not length wise, and then roast ( I actually cut into 4 pieces) The strands actually grow crosswise, so when you separate from the rind, they are long like spaghetti and not short strands!

02.01.2017 at 12:12 PM #

katiemorford

Thank you! Appreciate those tips…and this is a good one.

05.02.2017 at 11:36 PM #

Bernice

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna is taste of heaven! I tried it before and it was great. My kids loved it. Thanks for sharing!

05.02.2017 at 11:36 PM #

katiemorford

It’s a favorite in our house too. Thanks for the comment. I really appreciate it.

06.07.2017 at 9:31 AM #

Sandy

Do you think this would freeze well?

06.07.2017 at 9:31 AM #

katiemorford

I haven’t tried it, but it is the type of dish that tends to do well in the freezer. Let me know how it goes if you do it!

06.07.2017 at 9:31 AM #

laura

This dish is fantastic! Just as good after being frozen. I reheated it in the microwave and it was still a hit.

09.02.2017 at 7:56 AM #

Michelle Emerson

OH MY GOODNESS!! ABSOLUTELY SCRUMPTIOUS! Thank you for sharing. My husband and kids love it too!

09.27.2017 at 11:09 AM #

Vicki

The printed version is missing the ingredient – 6 oz. shredded mozzarella.
The mozzarella is noted in the instructions but is not in the ingredient list.

09.27.2017 at 11:09 AM #

katiemorford

Thank you! Appreciate that. Just added it back in.

09.27.2017 at 2:03 PM #

Susan

Healthy, delicious and easy! How perfect! I don’t make my own sauce (sorry!), so my way will be even easier. This looks so good! It is on the menu for sometime very soon!

09.27.2017 at 2:03 PM #

katiemorford

No apologies needed for store-bought sauce!

09.29.2017 at 7:17 AM #

Laura

I’m going back to university this fall, so I want to make meals that furnish lots of leftovers. This looks like a winner! I’ve cooked dishes with spaghetti squash many times in the past, and it works just fine to cook the squash the day before and refrigerate to use to assemble your dish the next day. I’m also wondering (since time is really not going to be on my side in the coming months) how much marinara from a jar could be used instead of making the sauce in the recipe. I’m sure the recipe sauce would be nicer than what comes from a jar, but making the sauce does tack about 30 minutes on to the prep time.

09.29.2017 at 7:17 AM #

katiemorford

This will still be plenty delicious with a jar sauce. I would think that a large jar, maybe about 24 ounces, would work. The sauce recipe calls for 28 ounces of tomatoes. You figure that will cook down a bit. I’m going to have to test this out myself at some point because I’ve had a few comments about using jar sauce. Good luck with university!

11.02.2017 at 8:52 PM #

Beth Matlin

Hello, is there any way to make this without tomato? Daughter highly allergic. Thank you,
Beth Matlin

11.02.2017 at 8:52 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Beth,

That’s tricky. One thought is to make a bechamel sauce, which is often used for lasagna. You could maybe even add a little basil pesto to punch up the flavor. I’m sure a google search for bechamel will turn up loads of recipes. Best of luck to you.

11.04.2017 at 1:48 PM #

Stacy

This was a hit with our whole family – including my 9-year-old twins and 12-year-old who claims to hate veggies! So excited to have a healthy new recipe that everyone will eat!

11.04.2017 at 2:46 PM #

katiemorford

So good to hear. I have to say I haven’t made this yet this fall, and your comment is the nudge I need. I love this recipe too.

01.07.2018 at 4:05 PM #

May

Sounds great. …have you tried freezing it?

02.01.2018 at 3:07 PM #

Sabrina

Oops! This came out very watery and I couldn’t figure out why. When I went back to re-read the recipe and you said, “Squeeze all of the liquid from the spaghetti squash and add it to the bowl (the squash releases a lot of water as it cooks so make sure to squeeze it well),” I assumed the “it” you referenced to add to the bowl was the water. I now realize it was the dry squash. I may be the only dolt to make that blunder, but you may want to clarify just in case.

Also, I didn’t pay attention enough to realize I wasn’t putting all of the mozzarella into the ricotta mix before it was too late. You may want to indicate it’s divided somehow in the list of ingredients.

Nonetheless, it was delicious! A keeper!!!! Thanks.

02.01.2018 at 3:07 PM #

katiemorford

Thanks for the feedback! I added a few more details in the recipe that might help. Glad it turned out well regardless!

03.12.2018 at 9:00 AM #

Norma

I haven’t made this yet and wonder if you have
ever done this with ground beef, sausage, or turkey?

03.12.2018 at 9:00 AM #

katiemorford

I haven’t but I think any of those would be a delicious addition. I like to do a combo of ground turkey with a spicy Italian sausage when I make sauce.

03.31.2018 at 2:07 PM #

Pauline

Hi just wondering if I can make this the day before and serve the next day

03.31.2018 at 2:07 PM #

katiemorford

Yes, it reheats well the next day!

03.31.2018 at 3:52 PM #

katiemorford

Yes, it reheats well the next day.

05.14.2018 at 12:27 PM #

blight

Delicious recipe.
any chance your could break down the nutrition information?
thanks again

05.14.2018 at 12:27 PM #

katiemorford

I don’t routinely do nutrient analysis. I do know it comes out to about 250 calories a serving. If you want more data than that, you can run a pretty simple analysis on myfitnesspal.com. Glad you like the recipe. It’s a keeper 🙂

09.10.2018 at 4:21 PM #

Tina Fulton

Can it be frozen?

09.10.2018 at 4:21 PM #

katiemorford

Yes. It’s always best the day it’s made, but wrapped well it can be frozen. To reheat, put it straight into the oven from the freezer.

11.12.2018 at 6:50 PM #

Sharon

How many carbs and fiber grams in this recipe??

11.12.2018 at 6:50 PM #

katiemorford

Hi Sharon, I don’t have a nutrition analysis for this, but you can do it for free on My Fitness Pal if you like. It’s pretty user-friendly.

01.06.2019 at 4:07 PM #

Isabel

Where does the spinach figure into the recipe?

01.06.2019 at 4:07 PM #

katiemorford

It’s in step 3 of the recipe. It gets stirred in with the ricotta 🙂

04.03.2019 at 2:51 PM #

Rebecca

I added ground deer to the sauce and it was delicious. My picky family members loved it too, even my 2 years old grandson!

04.03.2019 at 2:51 PM #

katiemorford

Success! So glad you like it. Thanks for the comment.

07.07.2019 at 2:43 PM #

Phoebe Kane

Awesomely delicious. I have used other recipes, but never added the squash to the cheese before. We always liked it but this was really outstanding! 🙂 Thanks so very much. It is a whole new level of enjoying!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

07.07.2019 at 2:43 PM #

katiemorford

Terrific. We love this one in our house, too!

08.10.2019 at 4:25 AM #

Debbie

It was one of the best dishes I have ever had I love the fact that it’s guilt free people at work loved it to making it again this will be a main item on my meal list

08.10.2019 at 4:25 AM #

katiemorford

That’s quite an endorsement, Debbie. I’m so glad it was a hit. Thanks for the comment!

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