Here’s a delicious vegetarian spaghetti squash with marinara that boasts filling protein and lots of taste.
How to make spaghetti squash with marinara? These low-carb “noodles” deliver a surprise punch of protein.
If you love spaghetti squash recipes, your tastebuds will savor this tasty spaghetti squash for lunch or dinner!
You know those nights when your fridge supply is lacking and you have to get creative with dinner? I had one recently.
I knew I was going to make something with spaghetti squash and marinara sauce, enter this delicious spaghetti squash with marinara recipe.
But I didn’t have any other protein to add to dinner. Until…I eyed the cottage cheese in the back of the fridge.
I put on my creativity hat and blended a delicious high-protein creamy topper for the spaghetti squash. How’d I do it? I combined cottage cheese with olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. The sauce turned out to be delicious!
This spaghetti squash recipe, with a creamy cottage cheese topping, is as fueling as it is delicious. It provides 5 grams protein per serving, which nets 10 percent of the daily value!
Here are the ingredients I used to make this spaghetti squash with marinara:
Spaghetti squash: Like its name suggests, this squash’s stringy insides imitate spaghetti noodles when cooked. With a mildly sweet and nutty flavor, it’s versatile in many dishes, as its cooked texture is similar to al dente spaghetti.
Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite foods, and I’d eat it multiple times a week if I had it on hand that often.
Onion: When I made this marinara spaghetti squash, I added cooked onions to the dish.
Marinara sauce: What would spaghetti squash be without marinara?
Cottage cheese: I topped this spaghetti squash with marinara with a cottage cheese sauce I whipped up. This adds filling protein to the dish.
Helpful kitchen tools
These items will make it easier to prep this spaghetti squash with marinara recipe.
To make this spaghetti squash with marinara, you’ll first preheat the oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
You can make the process easier by using a fork to poke holes in the squash and microwaving it for a few minutes so it softens before you slice it.
Then microwave until the squash becomes slightly tender, about 4-6 minutes. The amount of time in the microwave depends on its size.
Slice squash in half, and remove seeds and membranes.
Place halves with cut side up on a nonstick baking tray, and brush the tops with ½ teaspoon olive oil.
Place halves with cut sides up, and roast until fork tender, about 40-50 minutes.
Once squash is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Use a fork to shred the squash into a large bowl. Toss with marinara.
Divide onto four plates, then top with onions and cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and black pepper.
The prep time is really quick, under 20 minutes. You just have to be patient for your cooked spaghetti squash to bake.
I’ll admit that I ate a double portion of this baked spaghetti squash for dinner. But you can also serve with a few ounces of grilled salmon or chicken breast for a complete meal.
I’m really craving this dish right now! I think I’ll go start roasting spaghetti squash now. The sauce is plenty cheesy, but feel free to add a sprinkling of grated Parmesan on top if you’d like.
In addition to making this marinara spaghetti squash, you can also use spaghetti squash as a base for a veggie-noodle casserole or “pasta” salad.
You should be able to store uncooked spaghetti squash in a cool, dry pantry for up to two months.
More tasty squash to try
If you love this spaghetti squash with marinara, you’ll no doubt enjoy other winter squash varieties, too.
CSA boxes will soon be stocked with winter squash—veggies rich in carotenoids, pigments your body uses to create vision-helping vitamin A. Thomas Meyer, chef instructor at Kendall College, offers tips for enjoying these seasonal stars.
A sweet and nutty-tasting variety, butternut squash tends to offer more flesh and fewer seeds.
Roasting for a sweet or savory side or a puréed, creamy soup
Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup
Toss 2 cups peeled and cubed squash with 2 Tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon curry powder, then roast at 350° Fahrenheit, turning once, for 30 minutes.
Cool, then mash with a fork and blend with 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth. Garnish with cream or plain Greek yogurt. Also whip up my butternut squash side dish recipe.
In a cool, dry pantry for up to a month.
Use a chef’s knife to slice off the ends. Peel the skin. Where the neck ends, halve the squash, then slice the neck flesh into cubes. Halve the body lengthwise. Remove the seeds, and cut into cubes.
Toss cubes with olive oil, minced garlic, black pepper, and salt prior to roasting.
This squash gets its name from its acorn-like shape. It’s sweeter than the butternut but less nutty–and stronger tasting than the spaghetti squash.
Roasting and drizzling with maple syrup, or mixing into rice pilaf
Recipe: Acorn Squash Rice Pilaf
In a large pan over medium heat, sauté 1 cup diced squash in 1 ½ tbsp olive oil. Add 1 ¼ cups brown rice and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
Add 1 ¼ cups water; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
In a cool, dry pantry for up to three months.
If the squash’s skin is very tough, poke holes in it with a fork and microwave for a few minutes. Cut the squash in half, and then peel and de-seed it.
Brush squash halves with olive oil, then drizzle with maple syrup and dust with cinnamon prior to roasting.
You have so many options for what to pair with this spaghetti squash with marinara dish. You can enjoy a vegetable, such as roasted asparagus, with it. Or you can opt for a protein, such as tofu or salmon.
It absolutely can. In fact, spaghetti squash is a great low-carb alternative to traditional pasta. It has a very similar mouthfeel and texture to spaghetti. But because it is a vegetable, it contains less carbohydrates than spaghetti.
You definitely can. The two are interchangeable in most recipes.
More squash recipes
If you enjoy this spaghetti squash with marinara, you’ll also enjoy:
A version of this content originally appeared in Yoga Journal.
- A. Thomas Meyer, chef instructor at Kendall College
Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash with Marinara
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 1¼ cup marinara sauce
- 4½ ounces cottage cheese
- 1 tbsp + ½ teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 2 tbsp fresh chives, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano, diced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- Black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit.
- Meanwhile, use a fork to poke several holes in the spaghetti squash. Then microwave until the squash becomes slightly tender, about 4-6 minutes.
- Slice squash in half, and remove seeds and membranes.
- Place halves with cut side up on a nonstick baking tray, and brush the tops with ½ teaspoon olive oil.
- Place halves with cut sides up, and roast until fork tender, about 40-50 minutes.
- Once squash is cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Use a fork to shred the squash into a large bowl. Toss with marinara.
- Divide onto four plates, then top with onions and cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and black pepper.
- Place onions in a medium pan, and add a small amount of water so that onions are just covered.
- Cook over medium high heat until onions become translucent and most of liquid is dissolved.
- Puree in blender with cottage cheese, remaining olive oil, chives, oregano, and lemon juice.
- Set aside.
What are your thoughts on this topic? What are your favorite ways to prepare spaghetti squash?
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