This recipe first appeared on Savory Experiments where I am a contributor.
Baked Spaghetti Squash Marinara has a hint of spice and topped with jumbo shrimp. It’s one of the easiest baked spaghetti squash recipes, and a perfect low-carb dinner.
You can do so much with spaghetti squash; they are so versatile! If you’re a lover of spaghetti squash, check out these Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats.
Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Spaghetti squash is a healthy pasta alternative, enriched with tons of vitamins and minerals. Its mild flavor compliments any sauces or toppings you desire.
Low in calorie yet mouth watering plus it’s a quick and easy recipe…what’s not to love?
Baked Spaghetti Squash Marinara Ingredients
Squash: for this recipe, you will need at least 2 large spaghetti squash. Make sure you have one per two people if you are cooking for more or if you want to meal prep.
Protein: you’ll need fresh raw shrimp. Frozen shrimp will also work, but make sure to defrost them first. I used large shrimp for this recipe.
Buy the shrimp deveined if you’re short on time.
This low-carb recipe includes cooking a flavorful marinara from scratch. However, if you’re short on time, you can use store bought marinara.
From the garden: for our savory marinara, you will need a can of whole tomatoes. Sweet onion and some garlic will help flavor the marinara. You’ll also need a serrano chile for a hint of spice.
Wet ingredients: you’ll need olive oil to baste the spaghetti squash and to cook the vegetables. Red cooking wine will smooth out and enrich the marinara.
Herbs & spices: let’s pack in that flavor! Sea salt and pepper will flavor the spaghetti squash while it’s roasting and will also aid in reducing the moisture so it doesn’t get mushy. You’ll also need oregano, parsley, and basil leaves for the marinara. Sugar will help balance the acidity of the tomatoes.
Flat anchovy fillets: these will literally melt into the olive oil, creating a nice and flavorful base for our marinara.
Parmesan cheese: This is optional, but I like to top my baked spaghetti squash marinara with grated parmesan cheese.
*For a detailed list of ingredients and measurements, please reference the recipe card down below.
How Bake Spaghetti Squash
1. Prep the spaghetti squash. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. If you want longer “noodles,” cut them crosswise because spaghetti squash strands grow in a circular motion.
Remove the seeds and membranes and dispose of them. Drain all of the moisture from the spaghetti squash so that it doesn’t get mushy when they are roasting. You can also cook spaghetti squash in the microwave if you are short on time.
2. Roast the spaghetti squash. Baste the spaghetti squash with plenty of olive oil on the cut sides and inside. This will ensure that the skins are crispy when roasted.
Place them on a large rimmed baking sheet cut side up. Season the spaghetti squash with salt and pepper. Roast for 45-60 minutes, or until spaghetti squash is fork-tender. It may only take 25-30 minutes for smaller squash to roast.
3. Prepare the marinara. While the squash is roasting, heat olive oil on a large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add the anchovy fillets and cook until they melt into the oil olive, creating a flavorful base for our marinara.
Add garlic, onions, and serrano chile and saute on medium heat until onions are soft and opaque.
Slice the plum tomatoes in half and add them to the mixture, along with any liquid in the can. Add the red wine to the mixture and stir for 2-3 minutes. Simmer for 15 minutes, reducing the liquid.
Add the shrimp to the mixture, spooning the sauce over them so that they cook and don’t dry out. Cook the shrimp for about 5-6 minutes, or until they turn pink and the tails curl slightly.
4. Pull the spaghetti squash strands. Remove the squash from the oven. To make sure they are done roasting, knock on the exterior and it should sound hollow. The crispy skins should separate from the meaty interior easily, as well.
Place a cooling rack over the baking sheet. Pull at the strands of the spaghetti squash with a fork and place them on the cooling rack, allowing the excess liquid to drain. The strands should resemble pasta.
5. Assemble the spaghetti squash boats. Fork a pile of spaghetti squash onto a place or even back into their skin. Follow by pouring the roasted marinara and topping with shrimp. Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired!
Questions You Might Have
Is there a trick to cutting spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash boats are cut lengthwise for serving and presentation purposes. However, the spaghetti squash strands actually grow in a circle, so cut it crosswise if you desire long “noodles.”
Spaghetti squash has a tough exterior, so using a large chef’s knife will get stuck. It’s best to use a sharp paring knife to cut spaghetti squash.
If you need to, you can microwave spaghetti squash for a few minutes to soften it up and make it easier to cut through.
What happens if you overcook spaghetti squash?
If you overcook spaghetti squash, it will turn mushy. Roasting the spaghetti squash in the oven at 400° F for about 45 minutes will ensure the interior has created the spaghetti-like strands and the skin is crispy enough to hold our marinara sauce for serving.
How do you keep spaghetti squash from being mushy?
To avoid mushy spaghetti squash, make sure you let out all of the moisture. Seasoning with salt before roasting will also soak up some of the moisture.
You should also make sure you roast the spaghetti squash at 400° F. Anything lower than that will steam the spaghetti squash, instead of roasting it, making it mushier.
What to Serve with Spaghetti Squash
More Easy Spaghetti Squash Recipes
- 40+ Spaghetti Squash Recipes
- Tomato Feta Baked Spaghetti Squash
- BBQ Shrimp Spaghetti Squash Boats
- Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats
- Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
- Seared Scallops And Spaghetti Squash Recipe
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Baked Spaghetti Squash Marinara
- 2 large spaghetti squash
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 tin flat anchovy fillets
- 4-5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 sweet onion thinly sliced
- 1 serrano chile minced *see note
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
- 1/2 cup red cooking wine
- 7-8 fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves hand torn
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 pound large shrimp shell and tail removed, raw
- parmesan cheese for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half, remove seeds and membranes, baste with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil on cut sides and inside.
- Place cut side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 45- 60 minutes, or until spaghetti squash is is fork tender. It might only take 25-30 minutes for a smaller squash.
- In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add anchovy fillets. They will literally melt into the olive oil. Add garlic, onions and serrano chile. Lower heat to medium and saute until onions are soft and opaque.
- Halve plum tomatoes, adding to mixture along with any liquid in the can and red wine, stir and heat for 2-3 minutes. Simmer for 15 minutes so liquid can reduce. Add parsley, basil and sugar, continue to heat over low.
- Add shrimp, spooning sauce over them to cook and keep moist. Heat for 5-6 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and tails curl slightly.
- Spaghetti squash should be about done. Crispy skins should separate from meaty interior easily. From the oven you can knock the exterior and it should sound hollow. Remove from oven.
- Set up a cooling rack over baking sheet. Using a fork, rake out interior pulp of spaghetti squash. It should resemble pasta strands. Put raked pulp onto cooling rack to allow excess liquid to drain off.
- Fork a pile of spaghetti squash onto a plate, followed by roasted marinara and top with shrimp. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan if desired.