Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

By Ann Fulton

Keep everything you love about traditional lasagna but replace the noodles with spaghetti squash. Low carb comfort food at its best!
Jump to Recipe

Delicious, nutritious spaghetti squash lasagna has all the features we love about traditional lasagna, from the gooey cheese and hearty sauce to the best-ever leftovers. You won’t miss the noodles!   


Spaghetti squash replaces the traditional noodles in this hearty lasagna, which is brimming with colorful vegetables, a trifecta of cheeses, flavorful sauce, and filling meat.  

Like traditional lasagna, this recipe requires a few steps. But the simple prep can be done in advance, in full or in stages. And then once the dish has been assembled, it’s ready to pop in the oven.

You can even fully bake the dish ahead of time and reheat when ready to eat. In fact, this is one of those dishes that tastes even better over time, so reheating will in no way compromise your meal.

As a bonus, any leftovers provide a welcome lunch or dinner over the coming days. They freeze well too. 

The trickiest part of perfecting this recipe was working through the critical steps to avoid too much moisture. Vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and squash have a high water content, and nobody wants that moisture to result in a soggy dish.

After cooking this lasagna several times, I also realized that, while the water content of spinach was largely consistent, that of spaghetti squash varied a lot more. We needed foolproof steps that worked every time. 

A critical element of recipe testing:

I employed various methods, from placing the spaghetti squash in a colander and letting it drain naturally to draining and then pressing with paper towels, and finally wringing the squash out in a tea towel (which is my preferred method for draining spinach too).

The results surprised me! When left to drain for 15 minutes in a colander, a few tablespoons of liquid drained off the squash. When I added the step of pressing firmly with paper towels (which included wiping the excess moisture from the bottom of the colander, where it clings), a smidge over a quarter cup of liquid was added to the tally. (I was surprised by the reading, as it seemed like more.)

After the drained squash sat in a glass bowl for several minutes, I could see a good bit of liquid pooling at the bottom. At this point, I placed the squash in a clean tea towel and wrung it out. The result was a whopping 8 ounces – a full cup – of additional liquid was released.

Nobody wants over a cup of excess liquid in their lasagna, right? 

Happily, you need not go through this process. Simply jump straight to wringing out the excess liquid. It takes but a minute and is the most effective way to ensure your lasagna isn’t watery.

Wringing does compact the squash. So when done, I use my fingers to pull the squash apart. I do the same after wringing liquid from the wilted spinach.

Also, despite what it may seem, neither the spaghetti squash nor spinach stain the tea towel. I give the towel a rinse to remove any little pieces – or a good shake outside – and then wash it when I next do laundry.

What size spaghetti squash to use?

Spaghetti squash vary so much in size, and while weighing the squash helps (I provide a target weight in the recipe and most stores have a scale), sometimes our choices are limited to small squash or really big ones. 

For this recipe, you’ll need six cups of squash. I measure generous cups (just over the rim but not packed) right after scraping from the shell and before removing the excess moisture. If you go a touch heavy or must skimp on the last cup, no worries. The lasagna will still be delicious.

As a general rule, a 3- to 4-pound spaghetti squash should yield 6 to 8 cups of “noodles.” Most recently, I scraped 7 cups out of a 3 pound, 7 ounce squash.

If you end up with more squash than you need for the recipe, refrigerate it for up to five days. The leftovers make a delicious side dish when warmed and served simply with a pat of butter or drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

First time growing spaghetti squash!

Last summer was the first time we grew spaghetti squash. I’ve read that the average yield is 4-5 squash per plant. We got three from our single plant. 

Tips for spaghetti squash lasagna success:

  • Avoid overcooking the squash. Overcooked squash will be more watery and may be mushy.
  • But do make sure to cook the squash enough. This will ensure you can scrape all the strands from the shell. A sharp knife should meet little resistance when poked through the shell and the strands should release fairly easily when scraped with a fork.
  • Use a tea towel to wring the excess moisture from the squash and the spinach. You will get a lot more liquid out this way (see details above), which will ensure the lasagna isn’t watery.
  • After wringing the squash and the spinach it will be rather compact. Pull it apart to avoid clumps in your lasagna.
  • After baking, make sure to let the lasagna sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting. This gives the juices times to redistribute, making the pieces cut more easily and retain their shape better. Some pooling juice after cutting is normal (and desirable) and will be reabsorbed as the casserole sits and makes leftovers taste even better.
  • Forget to grease the baking dish? I skipped this step the last time as a test, and it didn’t stick. So, while the usual way is to grease, it’s not a dealbreaker if you don’t.
  • Finally, if you mess up the order of the layers, don’t worry. I’ve done it and still it ends up tasting fabulous!

Prep-ahead tips:

Lasagna is one of those dishes that takes some time to assemble but then rewards you with a meal that can be popped in the oven when ready to eat. Leftovers, which improve with age, are another perk.

Conveniently, this spaghetti squash lasagna offers many opportunities for preparing ahead of time:

  • The squash may be cooked a day in advance and refrigerated.
  • Same with the spinach. In both cases, I remove the moisture before refrigerating so it’s ready to go.
  • The ricotta mixture may be prepared earlier in the day. Some separation of the egg and the cheese may occur; simply stir before using.
  • I usually sauté the ground turkey just before assembling the lasagna, but there’s no reason that couldn’t be done up to a day or two in advance. You could also stir in the wilted and drained spinach and the seasonings before refrigerating.
  • You may prep and fully assemble the lasagna earlier in the day and then cover and refrigerate it. In this case, let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking.
  • Finally, you may fully cook the lasagna, cool, cover, and refrigerate. Then reheat in the oven, uncovered. (I let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes and then heat at 350℉ for about 30 minutes.) This way, you get the great leftover taste the first time around. (Not to worry, it’s delicious the first time too!)
  • Can spaghetti squash be frozen? I recently tested freezing several leftover pieces in an airtight container, and they were good up to three months. Some excess moisture pooled upon defrosting, but the taste and texture remained excellent.
  • For best results when freezing, chill the lasagna in the refrigerator first, and wipe any condensation from the lid before transferring to the freezer. Also, match the container size to the portion being frozen as closely as possible. Less air equals less condensation and ice formation, which can degrade the squash upon thawing.

Following is a photo overview of the steps with a few helpful hints in the captions:

When ready, the spaghetti squash should pull away from the edges of skin fairly easily yet still retain a hint of texture.

When done, the spaghetti squash should pull away from the edges of skin fairly easily when scraped with a fork, but it should still retain a hint of texture. For added convenience, this is one of the many steps in this recipe that may be done in advance.

Roughly chopping the spinach first prevents long, stringy pieces.

Roughly chopping the spinach before wilting prevents long, stringy pieces in the lasagna. I do the same when adding fresh spinach to soups and stews.

Wringing the spaghetti squash in a clean tea towel is the quickest and most effective way to remove the excess moisture.

Wringing the spaghetti squash in a clean tea towel is the quickest and most effective way to remove the excess moisture.

Wringing the spaghetti squash in a clean tea towel is the quickest and most effective way to remove the excess moisture.

The amount of moisture which will drain out is impressive! If not removed, an excess of liquid will pool at the bottom of your casserole dish after the spaghetti squash is cooked.

After squeezing out the moisture, the spinach will be compacted. For even distribution throughout the lasagna, pull it apart with your fingers before adding to the ground turkey.

Once the spinach and spaghetti squash are squeezed, they will be compacted. Simply pull them apart with your fingers so they can be evenly distributed with the other ingredients. 

A garlic press makes quick work of mincing garlic.

For years I minced garlic by hand, but a garlic press makes far quicker work of this task. I use the dull side of a knife to scrape it right into the pan. (Thank you Emily for letting me know I needed this gadget!)  

Keep everything you love about traditional lasagna but replace the noodles with spaghetti squash. Low carb comfort food at its best!

The ingredients are layered, just like a traditional lasagna. Not to worry if you mix up the order. I’ve done it and it still tastes great!

Keep everything you love about traditional lasagna but replace the noodles with spaghetti squash. Low carb comfort food at its best!

The casserole is rather pretty too. A light dusting of parsley adds a hint of fresh flavor, but I like it mostly for the visual appeal. If you don’t have any, don’t worry.

Keep everything you love about traditional lasagna but replace the noodles with spaghetti squash. Low carb comfort food at its best!

This recipe has been a consistent crowd-pleaser, surprising traditionalists and garnering many recipe requests. It’s also a terrific prep-ahead meal when entertaining or needing a meal to take to a friend.

Serve with suggestions: 

A few more winter squash recipes:

If you try this recipe, let us know. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @fountainavenuekitchen on Instagram and Facebook!

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
For best use of time, prep the remaining ingredients while the squash roasts. (Also note the additional advance prep tips below and in the post above.) Garnish the finished dish with fresh parsley, if desired, and serve with crusty bread, a green salad, and/or a roasted green vegetable of choice. A side of roasted or sautéed mushrooms is also delicious.

The lasagna is also a great make-ahead meal when entertaining and for sharing with a friend.
  • 1 (3¼ – 3½ pounds) spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeded*
  • 1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast**
  • 2 -3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk or 2% ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon each onion powder and dried oregano
  • 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella (or Italian blend cheese), divided use
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce, divided use
  • ¼ cup (20 grams) grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare the squash: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Brush the flesh with 2 teaspoons oil (you can eyeball this) and place the halves cut side down on an oiled baking sheet (or line with parchment paper for easy cleanup). Roast in the oven until tender, about 35 minutes. (Helpful hint: Check a few minutes early and add a few minutes if needed, as all ovens vary. The flesh should easily pull away from the shell but have a hint of firmness to it.) Remove from oven. When the squash is cool enough to handle, scrape with a fork so that it forms spaghetti-like strands. You’ll need about 6 cups (measured before removing the moisture; well filled but not packed) for the lasagna. Place the squash in a clean tea towel and wring out the excess moisture. (Helpful hint: You can use paper towels, but I find the tea towel to be far more effective, and then I shake it out and reuse it to squeeze the spinach later. Prep-ahead tip: Once the moisture is removed, you can refrigerate the squash for up to a day.)

Wilt the spinach: Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from the pan and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess liquid as done with the squash. Prefer to use the microwave? To do it this way, I use a vented bowl and high power for 60 seconds and then check and add another 15 seconds or so as needed.

Cook the turkey: Lightly oil the same skillet—you want just enough oil to lightly coat pan, about 1½ – 2 teaspoons—and heat over medium. Sauté the ground turkey, crumbling as you go. When just short of being cooked through, add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Remove from the heat and add the drained spinach, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste (I use ¼ – ½ teaspoon). Stir to evenly incorporate.

Prepare the ricotta mixture: Whisk the egg in a medium bowl with a fork, and then stir in the ricotta, and ½ teaspoon each salt, pepper, onion powder, and dried oregano. Then stir in ½ cup of the Mozzarella cheese; set aside.

Build the lasagna: Lightly coat an 8×10 or 9×9-inch baking dish with olive oil or spray, and then spread ½ cup sauce over the bottom of the dish. Top with one-third of the squash, and then spread with half of ricotta mixture. Top with half of the turkey/spinach mixture. Dollop with another ½ cup sauce—no need to spread, just dribble evenly. Top with another third of the squash; spread with remaining ricotta mixture. Top with remaining turkey/spinach mixture; top with remaining squash. Finally, spread with ¾ cup sauce. (There will be sauce remaining.)

Bake: Turn the oven down to 375℉ and place the lasagna on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips and to make it easier to get in and out of the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella, followed by the Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes more or until the edges are bubbly and the cheese is melted. If you’d like the top to have more golden-brown color, broil the casserole on the top rack for 1 to 2 minutes, watching VERY closely so as not to burn. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. (This will give the juices time to reabsorb and make for easier cutting.)  If desired, warm the remaining marinara and serve on the side. May pass additional Parmesan cheese at the table too.

Notes & Tips

*Trouble cutting the squash? You can microwave the spaghetti squash for 3 to 4 minutes to soften it. Pierce it once or twice along the line where you will cut it later so the steam can escape. When roasting, start checking for doneness 10 minutes early, as this step will reduce the roasting time.

Alternatively, to cut down on cooking time, you may fully cook the squash in the microwave. I recommend cooking one half at a time for most even cooking. Each half will take about 10-12 minutes on high, depending on microwave.

**For variety, you could use half ground turkey and half Italian sausage. Optionally, ground beef or bison could be used. Need a vegetarian dish? You may use a plant-based meat alternative in place of the turkey. The flavors also pair beautifully with mushrooms, so adding a few cups of roasted or sautéed mushrooms would likely be fabulous.

More advance prep: You may prep and fully assemble the lasagna earlier in the day and then cover and refrigerate it. In this case, let it sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before baking.

Storage: Leftovers will keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator and freeze well for up to 3 months.

More On YouTube More on Instagram
Tried this recipe?Post a picture on instagram and we will repost it! Mention @fountainavenuekitchen or tag #fountainavenuekitchen!
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen


Leave a Reply

Make it? Rate the recipe:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Elizabeth

    So. Good. We have eaten it weekly for a month. I like prepping it on a weekend day and then reheating to serve one night during the week. Delicious and light, but filling. Highly recommend!

    1. Ann Post author

      Thanks so much for your comment, Elizabeth. I’m delighted this has been on your regular rotation. Coincidently, I just made the lasagna over the weekend…and I always look forward to the leftovers!

  2. Nancy Fischer

    Hi Ann. This recipe sounds delicious! Just wondered if you can sub frozen spinach for the fresh. I imagine the thawed spinach could be squeezed dry like the squash, right?

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Nancy, Yes! Though I’ve always used fresh, I’m sure frozen and thawed would work. As you say, just be sure to squeeze the excess moisture out first. Enjoy!