For the uninitiated, cooking with spaghetti squash is an innovative way to add a boost of nutrients to any meal. The low-calorie vegetable is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making it a fantastic substitute for traditional pasta and grains in common dishes.
If you need even more convincing: it's also incredibly easy to prepare. Most recipes involve cutting the spaghetti squash in half to bake in the oven. Once roasted, the squash can be shredded with a fork, leaving you with a texture that somewhat resembles (you guessed it) spaghetti noodles.
Although it's a healthy vegetable, it can be dressed up and paired with salmon, added to a creamy pasta dish, or made into a delicious baked creation. Ahead, discover 10 of the best spaghetti squash recipes. They're creative, easy to make, and may leave you craving the healthy vegetable even more than pasta.
Coconut Cashew Spaghetti Squash "Alfredo" with Roasted Cauliflower
The Hero Ingredient: Cashews work with coconut milk to create a vegan sauce that tastes as creamy as any alfredo.
Pro Tip: "If you’re not vegan, you can use parmesan in the sauce instead of nutritional yeast," Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest writes. "I’m actually really loving the vegan parmesan. I love the nuttiness the pine nuts give it," she adds.
Why We Love It: Although this Italian-inspired dish substitutes pasta for spaghetti squash and cheese for cashews, it's still a creamy creation that tastes just as cheesy and decadent as the real thing.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Basil Pesto
The Recipe: Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Basil Pesto
The Hero Ingredient: Sun-dried tomatoes give the homemade vegan pesto sauce something special.
Pro Tip: "This would make the perfect quick weeknight meal when you’re craving something comforting but not too heavy," according to Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker.
Why We Love It: This veggie recipe requires just nine ingredients and about an hour of your time, making it prime weeknight dinner material. It calls for a vegan pesto sauce made with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, cashews, nutritional yeast, and extra virgin olive oil. Use it to top shredded spaghetti squash "noodles" for a tasty, easy meal.
Orange-Spiced Salmon with Spaghetti Squash
The Recipe: Orange-Spiced Salmon with Spaghetti Squash
The Hero Ingredient: Brown sugar complements the semi-sweet nature of the cooked spaghetti squash, making this simple dish taste entirely gourmet.
Pro Tip: "When choosing a salmon, always choose a sustainable salmon," Heidi Larsen, the cook behind Foodie Crush, advises. "It's healthier for the eater and the sea's creatures."
Why We Love It: Spaghetti squash makes the perfect healthy side to pair with a fillet of baked salmon. The salmon and squash are both seasoned with sweet brown sugar, tangy orange zest, and a Chinese five-spice powder for a flavorful meal that's good for you.
Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce
The Hero Ingredient: For this recipe, peanut butter is used to make a tasty lime peanut sauce that sets this spaghetti squash dish apart from the rest.
Pro Tip: "The list of ingredients seems long, but it’s largely a compilation of pantry items that can be subbed, swapped or chopped altogether," according to Laura Wright of The First Mess.
Why We Love It: This recipe is a nice departure from the usual Italian-inspired dishes that spaghetti squash is so often used in. Instead, it calls for an Asian-inspired lime peanut sauce that coats tender spaghetti squash and broccoli florets.
Creamy Vegan Spaghetti Squash Bake
The Recipe: Creamy Vegan Spaghetti Squash Bake
The Hero Ingredient: Nutritional yeast gives this baked dish its ultra creamy texture while keeping it completely vegan.
Pro Tip: Be sure to let the squash cool after baking before you scrape out the flesh of the vegetable, Teri Lyn Fisher of Spoon Fork Bacon warns.
Why We Love It: This is the perfect dinner to make when you're craving something decadent but are trying to put your health goals first. Although it tastes creamy and indulgent, it's actually vegan and packed with nutritious veggies.
Spicy Tomato Parmesan Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
The Recipe: Spicy Tomato Parmesan Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
The Hero Ingredient: Smashed garlic is the key to nailing this recipe. Put it on the squash before roasting to infuse the vegetable with the aromatic flavor.
Pro Tip: "I’ve kept this recipe vegetarian, but adding in cubed boneless chicken would work really well if you’d like to bump up the protein a bit," Gerard notes.
Why We Love It: This spaghetti squash recipe is almost suspiciously easy to pull together and tastes delicious to boot.
Almond Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp
The Recipe: Almond Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp
The Hero Ingredient: An almond pesto sauce that you can make in advance is definitely the hero of this dish. It's made with almonds, apple cider vinegar, basil, and nutritional yeast.
Pro Tip: "I paired this with shrimp because I love how quickly it cooks up, but I’d be willing to bet any protein source would pair well with this sauce," writes Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food.
Why We Love It: This low-carb, dairy-free, gluten-free recipe calls for just four ingredients (yes, really) and can be made in under an hour. All you need is roasted spaghetti squash, almond pesto sauce, shrimp, and fresh basil. What's not to like?
Cold Spaghetti Squash Salad
The Recipe: Cold Spaghetti Squash Salad
The Hero Ingredient: Spaghetti squash is truly the star of this unique pasta salad. Just be sure to let the "noodles" cool after the squash has baked in the oven.
Pro Tip: "Spaghetti squash contains vitamins A and C, as well as about 9% of your daily fiber and a healthy dose of manganese, which is important for healthy bones, tissue, sex hormones, metabolism and blood sugar regulation," Dana Daidt of Hello Glow points out.
Why We Love It: This unexpected take on a pasta salad is healthy and refreshing. It's perfect for a summer dinner and calls for nutritious ingredients like spaghetti squash, cucumber, scallion, and lemon.
BBQ Chicken Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
The Recipe: BBQ Chicken Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
The Hero Ingredient: Without the BBQ sauce, this dish wouldn't be the same. It's what makes it stand out from other spaghetti squash recipes that are inspired by classic Italian creations.
Pro Tip: You can also add diced tomatoes and red peppers to this dish if you're looking for something extra, according to Krista Rollins, the author of Joyful Healthy Eats.
Why We Love It: If you like BBQ chicken pizza, you'll love this spaghetti squash creation. It's all the classic ingredients you'd expect to top a BBQ pizza baked into a healthy squash for a tasty, low-calorie dinner that's ready in a snap.
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Garlicky Arugula Cream
The Hero Ingredient: Cooked chickpeas make for an unexpected filling in this stuffed spaghetti squash recipe and they add a welcome serving of protein to this light meal.
Pro Tip: "When I need a touch of richness or a fast sauce, I almost always start with raw cashew butter," Wright shares.
Why We Love It: This dish comes together with ten main ingredients and an impressive sauce that you can easily make in a blender. It feels gourmet thanks to the chickpeas and pepper cream sauce; however, it's relatively simple to make and will quickly end up in your weekly dinner rotation.