Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lasagna Without Noodles?

This was my very first time cooking with spaghetti squash. I had heard that this squash was so named because once cooked, the meat forms threads that resemble spaghetti noodles, but I had never seen it before. I was worried that I wouldn't cook this right, and the 'noodles' wouldn't come out as they were supposed to. It was actually really simple and I was quite surprised when I scraped the squash with a fork and it instantly formed strands, just like that!

One of the reasons I decided to make this was because we are trying to eat healthier, and we tend to eat some pretty carb-heavy meals. In this recipe, the spaghetti squash is used as a substitute for traditional lasagna noodles. I thought this dish was pretty good; you just have to know/expect that the squash doesn't taste like pasta. It has a different texture from traditional lasagna... even cooked, the squash strands still retain a bit of crunch. While I enjoyed this, my husband, who is a pretty standard 'meat and potatoes' kind of guy, said he much preferred the World's Best Lasagna I made last time.

I did not have a dish large enough to fit the entire squash in my microwave so I had to bake it. For those that do, there are instructions below on how to cook the squash in the microwave to save some time. Otherwise, plan ahead, as the squash will take nearly an hour to cook in the oven.

I also had to make a semi-homemade tomato sauce for this recipe, based on what I had on hand in my pantry. You could probably double the homemade portion if you don't like using jarred sauces; or you could double the jarred sauce if you don't have a lot of time to prepare your meal. I truly think that the combination I used made for a really flavorful sauce and wouldn't really do it any differently next time.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

from Me!
(adapted from Allrecipes and Cooking Light

1 (3-pound) spaghetti squash
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 (14 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb 10 oz Jar of Prego Roasted Garlic & Herb Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut squash in half lengthwise, discarding seeds. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish; add water to dish to a depth of 1/2 inch. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with a fork.

Remove squash from dish, and cool. Scrape inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghetti-like strands.

Alternative Microwave Method:

Make sure that your baking dish will fit into the microwave before adding the squash and water.

Cut squash in half lengthwise, discarding seeds. Place squash halves, cut sides down, in a baking dish; add 1/4 cup water to dish. Cover with heavy-duty plastic wrap; vent. Microwave at HIGH 15 minutes (or about 5 minutes per pound) until squash is tender when pierced with a fork.

Over medium heat, saute the onion and garlic until golden brown. Stir in tomatoes, salt, black pepper, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until you have a medium thick sauce. Add the jar of Prego and simmer on low heat another 30 minutes.

Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 cup Parmesan, oregano, thyme, and ricotta.

Spread one-third of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 13x9" baking dish. Then layer half of the spaghetti squash strands and half of the ricotta mixture. Top with 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers of sauce - spaghetti squash - ricotta - mozzarella. Top with remaining tomato sauce, 1/3 cup mozzarella, and 1 cup Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350°F for 40-50 minutes, or until top layer of cheese is golden and bubbly.


  1. This looks fanstastic! Spaghetti squash is one of those things I always mean to try and never remember when I am meal planning/grocery shopping :)

  2. Oohh this sounds great! I am TRYING so hard to work more veggies in to our routine- great idea! :)

  3. What a great idea!! It looks SOO good!

  4. interesting! i'm bookmarking this one.