These spaghetti squash spaghetti bowls are a fun twist on regular pasta night! They are a great way to increase your veggie intake and they make for a quick, healthy weeknight meal.
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with spaghetti squash, this easy spaghetti squash recipe is for you! Packed with veggies and protein, you can’t go wrong. It’s grain free and dairy free, making it a delicious Paleo and Whole 30 meal (as long as you use sugar-free marinara sauce).
How to Keep the Ingredients Clean
These are specific things I look for when buying the ingredients for this recipe. Ingredients not listed don’t have any specifications when it comes to keeping/purchasing them clean. If you don’t purchase items with my recommendations below, know the recipe will still turn out great.
MARINARA SAUCE – you’ll want to look at the ingredient list on your marinara and look for two things. To start, make sure it does not have any added sugars. You can tell this by looking at the sugar content and seeing if it states “0 added sugars”, or read the ingredient list and make sure there aren’t any forms of sugar listed. Second, look over the entire ingredient list to ensure all ingredients are something that you could use yourself to make marinara sauce. You don’t want to see any natural flavors, preservatives like citric acid or calcium chloride, or added oils other than extra-virgin olive oil. Bello Organico is my favorite!
TURKEY – look for organic ground turkey if you can. This will ensure no antibiotics were used in the raising of the turkey. In addition, I like to look for certifications like “Animal Welfare Approved” or “Certified Humane”. These ensure humane treatment of the animals. For more on turkey labels, check out THIS handy guide!
How to Roast Spaghetti Squash
The only slightly hard thing about this recipe is cutting the spaghetti squash. But, follow along, and you’ll be a pro in no time!
- CUT THE STEM OFF OF SQUASH: To start, lay spaghetti squash the long way on a cutting board. Using a very sharp knife (I prefer a chef’s knife, like this ONE), cut the stem off of each squash (cut close to the stem so you are only cutting the very top of the squash off).
- CUT EACH SQUASH IN HALF: Using the same knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. I like to start by placing the tip of the knife in the middle of the squash and then pushing the knife into the squash the long way. Eventually the squash will begin to crack. Repeat that process until the squash is in 2 halves.
- SCOOP OUT THE SEEDS: Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy pieces of each half.
- LAY FACE DOWN ON BAKING SHEET AND BAKE: Drizzle a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil on each half, sprinkle with salt, and lay face down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400 for 35-45 minutes (baking time will vary pending the size of your squash), or until you can pierce the squash with a fork. If you want it a little more “al dente”, reduce the cooking time.
- SCRAPE SPAGHETTI FROM EACH SQUASH HALF: Turn each half over. Using a fork, scrape out the spaghetti squash strands. Place strands in serving bowl, or just leave in each spaghetti squash half.
What are the Benefits of Spaghetti Squash?
Spaghetti squash is less of a starchy vegetable, compared to its cousins the butternut squash and acorn squash. It’s less calorie dense, but still extremely high in nutrients.
It’s a great source of B vitamins and a decent source of fiber. It also contains a good source of vitamins A and C. Similar to carrots, spaghetti squash contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant, which can reduce/or prevent oxidative stress in the body (which can cause certain diseases).
TURKEY – you could definitely use ground chicken or ground beef in this recipe.
VEGAN? Skip the meet and sauté or roast up a bunch of veggies to go with the sauce. Mushrooms, asparagus, peppers, carrots…options are endless. I also think some cooked lentils, beans, or chickpeas would be good to add in some plant-based protein.
ROASTED VEGGIES – I kept it simple with roasted broccoli, but you could easily roast any veggies of your choice. Asparagus, mushrooms, and/or carrots would all be great!
Is this Recipe Paleo/Whole 30?
Yes, as the recipe is written, it is both Paleo and Whole 30 as long as you are buying added sugar-free marinara sauce (there is some natural sugars in tomatoes)! Most marinara/pasta sauces will say “Whole 30 Approved” on the jar. Again, my favorite is Bello Organico.
How Long Does This Last & Can I Freeze It?
This spaghetti squash spaghetti will stay good in the fridge for 4-5 days. And yes, you can also freezes it. It will stay good frozen, in an airtight container, for up to 3 months.
Other Recipes I Think You’ll Like!
If you make these spaghetti squash spaghetti bowls, please let me know what you think! Leave a comment below and/or share a photo on Instagram and mention @CleanPlateMama!
Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti Bowls
- 2 spaghetti squash (any size works)
- 3 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (divided)
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 5 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jar marinara sauce with zero added sugars (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Prepare the spaghetti squash for roasting. Start by laying each spaghetti squash the long way on a cutting board. Using a very sharp knife (I prefer a chef’s knife), cut the stem off of each squash (cut close to the stem so you are only cutting the very top of the squash off). From there, cut each squash in half lengthwise. I like to start by placing the tip of the knife in the middle of the squash and then pushing the knife into the squash the long way. Eventually the squash will begin to crack (or you'll be lucky and it will cut really nicely for you). Repeat that process until the squash is in 2 halves.Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy pieces from each squash half.
- Lightly drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil on each half of each squash and sprinkle with sea salt. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until squash halves can be pierced with a fork through the skin (for more al dente texture, reduce the cooking time).
- After the squash has cooked for about 20 minutes, add the broccoli to the oven. Toss broccoli in 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil prior to baking. Roast broccoli for about 15 minutes, or until edges are beginning to brown.
- While the squash is cooking, add the ground turkey, chopped onion, and garlic to a medium sized skillet. Cook over medium heat until turkey is fully cooked. Add marinara sauce and simmer until ready to use.
- Remove squash from oven after they have finished roasting. Turn squash halves over and using a fork, scrape the "squash noodles" from each half.
- Assemble bowls by adding the squash noodles, meat/marinara sauce, and roasted broccoli.
- To keep this recipe Whole 30 and Paleo, I use marinara sauce that does not have any added sugars (plus I don’t like added sugars anyway). You can use marinara sauce with added sugars if you’d like.
- I like to use a commercial baking sheet for baking the squash and broccoli together. This way, only one pan is needed. Simply place the squash halves on one side, and when ready, add the broccoli pieces to the other side.
- I try to time when I add the broccoli so both broccoli and squash are done at the same time, but it doesn’t always work out this way. If needed, remove squash or broccoli from oven before the other one if either are done cooking first.
- You could eat these straight out of the squash halves, or assemble in separate bowls.