Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats.
Taking the classic lasagna and making it just a touch healthier with these cute (cheesy) Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats. Seasonal spaghetti squash stuffed with a spicy chicken, tomato-based ragu sauce, and creamy cheesy béchamel sauce made with fresh ricotta and provolone cheeses. It’s all baked together until the sauce is bubbling hot and the cheese is melted and perfect. This is an easy, delicious, gluten-free, and slightly healthier way to enjoy the classic flavors of lasagna. Bonus? This is the perfect recipe for low key entertaining with friends all season long.
I’ve probably said this before, but I don’t think spaghetti squash gets nearly enough love. This time of year I tend to see a whole lot of pumpkin, some butternut squash, and sometimes acorn squash is occasionally thrown into the mix too. But spaghetti squash? Not so much.
I personally love spaghetti squash. My mom used to roast it in the oven and serve it simply with butter and salt. That’s my mom, noodles, butter, and salt. She could live off of that…and she would…if she didn’t have to eat my cooking every day.
Watch Me Make These Boats on Instagram:
Thanks to my mom, I’ve had a strong love for spaghetti squash since I was a kid. It’s one of the only vegetables I feel that can truly replace real deal pasta. I’m never bummed or left feeling unsatisfied after a spaghetti squash dinner. It’s always so delicious.
Enter these cute little spaghetti squash lasagna boats that I love so much. These are just like your classic lasagna only made healthier.
Here are the details
Start with the garlic. If you’ve never roasted garlic before, I’m here to tell you that it’s truly amazing. Slow roasted garlic loses it’s intense garlic flavor and instead takes on a soft sweetness. It’s delicious and so simple to do…like so simple. Just drizzle an entire head of garlic with a little olive oil, wrap in foil, and roast in the oven until the garlic turns a pretty, golden color.
And that’s it. Then mash the garlic into a paste and stir it into the ragu sauce…
Which brings me to the next step! While the garlic roasts, make the sauce. I like to use spicy Italian chicken sausage for extra flavor, but you can also use ground chicken, turkey, or even ground beef. All will work great. Then just add tomatoes and herbs, and simmer for a bit to thicken the sauce up. Stir in the roasted garlic. And that’s that.
Tip: if you’re short on time, you can skip roasting the garlic, but I will say that the roasted garlic really adds such a nice flavor to the sauce.
Next, prep the spaghetti squash. I like to microwave the squash for a few minutes to make it easier to cut in half. I know all too well that cutting through spaghetti squash can be super dangerous. Microwaving the squash makes it so much easier to cut. Trust me on this.
Of course, if you don’t own a microwave, you can easily just skip the step. But I would pre-roast your squash in the oven for 15 minutes to start the cooking process.
Now, for the cheesy béchamel sauce. It’s a simple mix up of milk, fresh ricotta, fontina, and provolone cheeses. I added fresh basil and some nutmeg for warmth.
OK. Now you have all your layers, let’s assemble these boats. Just layer the ragu sauce and the béchamel sauce inside the spaghetti squash. Top with cheese and bake until the squash is tender and the cheese is melted and bubbling up. One word to say here, YUM.
Top with fried sage and or fresh thyme. Not necessary, but I highly recommend. Why? Because it’s GOOD, and everything is better (and prettier) topped with herbs.
I really can’t begin to express just how good these lasagna boats are. They’ve been a favorite recipe of mine for years and I love making them every fall. They require a little cooking time, but they’re an easy, super-cozy dinner than you can throw together any night of the week. And? They are definitely special enough to serve guests for a smaller dinner party. Everyone loves getting a personalized lasagna boat.
Some serving suggestions for you
Or? Just serve them on their own because remember, spaghetti squash is a vegetable! And it’s SO GOOD. Buttery, saucy, and a little cheesy. All the classic flavors of traditional lasagna, just on the lighter side.
Nothing not to love!
If you make these roasted garlic spaghetti squash lasagna boats be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
watch the how to video:
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats
Seasonal spaghetti squash stuffed with a spicy chicken, tomato-based ragu sauce and creamy cheese béchamel sauce made with fresh ricotta and provolone cheese.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 head garlic
- 3/4 pound ground spicy Italian chicken sausage or ground chicken
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 can (28 ounce) crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed
- 1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream
- 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese or mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded provolone cheese
- kosher salt and black pepper
- fresh thyme and or fried sage leaves, for serving (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice off the top portion of the garlic head to expose some of the cloves. Place the garlic on a piece of foil. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and wrap in foil. Transfer to the oven and roast until cloves are lightly browned and tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze the garlic out into a bowl. Mash the cloves with a fork.
2. To make the meat sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken sausage and brown all over, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add onion and cook another 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the tomatoes, 1 cup water, the bay leaf, oregano, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the roasted garlic. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
3. Meanwhile, poke a few holes into the squash with a fork and place on a plate. Microwave 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, ricotta cheese, nutmeg, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup fontina cheese and 1/2 cup provolone cheese.
5. Place the squash in a baking dish and season the cut sides with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining fontina cheese into the bottom of each squash, then evenly divide meat sauce among the squash cavities. Now spoon the milk/cheese mix over the meat sauce. Top with the remaining provolone cheese. Cover the squash loosely with foil.
6. Transfer to the oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking another 15-20 minutes or until the squash is tender and the cheese is golden brown on top. The squash will seem a little soupy, this is OK.
7. Let the squash sit 5 minutes, then use a fork to scrape the squash into strands, mixing the meat and cheese with the squash. Serve topped with thyme and sage.
If You Don't Own a Microwave: Simply slice the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Pre-roast your squash for 15 minutes to start the cooking process, then continue the recipe as directed.
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