This creamy garlic spaghetti squash might be one of my favorite recipes of all time! Creamy, decadent, filling yet healthy and low in carbs.
Not only is spaghetti squash low calorie and packed with nutrients but when cooked the right way it can very closely resemble the perfect al dente pasta.
I’m telling you this recipe is worth it if you want a nutritious dinner that feels like you’re splurging. Don’t let these pictures keep you from trying it (it’s hard to make spaghetti squash look amazing). Also, it’s toddler approved – my one year old loved it!
Spaghetti Squash (1 Large)
This recipe calls for one large spaghetti squash. Depending on the time of year, finding a large spaghetti squash can be more difficult – so if you have a medium or small one, I would recommend cutting the recipe in half.
Ground Beef (1/2 Pound)
Selecting a leaner ground beef, like 90/10, will be lower in calories and fat. For the nutritional information, I used 80/20. If your spaghetti squash is on the smaller side use 1/4 pound of ground beef.
This recipe would also be great with ground turkey, sausage or chicken.
Peas (3/4 Cup)
I love adding peas for the extra color and texture. Canned or frozen peas would work well here, I have used both.
Garlic (5-6 Cloves)
What is a pasta dish without garlic? I find that 5-6 cloves gives just the right amount of garlic flavor but feel free to adjust depending on your family’s preferences.
White Onion (1 Whole Onion)
Adding to the aromatics of the dish, we have a whole onion chopped.
Flour, Butter, and Milk (2 Tbsp. Flour & Butter/2 Cups Milk)
To get this decadent, deliciously creamy sauce we will be making a roux with flour, butter and milk.
For an ever richer sauce, use a fuller fat milk. However, I used skim milk and it turned out great!
Lemon Juice (2 Tbsp.)
A little bit of lemon juice adds some acidity to the dish to help balance the richness.
Grated Parmesan Cheese (1/4 Cup)
To top it all off, parmesan cheese brings some extra flavor and helps to make the sauce thick and creamy.
How to Make the Perfect Creamy Garlic Spaghetti Squash
1. Assemble Ingredients
Assemble all ingredients, plus a sheet pan for cooking the spaghetti squash, a pan to make the sauce, and a whisk.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Cut the Spaghetti Squash Crosswise
Cutting the spaghetti squash crosswise, not lengthwise, is not only easier to cut (eliminating the need to soften in the microwave) but it results in longer strands of “noodles”.
Once the squash is cut in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp. Coat with avocado spray or olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Face the spaghetti squash down on a baking sheet and set a timer for 30 minutes for a smaller spaghetti squash and 40 minutes for a large spaghetti squash.
3. Cook the Ground Beef and Onions
Add onion and ground beef to a hot pan and sauté, breaking apart the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until onions have softened and ground beef is no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside.
Check on the spaghetti squash. If it is done, take out of the oven and place each half on its side – allowing to rest.
4. Make the Cream Sauce
Using the same pan, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk for about two minutes.
Slowly stir in the milk, whisking constantly, and allowing the flour to incorporate and thicken into a sauce. This will take about 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the Parmesan, Garlic, Lemon Juice and Peas
Turn the heat to low and add the parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice and peas. Allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add back in the onions and ground beef mixture.
6. Add the Squash to the Cream Sauce
Using a fork, gently scrape the squash starting near the edges and moving inwards to create those spiral strands. Once all the squash is incorporated into the pan, fold all the ingredients together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Freeze the Leftovers?
This dish freezes well for up to 3 months!
Can I Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Air Fryer?
Yes, I have a detailed post on how to get al dente spaghetti squash in the air fryer. It is one of my favorite ways to make it – however, you might need to cook it in two batches if the squash is over 2.5 pounds.
Creamy Garlic Spaghetti Squash
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1/2 lb. ground beef, or Italian sausage
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 cup peas
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups skim milk, or preferred milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400° F.Cut spaghetti squash in half crosswise, not length-wise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon. Season outer squash with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet.
- Bake spaghetti squash for 40 minutes. Once cooked, lay spaghetti squash on its side and allow to cool.
- Add onion and ground beef to a hot pan and saute until cooked through, breaking apart the meat, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Using the same pan, add the butter. Once it is melted, add the flour and whisk for 2-3 minutes. Slowly stir in the milk, whisking constantly, and allowing the flour to incorporate and thicken into a sauce. This will take 4-5 minutes.
- Add the parmesan, lemon juice, garlic and peas. Allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes. You may need to adjust stove temperature to low if sauce is getting too thick. Add ground beef and onions back into pan, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Using a fork, gently scrape the squash starting near the edges and moving inwards to create those spiral strands.
- Once all the spaghetti squash is in the pan, combine all the ingredients together.
- Plate and enjoy!
- This recipe can be made gluten free by substituting flour with sweet rice flour.
- Vegan Modifications: use any oil in replace of butter, coconut or oat milk in replace of milk, nutritional yeast for parmesan cheese, and vegan protein source of your choice instead of meat.
|Amount per serving
|% Daily Value*
|Total Fat 13g
|Saturated Fat 7.1g
|Total Carbohydrate 21.7g
|Dietary Fiber 1.6g
|Total Sugars 8.2g
|Vitamin D 5mcg
Hope You Enjoy!
Prepare yourself – this recipe definitely embodies the moderately messy. You might not want to make this after a busy day of work.
There were messes, dinosaurs (all over the floor) and even a toddler tantrum thrown in there during my attempt to put this dinner on the table.
However, it’s a recipe that I make frequently because it’s just so good – and I can eat a whole lot of it for a lot less calories than pasta.
Please rate and review if you try it!