Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Cheese

In honor of the longer days, I offer this gloriously orange-red, mildly spicy dish that gives pure pasta pleasure–without the pasta! Spaghetti squash is inexpensive, nourishing, and high in fiber, and it marries beautifully with this cheese-kissed sauce to make a colorful, low-carb meal rich in lycopene and anti-oxidants, so tasty that even kids will enjoy it.


1 spaghetti squash (about 1 1/2 pounds. If you can only find a large one, just cook the whole thing and freeze half of it for a later use)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 hot chile peppers, diced (more or less, depending on how hot you like it)
1 or 2 pieces soy “bacon” (optional)
1 cup canned Italian plum tomatoes with their juice, pureed
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Trim the stem off the squash and split the squash in half lengthwise. Using a grapefruit or other sharp-edged spoon, scoop out the seeds. Place the squash halves facedown in a baking pan and add 1/2 inch of hot water. Cover securely with foil and bake 40 minutes.

2. Allow the squash to cool, then use a fork to scrape the pasta-like fibers into a bowl. Reserve.

3. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil, then add garlic, chile, and soy “bacon,” if using. Cook for a few minutes until garlic is fragrant and “bacon” is slightly crisp.

4. Add tomatoes, lower the heat, and continue cooking about 20 minutes until the mixture thickens a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Add the pre-cooked squash, stir thoroughly to combine, and cook about 5 minutes, until heated through. Serve hot.

Serves 8.

By Cait Johnson, Assistant Producer of Care2's Healthy Living Content.


Nikhil Dutta
Nikhil Dutta10 months ago

great recipe!! definitely going to try this!

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby3 years ago


Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

JL A.3 years ago


Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Val G.
Valerie G.4 years ago

Thank you Cait!
Really looks good!!

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago

Yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

Charles B.
Charles B.5 years ago

Sounds good!

Rita S
Rita S5 years ago

I never heard of spaghetti squash, but sounds good!

Bente S.
Bente S.6 years ago

I have never heard of spaghetti squash. What is it?