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Low in carbs, these Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats make the perfect replacement for any Italian pasta dish.
Squash is one of the healthiest vegetables around. It’s packed with good-for-you nutrients and delivers them all with minimal calories.
Is Spaghetti Squash Healthy?
Absolutely! Squash is never a bad choice, nutritionally speaking.
A 100-gram serving of spaghetti squash contains about 92 percent water and provides 31 calories, 7 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fiber along with negligible fat and less than 1 gram of protein.The Spruce Eats
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This dish has some classic Italian flavors. Even more so if you add any of the additions from the variations list below.
- It’s a hearty dish that can be served as is, or mixed with your favorite pasta.
- It’s filled with tons of good nutrients and you can feel great about feeding it to your family!
FAQs About Spaghetti Squash
When Is Spaghetti Squash Ripe?
It’s pretty much impossible to purchase a spaghetti squash that isn’t ripe these days. If they are yellow in color and have hard skin, they are ripe.
What Is The Glycemic Index Of Spaghetti Squash?
The glycemic index number of spaghetti squash is only 15, while the glycemic load is a very low 2.
How Much Healthier Is Spaghetti Squash Than Pasta?
I think we can all agree that vegetables are typically far healthier for you than pasta. Spaghetti, depending on the brand, has approximately 100 calories per serving and a whopping 42 grams of carbs. Just for the record, 1 serving is 2 oz. Far less than a lot of people eat in one sitting!
Spaghetti squash, on the other hand, only has only 17 calories for that same 2 ounces and only 4 grams of carbs. That’s a pretty stark difference!
How Do You Find The Longest Strand Of Spaghetti Squash?
Well, for starters, you don’t cut the squash the way I did in this recipe. (For this recipe, shorter strands are best).
But to get longer strands, you’ll want to cut your squash into thick rings because the strings do not run from end to end. They wrap around the squash, pretty much in circles. So cutting rings instead of slicing the squash in half lengthwise, will give you long spaghetti squash strands. (Hint: look at how the squash is cut below, and don’t cut it that way. Cut the other direction to make rings.)
Is Spaghetti Squash A Low Fodmap Food?
75 grams (approximately 1/2 a cup) is considered low Fodmap. That being said, I cannot vouch for the rest of this recipe.
Once everything is in the mixing bowl to be mixed, you can add any of these for extra flavor:
- 2 cups marinara sauce or tomato sauce (no sugar added)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 to 2 cups ricotta (you can also use full-fat cottage cheese for more of a spaghetti squash lasagna flavor!)
- Fresh basil (instead of just using it for garnish)
- 1 tsp. of red pepper flakes if you want some spice.
About The Ingredients
Spaghetti squash – Just get a medium-sized squash with nice, hard, yellow skin with few blemishes.
Oil – Any type you are comfortable cooking with.
Red onion – The measurement is approximately 1 large, red onion.
Garlic – You want the whole head of garlic. The bigger, the better. (In my humble opinion)
Sliced mushrooms – You can use white or brown mushrooms.
Baby spinach leaves – Regular spinach works too, but I would chop it up a bit to avoid large pieces.
Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt, but you can use whatever you normally cook with.
Italian seasoning – This is a simple herb mix. You can purchase it in the spice aisle at any grocery store or make your own using this recipe.
Ground turkey – You can use ground beef if you prefer. Ground chicken will work too.
Grated mozzarella cheese – If you want to play around with the flavors, you can try different types of cheese. Parmesan is never a bad idea.
Fresh basil – chopped or sliced for garnish
How To Make
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membranes with a spoon. Turn them cut side down and place the pan in the oven. Pour a ½ inch of water into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until you can easily push a knife through the squash.
Prep all the produce as needed.
Sauté the onions in the oil in a large skillet until they become translucent.
Add in the mushrooms, and cook them until they are wilted. Stir frequently.
Add in the garlic and cook for 1 full minute, stirring constantly.
Add in the spinach and stir until it’s fully wilted.
Add in the spices and give it one last stir to combine. Then transfer the entire mixture to a holding plate or bowl and set it off to the side.
Using the same skillet, add the other half of the oil and begin to cook the turkey.
Add the spices, and scramble until fully cooked.
Add the meat to the holding bowl or plate with the vegetables and set aside again.
When the squash is done, scrape the flesh out into the bowl of meat and veggies. Do not discard the squash skins/shells.
Add 1 cup of the grated cheese (you can add more if you want this really cheesy), and stir well.
Divide the mixture between the two empty squash shells.
Top with the second cup of cheese divided between the two squash halves.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted.
Top with fresh basil and serve.
Storing Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats
Wrap leftovers well or pack them up in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats
If packed well, this will freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats
From Frozen – Thaw for a full 24 hours (or as needed) in the fridge.
From Fridge – Reheat this in the microwave, or in the oven at 325 F. until warmed through. If it takes a while to heat up in the oven, you may want to cover it with a loose piece of foil so the oven doesn’t burn anything as it warms.
More Spaghetti Squash Recipes
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Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats Recipe Card
Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats Recipe
- 1 Baking sheet
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 2 tbsp. oil (divided – You may need a bit more depending on your pan)
- 1½ cups chopped red onion
- 1 medium head of garlic (pressed or minced)
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 2 cups grated mozzarella (divided)
- fresh basil (chopped for garnish)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membranes with a spoon. Turn them cut side down and place the pan in the oven. Pour a 1/2 inch of water into the pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until you can easily push a knife through the squash.
- Prep all the produce as needed.
- Sauté the onions in the oil in a large skillet until they become translucent.
- Add in the mushrooms, and cook them until they are wilted. Stir frequently.
- Add in the garlic and cook for 1 full minute, stirring constantly.
- Add in the spinach and stir until it's fully wilted.
- Add in the spices and give it one last stir to combine. Then transfer the entire mixture to a holding plate or bowl and set it off to the side.
- Using the same skillet, add the other half of the oil and cook the turkey.
- Add the spices, and scramble until fully cooked.
- Add the meat to the holding bowl or plate with the vegetables and set aside again.
- When the squash is done, scrape it out into the bowl of meat and veggies. Do not discard the squash skins/shells.
- Add 1 cup of the grated cheese (you can add more if you want this really cheesy), and stir well.
- Divide the mixture between the two empty squash shells.
- Top with the second cup of cheese divided between the two squash halves.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted.
- Top with fresh basil and serve.