This buttery Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash recipe is to-die-for delicious! My spaghetti squash “pasta” is tossed in my favorite homemade creamy alfredo sauce. It is buttery, full of garlic, and includes cream and parmesan cheese. It is topped off with spinach, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella then baked until it’s warm and bubbly and the cheese is melted. A healthy comfort food “pasta” recipe made with the best from-scratch alfredo sauce.
The ultimate resourceful spaghetti squash cooking guide to getting started. I include how to find spaghetti squash at the grocery store, how to cut spaghetti squash, how to bake spaghetti squash, the health benefits of spaghetti squash, and recipe and sauce ideas to pair with spaghetti squash for other meal plan ideas.
What is Spaghetti Squash?
Spaghetti squash is a healthy, hearty winter vegetable that grows in the ground. The vegetable is tough and it needs to be softened by baking before eating. Once it bakes, the hearty inside strands easily come apart by scraping a fork back and forth.
How do I find spaghetti squash at the grocery store? Spaghetti squash is creamy white to pale yellow in color. If your grocery store carries this vegetable, they will label it as spaghetti squash. It is not butternut squash, so be sure to check the labels to know what you are buying. Finally, choose a dry, firm squash. It should not have any soft spots. PRO TIP: Weigh the spaghetti squash at the store in order to scale it easier to recipes you find online.
Does spaghetti squash taste like pasta? No, it does not taste the same. It is mostly tasteless, however, it does have a slightly sweet taste. If you add herbs, seasoning, and sauces to the baked spaghetti squash, it balances the taste. Cooked spaghetti squash reminds me the most of thin glass noodles. That’s because once the winter squash is baked, small fibrous strands unravel that look nearly identical to glass noodles.
Spaghetti Squash Health Benefits
Spaghetti squash is a winter squash that is nutrient-dense. It’s low in calories, carbs, cholesterol, and fat, but high in several key vitamins and minerals. This makes it the ideal vegetable to use in place of processed pasta.
Spaghetti Squash is low in carbohydrates. It is naturally gluten-free which makes it a great alternative to starchy pasta.
PREP: Cooking Expert Tips
How to cut spaghetti squash: If you have ever carved a pumpkin to roast the seeds, then you know how hard a vegetable can be cut. Squash can be hard to cut, too. I’ve included several tips and other tricks to master this step. To start, lay the squash down. Use a sharp knife and insert it into the center of the squash lengthwise. Turn the squash with the knife away from you. I turn mine to left or right. Now, use your hand to push the knife through. Rotate the squash and repeat to the other side until your spaghetti squash is fully cut lengthwise. If it is too hard to cut, follow my next step. It uses the microwave to soften it a little.
Easy Method to Cut Spaghetti Squash
Microwave spaghetti squash to cut it with a knife easier: Use a fork to prick the spaghetti squash skin all over. Then place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for 10-15 minutes. Use a kitchen towel to handle the hot squash then follow my steps above to cut it.
Cooking Spaghetti Squash
How to prepare spaghetti squash: Next, use a spoon to scoop and remove the seeds. Place the squash on a parchment paper rimmed baking sheet with the centers facing up. Finally, brush the squash with olive oil then season with salt and pepper.
How long to cook spaghetti squash? Spaghetti squash can be prepared a variety of ways and this guide shows you one way to make spaghetti squash boats. Baking spaghetti squash can take 30 minutes to 1 hour to cook in the oven. For this recipe, roasted spaghetti squash cooks the fastest by cutting the squash in half lengthwise.
Spaghetti Squash Meal Plans
What dishes go well with spaghetti squash? Chicken is always my favorite protein to serve with spaghetti squash noodles. Here is a quick instant pot whole chicken recipe to make while the squash cooks in the oven. If you are pairing this as part of a meal plan, try my Asian Garlic Sesame Chicken Lettuce Cups. Then simply add this keto spaghetti squash recipe and my keto chicken lettuce cups to meal planning kits.
What other sauces can I use for spaghetti squash? For a different cheese sauce, replace my garlic parmesan alfredo sauce with this crack chicken sauce. In fact, feel free to add the spaghetti squash noodles to this sauce after it’s done cooking in the instant pot pressure cooker. If you like this parmesan spaghetti squash recipe, try this cheesy marinara sauce recipe next and replace the pasta with oven-roasted spaghetti squash strands.
Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash
- 3.5 lb. spaghetti squash (I bought 1(2 lb.) and 1(1.5 lb.) squash)
- 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated (I like BEL GIOIOSO Parmesan Cheese)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- 12 cherry tomatoes halved
- 4 oz freshly sliced mozzarella (I like BEL GIOIOSO mozzarella)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.Using a sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise. PRO TIP: Insert the knife in the center then push it through. Repeat with the other side. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp in the center. If this step is difficult, prick the squash all over with a fork. Place on microwave plate then microwave until fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes. Cut squash lengthwise then remove seeds and pulp. Brush each half with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes or until squash strands are fork-tender or slightly softer than al dente. Remove baking sheet from oven. Allow squash to cool slightly. Use a kitchen towel or oven mitt to hold the spaghetti squash. Rack a fork back and forth over the spaghetti squash halves to create spaghetti strands; set aside.Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in minced garlic and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in heavy cream, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add in freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir until melted and incorporated. Stir in spinach until reduced in size.Evenly pour garlic parmesan alfredo sauce over each prepared spaghetti squash half and fluff the strands with the sauce. Top with halved cherry tomatoes and fresh sliced mozzarella.Bake in oven 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.