My creamy vegetarian spaghetti squash lasagna casserole is a nutritious twist on a classic dish that uses spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Spaghetti squash has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and is loaded with nutrients. Packed with protein and fiber, this dish will keep you feeling full and satisfied!
Lasagna is the ultimate comfort food. There's just something about that tower of noodles layered with tons of gooey cheese, meat, and homemade tomato sauce that's hard to beat!
I set out to make a lighter, vegetarian dish that would incorporate the flavors of lasagna that we know and love. My vegetarian spaghetti squash lasagna casserole uses nutritious spaghetti squash instead of pasta.
Spaghetti squash has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and when it’s cooked, the flesh falls away like ribbons or strands of spaghetti. It’s lower in calories and carbs than traditional pasta and is packed with nutrients like fiber and Vitamin C.
First, I bake the spaghetti squash in the oven. Then, I use a fork to scrape the flesh of the spaghetti squash into long, spaghetti-like strands.
Then, I mix the squash with creamy ricotta cheese and nutrient-packed spinach.
Next, I layer it with tomato sauce, reduced fat mozzarella and parmesan cheese. And finally, I bake it in the oven until it’s bubbling with cheesy goodness.
How To Make Spaghetti Squash in an Air Fryer
Traditionally, spaghetti squash is baked in the oven but you can also cook it in the air fryer! Compared to the oven, it's much faster in the air fryer. This is because the air fryer uses hot air to cook food quickly and evenly.
Also, air fryer helps to retain the vegetable's natural moisture and flavor. This results in a tender and flavorful spaghetti squash.
Read my post on how to cook spaghetti squash in the air fryer and get step-by-step instructions.
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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Casserole
- 1 large spaghetti squash (about 3 ½ pounds)
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided use
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1 container (15 ounces) part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 6 ounces (1 ½ cups) reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese, divided use
- ⅓ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush the flesh with 1 teaspoon oil. Place them cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven until tender, about 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. When the squash is cooled, scrape the flesh with a fork so that it forms spaghetti-like strands. You should have a total of about 6 cups total.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating 2 teaspoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes until partially softened. Stir in the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes until thickened.
- Mix the ricotta, egg, spinach, ½ cup mozzarella cheese, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl. Squeeze all of the liquid from the spaghetti squash and add it to the bowl (the squash releases a lot of water as it cooks so make sure to squeeze it well). Stir to combine all of the ingredients.
- Turn the heat on the oven down to 375°F. To assemble the lasagna, spread about 1 ½ cups of the sauce on the bottom of an 8x11-inch baking dish. Add the squash mixture on top and spread it out evenly. Spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top of the squash and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup mozzarella and Parmigiano cheese on top.
- Bake in the oven 35-40 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted. Garnish with parsley. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving.