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Creamy Spinach Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti squash noodles can be substituted in many other pasta dishes or served topped with regular pasta sauce saving you loads of carbs — so what’s not to love?!

My Spaghetti Squash Casserole combines fresh “squaghetti” noodles with sautéed spinach, red bell pepper, and garlic plus three kinds of cheese to create a rich, yet delicate dish.

This creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole is a cheesy vegetarian, keto-friendly, low-carb, gluten-free casserole. That covers just about all the bases!

Looking for more vegetarian main dishes? My Easy Skillet Vegetable Lasagna is loaded with zucchini, yellow squash, onions, and mushrooms and is ready in just 30 minutes! Or, you may like this Healthy Butternut Squash Soup — it’s perfectly creamy and delicious. 

Creamy Spinach & Spaghetti Squash Bake | Life, Love, and Good Food

Spaghetti Squash Casserole: behind the recipe

Confession time. The first time I made this recipe was my very first experience cooking spaghetti squash. Truth! I’m not sure why it’s took me so long to try this vegetable, but let me tell you that this first time will not be my last.

Unlike other veggies that you spiralize to make noodles, once cooked the flesh of a spaghetti squash can be separated into spaghetti-like strands (or squaghetti as I like to call it) simply by scraping it out with a fork.

One three-pound squash will make enough squaghetti to equal around a pound of pasta noodles — a great alternative when you are watching your carb intake!

Key ingredients and substitutions

  • Spaghetti squash — Choose a squash that doesn’t have cracks or spots on its skin and be sure the stem is not withered and dry.
  • Red bell pepper — Any color bell pepper will work, but I like the sweetness of red bell peppers.
  • Onion — A yellow or sweet onion along with fresh garlic adds the aromatic flavors to this dish. To make it heartier, toss in mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, or any other veggie you find in your fridge.
  • Spinach — I use fresh baby spinach, but you can also use frozen chopped spinach. Just be sure to thaw and squeeze out any liquid before adding to the casserole.

Wow! This is AWESOME! I’ve been on a ketogenic diet for a few months, and this meal just hits the spot and tastes so indulgent! Thank you for sharing this!

— Kim

How to make spaghetti squash casserole

STEP 1 | Cook the squash

  • Cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise and use a large spoon to scrape and scoop out the seeds.
  • Lay the squash cut side down in a baking dish and pour in 1/2 cup water.
  • Bake the squash until it is tender and easily be pierced with a fork.
  • Remove the squash from the pan and let rest until it is cool enough to handle.
  • Gently scrape all the flesh away from the rind/peel with a fork.

tip

  • Cook spaghetti squash in the instant pot – Add one inch of water to the Instant Pot and insert the steamer basket. Lay the squash in the basket (not in the water) and lock the lid with the valve set to vent. Pressure cook for 5 minutes, then quick release the steam by carefully opening the vent. Remove the squash and let cool.

Spaghetti squash on a wooden table, with fork and frying pan

STEP 2 | Sauté vegetables

  1. Sauté diced onions and red bell pepper until tender, then add minced garlic and cook another minute until fragrant.
  2. Toss in fresh spinach and cook until wilted.

STEP 3 | Add cheese and bake

  1. Add a block of softened cream cheese to the pan with the veggies and stir until melted.
  2. Gently stir in the spaghetti squash and transfer the mixture in a lightly greased casserole dish.
  3. Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake until hot, bubbly, and the cheese has a golden crust.

tip

  • After removing the casserole from the oven, allow it to set for at least 15 minutes. Then, you’ll be able to cut it into squares and serve like a lasagna.

Creamy Spinach & Spaghetti Squash Bake | Life, Love, and Good Food

Frequently asked questions

How do you reheat spaghetti squash casserole?

To reheat the casserole, place a serving on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave until warmed through.

Can I add meat to this casserole?

To serve spaghetti squash casserole as a more complete meal, add cooked and crumbled Italian sausage or shredded rotisserie chicken before you bake. Both are delicious options!

More delicious vegetable recipes

Creamy Spinach & Spaghetti Squash Bake | Life, Love, and Good Food

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Yield: 8 servings

Creamy Spinach Spaghetti Squash Casserole

A serving of spinach spaghetti squash casserole on a blue plate with a fork

Creamy Spinach & Spaghetti Squash Bake with sautéed spinach, red pepper, garlic, and three kinds of cheese. Keto-friendly recipe, too!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 3-pound spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups spinach, chopped
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice spaghetti squash in half length-wise. Scoop out seeds and place cut side down in a glass baking dish. Pour 1/2 cup water into dish and bake for about 30-35 minutes. With a fork gently shred the pulp from the inside of the squash and set aside.Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.
  3. On top of stove, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and red bell pepper. Sauté about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the spinach to the skillet and season with the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir until the spinach is wilted.
  5. Gently stir in the cream cheese until melted. Add the spaghetti squash and stir until combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish that is lightly coated with cooking spray. Top with the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is lightly browned.

Notes

  • After removing the casserole from the oven, allow it to set for at least 15 minutes if you'd like to cut it into squares to serve like lasagna.
  • To reheat the casserole, place a serving on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 1-1/2 minutes in the microwave.


To cook the spaghetti squash in an instant pot:

  1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise.
  2. Use a large spoon to scrape and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Add one inch of water to the Instant Pot and insert the steamer basket.
  4. Lay the squash in the basket (not in the water) and lock the lid and turn the valve to vent.
  5. Pressure cook for 5 minutes. When the pot beeps, hit cancel.
  6. Quick release the steam by carefully opening the vent.
  7. Remove squash and allow it to cool enough to handle.
  8. Use a fork to gently scrape all the flesh away from the rind/peel.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 592mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 10g

Did you make this recipe?

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sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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Margaret Wallace

Friday 14th of January 2022

Hi Sheila, thanks for this wonderful recipe. I made it tonight and it came out great. I think the spaghetti squash may have been a little too large, because I had difficulty covering the the squash, spinach mixture with the cream cheese. I added a splash of heavy cream to extend it further. It worked. I also love the idea of the parmesan cheese on top which creates a crusty cheese topping. I will be doing this with any cheese topping now. Also, I have an easier way to cook the spaghetti squash.I prick it all over with a fork and put it in the microwave on a folded paper towel. I cook it about 6 minutes. It is much easier to cut after this. I usually half it and clean out the seeds and then put it upside down in a ceramic or glass pie plate with about a quarter cup of water in it and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave another 4 to 8 minutes. You know it's done when when you push on the shell and it gives. I hope that helps, especially cutting the notoriously tough vegetable. It also cuts down on cooking time. Thanks again!

Chris

Thursday 7th of January 2021

Under pics diced onion is mentioned in the general instructions. It is not listed in the recipe ingredients or the actual recipe instructions though.

Sheila Thigpen

Monday 11th of January 2021

Chris, thank you for pointing out that omission! I've edited the recipe card to include the onion and proper instructions for when to add it to the recipe :)

Maryann

Saturday 11th of July 2020

This was amazing!! Instead of plain cream cheese I used onion chive cream cheese.

Jackson and Belle’s G

Monday 22nd of June 2020

My family really liked this. I discovered too late that we were out of spinach. So I chopped up one fresh eggplant and sautéed it with the other veggies. I then squished the eggplant up, because my daughter is not a fan of eggplant. I also added one seeded, diced jalapeño (supposed to be a mild version) to the sautéing veggies. I mixed about 2/3 of a cup of cheddar into the casserole and then topped with grated cheddar and grated Parmesan. I baked it for 30 minutes in 350. My family loved it, and my daughter never noticed the eggplant! Lol. I really didn’t taste the garlic or jalapeño in the dish. Next time, I will add 2 cloves of minced garlic and two minced, seeded jalepenos. I will also 3-4 dashes if Tobasco chipotle hot sauce. Great recipe!!!

Christina

Monday 30th of March 2020

Curious if you've tried freezing this. It made a whole lot of leftovers, and I don't know if I can eat it every day for the next week!

Sheila Thigpen

Monday 30th of March 2020

Christina, I have not tried freezing the leftovers, but I would think that should work. Cool completely and seal the leftovers tightly. I'd suggest thawing in the refrigerator before reheating, too.

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