5 from 2 votes

Loaded Spaghetti Squash Bowls

 October 30, 2023

Tender spaghetti squash baked in olive oil and filled to the brim with stewed meat and marinara sauce is a match made in heaven – and these Loaded Spaghetti Squash Bowls have all of that and more! They’re made from whole spaghetti squash filled with a homemade filling that can easily be made with your favorite meat or plant-based alternative. Whether you’re low-carb, carnivore, or part of the plant-based crowd, this delicious recipe is naturally gluten and dairy-free, and is sure to pack quite the punch.

A baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, with the spaghetti squash boats sitting on top of it.

Friends, do you ever have those cold winter nights when the only thing that sounds good is a big bowl of pasta? I know I do. While I certainly love pasta, and believe that ALL foods get to have a seat at the table, sometimes pasta doesn’t make me feel the best. My body can be sensitive to gluten sometimes, and even the grains in gluten-free pasta can sometimes cause tummy troubles, for me. If you’re in that boat too, you’re not alone.

This recipe is the perfect alternative for those nights when you want a recipe that’s reminiscent of pasta, but is gentler on the tummy, or you’re craving a lower-carb option. Spaghetti squash is loaded with fiber and comes out in strands that look like pasta noodles, hence the name! Now, I’ll be the first to admit: does spaghetti squash taste exactly like pasta? No, definitely not. But, is it delicious, healthy, and a fun way to add variety to your weeknight dinnertimes? Heck yes!

My kids get a kick out of how stringy the spaghetti squash is, which means that they will gobble down the filling to get to the squash. Better yet, it also introduces a new vegetable to their diet! If you’re a mom to picky kids like I am, this is a great recipe to get your kids excited about eating vegetables. And if not, it’s a fun and exciting way to enjoy a hearty and delicious dinner. What could be better than that?

What You Need to Make This Low-Carb Recipe

  • Spaghetti Squash: Of course, you need a spaghetti squash in order to make these Spaghetti Squash Bowls! Spaghetti Squash is abundant this time of year, and can be found at most grocery stores. And if you need help preparing it in other ways, this is the best way to prepare spaghetti squash!
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil is one of the best sources of healthy fats! You could also use avocado oil here, if you want.
  • Yellow Onion: Yellow onion is rich and fragrant and adds a delicious flavor to this recipe.
  • Carrots: Carrots are rich in Vitamin A and add the perfect texture to this recipe!
  • Lean Ground Beef or Chicken or Turkey or Plant-Based Crumbles: The best part of this recipe is how customizable it is. Simply pick your favorite protein (whether it’s animal or plant-based) and add it to this recipe!
  • Garlic: I always recommend using fresh garlic cloves, whenever possible. They add the best flavor!
  • Seasonings: The perfect seasoning blend for this recipe is a mixture of Italian seasoning, sea salt, and ground black pepper. Yum!
  • Marinara Sauce: Warm marinara sauce makes the filling for these spaghetti squashes rich and creamy. You can use store-bought sauce, or make your own!
  • Parmesan Cheese: This is optional, and can be omitted to keep this recipe dairy-free, but I love garnishing these squashes with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  • Basil: This is also optional, but I love adding a little bit of fresh basil over the top of these spaghetti squashes. Not only does it add a pop of color, but the flavor perfectly balances out the richness of the meat filling!
A large pot, filled with the meat mixture, with a jar of tomato sauce actively being poured into it
While the squash is baking, prepare the meat sauce filling. Add the olive oil, diced carrots, and diced onion to a pot and cook until tender. Then, add in the meat, Italian seasoning, and sea salt, and cook until the meat is browned.

How to Make This Hearty Wintertime Dinner Recipe

To make these spaghetti squash bowls, start by preheating your oven to 400 F. Next, wash the spaghetti squash and slice it in half. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and stand up the spaghetti squash halves on top of it. Then, brush the tops of the spaghetti squash halves with olive oil. Sprinkle them with a dash of sea salt and black pepper, if desired.

Allow the squash to bake for 45 minutes, until it is softened and tender. Once it’s done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool. While the squash is baking, prepare the meat sauce filling. Heat a large pot, on the stove, over medium heat and add in the olive oil.

Wash and dice the carrots and onion and, once the oil is hot, add them to the pot. Stir them and allow them to cook for 6-7 minutes, until the onions and carrots start to cook down. Once they cook down, add in the mashed garlic, followed by the meat of choice, Italian seasoning, and another pinch of sea salt. Stir everything together until it’s fully combined. Allow the filling to cook until the meat is cooked through (this will vary depending on what type of meat or plant-based alternative you are using). Then, pour in the marinara sauce.

Then, cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and allow the filling to cook for 15 more minutes. While the filling is cooking, use a fork to separate the insides of the spaghetti squash into strands. If you aren’t sure how to do this, refer to the video tutorial above! Once the insides of the spaghetti squash are separated, add a large spoonful of the meat filling mixture to each spaghetti squash.

Top each squash with parmesan cheese and chopped basil, if desired. Then, serve and enjoy! To store any leftovers, wrap the empty spaghetti squash in tin foil, and store the meat filling in an airtight container for up to one week.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Tanya Pilgrim
A baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, with the spaghetti squash boats sitting on top of it.
Dairy Free/gluten-free/Grain Free/Nut Free/Paleo/Refined Sugar Free

Loaded Spaghetti Squash Bowls

5 from 2 votes
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
SERVES 4 Servings
Print It Pin It
Tender spaghetti squash baked in olive oil and filled to the brim with stewed meat and marinara sauce is a match made in heaven – and these Loaded Spaghetti Squash Bowls have all of that and more! They're made from whole spaghetti squash filled with a homemade filling that can easily be made with your favorite meat or plant-based alternative. Whether you're low-carb, carnivore, or part of the plant-based crowd, this delicious recipe is naturally gluten and dairy-free, and is sure to pack quite the punch.

Ingredients

  • 2 Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion diced
  • 3 Carrots chopped; this is approximately 3/4 cup
  • 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef or Chicken or Turkey or Plant-Based Crumbles
  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic mashed
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 15 Ounce Jar Marinara Sauce
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese to taste
  • Basil chopped; to taste

Instructions

  • To make these spaghetti squash bowls, start by preheating your oven to 400 F.
  • Next, wash the spaghetti squash and slice it in half. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and stand up the spaghetti squash halves on top of it.
  • Then, brush the tops of the spaghetti squash halves with olive oil. Sprinkle them with a dash of sea salt and black pepper, if desired.
  • Allow the squash to bake for 45 minutes, until it is softened and tender. Once it's done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool.
  • While the squash is baking, prepare the meat sauce filling. Heat a large pot, on the stove, over medium heat and add in the olive oil.
  • Wash and dice the carrots and onion and, once the oil is hot, add them to the pot. Stir them and allow them to cook for 6-7 minutes, until the onions and carrots start to cook down. Once they cook down, add in the mashed garlic, followed by the meat of choice, Italian seasoning, and another pinch of sea salt. Stir everything together until it's fully combined.
  • Allow the filling to cook until the meat is cooked through (this will vary depending on what type of meat or plant-based alternative you are using). Then, pour in the marinara sauce.
  • Then, cover the pot, turn the heat to low, and allow the filling to cook for 15 more minutes.
  • While the filling is cooking, use a fork to separate the insides of the spaghetti squash into strands. If you aren't sure how to do this, refer to the video tutorial above!
  • Once the insides of the spaghetti squash are separated, add a large spoonful of the meat filling mixture to each spaghetti squash.
  • Top each squash with parmesan cheese and chopped basil, if desired. Then, serve and enjoy! To store any leftovers, wrap the empty spaghetti squash in tin foil, and store the meat filling in an airtight container for up to one week.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

S
H
A
R
E

WHAT DID YOU THINK?

Rate + Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






  1. 5 stars
    These bowls look fantastic! Do you think it would work with shredded chicken instead of ground meat? I sometimes find ground meat a bit heavy with spaghetti squash.

  2. Try a spoonful of cottage cheese in there! It’s so good! I add a little sauce mixed into the squash, scoop of cottage cheese, more sauce , then top with parmesan. My husband is not a squash eater except when I fix it like this!