This stuffed spaghetti squash is a simple, satisfying dish that's ready in less than an hour. It's packed with veggies, fresh herbs, flavorful seasonings, and mozzarella cheese for the ultimate meat-free comfort food. It makes a perfect side dish for any holiday feast or an easy main dish for any day of the week!
This post contains helpful tips and tricks! If you're in a rush, please use the "Jump to Recipe" below!
💭 Stuffed spaghetti squash is a crowdpleaser!
- Easy to make in advance. You can make the sauce ahead of time and then assemble and bake it before serving. You need less than 30 minutes for a quick and easy meal!
- Healthy and flavorful. Full of nutritious vegetables, fresh herbs, as well as comfort food ingredients like mozzarella cheese, stuffed spaghetti squash will easily become your go-to recipe.
- Perfect for holiday gatherings. Not only is this an easy meal you can make any time of the week, it's also a great dish to add to your Thanksgiving table, Christmas gathering, cookouts, and any other family events.
📋 Ingredients and notes
To make this recipe, you'll need spaghetti squash, onion, garlic cloves, red bell pepper, zucchini, fresh tomatoes, cooked quinoa or rice, dried Italian seasoning, sea salt, black pepper, shredded mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves.
Substitutions and variations
- Spaghetti squash. If you don't have spaghetti squash but still want to make this recipe, you can substitute it with other types of winter squash, like acorn squash or butternut squash. Check out this stuffed acorn squash recipe.
- Veggies. Feel free to substitute red bell peppers with yellow or orange bell peppers or a combination of different colored peppers. You can also substitute zucchini with eggplant or diced carrots for added sweetness.
- Fresh tomatoes. If you run out of fresh tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes (drained) or sun-dried tomatoes can work just as well.
- Grains. You can also use cooked rice, couscous, short pasta, and other grains of your choice. Make sure to use a gluten-free version of these grains if you or your guests have a gluten sensitivity.
- Dried Italian seasoning. If you don't have this particular seasoning, use an equal mixture of dried oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary.
- Mozzarella cheese. You can use cheddar, Monterey jack, or Fontina cheese. For a dairy-free version, use a vegan mozzarella cheese. To make it extra cheesy, sprinkle with parmesan cheese as well!
- Fresh basil. It's optional, but adding fresh basil leaves as a garnish will add a fresh taste to your stuffed spaghetti squash.
- Add some heat. Add red pepper flakes to your vegetable mixture to add a little bit of spice.
📖 How to make stuffed spaghetti squash
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
Then, prep the squash. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. I pierce the skin with a fork a few times and then pop it in the microwave to soften the skin before I slice the squash.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until it becomes translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the diced tomatoes, red bell pepper and zucchini to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften.
Mix in the cooked quinoa (or rice), dried Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Stir well and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Place the spaghetti squash halves on a baking sheet, cut side up. Divide the vegetable and quinoa mixture evenly between the two spaghetti squash halves, pressing down gently to pack the filling.
Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the stuffed squash halves.
Place the stuffed squash in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired, and enjoy!
👩🏽🍳 Top tips for the best stuffed spaghetti squash
While this is an easy recipe, following these tips will make sure you have a perfect stuffed spaghetti squash every time!
⭐ Make the filling in advance. This recipe can be a lot easier to prepare when you make the sauce in advance (freeze or chill the refrigerator), cook the squash the day before, and then bake it on the day of your special gathering.
- Check the oven for doneness. After 15 minutes of baking, check the squash every two to three minutes to ensure the right texture. To check for doneness, the strands of the squash should easily pull away from the skin using a fork.
- Lessen moisture. When sautéing vegetables, lower the temperature and cook them until they release water. Allow water to evaporate before adding the next ingredient.
- Don't overstuff the squash. Be mindful not to overstuff the spaghetti squash halves. A moderate amount of filling ensures balance between the spaghetti squash noodles and the sauce, and allows the squash to cook evenly.
👩🏽🍳 Troubleshooting FAQs
Spaghetti squash can easily become too watery if not prepared correctly. After cooking your squash, gently press them with paper towels to help absorb excess moisture. Place the strands in a colander over a bowl or place them on paper towels to allow moisture to drain.
It's easy to reheat leftover spaghetti squash. All you need to do is to reheat it in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or microwave it for 1-2 minutes, or until heated thoroughly.
🍴What to serve with stuffed spaghetti squash
Stuffed spaghetti squash is a versatile dish you can easily add to your dinner table. Pair it with a fresh green salad or coleslaw, steamed vegetables, garlic bread and breadsticks, soup, and any main course. Some of my favorites:
- Salads (e.g., lemon garlic kale salad, easy vegan Caesar salad, or spinach and avocado salad or vegan Nicoise salad)
- Easy veggie sides (e.g., microwave broccoli, microwave asparagus, smothered garlic green beans)
🍶 Storage and reheating instructions
To store leftover stuffed spaghetti squash, transfer it to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to five days.
To reheat, place it in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. You can also microwave it for 1-2 minutes.
It is not recommended to freeze spaghetti squash once baked. However, you can freeze the sauce if you want to prepare it ahead of time.
🥗 More spaghetti squash recipes
Here are some more of our best spaghetti squash recipes:
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash, medium, cooked and shredded into strands
- 1 onion, small, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper , diced
- 1 zucchini, small, diced
- 3 tomatoes, medium, seeds removed, diced
- ½ cup cooked quinoa, substitute rice
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, adjust to taste
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until it becomes translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add the diced tomatoes, red bell pepper and zucchini to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften.
- Mix in the cooked quinoa (or rice), dried Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Stir well and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Divide the vegetable and quinoa mixture evenly between the two spaghetti squash halves, pressing down gently to pack the filling.
- Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the stuffed squash halves.
- Place the stuffed squash in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired. Serve and enjoy!
- Prepare the filling in advance by making the sauce ahead (freeze or chill), cooking the squash the day before, and baking it on the day of your special gathering.
- Check the squash for doneness after 15 minutes of baking, and every two to three minutes thereafter. The strands should easily pull away from the skin with a fork.
- When sautéing vegetables, lower the temperature and cook until they release water. Allow water to evaporate before adding the next ingredient to reduce moisture.
- Avoid overstuffing the squash halves. A moderate amount of filling ensures a balance between the spaghetti squash noodles and the sauce, promoting even cooking.