Every year, when summer starts to slip into fall and the excitement for all things pumpkin begin to take over, as Pumpkin Spice Lattes make their return, and all the fall scented candles get busted out, I’m over here anxiously awaiting the slightly less popular Autumn trend: SPAGHETTI SQUASH SEASON! Who’s with me??
I grew up in an Italian family where spaghetti squash was often offered at dinner alongside pasta as a carb-conscious alternative. I’ve always loved it. And I’m always searching for another way to enjoy it. A few years ago I made this recipe up and every time I make it, my husband and I look at each other and go, “Mmmm, this is SO good,” like we’re surprised. Then the next day as we eat the leftovers for lunch we’ll comment again, “Yum. I love this. It is SO good.” And so the pattern continues, on & on, until every last bit is devoured. Then I make it again and the cycle continues all over. True story.
This recipe is super simple. The dish keeps great (we actually prefer it on the second day). It makes a ton. It is low-carb as well as family-friendly. My two year old absolutely loves this meal. The best part of all is that it can be modified dozens of ways, using whatever pizza topping your family likes. So if you’re a fan of easy dinners, pizza, Italian food, low carb and Keto meals, OR pumpkin’s less popular cousin: spaghetti squash; you’re going to dig this recipe.
*For this recipe I use a large spaghetti squash. I know that’s a somewhat vague quantity, so for some of the ingredients I list a range of an amount. If you use a smaller squash you may require a bit less of something. Taste everything and just adjust it accordingly, so that your squash size works with the recipe. I am including a photo below of what I would call ‘a large spaghetti squash.’
Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake Recipe:
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 ½ – 2 cups cottage cheese
- 3/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 TBSP. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 – 2/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 TBSP. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 2 ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 a pound ground turkey or ground pork sausage
- 1 ½ – 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Sliced peperoni
- Sliced pizza toppings of choice: mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc.
Cut a large spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, sprinkle with salt & paper, place face down in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for 14 minutes.
When the spaghetti squash is done in the microwave, remove it, place it face up and allow it to cool until you can handle it. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Use a fork to scrape the flesh of the squash into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook ½ pound of ground turkey sausage (or ground pork sausage) until cooked through. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. In the same pan add a drizzle of olive oil and minced garlic. Once fragrant, add a can of crushed tomatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, and Italian herbs. Bring to a low simmer for ten minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the sauce from the burner & set aside.
In a large bowl combine spaghetti squash, 1 ½ cups of cottage cheese, parmesan, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, stir well to combine. If the mixture seems too dry add a bit more cottage cheese, if it is too wet ad a bit more parmesan. The mix should be a similar consistency to a wet pancake batter. Once the mixture is right and tastes well-seasoned, add two eggs. Stir again and mix evenly.
Next, assemble your “pizza”. In a large greased baking dish (9”x11” or 11”x 13”), start by spreading one cup of sauce in the bottom of the dish. Next spread the spaghetti squash mixture in a layer from edge to edge of the baking dish. Top the squash layer with a layer of peperoni, followed by the rest of the pizza sauce, then a layer of cheese, and finally all of your other pizza toppings.
Bake uncovered in a 375° oven for 30-40 minutes until the edges are bubbling and the top is beginning to brown. Remove and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.
So what do you think? Are you already a spaghetti squash connoisseur? Think you’ll give this recipe a whirl? Go for it. And let me know what toppings are your fam’s jam!