Spaghetti Squash Parmesan


We've created a vegetarian-friendly neighborhood Italian favorite—and we cannot stop raving about it.

Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
4 serves

Spaghetti squash is a pretty incredible veggie: When roasted, it turns into pasta-like strands (the perfect vessel for cheese and sauce). When halved and hollowed out, the squash becomes a bowl you can fill with the cheesy squash mixture. Store-bought marinara sauce means minimal hands-on time, and the crispy breadcrumbs add some delicious crunch on top.

Make this spaghetti squash parmesan recipe on a weeknight for the family, on Saturday night for guests, or as a vegetarian holiday main. Since the meal is hearty, we guarantee meat-eaters will forget there is no chicken involved. If your market only has small squashes, don't fret! Buy two and follow the recipe, dividing the mixture between the four halves.


  • 1 large spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 ounces whole-milk ricotta (½ cup)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving

  • ¼ cup fresh basil, torn, plus more for serving

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces, divided

  • 1 ½ cups marinara sauce

  • 4 ounces grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)

  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs


  1. Heat oven to 400 F. Place squash on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, drizzle cut sides with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and season with 1 teaspoon salt, and several grinds pepper. Place cut side down and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 40 to 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450 F.

  2. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, half the mozzarella, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ teaspoon salt.

  3. Using a fork, gently scrape out the squash strands and transfer to the bowl with ricotta mixture. Stir until mostly combined but still streaky. Return the mixture to the hollowed-out squash halves. Dollop the marinara over the squash and scatter with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella. Top with Parmesan and breadcrumbs.

  4. Bake until breadcrumbs are golden and cheese is melted and browned in spots, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve topped with more basil.

    Spaghetti Squash Parmesan
    Greg DuPree
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