I love pasta, but also love it when my jeans fit. 😀 So it’s always a good idea to have some pasta substitutes around for when the craving hits. This one uses spiralized butternut squash baked with a simple spaghetti sauce. It’s delicious!
- Butternut squash noodles (frozen 12 oz package)
- Zucchini noodles (frozen 12 oz package)
- Ground beef (1 pound)
- Olive oil (for browning beef)
- Marinara sauce (24 oz )
- Garlic cloves (2)
- Shredded cheese, 2 cups (Italian cheese blend or mozzarella)
- Seasoning: salt, pepper, Italian seasoning
How to make this Butternut Squash Spaghetti Bake
Like most casseroles, the individual pieces are cooked and then assembled. The time in the oven is very short, just long enough to melt the cheese and make it delightfully gooey. 😀
Start with the ground beef. Cook it in a skillet over medium heat. Add seasonings and then continue cooking until well browned. Add in the minced garlic, then add the marinara sauce. Simmer this for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, preheat the oven and start cooking the veggies. I buy the frozen packages of spiralized vegetable noodles (so convenient!) so only need to microwave them, one at a time, for 6-7 minutes each. Once each is done, drain the excess water from the noodles before proceeding.
Mix the sauce with the spiralized butternut squash and zucchini, then add in half of the shredded cheese. Transfer this mixture into a casserole dish. I used a 2 ½ quart size, but a 9x13 would work as well. Spread the rest of the shredded cheese over the top.
Bake, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese has melted and casserole is warmed through.
Variations and substitutions
Of course, there are plenty of ways to change this up to suit your preferences, here are a few ideas:
Marinara sauce: you can use any marinara or pasta sauce you prefer. If trying to minimize carbs, I have found Rao’s to have the lowest carb count of any on the shelves. Look for the “sensitive” version for the lowest. Don’t be afraid to be the nutty person reading every label in the pasta sauce aisle to compare – it’s incredible how much added sugar some brands have!
Veggie spirals: the recipe I originally found for this, at dearcrissy.com, used 2 packages of butternut squash spirals. I like the combo of the two different types, but all squash is another way to go as well!
In addition, many stores now carry fresh spiralized veggies. These will also work well, just be sure to cook them first according to the package instructions.
Of course, you can always spiralize your own. I own a spiralizer and it works great for zucchini. Butternut squash? Well, let’s just say it’s a bit more challenging. Unless you are growing your own and simply have to do something with all your squash, I personally recommend purchasing pre-spiralized noodles to save yourself the headache. Just sayin.
Ground beef: though I haven’t tried it yet, I think pork sausage is fabulous in marinara sauce and I’m sure would be terrific in this casserole.
What I have tried is impossible burger. You’ve heard of this, yes? Available at Burger King and many restaurants nationwide, Impossible burger is a meat substitute which tastes surprisingly close to the real thing. I was thrilled to find a package available at my local grocery store recently and knew I had to try it. I used it in this casserole, and it was a hit! It made a completely delicious vegetarian butternut squash spaghetti bake. Which is quite a mouthful, but it does describe what it was. LOL
This is an all-inclusive meal: protein and veggies are covered very well. No “starch” which of course is the intent. 😀 I like to serve with a simple green salad just for a contrasting texture and taste.
Butternut Squash Spaghetti Bake
- 12 oz butternut squash spirals frozen
- 12 oz zucchini spirals frozen
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for browning beef
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 24 oz marinara sauce
- 2 cups cheese shredded (Italian blend or Mozzarella)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add ground beef and seasonings. Cook until thoroughly browned.
- Add garlic and cook for 30-60 seconds. Then add marinara sauce and stir to incorporate.
- Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
- Cook the veggie spiral packages one at a time according to package directions. Drain excess liquid from each package.
- Mix sauce and veggie spirals together in the skillet or a large bowl. Add half the shredded cheese and mix.
- Transfer to a 2 ½ to 3-quart casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.
- Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes, until casserole is warmed through and cheese is melted.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
This is such a yummy recipe. I loved how the butternut squash came out!
It's yummy every time!
I love butternut squash, so this pasta was right up my alley! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!
I made this bake for dinner last night and my whole family loved it! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
I'm so glad your family loved it as much as mine does - thank you for the kind review!
Love this comforting recipe with no guilt! Butternut squash is amazing!
Isn't it? I love how it makes this all sweet and savory! And so healthy!
My kiddos and I made this together! We have been spending a lot more time in the kitchen lately and its so fun. They really enjoyed making this recipe but they enjoyed eating it even more! Thanks for this delish creation, we are adding it to our “make again” list!!
Definitely perfect for kids! Spaghetti taste, with all those additional nutrients from the spiralized veggies! I'm so glad you all liked it!
Oh this is the perfect recipe to get out my spiralizer! I love how it uses butternut squash instead of pasta noodles. Definitely a keeper for when I'm craving something lower carb!
Yes I love that it is lower in carbs and so healthy!
I love that you use both the butternut squash and zucchini in this! I'm trying to eat less pasta over here so this is perfect!
I hope you give it a try!
This looks so delicious and tasty! My family is going to love this recipe! I can't wait to make this!
It's family friendly for sure!
Looks delicous I love butternut squash never tried as spaghetti bake, sure goign to try it.
Oh it's worth trying!
Wow, so tasty!! Thanks for the recipe
I love it - I'm so glad you do too!
Amanda Marie Boyle
So good. I love butternut in the fall, and lasagna anytime!
You know I have done lots of spirals but never butternut squash! What a great idea. This recipe was great.
So glad you enjoyed it Amy. I love butternut squash, and the combination with spaghetti sauce is so good!
I love butternut, I am sure this recipe is super delicious
Yes it is super yummy!
Thanks! What a delicious recipe and great way to use squash!
Yes its a good way to sneak in some extra veggies!
I love trying different butternut squash recipes. Thanks for sharing!!
You're very welcome - I hope you try it soon.
Such a delicious spagghetti bake recipe and a great way to hide veggies from the kids. I had no idea you could get frozen spirilized veggies and now that I do, it's a game changer!
Oh yes, I am a BIG fan of the frozen veggie spirals!
Absolutely delicious recipe.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Oh my goodness, this looks mouthwatering and the perfect dish to welcome fall! I'm definitely going to try this with vegan substitutes. Thanks, Sula!
Try it for sure - the version with Impossible Burger was so delish!
This is fantastic!
I'm glad you liked it, thanks for letting me know!
Thanks! What a delicious recipe for spaghetti squash!
Yes I love the combination of spaghetti flavors with butternut squash!