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Putting a lighter, healthier spin on traditional lasagna with these spaghetti squash lasagna boats! It's roasted spaghetti squash mixed with a simple bolognese sauce, topped with mozzarella cheese, and baked in its shell until bubbly. This easy and very delicious recipe is ready in under an hour!
This recipe for spaghetti squash lasagna boats is a weeknight winner. It's all the comforting flavors and cheesy goodness we love about lasagna turned into a simpler, healthier meal.
The spaghetti squash naturally makes little strands that remind us of pasta, so it's perfect for Italian recipes like this one. While it doesn't taste like pasta, it offers the nutrition boost we love from winter squash, and acts as the perfect vessel for the meaty sauce and creamy cheese.
It's a naturally gluten-free recipe and that's easy to make vegetarian if needed, too. Pair these little lasagna boats with your favorite green salad, and your cheesy low-carb dinner is ready!
How to make spaghetti squash lasagna boats
Spaghetti squash boats are just like lasagna, but lighter and low carb. They're simple to make and delicious on their own or as a side dish any night of the week!
Here's how we make them in a few easy steps:
- While your oven preheats, prepare your spaghetti squash by removing the seeds.
- Place it cut-side up on a baking sheet, and roast until fork-tender. Scrape out the squash using a fork, and put it in a bowl. Don't discard the shells!
- While the squash is roasting, make the quick bolognese sauce in a large skillet.
- Mix the spaghetti squash and parmesan cheese into the sauce when it's finished, then fill each shell with this mixture.
- Top the boats with mozzarella, and bake until browned and bubbly. Serve with some freshly ground black pepper and minced parsley.
Spaghetti squash lasagna boats ingredients
These lasagna boats come together with a few basic grocery store ingredients. Here's everything you need to make them:
- Spaghetti squash – since spaghetti squash can vary so much in size, we recommend looking for medium-sized ones.
- Olive oil
- Onion + garlic – this classic aromatic combo is the flavor base of the bolognese sauce.
- Ground beef – we use ground beef for a classic bolognese sauce but you can also use ground turkey or chicken if you prefer.
- Crushed tomatoes – crushed tomatoes have a thicker consistency and they make up the bulk of the bolognese sauce.
- Balsamic vinegar – balsamic vinegar is delicious drizzled over salads of course, but in sauces it adds a tangy sweetness and rich flavor.
- Honey – honey offers some sweetness to the sauce that helps to offset the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Italian seasoning – we use our homemade Italian seasoning blend, but you can use a mix of a few Italian herbs or a store-bought blend if that's what you have on hand.
- Salt + black pepper – for seasoning, to taste.
- Parmesan cheese + mozzarella cheese – parmesan cheese and mozzarella gives these lasagna boats their lasagna-like cheesiness. You can replace some of the mozzarella with ricotta cheese if you'd like.
- Minced parsley – fresh minced parsley gives these lasagna boats a pop of color and aroma before serving. Other herbs like fresh basil also taste lovely.
What to eat with spaghetti squash lasagna boats
These spaghetti squash lasagna boats can be enjoyed as a main, or as a hearty side dish. If you're serving them like traditional lasagna as a main, they pair well with a caesar salad or simple spring mix salad.
This easy-to-make meal is especially comforting for the cooler fall and winter months. They also make a fun alternative to a holiday dinner like at Thanksgiving or Christmas!
How long do leftovers keep in the fridge?
Store any leftover lasagna boats in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.
Can I make them vegetarian?
Definitely! You can swap the ground beef for veggie ground round or crumbled tofu. You can even mix in some chopped vegetables like carrots, mushrooms, spinach, or bell peppers.
Are spaghetti squash lasagna boats healthy?
With a generous amount of cheese we can't exactly call them healthy but they are definitely healthier and lighter than traditional lasagna with pasta noodles. Plus, they're naturally loaded with nutrients and fiber from the squash.
Can I use a store-bought marinara sauce?
Yes, a store-bought marinara sauce works in place of crushed tomatoes. Since it's already seasoned, you can omit the added seasonings.
- 2 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion (minced)
- 4 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Sea salt and fresh pepper (to taste)
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 ⅓ cup grated mozzarella
- Minced parsley (to serve)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut each spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes. (Save the seeds to roast!)2 medium spaghetti squash
- Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes, until it is tender. Remove it from the oven and when it is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti and place it into a large bowl. Save the squash shells.
- While the squash is roasting, prepare the sauce. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and let it cook for 1 more minute. Add the ground beef to the pan and cook it, stirring occasionally, until it is cooked through and no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, honey, and Italian seasoning to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 medium onion, 4 cloves garlic, 1 lb ground beef, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, Sea salt and fresh pepper
- Mix the spaghetti squash and parmesan cheese into the sauce then divide the sauce between the four spaghetti squash shells.
- Top the spaghetti squash boats with mozzarella and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve topped with some pepper and a little finely minced parsley.1 ⅓ cup grated mozzarella, Minced parsley
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.