Make these easy and crazy delicious lasagna boats when you want a savory Italian entree without the carb-laden pasta!
Spaghetti Squash Makes Perfect “Lasagna Boats”
Spaghetti squash is the perfect healthy, low-carb alternative to pasta. For these spaghetti boats, I cut small spaghetti squash in half, season and roast them, and then stuff them with lasagna and bake until cheeses melt. There is no need for pasta. Every bite of lasagna can include a forkful of spaghetti squash which is nestled under the meaty, cheesy mixture.
How to Season Spaghetti Squash
When I roast spaghetti squash, I season it (after deseeding) with salt, ground pepper, and garlic salt. Sometimes I’ll add a touch of Italian seasoning. You can add anything that you like, but it doesn’t take much. Once the spaghetti squash is roasted, it is then filled with the hearty, seasoned meat and cheeses. There is so much flavor going on in this dish, you really don’t have to add a lot to the squash boats.
How to Vary the Meat and Cheeses in this Recipe
There are so many ways you can vary this recipe. If you want a cheesier dish, just stir in some ricotta or cottage cheese into the meat. For a spicier sauce, brown a link of hot Italian sausage with the beef. Add other ingredients such as fresh basil, sautéed mushrooms~any tweak that makes it more to your tastes.
How to Make an Easy Meat sauce for Lasagna Boats
For this recipe, your meat sauce can be super easy such as the one in my recipe below. You can also simply add a jar of Rao’s homemade marinara to ground beef and simmer for 30 minutes (toss in a few Italian seasonings for good measure). You can also make your favorite spaghetti sauce for this recipe. If you don’t have a favorite, you might want to try mine~ Family Savvy Spaghetti Sauce.
What Cheese Is Best for Lasagna Boats?
- Burrata~Burrata is a fresh Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella, while the inside contains cream, giving it an unusual, soft texture. It melts like a dream and is perfect for lasagna dishes.
- Mozzarella~the old faithful is good also. I prefer whole milk in this dish, but part-skim works fine also.
- Parmesan~freshly grated is best. I always finish Italian dishes with parmesan (and Romano if I have on hand).
Tips on Making Spaghetti Squash Boats
Brushing or spraying EVOO inside the squash before baking makes it so much more flavorful. I also sprinkle salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic salt on the insides before baking. Once baked, allow squash to cool. Then scrape insides until only a thin shell (boat) remains. Remove as much moisture as possible from the shredded baked squash before mixing in with meat sauce. You can do this by squeezing squash with a paper towel or cheesecloth. Note: Buy the smallest spaghetti squash you can find so that each person can have his/her own “boat” without cutting them into smaller portions.
How to Make Lasagna Boats ahead of Time
The meat sauce can be made a day or two ahead and kept in the fridge. Spaghetti squash can be made early in the day or a day ahead. Keep shells in the fridge and spaghetti squash in the fridge on a paper towel. When ready to bake, stuff shells, top with cheese, and bake.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for lasagna boats or are inspired to make your own yummy version. If so, please let us all hear from you in the comments of the post. As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!
- 3 spaghetti squash (small is better)
- 1-2 TB EVOO (or olive oil spray)
- garlic salt, salt & pepper to taste
- 1 can chicken broth
- MEAT SAUCE:
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 jars spaghetti sauce (Rao's homemade marinara is fab)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 cup shredded parmesan (reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
- CHEESE TOPPING:
- burrata or mozzarella (or both) to top each meat layer
- 1/4 cup fresh parmesan (more to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice squash in half long ways; scoop out seeds and discard.
- Brush or spray squash insides with EVOO. Season to taste.
- Place squash side down onto foil lined baking sheet.
- Pour chicken broth onto baking sheet.
- Cover squash tightly with foil.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until squash gives to pressure when pressed with a finger.
- Remove foil seal; allow squash to cook before handling.
- Scrape squash insides with a fork; transfer shredded squash to a paper towel lined colander.
- Allow squash to drain for an hour or so in the fridge.
- Brown ground beef and onion in skillet.
- Drain fat after 4-5 minutes; add garlic and cook until meat is completely brown.
- Sprinkle onion & garlic powder, garlic salt, and salt & pepper onto meat.
- Transfer meat to a slow cooker; cook on low from 3 to 6 hours.
- Place meat sauce in large bowl.
- Add spaghetti squash, seasonings, and parmesan. Stir until combined.
- Fill spaghetti squash boats with meat mixture.
- Top with mozzarella and remaining parmesan.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Broil for a few minutes (if desired) to slightly brown cheese.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1026Total Fat: 58gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 227mgSodium: 1884mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 8gSugar: 18gProtein: 79g