I love squash. I also love spaghetti. So what better dish could there be to combine these than Baked Spaghetti Squash? Just like it sounds, the spaghetti squash does one heck of a good job replicating real spaghetti noodles.
Start by baking the squash until it’s nice and tender, then use a fork to scrape the squash so it resembles pasta noodles. To add to this, we’re going to make a savory tomato sauce with plenty of onions, garlic, fresh bell pepper, mushrooms, and ground beef. Oregano and thyme add a lovely herbal aroma and hint of mint flavors to the sauce, and a little touch of cayenne pepper offers just enough spice to keep you on your toes.
Stuff each half of the squash with ground beef, tomatoes and all of the regular pasta fixings and you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried Baked Spaghetti Squash before! It’s squash. It’s pasta. It’s the best of everything!
The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s easy to alter to your desired taste, too. Leave out the ground beef for a vegetarian version of this dish. If you don’t like spice, feel free to skip the cayenne pepper.
One way I like to prepare it is to follow the directions, then add Parmesan cheese toward the end of the baking time and put it back in the oven for about 10 minutes. The melted Parmesan on top of the Baked Spaghetti Squash is absolutely divine!
This makes a spectacular presentation and is a filling meal. I also like to serve this with a light glass of wine or a black ice tea, along with either some garlic bread or a loaf of Italian bread with good olive oil for dipping.Print
Baked Spaghetti Squash
Take a break from pasta with this Baked Spaghetti Squash, filled with ground beef, tomatoes, and plenty of aromatic herbs.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Category: Entrées
- 1 (3-pound) spaghetti squash
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 8 cremini mushrooms, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Parmesan cheese, for topping (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Puncture the spaghetti squash randomly with a sharp knife to allow steam to be released. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a knife can pierce the skin easily. Allow to cool and slice in half. Remove the seeds. Using a fork, scrape inside the squash to create the spaghetti “noodles.”
- While the squash is baking, prepare the ﬁlling.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef, onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook until the meat is browned, about 6 minutes.
- Mix in the tomatoes, bell pepper, and salt and black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the oregano, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Ladle the sauce on top of your prepared squash halves. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is melted. Serve.
Have you had a chance to try this recipe? What did you think?