Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Lasagne Boats are a scrumptious vegetable-packed lasagna-like dish with layers of marinara sauce, spinach, feta and sweet spaghetti squash noodles. It’s a great dish to combine more veggies into your diet, with some novelty.
Introducing: Spaghetti Squash
Allow me to introduce spaghetti squash; if you are not already acquainted!
I have to admit I had very little knowledge of this vegetable before moving to New Zealand, where you can find it in supermarkets during the colder months.
When I first saw it in the supermarket, I brought one home to then explore what to do with it.
If you’ve got no idea yourself, I hope the below tips and recipes will help you start enjoying spaghetti squash.
Alternatively, if you’ve tried spaghetti squash before and just want to get cooking, feel free to jump down to the recipe for Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats.
What is Spaghetti Squash?
Spaghetti squash belongs to the same family as pumpkins, zucchini and gourds. It has a lot of similarities, such as the thick skin and seeds. However, it has one striking difference: when cooked its flesh forms stringy strands a lot like spaghetti.
As a consequence, spaghetti squash is often eaten as a pasta substitute. Not that I’m suggesting you forgo pasta and only have spaghetti squash from now on!
However, it is a great vegetable to add to your repertoire of meals.
It also provides a sense of novelty, which can help you to eat with greater awareness of the sensory experience, and thus embrace Joyful Eating.
Flavour-wise, cooked spaghetti squash is mild. It is slightly sweet, but not as sweet as pumpkin. The mild flavour makes for a great companion to pesto and tomato-based sauces, just like pasta.
How to cook spaghetti squash
Spaghetti squash can be steamed, microwaved or baked. However, roasted is hands down the best as it gives a sensational caramelised flavour to your ‘spaghetti’.
How to roast spaghetti squash
To roast, spaghetti squash can be cut in half lengthwise or even cut crossways to create rings.
Lengthwise will give you spaghetti ‘boats’ that make for a large serve. Spaghetti squash rings are fun if you want smaller serves. For example, if you want to serve it as a side dish or are feeding little ones. Furthermore, the spaghetti strings will be longer when the squash is cut crossways rather than lengthwise.
- Heat oven to 200oC.
- Slice squash.
- Scoop out seeds with a spoon.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Place cut sides down on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Roast for 40-50 minutes, until skin pierces easily with a knife.
- Use a fork to scrape out ‘spaghetti’ or smother with your chosen toppings.
- Cooking with the squash cut-side-down minimises moisture getting trapped in the squash, which can make it a little soggy.
- If you choose to cook spaghetti squash rings, the cooking time will be on the shorter side, more like 30-40 minutes.
Save the seeds!
The seeds can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds for a crunchy, savoury snack.
Meal ideas with spaghetti squash
- Make ‘spaghetti’ boats topped with tomato mixture or pesto.
- Scoop out cooked ‘spaghetti’ and serve drizzled with pasta sauce and meatballs.
- Add ‘spaghetti’ to soups.
Once cooked, spaghetti squash can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Leftovers make for a great addition to soups and stews. Or could even be put in a quesadilla!
Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
Ingredients – Lasagne Boats
- 1 spaghetti squash
- Olive oil for drizzling
Ingredients – Marinara Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs (basil or oregano)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
Ingredients – Layers
- 1 cup frozen spinach, defrosted with moisture squished out or equivalent blanched
- ½ block feta, crumbled (80-100 g)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Pre-heat oven to 200oC.
- Cut off stem and then slice squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and roast cut side down for 40-50 minutes.
- Once the spaghetti squash is cooked, which you could do the day prior, you can begin preparing the marinara sauce and other ingredients.
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until soft and translucent.
- Then add the tomatoes, Italian herbs, pepper and salt. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally, while preparing the other ingredients and placing them out ready to construct your lasagne.
- Once the spaghetti squash is cooled, use a fork to scrape out ‘spaghetti’ and place in a bowl for later use.
- Inside the two spaghetti squash ‘boats’, scoop in 1/3 of the marinara sauce. Then top with 1/3 of the spaghetti squash. Then top with half the spinach and feta; spreading it out evenly across the surface. Then add another layer of marinara sauce, then spaghetti squash and the spinach and feta. Cover with the final layer of spaghetti squash and smother in the remaining marinara sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese.
- Place in oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese browns.
- Serve with a side salad.
I hope this recipe has inspired you to get cooking with spaghetti squash. Let me know if you do, in the comments below.