These spaghetti squash pasta bowls are the perfect way to enjoy a huge serving of pasta for dinner without feeling weighed down!
New favorite dinner right here. There are few thing I love more than a bowl of pasta, and even fewer things I love more than a giant bowl of pasta. Spaghetti squash is a great way to bulk up a normal bowl of pasta and add some serious volume. And although I like spaghetti squash, when it’s mixed with the regular pasta, the taste of the spaghetti squash is almost unnoticeable.
Of course, you could make the sauce and serve it with all spaghetti squash, or all regular noodles, but I loved the half and half combination of the two. It’s a lighter way to enjoy a huge serving of pasta without feeling weighed down afterward.
For each person, I used 2 ounces of whole grain pasta (thin spaghetti or angel hair works best to mimic the shape/texture of spaghetti squash), plus a generous serving of the squash. 2 ounces is a serving of pasta and it’s actually pretty small, but when mixed with the spaghetti squash, sauce, and broccoli, it was SO filling and I actually ended up saving half of my bowl for lunch the next day!
For these spaghetti squash pasta bowls, I made a batch of my favorite spicy chicken sausage tomato sauce, but you could use whatever sauce is your favorite. (I do love this sauce, though– it’s so good.) I topped my bowl with lots of parmesan cheese, but a spoonful of ricotta cheese on top would be amazing, too.
To cook the spaghetti squash, there are two options. You can either roast the squash whole, which takes a bit longer but eliminates the need to cut the squash in half, or you can cut the squash in half first. I was in a bit of a time crunch, so I carefully cut the squash in half with a sharp knife, placed the halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzled them with avocado oil, and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. I turned the two halves facedown on the baking sheet so they wouldn’t dry out.
Then, I roasted the squash for an hour at 375 degrees, until I could easily discard scrape out the seeds and then scrape out the strands of squash.
While the squash was in the oven, all I had to do was assemble the sauce, steam some broccoli, and cook the noodles. While the sauce simmered, I first cooked whole grain thin spaghetti noodles. While the pasta, squash, and sauce cooked, I chopped up the broccoli. Then, after draining the pasta, I quickly steamed the broccoli in the same pot (to reduce dishes!).
After the broccoli was done, it was time to assemble the bowls. A heaping bowl of pasta/spaghetti squash, a generous serving of broccoli, a few big spoonfuls of spicy sauce and a heavy sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top…the best!
If you try these spaghetti squash pasta bowls, feel free to let me know in a comment or take a picture and tag me @livbane on Instagram. Hope you enjoy!
Italian Spaghetti Squash Pasta Bowls
- 2 lb. spaghetti squash (1/2 pound per person)
- 8 oz. whole grain pasta (2 oz. per person)
- Parmesan cheese, for topping
- Optional: 1 pound broccoli, chopped
For the Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage Tomato Sauce
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground spicy Italian chicken sausage (I bought mine in the meat case at Whole Foods)
- Optional: mushrooms, zucchini, or any of your other favorite veggies
- 4 cloves garlic or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 28 oz. can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- First, cook spaghetti squash. Option 1: carefully slice the squash in half lengthwise, place halves face-down on a baking sheet, drizzle with cooking oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 60 minutes at 375 degrees until squash strands can easily be removed with a fork. Option 2: Place whole squash directly on oven rack and bake for 75 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow squash to cool for 10 minutes, cut in half lengthwise, and then sprinkle insides with salt and pepper.
- While squash is cooking, cook chicken sausage, onion, and garlic in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat for 7-8 minutes, along with any additional (optional) veggies if using. Once sausage is cooked, add dried Italian, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste, and fire-roasted crushed tomatoes. Keep on low heat until it's time to serve it.
- While squash is still cooking and once sauce is done, cook pasta according to package directions and drain. I added chopped broccoli florets to the pasta water for the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking time, being careful not to overcook the pasta.
- Place squash and pasta in each bowl, along with any extra veggies, top with sauce and parmesan cheese, and enjoy! Store leftovers in fridge for up to 3-4 days.
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