Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats Recipe

If there's one dish just about everybody all over the world adores, it's pasta — whether it be spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, or pork lo mein, we just can't seem to get enough of all that noodle-filled goodness. Pasta withdrawal may well be one of the reasons why so many people struggle with a low-carb diet, since without lasagna, is life really worth living?

Well, recipe developer Hayley MacLean has one solution to help you curb your carb cravings. Her recipe for spaghetti squash lasagna boats, she assures us, is "keto-approved," at least as long as you use a spaghetti sauce with no added sugars. "Make sure to check the back of your marinara," she cautions, or suggests making your own to be on the safe side. In addition to its keto-friendliness, MacLean tells us, "This recipe is so great because it is both nutritious and delicious! The spaghetti squash is full of vitamins and minerals like fiber and vitamin C, and it is all wrapped up in rich tomato sauce with creamy cheeses." Something tells us that you won't be able to resist these cheesy and savory delights!

Assemble the ingredients for spaghetti squash lasagna boats

The main ingredient for these spaghetti squash boats is, of course, the squash itself. For the sauce, you'll be enhancing a basic marinara with extra garlic, basil, onion, and sausage, although MacLean notes that "this dish can definitely be made without the sausage to make it vegetarian," or else you can use a plant-based meat substitute. Another one of her suggestions is that "using an arrabiata sauce in place of the marinara would be a fun, spicy kick," and you could also add additional vegetables including peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini.

As for the lasagna-type filling, you'll need ricotta, Parmesan, and spinach. You'll also need some mozzarella to top things off, and if you want to make it fancy, you can sprinkle the completed dish with chopped parsley.

Bake the squash

First things first: preheat that oven to 425 F. While it's heating up, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Use 1 tablespoon of the oil to rub inside the cut squash halves, then sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

Put the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet — MacLean lines hers with parchment paper, although if you don't have any, a little bit of oil should keep the squash from sticking, as well. Cook the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, flip, then cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until the flesh is soft. Take the squash out of the oven and let it cool.

Prepare the meat sauce

While the squash is cooling, you can go ahead and make the meat sauce. Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until is softens, about four to five minutes.

Add the garlic to the pan and cook until it smells nice and garlicky, which should only take about 30 seconds. Add the sausage to the pan and use a wooden spoon or similar implement to break it apart. Cook and stir until it is crumbly and browned, which might take up to 10 minutes. If there is excess fat pooled on top, spoon it off. Now stir in the marinara sauce and the basil, then take the pan off the heat.

Stuff and bake the squash

Use a fork to scrape out the squash insides. MacLean cautions to "be careful not to puncture the squash rind as we are using this as our 'boat.'" Combine the ricotta with the Parmesan, then mix in the squash and the spinach. Season with as much salt and pepper as you wish, then stuff this mixture into the squash shells. Top the whole thing off with the meat sauce and mozzarella, then cover the stuffed squash with foil. Bake them for 15 minutes, at which point the insides should be warm and the cheese should be melted. If you wish, you can then take the foil off and cook for five more minutes to brown the cheese, but this step isn't necessary. Sprinkle the boats with the parsley, if desired, then serve.

MacLean says to serve this dish "with a fresh green salad and a big slice of garlic bread to scoop up all the extra cheese and sauce," adding that this dish "makes for an amazing Sunday night dinner." If you drink alcohol, she also has one more suggestion: "Do not forget a glass of your favorite red wine on the side!"

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats Recipe
5 from 44 ratings
This recipe for spaghetti squash lasagna boats is loaded with cheese, sausage, and tons of other savory flavors.
Prep Time
Cook Time
spaghetti squash boats
Total time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound mild Italian sausage, uncased
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • ⅔ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Optional Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Rub 1 tablespoon of olive oil onto the inside of the spaghetti squash and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves cut side-down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Roast the squash for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping over halfway through. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the sausage to the pan and cook until crumbly and browned, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove any excess fat from the pan and stir in the marinara sauce and basil. Turn off the stove burner and let the sauce cool.
  7. Remove the inside of the squash with a fork.
  8. Combine the ricotta and Parmesan. Mix the spaghetti squash with the ricotta mixture.
  9. Fold in the baby spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Stuff the squash shells with the ricotta mixture. Top the stuffed squash with the meat sauce and sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella.
  11. Tent the squash with foil and return to the oven for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the insides are warm. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 5 minutes to brown the cheese, if desired.
  12. Garnish with fresh parsley before serving, if desired.
Calories per Serving 833
Total Fat 65.9 g
Saturated Fat 27.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 166.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 20.7 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Total Sugars 8.5 g
Sodium 1,682.5 mg
Protein 40.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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