Healthy Spaghetti: Yes, It Does Exist
When people hear the word spaghetti, usually only one word comes to mind: Carbs. Lots and lots of carbs. While carbs aren’t exactly the pinnacle of evil, most people would often associate that word with weight gain and in a world where people are constantly trying to get in shape, eating something that lets you gain weight doesn’t exactly sound like a good idea.
But don’t give up on spaghetti yet! There’s a healthy alternative to your spaghetti and it’s called spaghetti squash. Yes, spaghetti made from squash. I’m not kidding. I was surprised myself when I first heard about it and doubted it until I had a plate of it and I was really amazed.
I mean, it doesn’t taste like spaghetti (in fact it’s far from it) but the way it was presented and how it blended with the other ingredients, it was a lot better than spaghetti. Not to mention how guilt-free it is. It’s squash and it’s a healthy food and will definitely not contribute to unnecessary weight gain.
Eager to try a few recipes? We’ve compiled a list of the ones we thought would let you eat more than one plate and will make converts out of not just you but your friends and families as well!
Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipes
Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter
Craving for some garlic and butter? Try this spaghetti squash recipe as it has the ingredients complementing each other like your typical escargot!
- 1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup finely minced parsley (or basil)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Pierce squash a few times with sharp paring knife (to let steam escape).
- Bake spaghetti squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance.
- Let squash cool for 10 minutes.
- Cut squash in half, lengthwise.
- Use a fork to remove and discard the seeds.
- Continue using fork to scrape the squash to get long, lovely strands. If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat.
- When garlic becomes fragrant, add parsley, salt and spaghetti squash strands.
- Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt.
- The spaghetti squash should have a slight crunch (i.e. not mushy) – but if you like it softer, cover the pan and cook 2 more minutes.
Spaghetti Squash and Tomato Bake
Spaghetti squash is as versatile as it is easy to cook. This dish is not only oven safe but also gives you that zest only a tomato lover will appreciate.
- About 3 cups cooked spaghetti squash (1 medium one)
- 2 large garden tomatoes sliced
- Kosher Salt
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Dried Basil
- Dried Parsley for sprinkling
- 5oz of fancy shredded Mexican cheese blend (separated)
- Fresh Basil for Garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 11 x 9 casserole dish with non-stick spray.
- Spread about 1 cup of spaghetti squash on the bottom.
- Top with a layer of sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with kosher salt and spices.
- Top with 1.5 oz of cheese.
- Add another layer of squash, then tomatoes, spices and cheese.
- Top with a final layer of squash. Top with the last 2 oz of cheese and sprinkle with the spices one last time.
- Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.
- Top with some fresh cut basil and cut into 6 serving sizes about 3×3 inches each.
Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash
One of the flexible spaghetti squash recipes, you can choose to modify the ingredients at will. Whichever way you make it, this will definitely fill your cravings for a healthy spaghetti!
- 1 Spaghetti Squash
- Garlic Pizza Sauce – 1/2 cup
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- Yves Veggie Ground Round – 1/2 cup
- Broccoli, 2 cups chopped
- Red Pepper, 1 (chopped)
- Zucchini, 2 cups (chopped)
- Soy Cheese, 1/2 cup (Grated)
- Low fat sour cream, 1 tbls
- Cook spaghetti squash
- Remove innards and mix with other ingredients
- Re-stuff back into the squash
- Put cheese on top
- Cook in oven (usually 15-20 minutes)
Vegan Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Thai Peanut Sauce Spaghetti Squash
You never really thought you can add peanut sauce to spaghetti until you decided to cook this one up. Go ahead, try it. It’s guilt free and the peanut sauce should make this healthy dish even healthier.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro
- 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
For the Peanut Sauce:
- 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
- ⅔ cup natural, unsweetened peanut butter
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (substitute Tamari for gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste
- For Spaghetti Squash: Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Half the squash and scoop out the seeds.
- Drizzle inside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes.Then turn down to low and simmer for 5 minutes while stirring almost constantly.
- Take off heat to cool sauce. When spaghetti squash is done roasting, take it out from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Then, using a fork, scrape out the spaghetti squash strands. If your squash is very moist, you might have to place the strands in a colander and pat with paper towel.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic, chopped parsley and ¼ cup of the peanut sauce pan and combine.
- Add spaghetti squash and crushed peanuts, stir to combine and cook until heated through (about 2 minutes).
- Plate and garnish with a little more crushed peanuts and chopped parsley. Serve right away.
Paleo Spaghetti Squash Pesto
Unbelievably good to serve specially for those who want to avoid meat or dairy. This spaghetti squash is a definite recommendation for people who often have visitors who are picky with their food.
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved and de-seeded
- 4 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 tablespoon
- olive oil, divided
- Cut squash in half and scoop seeds out with spoon.
- Toss olive oil and garlic in squash, place on cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 for about 1 hour, until soft.
- When soft, “rake” the squash with a fork, which will make a spaghetti texture.
- Pull the flesh of the squash up off the shell.
- Add pesto into squash and mix.
Spaghetti Squash Sesame Noodles
This dish is perfect if you’re looking for a lot of “free” things. Why? Well this dish is grain free, gluten free, and dairy free!
- 3 cups baked Spaghetti Squash (about 1/2 large squash)
- 2 tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
- 2 tablespoons Tamari Sauce
- 1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar or Rice Wine Vinegar
- pinch of ground Gingerb
- pinch of Garlic Powder
- 2 tablespoons toasted Sesame Seeds
- 1/4 cup diced Green Onions
- 1/4 cup cooked & shelled Edamame
- handful of fresh chopped Cilantro leaves + some for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the middle.
- Put whole squash in a baking dish and bake until you can easily insert a paring knife, about 40 minutes to one hour.
- Remove squash from oven and let cool about 10 minutes.
- Cut it in half from tip to tip (long ways) and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
- Scrape the sides of the squash with a fork until you have removed all the stringy spaghetti.
- Combine sesame oil, tamari, vinegar, ginger, garlic powder and sesame seeds in a small bowl.
- Add optional hot sauce/Sriracha if desired (or you can add at the end.) Toss with spaghetti squash noodles.
- Gently fold in edamame and green onions at the end.
Easy Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Chicken Spaghetti Squash
Looking for a hearty spaghetti squash treat? Then look no further. This baked recipe calls for chicken which is a very good source of protein and is set to make sure your muscles recover faster after your workouts.
- spaghetti squash
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 12oz can – cream of mushroom
- 1 tomato (diced)
- 1 bell pepper (diced)
- 1 jalapeño (diced + seeded – optional)
- Dice tomato, bell pepper, and jalapeño and set aside.
- Wash the spaghetti squash and put 4-5 holes in it with a knife, then put it in the crock pot with 2 cups water for 3-4 hrs on high.
- In the meantime – boil the chicken breasts. Once spaghetti squash is done, scrape out the inside “noodles” and put in a 13×9 baking dish.
- Once chicken is done, shred and put on top of noodles in the baking dish.
- Add tomato, bell pepper, jalapeño, and mushroom cream sauce into baking dish and mix everything together.
- Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash
Your favorite Tex Mex combination in a healthy spaghetti squash treat! What could be better? The recipe calls for a choice between going vegetarian or with a bit of chicken for those who want more protein in their diet which makes this dish quite flexible.
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1½ cups black beans
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken (optional)
- 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Carefully cut spaghetti squash in half. Scrape out the seeds and stringy insides.
- Lightly drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt.
- Place cut side down on a pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle it.
- Turn squash over and use a fork to scrape across the squash short ways to make the spaghetti.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil.
- Add onions and jalapeno and saute a few minutes.
- Add garlic, bell pepper, salt, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Saute around 5 more minutes.
- Add corn and black beans (and chicken if using) and saute until heated through.
- Add spaghetti squash strands to skillet and carefully stir and toss everything together.
- Adjust salt and seasonings if needed.
- Transfer mixture into both halves of the squash or into an 8×11 glass baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Parmesan Zucchini & Spaghetti Squash
You know despite the smell of Parmesan cheese, it’s always the type of cheese most would go for to put some variety in their meals. So why not try it out on spaghetti squash? You’ll definitely love this recipe if you like a bit of adventure in your food.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 zucchinis or 1 very large zucchini, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 spaghetti squash, medium size
- 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- salt and pepper
For the squash:
- Preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit.
- Cut the squash in 2 halves, scrape out the seeds and the fiber out of each half.
- Spray oil over the cut sides of the squash. Spray the baking sheet with oil and place the squash on the baking sheet cut side down.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes.
- Remove it from the oven when it’s cooked through and soft, and let it cool.
- Flip the squash so that cut side faces up – that will speed up the cooling.
- After squash cools, scrape squash with a fork to remove flesh in long strands and transfer to a bowl.
For the Zucchini:
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
- Add sliced zucchini and minced garlic and saute for about 3 minutes, stirring, on medium heat, uncovered.
- Season with salt, stir, and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes, covered, occasionally stirring, until zucchini softens and browns a bit.
- We are cooking it covered to preserve the juices.
- Note: Depending on the size of your skillet, you might have to cook zucchini in 2 separate batches.
- Add spaghetti squash to the skillet with zucchini and mix to combine, on low heat.
- Add freshly shredded Parmesan cheese into the skillet and stir on low heat to melt the cheese.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste. Top with toasted pine nuts.
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Recipes
Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Stuffed with a variety of Mexican flavors, this spaghetti squash recipe is a definite favorite for those with a bit of Southern craving.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (leave seeds in for more heat)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 Tablespoon oregano
- 1/2 Tablespoon chili powder
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1/2 cup freshly torn cilantro, plus more for garnish
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place whole squash on a baking sheet and roast for 50 minutes.
- Let cool another 30 minutes, then cut in half (a serrated knife is best for this).
- Spoon out the seeds and discard, then scrape up the spaghetti squash flesh with a fork, creating the “spaghetti.”
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high.
- Add onion, garlic, jalapeno and red bell pepper. Sauté 2 minutes.
- Stir in cumin, oregano, chili powder, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté 1 more minute.
- Stir in beans, corn, half of cilantro and lime juice until well combined.
- Add the “spaghetti” from each squash to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season as desired.
- Set oven to broil. Stuff each squash half with the squash-vegetable mixture and top with grated cheddar.
- Broil until cheese melts and gets brown and bubbly, 1-2 minutes.
- Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve warm.
Greek Yogurt Spinach & Artichoke Dip Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Chicken
This tongue-twister of a recipe is not as complicated as the name suggests. Spinach, artichoke, and a bit of yogurt in between. You’ll love to try this out specially if you’re looking for a tasty but healthy dinner.
- 1 large (4-5 lb) spaghetti squash
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups rotisserie chicken, diced (or just cooked chicken)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can chopped artichokes, drained
- 1 pkg frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 6 oz provel cheese, divided
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.
- Place the spaghetti squash in the microwave for 5 minutes. (This will help to cook the spaghetti squash quicker and make it easier to cut into).
- Remove from the microwave, be careful as it will be warm!
- Carefully cut in half, length wise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the middle.
- Drizzle each with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place on prepared baking sheets and place in preheated oven. Roast for 35 minutes or until the flesh of the squash will shred easily when scraped with a fork; will be like spaghetti noodles.
- Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and add the diced onion.
- Cook for 4 – 5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add the diced red pepper and garlic.
- Cook for 10 – 15 minutes, or until veggies start to caramelize and are soft.
- Remove from heat, and add the chicken, artichokes, chopped spinach, Greek yogurt, 4 oz of the provel, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir well to completely combine.
- Once squash is done, carefully scrape each squash half with a fork, to fluff and create the noodles.
- Divide the mixture among the two squashes and top with the remaining 2 oz of provel.
- Place back in oven and cook for 10 minutes longer, or until heated through.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Cajun Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
This Cajun stuffed recipe is perfect for those guests who have special dietary needs. It’s vegan, dairy free, egg free, and gluten free. If you serve this, your guests definitely remember how considerate you are as a host of a party.
- 2 small spaghetti squash
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ small onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon concentrated tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 container GO Veggie! Dairy Free, Vegan Chive & Garlic Cream Cheese
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, chopped
- 1 cup chopped kale (about 2 leaves)
- Heat the oven to 350ºF.
- Place the squash on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, cajun seasoning, and paprika; cook 1-2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
- Stir in the cream cheese. Once the cheese is melted, add the beans, red bell pepper, and jalapeno.
- Reduce heat to low and let reduce by ¼, about 20 minutes. Stir in the kale.
- With a sharp chef’s knife, cut the squash in half crosswise. Discard the seeds.
- Use the tines of a fork to separate the flesh of the squash into spaghetti-like strings, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.
- Remove the strings and stir into the sauce, then ladle the sauce into the center of each squash.Serve immediately.
Low-Calorie Spaghetti Squash Recipes
Spaghetti Squash Primavera
Looking for something low-calorie? Try this one out. This dish also happens to be gluten free, low fat, and high in protein. A definite favorite for those who have special diets and want something to make them lose weight at the same time.
- 1 Small spaghetti squash, roasted (about 3 cups)
- 1 Cup Sliced Yellow squash (1 small)
- 1 Cup Sliced Zucchini (1 small)
- ½ Cup Cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3/4 Cup Shredded Carrots (or ½ cup of thinly sliced carrots)
- ¼ Cup Diced Shallots
- 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- ½ Cup Low fat Cottage cheese
- 2 Tbsp Low fat Cream cheese
- ¼ Cup + 2 tsp Reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Fresh sliced basil, for garnish
- Fresh grated Parmesan, for garnish
- To roast the squash: Line a baking tray with parchment paper and Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place it cut side down on the baking tray and bake until fork tender, about 45 minutes.
- Set aside to cool.
- Heat the 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pan and on med/high heat. Cook the shallot and garlic until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the sliced yellow squash, zucchini, and shredded carrots cooking until the squash has softened.
- Place the cottage cheese in a small food processor along with 2 tsp of the chicken broth, and process until smooth and no lumps remain.
- Turn down the heat to medium and add in the cottage cheese, cream cheese, the remaining chicken broth and salt/pepper to taste.
- Stir until all the cheese is melted and a sauce forms. You can add in more chicken broth if the sauce is too thick for your liking.
- Using a fork, scrape 3 cups out of the roasted spaghetti squash and stir it into the pan. Cook until the squash is well coated and heated through.
- Divide the mixture between two plates and garnish with fresh, sliced basil and fresh, grated Parmesan cheese.
- Serve immediately
Spaghetti Squash with Low Calorie Meatballs
One of these meatballs only has 21 calories. Combine that with spaghetti squash and you got yourself one dish that’s not only filling but also good for losing weight.
- ½ Cup Ground Turkey
- ½ Cup Lean Ground Beef
- 2 Servings Onion Soup Mix
- 1 Tsp Fresh Chopped Chives
- 1/8 Tsp Pepper
- 1 Egg White
- 3 Tbsp Black Beans
- 1 Tsp Minced Garlic
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Mash together. (Like meatloaf)
- Roll into tbsp sized meatballs.
- Place on greased baking sheet.
- Bake 15-18 minutes.
Pad Thai Spaghetti Squash
You know the thing about Thai food? It’s incredibly flavorful and quite the healthy meal. Not only that, most of their food are based on vegetables and spices which means being low-calorie is second nature.
This recipe calls for a special combination of peanut sauce, spaghetti squash, and a whole roster of spices and an egg or two to make a delicious but guilt-free meal.
- 1 red onion
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 c of carrots (already in thin stick form)
- 1 c bean sprouts
- 1/4-1/2 c of liquid egg whites
- 1 clove of garlic
- crushed peanuts
- a few pieces of cilantro
- 2 tbsp white rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 lime
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tbsp of Peanut Butter
- 2 prepared with 3-4 tbsp of water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and slice your spaghetti squash into half. Carve out the middle of the squash that contains all of the seeds and discard into the trash.
- Place squash on a baking sheet or in a pyrex dish with the skin facing the dish and cook for 40-60 minutes until soft.
- Meanwhile drain tofu of all water and slice into extremely small pieces (or if you want larger chunks don’t cut down into fine cubes).
- Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray and toss in tofu (you can use 1 tbsp oil if you want it more crisp/fried like). Cook until light brown on sides.
- Remove tofu from pan and toss in chopped red onion (you don’t have to add all of the red onion, I just added as much as I wanted there to be in the dish).
- Cook for a minute or two, then add in chopped garlic (stir continuously, so it does not burn).
- After a minute has gone by, add in the carrots and bean sprouts. You may need to spray the pan again with the non-cook PAM or add in some water, so the pan doesn’t burn.
- Toss in the tofu to re-heat and mix with all the vegetables.Move mixture to the side of the pan and add in the liquid egg whites. Wait until the liquid starts to solidify before moving around to turn into scrambled eggs.
- Then mix all the ingredients together and then remove pan from flame to place on a burner for the meantime.In a small saucepan or pot, add in the vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, PB2, juice of one lime, and a clove of garlic.
- Heat on medium and stir until the brown sugar and PB2 completely dissolves.
- Place vegetable/tofu mixture back on a flame to heat back up then pour the cooked sauce into the mixture. Stir until everything is thoroughly coated.
- By this time the spaghetti squash should be done cooking, so remove from oven and let cool. Once the squash is cool you can use a fork to pull the “noodles” from the squash.
- Once you have the amount you want, throw the “noodles” into the vegetable mixture and stir well.
- Pour however much you want into a bowl and top with a handful of crushed peanuts and around 6-7 cilantro leaves. Then enjoy!
With much more recipes available, there’s simply a lot of fun things you can do to create your very own healthy spaghetti squash meal. It’s guilt-free and won’t contribute to unnecessary weight gain.