spaghetti squash bake in a cast iron pan with grey dish towel

Spaghetti squash is probably my favorite in terms of a veggie pasta substitutes- it’s easy to make and can make for such a satisfying dish when you pair it with the right things! I roast my spaghetti squash at 465°F every time, and depending on the size of the squash its usually ready in 30-40 minute. My trick is to put it skin side down and spray the inside with avocado oil- this works great for me and I love the texture I end up with!

There’s also zucchini and spinach in this dish. both are easy veggies to work with and provide the punch of micronutrients and fiber that I love from greens! This ends up actually being quite the colorful dish- and full of flavor!

If beef isn’t your thing, then you can sub ground turkey or chicken if you add some oil to the pan. You could also leave i tout entirely and add some extra finely chopped veggies. Beef will release a little more natural fat allowing you to brown it without adding oil to the pan, so whenever you are subbing in turkey or chicken in a recipe be sure to add some oil! Nothing worse than everything getting stuck to your pan.

This dish is a pretty easy clean up and a great way to get more comfortable with healthy cooking at home! It’s simple and the flavors in this dish are so so good.

You can totally use any marinara sauce here that you love or homemade if you have some! My favorite is the Rao’s brand from the store, but i also opt for the store brand sauces whenever I’m on more of a budget. Just make sure there are no added sugars in your marinara sauce— companies sneak sugar into so many unexpected/unnecessary places. Always read your labels!

If you’re dairy free, you can definitely sub your favorite dairy free cheese here! Again, just be sure to read your labels. Dairy substitutes can often be loaded with fillers and super processed ingredients.

You can make this dish your own with different veggies you have on hand, too.

I know you guys will love this one. Make sure to let me know if you try it!

spaghetti squash bake in a cast iron pan with grey dish towel and wooden spoon
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Spaghetti Squash Bake

  • Author: Mia Zarlengo
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Lunch, Dinner


Simple spaghetti squash bake!


  • 1 large spaghetti squash, sliced in half and seeds removed
  • 1 lb ground grass fed beef (can sub ground turkey, but you will need some oil in the pan)
  • 1 cup chopped frozen spinach
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups marinara
  • 1 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes


  1. Roast spaghetti squash at 400°F for 30-40 minutes until tender enough to shred into spaghetti-like strands. *You can do this the night before if you wish and store shredded squash in the fridge
  2. While spaghetti squash is roasting, heat a 10” cast iron skillet or large oven safe pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the ground beef, garlic, onion, and salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, for 10 minutes.
  3. Once meat is cooked through and onions are translucent, transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add 1 tsp avocado oil to the pan, then add zucchini, frozen spinach, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning. stir and cook for 5-7 minutes until zucchini is softened. Transfer to the bowl with the beef and onion.
  5. Once spaghetti squash is done and cooked enough to handle, shred it into the large bowl with the beef and veggies. stir with marinara and 1/2 cup of the cheese until everything is well combined.
  6. Return mixture to the pan, then top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake at 400°F for 12 minutes.

Gluten Free, Lunch + Dinner, Recipes


Oct 10, 2019

Spaghetti Squash Bake

Did you make this recipe? Be sure to tag @gatherednutrition on INstagram so I can see what you made! Leaving a rating and review on the site is a huge help too!

  1. Nickee Thompson says:

    I just came back to this recipe to make for dinner tonight— it’s always been one of my favorites! The changes (onions/spinach/zucchini) made it even better!!

  2. Saba says:

    SO MUCH FOOD! This recipe is not only delicious (hello cheesy comfort food), but yielded SO much food for leftovers! I was so, so happy about that. I love zucchini, spinach, and spaghetti squash so I was happy Mia was able to feature them in this recipe in a way that was so complimentary to the meaty/saucy/cheesiness. The veggies made it guilt-free 🙂 …..especially since we doubled the cheese topping.

  3. Sophia says:

    Yum! Just made this for the first time. Didn’t have marina so I used tomato paste and some canned diced tomatoes and it still came out great!

  4. Jess says:

    This is on regular rotation in our home! It’s definitely a comfort food crowd pleaser.

  5. Sue says:

    Great recipe! My family loves this. It’s also great when you have half a family that is gluten free.

  6. Suchaeta says:

    Would you have any recommendations for a vegetarian version—any ideas on what could be added instead of meat?

  7. Christa says:

    could this be frozen?


    Made this tonight and it turned out amazing! I learned a new roasting trick on YouTube. Cut the squash into rings lather up with olive oil, salt and pepper at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Let cool and then you can peel the skin off. This leaves the “noodles” longer and so much easier to clean. It also makes it a lot less water-y. I will definitely roast like this going forward. As my family and I were eating this delicious meal we thought that black olives & pepperoni might be a nice addition but it’s perfect as is! A+++

  9. Crystal says:

    I made this today. So very good. Definitely a keeper recipe.

  10. Rachel says:

    This was terrible. Maybe I just don’t like spaghetti squash. No one in my family ate it. 😕

  11. Jeanne D says:

    I’ve made this recipe 4 times in the last four months and have sent it to others to try. Yum!! The first time I made it, I used fresh spinach and mushrooms because that’s what I had in hand. Turned out great!! Since then, I’ve tried it with the zucchini, and that was a delicious way to get more fresh veggies. I stand by using fresh baby spinach. That’s really good. Rao’s marinara is a must as is really nice quality grass feed beef. Looking forward to trying it with ground turkey too. Yummy!

  12. Rachel says:

    This recipe deserves an award. When people tell me they’ve made spaghetti squash before and it’s bland- I point them to this recipe. Satisfying, nutritious and tasty!

  13. Clayton says:

    This was unanimously voted to the ‘make again’ list in my house. I used fresh spinach and ground turkey — easy peasy and delicious. I roasted a large squash for 35 min and that was cooked enough to scrape but not over cooked to make the dish soggy.
    Prep/cooking allowed enough time to clean as I went along, and to make side dishes during the final baking time.

  14. Rachel says:

    This has been in my top 5 favorite recipes since posted. Made it for my Italian in laws while they were staying with us and they were blown away!! I told someone at a party I liked to cook and they asked what I make and this was the only thing that came to mind. Your recipes are astonishly relishes and nutritious – you were made for this.

  15. imsen says:

    I made this for dinner last Wednesday and it was delicious! I’m pretty sure it’s my new favorite way to eat spaghetti squash! 🙂

    This was amazing! My husband raved about and asked me to make it again two days later 🙂

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Simple. Attainable. Gathered Nutrition.