It’s hard to beat a good spicy sausage marinara… Generously ladled atop roasted spaghetti squash, my Spaghetti Squash with Easy Sausage Marinara is low carb and gluten free, and just might help you forget the “missing” pasta! Yum!
Do you love pasta? I have to confess, I do not have a love affair with pasta. I’ve always been one to focus on the sauce. However, I know many of you are happy to gobble up a plate of pasta, right?
In recent months, I started reducing carbs in an effort to lose those 10 extra pounds that snuck up on me in recent years. I do believe carbohydrates need to be a part of a healthy diet, and I would never suggest eliminating them. However, replacing some of the carbs is an effective way to lose weight for some people (like me). 😆
Feature Ingredient: Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is a winter squash variety, however, you can find it year ’round in most markets. This nutritious squash with its unique fibers make it a great low carb, gluten free, alternative to pasta. 1 cup of spaghetti pasta has approximately 200 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrates. By comparison, 1 cup of spaghetti squash has just 40 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates. Yay!
With 2 grams of fiber per serving, and good amounts of calcium, magnesium, niacin, and potassium, spaghetti squash is a great addition to a healthy diet, and a guilt-free way to enjoy those pasta sauces! I can confidently say you’ll not miss the pasta when you try my Spaghetti Squash with Easy Sausage Marinara…
Disclaimer: Never one to be disingenuous, spaghetti squash may look a bit like spaghetti, but the similarities end there. It is, after all, still a squash. It does not have the texture or the taste of pasta. I think of it more as a vehicle for sauce, and as I mentioned earlier, I’m all about the sauce!
Put Together Spaghetti Squash with Easy Sausage Marinara
Split your spaghetti squash and remove the seeds with a spoon. I recently discovered this article and have changed my MO. I’m now cutting crosswise. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook in a preheated oven until tender (30-40 minutes depending on size).
While the squash cooks make the sauce. Sauté the aromatics (garlic and onion) with the Italian turkey sausage (okay use pork or beef if you must!) until sausage is almost browned. Add the mushrooms. Sauté until sausage and mushrooms are browned. De-glaze the pan with red wine, add the tomatoes. Add dry herbs now if using.
Simmer a minimum of 15 minutes. Stir in the fresh herbs (reserve a bit for garnish) just before serving. After the spaghetti squash is cooled, use a fork to remove it from the skin. Serve the marinara sauce atop a mound of spaghetti squash. Garnish with fresh herbs, and fresh grated parmesan. Enjoy!
If this recipe looks fabulous, or if you give it a try, I’d love to hear from you… And a share is always appreciated! Look for a video on this one in the months ahead!
Spaghetti Squash with Easy Sausage Marinara
It's hard to beat a good spicy sausage marinara... Generously ladled atop roasted spaghetti squash, my Spaghetti Squash with Easy Sausage Marinara is low carb and gluten free, and just might help you forget the "missing" pasta! Yum!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash
- 4 to 5 pound spaghetti squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (enough to drizzle)
- sea salt/fresh ground pepper
Easy Sausage Marinara
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic minced
- 24 ounces Italian turkey sausage (see notes)
- 8 ounces button or crimini mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine or 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 26-28 ounce canned tomatoes (I like Pomi petite diced)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, oregano, thyme chopped (see notes)
- sea salt/fresh ground pepper for seasoning
- fresh Italian flat leaf parsley chopped for garnish
- parmesan or romano to grate over top
Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (375 convection). Slice 1/2" off of each end of the squash, and then slice in half (see notes).
Drizzle cut edges with a bit of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in preheated oven.
Roast until tender and barely beginning to brown. Depending on the size of your squash, this may take 30-50 minutes (24-40 convection).
Allow to cool until you can handle the squash. Using a fork, remove the flesh from the skin to a large bowl. Check for seasoning, and set aside. You can either keep it warm in a covered casserole dish, or do a quick saute on the stove just prior to serving. (This is typically what I do).
Easy Sausage Marinara
To a small dutch oven or large saute pan, add a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Saute until onion is soft but not browning. Add the sausage, and saute, breaking it up as it cooks. I use a potato masher for this task... Add the mushrooms once the sausage is broken down.
When the sausage and mushrooms are cooked, de-glaze the pan with the red wine. Bring to a boil, and cook until liquid is reduced. Add the tomatoes. If using dried herbs, stir them in now.
Reduce to to a simmer, and cover. Stir occasionally. Stir in the fresh herbs just before serving. Check for seasoning, and adjust.
To Serve: Plate the spaghetti squash, top with sausage marinara, and garnish with parsley and grated parmesan or romano. Enjoy!
I recently discovered that a lengthwise cut through the spaghetti squash goes "against the grain," and a crosswise cut yields longer, more "spaghetti like" strands. Of course it's up to you! I'm roasting rather than pressure cooking, but How To Cook Spaghetti Squash does a great job of showing you the benefits of cutting crosswise!
This marinara sauce is ready to serve in 20-30 minutes, so I make it while the spaghetti squash is roasting. It is great leftover or frozen for another meal, so double the recipe if you're so inclined.
When I'm lucky, I can find "Hot" Italian turkey sausage in bulk, but sometimes I can only find it in links. In this case, I simply squeeze it from the casings. Additionally, we like a bit of heat in our marinara. If I can only find "sweet" Italian sausage, I add about a teaspoon of crushed red pepper with the onion, garlic, and sausage. You know your family's preferences, so omit the crushed red pepper and go with the "sweet" Italian sausage if you don't like heat. While you can definitely use pork Italian sausage, keep in mind the fat and calories will be higher.
I usually have basil, oregano, and thyme in my garden. I bring in a handful of fresh herbs and chop them all up together. If you don't have fresh, you can substitute dried, but use leaves not ground. A total of about 2-3 teaspoons should be about right.
Macronutrients (approximation from MyFitnessPal.com): 321 calories; 27 g protein; 7 g carbohydrates; 17 g fat. Macros do NOT include grated cheese.