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Low Carb Spaghetti Squash Lazy Lasagna

My family LOVES lasagna. I love to make it for them, but the real deal is super time consuming and includes the wheat noodles that give my daughter stomach aches and give me too many carbs.

Spaghetti squash provides a great solution. It has great nutrition and is pretty easy to make. M doesn’t like it very much, so I cook up some rice noodles for her to have on the side. My husband and son are happy with it though, and I think it’s THE BOMB. Plus, it’s pretty dang easy.

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This recipe is inspired by one I found on Pinterest last year. It is on Wholesome Yum, a great website with lots of tasty low-carb recipes. Here is a link to the original recipe.

Her recipe has you building the lasagna into the shells of the spaghetti squash for a pretty effect. My recipe has more meat and cheese and is baked in a 9 x 13 pan. If I’m going to please my husband and growing son, there needs to be lots of meat (in fact, I think I might add more next time I make it so there will be more leftovers. If you do that, add more sauce).

Spaghetti squash
Spaghetti squash

First, prep the spaghetti squash. I clean mine first using Whole Foods Fruit & Vegetable Wash. It’s been on a truck, in people’s hands, at the store…it needs to be cleaned before it touches your cutting board. Dry it off, too, so it will be safe to handle and you won’t drop it on your foot or have your knife slip. Then, cut it in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds in the middle.

Spaghetti squash
Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds


Put it cut side down in a pan with about a half cup of water. I use a large 11 x 15 Pyrex pan. You can use a 9 x 13 if your squash fits. Bake the squash at 375 F for 30 minutes. Take it out and test it with a fork. If the tines can slip into the skin easily, it’s probably done. Turn it over and see if you can use the fork to pull the strands out. It should look like this:

Spaghetti squash
Separate the spaghetti squash’s strands with a fork

If not, put it back in the oven at 5 minute intervals. You don’t want to overcook it. Mushy spaghetti squash doesn’t have a good texture. You want the strands to be a bit crunchy so that it reminds you (yes, it’s a stretch) of spaghetti. It ain’t spaghetti, but a low-carb girl needs to eat SOMETHING. Once it is cooked, take it out of the pan and put it on a plate or cutting board so it can cool off a bit faster.

Meanwhile, cook the beef. When it’s brown, I add salt and garlic powder to taste (don’t worry, I give you measurements to start with in the recipe below in case you like to be precise. I’m not super precise. I get that from my mom).

Browned ground beef
Use a wooden spoon to brown the beef

When it’s cooked, I take a small portion out and put it in a little bowl that I cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. This is for my daughter, M. I never know if today will be the day she’ll eat the dinner I made in its entirety, so I think ahead so she will get some protein in for sure. At this stage, it basically tastes like a hamburger. So most kids would probably eat it.

Then I add in the “red sauce” and some extra spices and simmer for a couple of minutes. I grate the parmesan (or you could buy pre-grated) and mix it with the ricotta and some olive oil.

When the squash is not too hot to handle, scrape it with a fork to get all of the strands out. I prefer to do this into a big, empty bowl instead of attempting to scrape it straight into the cheese. It’s a bit tricky if you are trying to be fast – which I always am – and you are likely to drop those big pieces occasionally and it would be a pain with the cheese already in the bowl.

Add the cheese in and mix it up. Then you just layer the squash and cheese, followed by the meat, followed by the cheese on top. Ta-da! Give my recipe a try, and leave a comment letting me know what you think. I’d also enjoy links to similar recipes you have – feel free to link one in the comments below.

Spaghetti squash lazy lasagna

Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash Lazy Lasagna

This yummy dish is much easier to make than traditional lasagna and doesn’t have all those carbs.  It’s full of nutrition and full of flavor!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • 2 lb ground beef grass-fed, organic is best
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce low-sugar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese whole milk is best
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • salt
  • pepper optional

Instructions
 

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
    2. Prep the spaghetti squash.  Wash and dry it, then cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then place cut side down in a pan with 1/2 cup water.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
    3. Once the squash is in the oven, place a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and the ground beef.  Brown the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon (about 10 minutes).  When it is brown, add garlic powder, salt, and pepper if using.
    4. Add Italian seasoning and marinara sauce.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer about 5 minutes.
    5.  While the meat is cooking, combine the ricotta, 1 cup parmesan, and 2 Tbps. olive oil in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
    6.  When the spaghetti squash is done, check with a fork to make sure the strands come out easily.  If not, continue to cook for 5-minute increments.  
    7. Remove the squash to a plate or cutting board so they can cool faster.  Once cool enough to handle, scrape the strands out with a fork into a large bowl.
    8. Add the ricotta cheese mixture to the spaghetti squash and mix together.  Salt to taste. 
  • ASSEMBLY
    1. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with olive oil spray (or simply put a bit of olive oil in the bottom)
    2. Spread spaghetti squash mixture evenly in bottom of pan.
    3. Layer the meat mixture on top of the squash.
    4.  Sprinkle the Mozzarella and the remaining Parmesan on top.
    5.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Notes

Italian sausage would be a delicious substitute for the ground beef.  Just leave out the salt and garlic powder.
Keyword beef, family-friendly, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, spaghetti squash
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