We all know how to make spaghetti squash with a spaghetti sauce, don’t we? It’s a delicious change from eating pasta and of course healthier with less carbs. My cousin Shirley was over and I mentioned I had a spaghetti squash from the farmer’s market. Shirley said she remembered my making it with a meat sauce, it was delicious. I said I’d make it again, but change it up to lasagna. Basically the same, but with lots of cheese.
I was lucky that my P.S. (Pretty Strong/ hubby) was at home, so he could cut the squash in half for me. I’m always amazed at how hard those squash can be. Rather than fight with it, large knife in hand, I called in my backup and he cut it cleanly through for me. I laid the halves cut side down on a foil covered pan and roasted it in a 350 degree oven for an hour. When a fork easily pierces the outer shell, it’s done.
It’s super easy to scoop out the seeds and discard them once the squash is roasted. I further removed half of the squash’s thick noodle layer into a bowl to begin the layering process.
While the squash roasted I’d made a quick Bolognese. I sautéed onions and diced sweet bell peppers then added ground beef to the skillet with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. When the beef was browned and broken into smaller bits I added 2 cans of diced tomatoes and half a can of tomato paste. I also added seasonings and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes to reduce down and develop flavors.
My squash was now ready for layering. I placed 1/2 cup of ricotta in the squash and spread it out. I sprinkled salt and pepper, parsley flakes and a little garlic powder.
I spread a layer of shredded Parmesan and a good amount of mozzarella next.
On top of the layers of cheese I spread a layer of meat sauce.
Then I started over: the remaining spaghetti squash, ricotta, seasonings, Parmesan, mozzarella, and more meat sauce. I topped the lasagna with another layer of Parmesan and mozzarella and it was ready for the oven.
I let the lasagna bake for about 40 minutes, until it was heated through and the cheese was melted. The top browned nicely and we were ready to eat, it smelled so good!
Removing servings from the squash was not so easy. It sort of fell apart and didn’t look terribly photogenic. It was delicious no matter how it looked, however! It had all of the flavors of a good lasagna, with a lighter touch using the spaghetti squash. Shirley thought it was awesome and I agreed.
I liked that there were leftovers. I’d only used half of the squash for the lasagna and had half a squash for another use and extra Bolognese sauce as well. The half squash I made was about 3 good-sized servings. Squash sizes vary so you can judge what you need based on how many people you want to feed. My recipe is a rough estimate for 3 servings with leftover sauce.
Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
- 1 spaghetti squash; cut in half
- 1 medium onion; diced
- 1 sweet bell pepper; diced (I used a yellow pepper)
- drizzle of oil for frying
- 2# ground beef; sprinkle with salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed (I ground it)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 cup ricotta
- salt, pepper, parsley flakes, garlic powder to season ricotta
- 1 1/2 cups Parmesan; shredded
- 3 cups mozzarella; shredded
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut squash in half lengthwise and place cut side down on foil covered sheet pan. Bake for 1 hour or until fork easily pierces the outer skin of squash.
In a skillet saute the diced onions and peppers for several minutes until browning around the edges. Add ground beef, sprinkle with salt and pepper and brown. Break meat into smaller pieces. Add fennel, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, basil and oregano. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well and simmer on medium low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste test for seasoning before using, add as desired.
When squash is tender, remove from oven and remove inner seeds and discard. Remove half of the layer of spaghetti squash to a bowl and set aside.
Add 1/2 cup ricotta to squash and spread out. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, parsley flakes and garlic powder.
Spread 1/2 cup of Parmesan and 1 cup of mozzarella over ricotta. Top with layer of meat sauce.
Repeat layers and top with one more layer of Parmesan and mozzarella.
Return squash to oven and bake for 40 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted all the way through.