This Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash Bolognese Recipe combines the comfort of a classic Bolognese paired with the wholesome charm of spaghetti squash in one low-carb dish.
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There’s something truly enchanting about a classic Bolognese sauce that blankets your taste buds in rich, savory flavors. But what if we told you there’s a twist to this beloved dish that adds a healthy and nutritious angle?
Enter our Spaghetti Squash Bolognese recipe – a hearty and satisfying meal that swaps out traditional pasta for the wholesome goodness of spaghetti squash. Let’s dive into why this recipe deserves a special place in your culinary repertoire.
Why It’s a Standout Recipe
This Spaghetti Squash Bolognese is a masterclass in combining flavor, comfort, and health. By using spaghetti squash as your base, you’re slashing carbs while still enjoying a pasta-like experience.
The robust Bolognese sauce, enriched with a combination of beef, pork, and pancetta, dances harmoniously with the tender strands of roasted spaghetti squash. It’s a satisfying union that feels indulgent yet nourishing – the best of both worlds.
Ingredients You Need
- Cooking oil – You can use olive oil or any kind of cooking oil you like. I like olive oil because it adds a nice flavor and it’s good for you.
- Mirapoix (carrot, celery, onion) – The culinary term refers to the combination of diced onion, carrots, and celery, gently cooked in fat. Mirepoix is a foundation for many classic dishes, including sauces like this one.
- Ground beef – Use a very lean beef so you don’t have to drain out a lot of fat.
- Ground pork – Use a non-flavored ground pork for this recipe.
- Pancetta – You can often get pancetta already chopped into small pieces, but you’ll probably want to chop it even finer so it blends well into the sauce.
- Dry white wine – Used pinot grigio for this recipe. You can use Sauvignon Blanc or another dry white. If you don’t wish to use wine, you can substitute it with broth.
- Tomato sauce – I used a can of pureed tomato sauce (similar to passata in the UK and EU).
- Low sodium chicken stock – Be sure to use low sodium stock so you don’t overwhelm the dish with saltiness. If you need, you can add more salt at the end.
- Whole milk – Yes, milk. It’s the secret ingredient to Italian Bolognese. It gives it a slight sweetness as the milk counteracts the acidic tomatoes.
- Spaghetti squash – Tips for choosing a spaghetti squash below.
Choosing the Perfect Spaghetti Squash
When selecting a spaghetti squash, look for one that feels heavy for its size, has a firm and smooth skin without any soft spots or blemishes. A vibrant yellow color is a good indicator of ripeness.
You can buy a spaghetti squash and keep it in your pantry for quite a while. They last for a month or longer.
If you can find one that’s slightly smaller than an American football, that’s a good size for this dish. A large squash will mean you will have some leftovers.
How to Make Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash Bolognese
Heat half of the oil in a large pot until hot. Add the chopped vegetables and sauté until softened but not browned, around 7 minutes.
Add the ground beef, ground pork, and chopped pancetta. Cook and break up the meat with a spatula until it’s browned and cooked through.
Pour in the dry white wine and let it reduce by half.
Stir in the tomato sauce and low sodium chicken stock. Cover the pot and let the sauce simmer on low for 2 hours.
In the meantime, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Brush the flesh of the spaghetti squash with oil, then place it on a baking sheet, cut side down. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes until fork-tender and slightly browned.
Once the squash has cooled a bit, use a fork to shred it into spaghetti-like strands.
Back to the sauce: remove the cover and add the whole milk. Simmer the sauce uncovered for an additional 1 to 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the shredded spaghetti squash with the flavorful Bolognese sauce.
Storing and Reheating
Store any leftover Bolognese sauce and shredded spaghetti squash separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When reheating, gently warm the sauce on the stovetop while reheating the squash in the microwave or oven.
What to Serve With This Dish?
If you’re looking for a great side dish to serve alongside this main dish, why not try one of these recipes below. They will compliment this main dish very well and are all low in carbs so you can make a great keto or low-carb meal to enjoy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef and pork?
Absolutely! Ground turkey or chicken can be excellent alternatives if you’re looking for a leaner option.
Can I make this recipe dairy-free?
Certainly. You can use a dairy-free milk substitute, such as almond or coconut milk, to achieve a creamy texture without dairy.
How do I know when the Bolognese sauce is done simmering?
The sauce is ready when it has thickened and the flavors have melded together beautifully. It should have a rich and deep flavor profile.
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Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash Bolognese Recipe
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cooking oil divided
- 1 medium carrot finely chopped
- 1 large celery stick finely chopped
- 1/2 small onion finely chopped
- 4 ounces (113 g) ground beef
- 4 ounces (113 g) ground pork
- 4 ounces (113 g) pancetta chopped
- 4 ounces (113 ml) dry white wine
- 14 ounce (397 ml) can tomato sauce
- 4 ounces (113 ml) low sodium chicken stock
- 3/4 cup (177 ml) whole milk
- 1 spaghetti squash
- Heat half of the oil in a large pot until hot. Add the vegetables and saute until softened but not browned (about 7 minutes).
- Add the beef, pork, and pancetta. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until browned.
- Add the white wine and reduce by half.
- Add the tomato sauce and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Cover the pot and simmer on low for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Brush the fleshy part of the squash with remaining oil. Place it on a baking sheet, cut side down.
- Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until fork tender and lightly browned on the outside, but still a bit firm. The time will vary depending on the size of the squash.
- Remove the squash from the oven, turn it face up and allow it to cool until you can shred it with a fork.
- Back to the sauce, remove the cover of the pot and add the milk. Simmer the sauce uncovered for 1 to 2 more hours.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve the shredded spaghetti squash with the Bolognese sauce.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Laura is dedicated to a low-carb lifestyle after losing 52 pounds on the keto diet. As many of us do, she struggles with her weight and has found that one of the only diet lifestyles that allows her to maintain a healthy weight is a low-carb diet. She shares her favorite low-carb recipes here that are both easy to make and full of flavor, so you don’t even miss the carbs.