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Low-Carb Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

Pasta Alternative
Makes 2 servings20 minutes hands on time90 minutes total time

Mild spaghetti squash is naturally low in carbs and lends itself well to rich sauces. Try it in a baked pasta-style dish reminiscent of macaroni and cheese.

This is an outrageously rich and decadent pasta-style dish, like a high-end mac and cheese. Everybody in my family is surprised by how much they like it. It is easily doubled and quite adaptable.

I love this particular combination of cheeses, but depending on your favorites, you can swap in Swiss, American, Gruyère, jack, gouda, or mozzarella, using all one type or a combination.

If you don’t have fresh herbs, you could replace these by adding 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil or dried thyme to the cream mixture in step 4. Or if you want to skip the herbs altogether, then I recommend adding a 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg to amp up the flavor of the cream mixture.

If you’re looking to lower the fat, I suggest using less cheese and evaporated milk; to reduce the sodium, skip the addition of salt. The variations are endless.

Recipe Details: Low Carb Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

Active time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Makes: 2 servings

Total carbohydrates: 11 grams per serving

Recipe Notes

Cutting the squash in half is not easy. (I have never tried this, but some people recommend microwaving it for 5 minutes first.)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium (2- to 3-pound) spaghetti squash
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, half and half, or evaporated whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon each garlic powder and cayenne
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Chopped fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, thyme, or chives, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees, and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out all the seeds (which you can save to roast these like pumpkin seeds, if you like). If you cut a little sliver off of the round side of the squash, the squash will balance better on the pan. (I usually forget.)
  3. Rub the cut sides of the squash with oil, sprinkle it with lots of salt, and put the halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until just starting to soften, around 25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, put the cream, cream cheese, seasonings, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor and whiz until smooth.
  5. Flip the squash over. Put half of the cheddar in each squash well, then divide the cream mixture between them. Top with the parmesan, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove the foil and bake for 25 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and browning.
  7. Let cool for five minutes, then top with herbs and serve. Encourage diners to scrape the squash into strands with two forks and stir them together with the sauce.

Photo credit: Catherine Newman