Spaghetti Squash Marinara

Spaghetti squash is one of those what I call “template” foods; an ingredient which serves as a base capable of going in many different flavor directions. Even though it’s shell is hard, thin skinned spaghetti squash’s flesh contains more water than it’s orange fleshed cousins. It’s season, color, and texture mirrors the transition from Summer, when soft skinned watery zucchini reigns, and the sweet dense flesh of hard skinned Autumn squashes. Once cooked, the flesh of this unique gourd naturally separates into nicely textured stands, making it a terrific vegetable stand in for pasta.


1 large spaghetti squash

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, optional

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper


1 small onion, diced small

1 small carrot, diced small

1 stalk celery, diced small

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large cans whole tomatoes, roughly chopped

½ teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh parsley or basil, chopped [optional]

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a fork, poke holes in the squash. Place squash on a foil lined pan and roast until skin and flesh is easily pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. When cool, slice open lengthwise and remove seeds. Scrape a fork along the flesh lengthwise to gently release strands.

While squash is roasting cook the turkey and make the sauce. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet set over medium heat. When oil shimmers add garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add turkey, Italian seasoning if using, salt and pepper. When turkey is no longer pink, remove from skillet and set aside.

Return pan to burner and add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, a pinch of salt, and Italian seasoning. Cook until onion is translucent and vegetables are beginning to get tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cooking about 30 seconds, then stir in tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon. Stir in salt and simmer on low for about 20 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in optional fresh herbs, turkey and any accumulated juices back into sauce and spoon over squash.

Catherine McConkie 2015, all rights reserved


Chef C’s cooking tips

  • For a no fuss alternative, place the poked squash in your crock pot along with 1/2 cup of water. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.