It’s about time. I teased this recipe in my post on how to cook spaghetti squash (the best way), and I’ve been holding it hostage the past few days. Sorry about that!
I’ve always been skeptical about treating spaghetti squash like regular spaghetti. It does go well with marinara sauce, though, especially when it’s stuffed with garlicky sautéed spinach and topped with golden mozzarella.
I came up with this idea when I had a bunch of leftover cooked spaghetti squash. I had spinach in the fridge and marinara in the pantry, so it was meant to be. I wasn’t sure what to call these cheesy babes. Garlicky spinach spaghetti squash boats was a mouthful, so we settled on pizza bowls. Who doesn’t love pizza?
Unlike delivery pizza, these “bowls” offer extra servings of vegetables and greens. The spaghetti squash contains lots of fiber, so this would be an excellent meal to serve the guy who claims that vegetarian dinners never fill him up. Like my brother, but I love him anyway.
The spaghetti squash takes a while to cook in the oven, but the rest is really easy. If you cook the squash in advance, these will come together quickly. Of note: spaghetti squash varies a lot by size. If you can’t find two medium-to-large spaghetti squashes at the store, buy three small.
Feel free to cook some vegetables with the garlic or change up the greens. You could probably get by with less Parmesan and/or mozzarella, if you’re craving a lighter dish. I can see these being a big hit with kids, too. Please let me know how you like them!
Spaghetti Squash “Pizza” Bowls
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Italian
Make these easy spaghetti squash pizza bowls tonight! This recipe features marinara, sautéed spinach and cheesy goodness in a spaghetti squash “bowl.” Recipe yields 4 bowls.
- 2 medium-to-large spaghetti squash (about 5.5 pounds total), or 3 small
- 4 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 6 ounces (6 packed cups) baby spinach
- ⅔ cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups marinara sauce (I used store-bought)
- 8 ounces (2 cups) grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Chopped fresh basil, for garnish
- Pinch of red pepper flakes, optional
- To prepare the spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Use a very sharp chef’s knife to cut off the tip-top and very bottom ends of each spaghetti squash. Stand the squash upright on a stable surface and carefully slice through it from top to bottom to divide it in half. Repeat with the other squash.
- Use a large spoon to scoop out the spaghetti squash seeds and discard them. Drizzle the insides of each squash half with 1 teaspoon olive oil and rub it all over the inside. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly over the interiors of the squash, then place them cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until the cut sides are turning golden and the interiors are easily pierced through with a fork. Small squash will be done sooner than large squash, naturally! Leave the oven on for later.
- Meanwhile, cook the spinach: In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, until it’s wilted. Set aside.
- Once the squash is done baking, fluff the interiors with a fork to make the insides spaghetti-like. Divide the spinach and Parmesan into the spaghetti squash and stir them into the squash. Season to taste with salt. Spread marinara sauce generously over each (feel free to eyeball this) and top with mozzarella.
- Return the squash to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is spotty brown. Sprinkle with fresh basil and red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve.
The spaghetti squash pizza bowl was wonderful! I added pepperoni and jalapenos. Wonderful for us low carb people.
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Nancy! Thank you for your review.
After the squash was cooked, I scraped the insides into a large bowl. Then I added the parmesan, garlic, raw spinach (no need to cook spinach or the whole dish is too watery), onions, mushrooms, peppers, salt and pepper. I just added it all back into the shell and continued with directions. It was delicious.
Thank you for the recipe!
Great recipe! 1st I have made from your site.
I had time so I added sautéed shitakes, red & green peppers & caramelized onion strings. Wow! Who needs meat?!!
I also served your salad with lemon mint dressing
…another winner! . I will be keeping that dressing on hand!
Making your corn chowder today!
Sounds like a great combination, Sheila! Thank you for taking the time to review.
I’m not normally a fan of spaghetti squash, but I got two in my CSA box this week and used them for this recipe – it was SO good! My one year old and husband also approved :)
Thank you for the amazing recipes, as always!
You’re welcome! Happy you found a recipe you can make with it and enjoy.
We made this tonight and it was great. I really don’t like spaghetti squash, but we were gifted it so I needed to use it up. This will now be the recipe I use when gifted these squash! We used kale because we had lots in our garden and it worked really well in place of spinach.
This is the coolest recipe my wife and I prepare and love eating. We added mushrooms and used fresh Kale and tomato sauce made from our garden. Well done! Kudos to your efforts. By the way, someone could invent an auto slicer for the spaghetti squash. It’s very dangerous.
Stab a few small slices in the squash with a sharp knife and microwave the whole spaghetti squash for a few minutes. Doing this will soften the squash a bit and make it easier to cut.
Delicious spaghetti squash pizza bowl! My husband loved it! Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes.
Wonderful, Mary Anne! I appreciate your review.
I made this with turkey meatballs on the side. It was so good. My 4 year old daughter didn’t even detect the noodles were actually a veggie
This is by far one of my favorite comfort food recipes you’ve posted. We use the New York Times marinara recipe (freeze a bunch in the summer when tomatoes abound) and serve with a green salad. But who needs a salad when you’re eating pizza in a squash bowl? So simple and so good.
I’m glad you loved it! Thank you for sharing.
I use the NYT recipe for marinara too! Was already thinking I’d make it for Kates spaghetti squash recipe here! I’m excited to try this!
Really loved this recipe tonight! Added sauteed mushrooms to the spinach and it was great! Such an easy way to make spaghetti squash – this may just be my new go to!
Great to hear, Katherine! I appreciate you taking the time to review.
Kate I love your recipes. One of my two vegan sons turned me on to your site 3 years ago and I’ve made a couple of your suggestions with much success. I used this as an outline for my version and it rocked. My version replaced spinach with arugula from my garden, added onions, crimini mushrooms, and one link of chopped, homemade vegan “sausage”. I mixed the tomato sauce with this mixture and added some dry oregano.
Thank you! Great recipe!
Sooo good!!! I have to admit, I wasn’t impressed the first time I tried these. My sister can’t have dairy so we left out the Parmesan and the marinara sauce we used was lackluster. When I discovered your vegan Parmesan we decided to give these another try, and also used your easy pizza sauce. Total game changer! These are now on our list of favorites.
I had never made spaghetti squash before and this looked delicious. The instructions were perfect and it came out great. Making it again tonight!
Wonderful, Carolyn! Thank you for your review.
How do you make the “bowls”? Step 6 is confusing.
Hi Rochelle, I’m sorry you find it confusing. I’m not sure how else to describe it. Did you take a look at the process photos? That should help. You want to fluff or loosen the squash once it’s done cooking to mix in the parmesan and spinach mixture. Then you top with the remaining ingedients. Does that help?
This really hit the spot. I topped the squash with Mexican cheese because I was out out of mozzarella and it was delicious. I like the idea of mixing in different kinds of greens and other vegetables and I’ll probably experiment with that in the future.
I made this recipe and it was so amazing that I shared it with all of my family & friends!
It was fast & easy and so delicious!
This recipe is fantastic! Made it for dinner tonight, and my husband and I found it really tasty. I replaced the parmesan with 1 cup of 2% cottage cheese for extra protein.
An all-thumbs-up, healthy recipe. Never made spaghetti squash- ever! I will be adding this to my collection. Added oregano to the s/p seasoning on the squash. Added sauteed mushrooms too. The texture was great! A little side of naked (olive oil) angel hair, and Italian bread. All is right with the world. :)
I have directions for cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave. Could this be done for the first step and then use the oven for the remainder?
I recommend baking, sorry!
Yum! So easy & deelish! I didn’t change much – just added mushrooms, a little Italian seasoning & a pinch of Calabrian chilis when I sautéed the garlic. Thanks for another great recipe, Kate :)
You’re welcome, Catherine!
Easy & tasty! Had a small amount of turkey/veg chili leftover and mixed that with the spinach. It was very good. Can’t wait to try this by adding peppers, mushrooms and black olives to the spinach for a more traditional pizza mimic. I can see this working with just about any combo of things you want to use up from fridge. Plus… minimal dishes for prep and cooking are always a bonus!
Could I swap out frozen chopped spinach for fresh spinach?
I’m not sure how that would work since it can be extra watery and you really want the spinach to sauté with the garlic for the best flavor.
I never saw a video. Also, to save eating carbs, I now try to cut it in half, bake it. I did like you said and put it in the oven for 45 mins on 400. I shred mine out of the shell, and make it like lasagna. Spag squash instead of noodles.
While it’s not vegetarian I added hamburger to the marinara sauce and my picky eater devour theses. So good. I have also scooped out the Squash and put it in a casserole dish and then layered it that way. Perfect for a potluck.
These were simple to make and as good as pizza! Yes, I said it. So good. Thank you!
You’re welcome, Dana!
I roasted spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt and pepper, and served it that way … no one in my family ate it, and to be honest I can’t blame them. There’s just something about the texture, and I consider myself a squash lover!
Take two: I dumped jarred tomato sauce, baby spinach from a bag, and shredded bagged Parm on a leftover 1/2 roasted squash. Popped it in the microwave for 3 minutes on high and it was perfect. Excellent leftover lunch! Throwing some sausage crumbles in there would have been even more amazing, but the lunch was so easy and delicious.
Fantastic recipe. I’ve made this a few times now, and it never fails to please…its very versatile: I’ve made it with vegan meatballs, and a ragu I’d made and had in the freezer and with the marinara. My only problem is that spaghetti squash are generally impossible to find in UK shops…so I have to grow my own and I only get a few squash a year in Autumn depending on the weather..I suppose it makes it all the more special…. salivating as soon as the first signs of a baby squash growing and hoping nothing nibbles it before harvest