Who needs pasta? This rich and flavorful spaghetti squash with meat sauce tastes as if you’ve been slaving on it for hours, but it’s ready in less than an hour.
This dish is so rich and comforting. It makes the perfect substitute for the real thing!
And while spaghetti squash is not exactly the same as real pasta (don’t we all wish it was), it is very tasty and it does give you an experience quite close to that of eating the noodles.
The ingredients you’ll need
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make spaghetti squash with meat sauce. This is an overview – please scroll down to the recipe card for the exact measurements:
Spaghetti squash: I use a small 2-lb. squash in this recipe.
Avocado oil: A great cooking oil because it has a neutral taste and a high smoke point.
Lean ground beef: I use a mixture of 85% lean and 15% fat. Leaner than that will be less flavorful, in my opinion.
Onion: I use a small yellow onion and chop it in the food processor because I’m lazy. Of course, I then have more dishes to wash…
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Marinara sauce: Try to find a sugar-free sauce. Rao’s is a good brand.
For garnish: Parsley and grated parmesan.
How to make spaghetti squash with meat sauce
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave and rake a fork back and forth to create the spaghetti squash strands. As an alternative to using the microwave, you can bake the spaghetti squash in the oven.
Cook the beef and onion with salt and pepper.
Stir in the marinara sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.
Top with parsley and parmesan and serve.
Tips for making this recipe a success
1. Since I use a store-bought marinara sauce in this recipe, I make sure to use a high-quality sauce – it will obviously have a big impact on the final result. My favorite is Rao’s. Its list of ingredients is very clean and it contains no added sugar. I especially like the spicy arrabbiata sauce.
2. To speed things up, I cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave. It’s easy and fast, and just as good as baking it. Ever since I discovered that microwave spaghetti squash is so good, it’s the only way I ever make it.
3. If you’d like to keep this spaghetti squash with meat sauce recipe paleo, simply omit the Parmesan. The remaining ingredients are all paleo-approved, and the dish is excellent with or without the cheese.
How to store leftovers?
Keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Reheat the leftovers in the microwave, covered, on 50% power. You can also reheat them, uncovered, in a 300°F oven.
More tasty spaghetti squash recipes
This wonderful spaghetti squash casserole is delicious, cheesy, and very easy to make. And spaghetti squash pizza boats are a great way to enjoy yummy pizza flavors in a much better way than eating pizza!
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Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce
- 1 small spaghetti squash (2 lb.)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped (4 oz)
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Prepare the spaghetti squash: Pierce the spaghetti squash in a few spots with a sharp knife. Microwave 5 minutes; turn to the other side and microwave 5 more minutes, until soft to the touch. Let stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Using a sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Allow to cool 5 minutes, until easier to handle. Scoop out the pulp and seeds from the center, then rake a fork back and forth to remove strands of the flesh onto a serving bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add the beef, onions, salt and pepper. Sauté, breaking up the beef as you cook, until beef is no longer raw, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the marinara sauce. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
- Ladle the meat sauce over the spaghetti squash, top with parsley and Parmesan, and serve.