This Pesto Spaghetti Squash Casserole is an easy, healthier version of lasagna! Spaghetti squash is layered with pesto ricotta, mozzarella and marinara. This spaghetti bake is budget-friendly, simple to prepare and a meal the entire family will love!
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Roast the spaghetti squash: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up. Rub the cut sides of the squash with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the squash, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the squash is tender and easily pierced with a fork. When squash is cooked and cool enough to handle, use a fork to gently scrape out the strands of squash and discard squash “shells”. Transfer the squash strands, in batches, to a kitchen towel or tea towel. Squeeze the excess water out of the spaghetti squash. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Keep the oven at 400 degrees F.
While the spaghetti squash roasts, make the pesto ricotta mixture: In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta with the pesto, garlic, and 1/3 cup parmesan cheese. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Add flavor to your marinara: Stir fresh basil into your marinara sauce. Taste. Adjust your sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Assemble the casserole: Grease 9x13-inch casserole dish. Spread ¾ cup of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of the dish. Top with half of the cooked spaghetti squash noodles. Top with half (1 ½ cups) of the ricotta mixture followed by half (1 ¼ cups) of the remaining tomato sauce and half (4 ounces) of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat with the remaining squash noodles, ricotta and tomato sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and remaining 1/3 cup parmesan cheese.
Bake: Bake in the oven (preheated to 400 degrees F) for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the casserole is browned and bubbly.
Serve: Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with more parmesan cheese and fresh basil if desired. Enjoy!
To make your own spaghetti sauce: (Yield 3 Cups)
2 TBS Olive Oil
1 small Yellow Onion – finely diced
3 cloves Garlic – chopped
1 tsp EACH: Smoked Paprika & Dried Oregano
1 TBS Tomato Paste
1 (28 ounce) Can Peeled, Whole San Marzano Tomatoes – crushed by hand
Recipe serves: 6-8
Nutritional information is an approximation and based upon 8 servings.