Vic’s Tricks To…Spaghetti Squash Baked Ziti
I’m obsessed with pasta.
I mean, who isn’t?!
Especially pasta in red sauce, as I’m sure you could tell from the 1 million recipes of mine that all use marinara.
Well, make it 1 million and 1 because I’m bringing you this BOMB veggie & cheese-packed pasta:
Spaghetti Squash Baked Ziti
Spaghetti squash is used as a pasta alternative and you could easily omit the pasta entirely in this dish.
But, I got a little crazy and used pasta AND spaghetti squash. And the combo is ELECTRIC.
Plus, I used Great Low Carb Bread Company pasta, so I didn’t even need to feel guilty!
The real beauty of this meal, is that all the components are done at once, so there’s very minimal standing around waiting for things to be done and a wholeeeee lot of chillin out.
On with it!
First, let’s get a pot of water boiling for the pasta.
Next, we need to cook the spaghetti squash.
My favorite method is to cut it in half longways, drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper, place face-down onto a rimmed baking sheet, then roast in a 450° oven for about 30 minutes or until the skin can be easily pierced with a fork.
While that’s cooking, let’s get working on a quick marinara.
Vic Trick: If you want to get realllll yummy, you should make my family’s marinara sauce & meatballs recipe and it will make this like 2i759898728723x better.
If you don’t want to spend all day making a marinara (even though that’s truly the best way) you can make a super quick sauce while the spaghetti squash cooks.
In a saucepot, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, 3 cloves of minced garlic, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp oregano, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook over medium low heat until you start to smell the garlicky goodness, about 2 minutes.
Add in a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and let it simmmerrrrrr on low heat until the squash is done. Don’t forget to salt & pepper!
Vic Trick: If you want to make it a meat sauce, cook up 1/2 lb of ground beef, drain the fat, then add it after the tomatoes. Maybe throw in some cooked bacon while you’re at it.
And while the sauce is cooking, we make the pasta!
Told ya we’d be multi-tasking…
Get the pasta working in that boiling water and cook to al dente – 2 minutes less than what the box recommends.
You can use ANY PASTA you want. Get creative!
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander and set aside.
Then, once the squash is done, use a fork to loosen the strands and remove it to the colander to mix with the pasta.
Then put it back into the pasta pot with a little bit of the marinara sauce until it’s coated.
Once everything is all cooked, it’s assembly time!
In a large, oven safe dish – I used glass – start layering your ingredients in the following order:
Sauce -> Pasta/Squash Mix -> Cheese
I used an Italian blend for my cheese (from the store), but you can use any cheese you want! Mozzarella is ideal for that yummy stringiness.
Layer the ingredients until you’ve used it all up, then place the dish onto a larger sheet pan (in case of bubbling over), and place back into the oven to cook for another 15 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty.
Vic Trick: Throw it under the broiler for 2 minutes to get that crispy top that’s oh so droolworthy. Seriously, I’m drooling rn…
AND THAT’S IT!
Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving and it will be extra delicious. Super minimal steps for MAXIMUM yumminess.
Give it a try and leave a rating/comment below! Y’all know how happy that makes me!
Give it a try and rate this recipe!
Vic’s Tricks To…Spaghetti Squash Baked Ziti
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1 lb box pasta of your choice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- Salt & Pepper
- Optional: 1 cup cooked ground beef/meatballs or sausage
- 2 cups Italian blend cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 450° and get a pot of salted water boiling for the pasta.
- Cut the spaghetti squash longways, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper and place face-down onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the skin can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile make the marinara. In a saucepot, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, the minced garlic, garlic powder, oregano, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook over medium low heat until you start to smell the garlicky goodness, about 2 minutes. Then add the can of tomatoes and simmer over low heat until the squash is done. Add salt & pepper to taste and if adding meat, add it now.
- Get the pasta working in the boiling water and cook to al dente – 2 minutes less than the package recommends. Drain in a colander and set aside.
- Once the squash is done, loosen the strands with a fork and combine with the pasta. Put the combination back into the pasta pot and add a few scoops of sauce and toss until coated.
- In a large oven-safe dish, start layering the ingredients. Sauce -> Pasta/Squash Mix -> Cheese.
- Place onto a sheet pan (in case of bubbling over) and place into the oven to cook for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty. Throw under the broiler for 2 minutes at the end for a little crispiness!
- Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving and enjoy!