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Spaghetti Squash Casserole Recipe

Spaghetti Squash Casserole is a hearty and nutritious meal that pleases any crowd. The combination of spaghetti squash strands with flavorful ground beef and cheesy goodness creates a casserole that is both comforting and healthy. This recipe is straightforward to make and is perfect for a weeknight dinner or a casual gathering.

Spaghetti Squash Casserole Recipe
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Most of the ingredients for this recipe are commonly found in any household pantry, such as ground beef, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and cheese. However, spaghetti squash may not be as common. It is a type of winter squash that has a unique texture resembling spaghetti strands when cooked, thus its name. When shopping, look for a squash that feels heavy for its size and has a firm, intact skin without any cracks or soft spots.

Ingredients for Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti squash: A nutrient-dense vegetable that forms the base of the casserole. When cooked, it has a texture similar to spaghetti.

Ground beef: Adds protein and richness to the dish.

Onion: Enhances the flavor of the dish.

Garlic cloves: Provides a robust flavor.

Diced tomatoes: Adds a tangy taste and moistness to the casserole.

Tomato paste: Thickens the sauce and intensifies the tomato flavor.

Marinara sauce: Adds depth of flavor and moisture.

Italian seasoning: Gives the casserole its characteristic Italian flavor.

Mozzarella cheese: Melts to provide a creamy, cheesy top layer.

One reader, Gallard Piazza says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This spaghetti squash casserole recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are so rich and comforting, and the spaghetti squash adds a unique twist. It's a healthier alternative to traditional pasta dishes, and the whole family loved it. Plus, it's easy to make and perfect for busy weeknights. Highly recommend!

Gallard Piazza

Techniques Required for Making Spaghetti Squash Casserole

How to cook the spaghetti squash: The spaghetti squash should be cooked until tender. This can be done by cutting it in half, removing the seeds, and then roasting it in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 40-45 minutes, or until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork.

How to prepare the ground beef: In a medium saucepan, cook the ground beef, onion, and garlic until no pink remains. Drain any excess fat before adding the other ingredients.

How to assemble the casserole: After combining the cooked ground beef mixture with the spaghetti squash, transfer it to a casserole dish, or place it back into the squash halves. Then, top it with the mozzarella cheese before baking.

How to bake the casserole: The assembled casserole should be baked at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

How To Make Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Grab a bite of this mouthwatering spaghetti squash casserole for your next dinner meal! It’s light, flavorful, and takes only under an hour to make.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 1spaghetti squash,cooked
  • 1lblean ground beef
  • 1onion,diced
  • 2garlic cloves,minced
  • 15ozdiced tomatoes,canned
  • 1tbsptomato paste
  • 1cupmarinara sauce,or pasta sauce
  • 1tspItalian seasoning
  • cupsmozzarella cheese,shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Cook the squash until tender.

  3. Cut in half, then using a fork, remove the spaghetti squash strands from the squash. Set aside.

  4. In a medium saucepan, cook the ground beef, onion and garlic until no pink remains. Drain any fat.

  5. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, pasta sauce, and Italian seasoning.

  6. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in the squash.

  7. Place in a casserole dish, or back into the squash halves, and top with the cheese.

  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

  9. Serve warm, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 464.86kcal
  • Fat: 32.39g
  • Saturated Fat: 16.04g
  • Trans Fat: 0.89g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 11.48g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.37g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.92g
  • Fiber: 3.69g
  • Sugar: 7.96g
  • Protein: 29.05g
  • Cholesterol: 112.38mg
  • Sodium: 810.65mg
  • Calcium: 448.64mg
  • Potassium: 664.12mg
  • Iron: 2.90mg
  • Vitamin A: 166.09µg
  • Vitamin C: 13.75mg

Technique Tip for Perfecting Your Spaghetti Squash Casserole

When preparing the spaghetti squash, it's important to remember that the longer you roast it, the softer the strands will become, which can lead to a mushy texture. To avoid this, check the squash frequently as it cooks. Once you can easily pierce the skin with a fork, it's ready. This will ensure your spaghetti squash maintains a firm, spaghetti-like texture in your casserole.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Prep ahead: Chop vegetables, cook the ground beef, and roast the spaghetti squash in advance to save time when making the casserole.

Use store-bought sauce: Opt for pre-made marinara sauce to cut down on cooking time and simplify the recipe.

Multi-task: While the squash is roasting, prepare the meat sauce to maximize efficiency in the kitchen.

Invest in a good knife: A sharp, quality knife can make chopping and prepping ingredients quicker and more efficient.

One-pot cooking: Consider using a large skillet or pot to cook the entire dish, minimizing clean-up and saving time.

Substitute Ingredients For Spaghetti Squash Casserole Recipe

  • spaghetti squash - Substitute with zucchini noodles: Zucchini noodles can be used as a low-carb alternative to spaghetti squash, providing a similar texture and mild flavor.

  • lean ground beef - Substitute with ground turkey: Ground turkey is a leaner option that can be used as a healthier alternative to ground beef while still providing a similar meaty texture.

  • onion - Substitute with shallots: Shallots have a milder and sweeter flavor compared to onions, adding a subtle depth to the dish without overpowering other ingredients.

  • garlic cloves - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a convenient substitute for fresh garlic cloves, providing a similar flavor without the need for mincing or chopping.

  • diced tomatoes - Substitute with crushed tomatoes: Crushed tomatoes can be used as a substitute for diced tomatoes, providing a smoother texture while still adding the desired tomato flavor to the casserole.

  • tomato paste - Substitute with ketchup: Ketchup can be used as a substitute for tomato paste, adding a touch of sweetness and tanginess to the dish while providing a similar tomato base.

  • marinara sauce - Substitute with tomato sauce with Italian seasoning: Tomato sauce with Italian seasoning can be used as a substitute for marinara sauce, providing a flavorful base for the casserole.

  • mozzarella cheese - Substitute with provolone cheese: Provolone cheese can be used as a substitute for mozzarella, offering a similar mild and creamy flavor with a slightly sharper taste.

Presenting Your Spaghetti Squash Casserole

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the spaghetti squash casserole, focus on creating an elegant and visually appealing presentation. Use fresh herbs and edible flowers to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish. Arrange the strands of spaghetti squash neatly and consider using a ring mold for a more refined look.

  2. Incorporate texture: Add a textural element to the dish by sprinkling toasted breadcrumbs or crushed nuts on top of the casserole. This will not only enhance the visual appeal but also provide a delightful crunch with each bite.

  3. Utilize sauce drizzling: Elevate the plating by drizzling a small amount of marinara sauce or a balsamic reduction around the edge of the plate. This technique adds a professional touch and creates an attractive contrast on the plate.

  4. Garnish with microgreens: Enhance the presentation by delicately placing a few vibrant microgreens on top of the casserole. The addition of these tiny greens will bring a burst of freshness and a sophisticated touch to the dish.

  5. Consider individual servings: For a more refined approach, consider plating the spaghetti squash casserole in individual ramekins or mini cast-iron skillets. This allows for a more personalized and elegant presentation, perfect for a fine dining experience.

Essential Tools for Making a Spaghetti Squash Casserole

  • Oven: Used for baking and roasting dishes.
  • Fork: Used for separating the spaghetti squash strands from the squash.
  • Saucepan: Used for cooking the ground beef, onion, and garlic.
  • Casserole dish: Used for baking the spaghetti squash casserole.
  • Knife: Used for cutting the spaghetti squash and other ingredients.
  • Cutting board: Used for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Measuring cup: Used for measuring the marinara sauce and other liquids.
  • Cheese grater: Used for grating the mozzarella cheese.
  • Baking dish: Used for baking the casserole in the oven.

Storing and Freezing Spaghetti Squash Casserole

  • To store leftover spaghetti squash casserole, allow it to cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container or covering the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Properly stored in the refrigerator, the leftover casserole will keep for up to 3-4 days, maintaining its flavor and texture.
  • If you wish to freeze the casserole for longer storage, it's best to freeze it before baking. Assemble the casserole as directed, but do not add the cheese topping. Wrap the casserole dish securely with plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
  • Label the frozen casserole with the date and contents, and it will keep in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  • When you're ready to enjoy the frozen casserole, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, remove the plastic wrap, add the cheese topping, and bake as directed in the recipe, adding an extra 10-15 minutes to the baking time to ensure it's heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • If you have already baked the casserole and wish to freeze the leftovers, portion the cooled casserole into individual servings and wrap each serving tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 1-2 months, and reheat individual portions in the microwave or oven until heated through.

How To Reheat Spaghetti Squash Casserole Leftovers

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover spaghetti squash casserole in an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the casserole is heated through. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes of baking to allow the cheese to melt and become golden brown.

  • If you prefer a quicker method, you can reheat the casserole in the microwave. Transfer individual portions to microwave-safe plates and heat on high power for 1-2 minutes, or until the casserole is steaming hot. Be sure to stir the casserole halfway through the reheating process to ensure even heating.

  • For a crispy top, after reheating the casserole in the oven or microwave, place it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.

  • If the leftover casserole seems a bit dry, you can add a splash of marinara sauce or water before reheating to help maintain its moisture.

  • To reheat frozen leftover spaghetti squash casserole, first, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Then, follow the oven or microwave reheating instructions above, adding an extra 5-10 minutes to the heating time to ensure it's heated through.

Random Fact About Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti squash is a great source of nutrients, including vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. It's also low in calories and carbohydrates, making it a healthy alternative to traditional pasta.

Is Making Spaghetti Squash Casserole at Home Cost-Effective?

This spaghetti squash casserole recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as spaghetti squash, lean ground beef, and mozzarella cheese, are reasonably priced and can be found in most grocery stores. The dish is also quite filling, making it a good option for feeding a family of four. The approximate cost for this recipe for a household of four people would be around $15-20. Overall, I would rate this recipe an 8 for its affordability and delicious taste.

Is This Spaghetti Squash Casserole Healthy or Unhealthy?

This spaghetti squash casserole recipe offers a healthier twist on traditional pasta dishes by using spaghetti squash as a low-carb alternative to regular pasta. Spaghetti squash is a nutrient-dense vegetable that provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The lean ground beef adds protein to the dish, while the onion, garlic, and tomato-based ingredients contribute to the overall flavor profile.

However, there are a few aspects of this recipe that could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Opt for a leaner cut of ground beef (90% lean or higher) or consider using ground turkey or chicken for a lower fat content
  • Increase the amount of vegetables by adding diced bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini to the meat mixture
  • Choose a low-sodium marinara sauce or prepare a homemade sauce to control the salt content
  • Reduce the amount of cheese used or select a low-fat mozzarella to decrease the overall fat and calorie content

To further enhance the nutritional value of this spaghetti squash casserole, you could:

  • Incorporate additional herbs and spices, such as basil, oregano, or red pepper flakes, to boost flavor without relying on salt
  • Serve the casserole with a side salad or steamed vegetables to increase the fiber and nutrient content of the meal
  • Prepare the dish using a healthy cooking method, such as baking or grilling the spaghetti squash, rather than boiling it, to retain more of its nutrients

Editor's Thoughts on This Spaghetti Squash Casserole Recipe

The spaghetti squash casserole recipe is a delightful and wholesome dish that combines the natural sweetness of spaghetti squash with the savory flavors of lean ground beef, onions, and garlic. The addition of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce creates a rich and robust sauce that perfectly complements the tender squash strands. Topped with a generous layer of melted mozzarella cheese, this casserole is a comforting and satisfying meal that is sure to please the whole family. It's a great way to enjoy a healthier twist on traditional pasta dishes while still indulging in delicious flavors.

Enhance Your Spaghetti Squash Casserole Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: Tender asparagus spears roasted to perfection and topped with a savory garlic parmesan crust.
Honey Glazed Carrots with Thyme: Sweet and tender carrots glazed in honey and thyme for a delightful burst of flavor.
Balsamic Grilled Vegetables: A colorful medley of grilled vegetables marinated in a tangy balsamic glaze for a delicious and healthy side dish.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad: Combine roasted vegetables with cooked quinoa and a zesty vinaigrette for a refreshing and nutritious salad.
Balsamic Glazed Chicken: Marinate chicken in a balsamic glaze and then grill or bake for a sweet and tangy main dish.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: Mix chia seeds with coconut milk and diced mango for a creamy and tropical dessert or breakfast option.

Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Appetizers:
Stuffed Mushrooms: Savory mushrooms stuffed with a flavorful mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs, then baked to perfection. These bite-sized delights are sure to impress your guests at any gathering.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: A creamy and indulgent dip made with a blend of spinach, artichokes, and cheese. Served warm with crispy bread or crunchy tortilla chips, this appetizer is a crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone coming back for more.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. This elegant dessert is perfect for a special occasion or a decadent treat.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of baked apples, cinnamon, and a crunchy oat topping in this classic apple crisp. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate dessert experience.

Why trust this Spaghetti Squash Casserole Recipe:

This recipe offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures, making it a wholesome and satisfying meal. The use of fresh spaghetti squash as a low-carb alternative to pasta adds a healthy twist, while the savory blend of lean ground beef, onion, and garlic creates a rich and hearty base. The addition of diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and marinara sauce infuses the dish with robust Italian flavors, enhanced by the aromatic Italian seasoning. Topped with gooey mozzarella cheese, this casserole promises a comforting and delicious dining experience.

Share your thoughts on this delicious and healthy Spaghetti Squash Casserole recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
FAQ:
How long does it take to cook the spaghetti squash casserole?
The spaghetti squash casserole typically takes about 45 minutes to prepare and cook.
Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef in this recipe?
Yes, you can absolutely substitute ground turkey for ground beef in this recipe. It will still turn out delicious!
Can I make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it later?
Yes, you can definitely make the spaghetti squash casserole ahead of time and reheat it when you're ready to serve. Just store it in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven until it's heated through.
Is there a way to make this recipe vegetarian?
Absolutely! You can easily make this recipe vegetarian by substituting the ground beef with plant-based ground meat or adding more vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini.
Can I freeze the spaghetti squash casserole?
Yes, you can freeze the spaghetti squash casserole. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container or freezer-safe dish. When you're ready to enjoy it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in the oven until it's heated through.

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