This Oven-Roasted Spaghetti Squash & Meat Sauce is a flavorful and filling dish that has a lot less carbs than regular spaghetti, but still has all the great flavor.
You might think that spaghetti squash – like some other squash varieties – is high in carbs, but it’s not. In fact, there are just 5.5 net carbs in one cup of spaghetti squash. That makes it a perfect substitute for pasta in this dish.
>> Looking for another pasta substitute? Check out the information in The Best Low-Carb Keto Friendly Pasta Noodle Alternatives. Then try these Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Shrimp and Low-Carb Cajun Chicken “Pasta”.
Homemade tomato meat sauce is one of my favorite things. It’s so full of flavor, especially when simmered for a long time over low heat. The umami in this dish is incredible. It’s just like our Keto Eggplant Lasagna and Keto Eggplant Parmesan.
And we all know that flavor is a huge thing on a keto diet. If you can’t have the carbs, you need all the flavor!
Yes, tomatoes do have some carbs in them, so it might push this dish over the edge for you, if you’re keeping your carb intake extremely low. The total carb count for one serving of this spaghetti squash with tomato sauce is 8 net carbs.
There are three separate components of this dish, so we’ll go through each one in order here.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
You can buy spaghetti squash in a variety of sizes. They usually range from 4-8 pounds. A four pound squash will yield about 5 cups, which is about 5-6 keto-sized servings. A really large 8-pound squash will make 8 servings. The carb counts for this recipe assume a 4-pound squash with 6 servings.
Be sure to measure the serving size, as it’s easy to eat more than the recommended size and go over your carb count.
The same amount of sauce and cheese should be added regardless of the size of your squash.
There are many ways you can cook spaghetti squash. You can roast it, air fry it, even microwave it.
If you want to try the microwave method, follow the easy steps in this post. It takes about 15-20 minutes.
You can also roast the spaghetti squash, which is what we recommend in the recipe below. It takes 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Rub olive oil on the flesh and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves, flesh-side down on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
When it’s done, you can flip it over and shred the squash carefully with a fork to make “spaghetti” strands.
How to Make Tomato Meat Sauce
Tomato Meat Sauce is a great low-carb sauce that can be used in so many different ways. We eat it with Miracle Noodles, in this Eggplant Lasagna, Eggplant Parmesan, and in stuffed zucchini. It’s so useful for mixing up your menu.
While you’re roasting the spaghetti squash, you can be making the sauce, which also takes about 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the ground beef with 1/2 tsp of salt and mix well. Form small 1” round meatballs.
Brown the meatballs in a medium skillet over high heat, for about 8 minutes, turning so each side gets browned.
Turn the heat to medium and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and remaining salt to the skillet. Stir well. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, while the spaghetti squash cooks.
Add Sauce to the Squash and Bake
Add half the meatballs and sauce to each squash half. Top with the mozzarella cheese.
Return the squash to the oven and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, until the tops are melted and bubbly.
If you cooked the squash in the air fryer, you can cook the filled squash in the air fryer too. You just need to make sure that all of the sauce and cheese is contained within the squash shell so it doesn’t slide off into the base of the air fryer. Cook it for 5 minutes on 180 degrees.
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Spaghetti Squash & Meat Sauce
- Baking Sheet
For the squash
- 1 small spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds)
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper to season
For the sauce
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 tsp salt divided
- 15 oz canned chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp Italian herbs
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Rub olive oil on the flesh and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash halves, flesh-side down on the baking sheet. Poke the skin a few times with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add 1/2 tsp of salt to the ground beef and mix well. Form 1 ½” round meatballs. Brown the meatballs in a medium skillet over high heat, about 8 minutes.
- Turn the heat to medium and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, herbs and remaining salt to the skillet. Stir well. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, while the spaghetti squash cooks. If the sauce is too thick, add 1-2 tbsp water to loosen it up.
- When the squash is done, remove from the oven. Using a fork, gently scrap the squash loose from the skin and fluff into strands.
- Add half the meatballs and sauce to each squash half. Top with mozzarella cheese. Return the squash to the oven and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes, until the tops are melted and bubbly.
- The carb count of this dish assumes a squash size that results in 5 cups of cooked squash (about a 4 pound squash).
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.
Read More About a Low-Carb Lifestyle
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Laura is an avid home cook and recipe creator. 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.