Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
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Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese is the perfect way to lighten up your favorite comfort food! This gluten free, low carb & vegetarian recipe can be served as a side dish or entree. It’s perfect for a Meatless Monday meal or as a Thanksgiving side dish.
This healthy version of mac and cheese contains 1/4 the amount of fat and calories as traditional mac and cheese. It’s much lower in sodium and carbs, and it’s easy to make!
While I love digging into a big bowl of mac and cheese every now and then, I also love to find healthier ways to eat my favorite foods more often. Enter: spaghetti squash and white cheese sauce!
Using spaghetti squash instead of traditional macaroni noodles cuts down on the calories and carbs in this mac and cheese recipe. While using healthier cheeses helps cut down the fat and calories.
For comparison purposes, I’ll use the nutritional information from The Cheesecake Factory’s Macaroni and Cheese side dish.
- Fat: 109 grams
- Calories: 1550
- Sodium: 2690 milligrams
- Carbs: 92 grams
Now that’s just for a side dish! I’ve divided this Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese recipe by five, for a serving size of one cup, the perfect amount for a side dish.
- Fat: 16 grams
- Calories: 251
- Sodium: 816 milligrams
- Carbs: 15 grams
Even if you double the serving size and eat this recipe as a meal, you’ll still be at 1/3 the amount of fat and calories as a side dish of traditional mac and cheese!
Now I know what you’re thinking, “but it’s not the same as mac and cheese, Whitney!” While It may not have quite the same texture as traditional mac and cheese, I promise that it’s not lacking in flavor!
The white cheese sauce is so delicious! And when you’re looking for some creamy cheesy goodness without all the calories and carbs, this spaghetti squash mac and cheese will hit the spot!
Table of contents
Step by step instructions
- Prepare the squash. Cut a large spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Use a fork to remove the seeds. Then, brush the inside of each half with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast it. Place each side of the squash cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in a 400°F preheated oven for 45 minutes.
- Create the ‘noodles’. Remove from the oven and carefully use a fork to pull the strands of squash from the shell.
- Make the cheese sauce. Add shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and goat cheese to a large saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Pour milk into the saucepan and stir the cheese sauce consistently until it’s smooth and creamy.
- Finish the dish. Add the baked spaghetti squash noodles to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Garnish with a dash of salt and pepper and fresh chopped basil, if you’d like. Serve the spaghetti squash mac and cheese in bowls or place back in the squash shells to save dishes!
Frequently asked questions
- Does this recipe make good leftovers? Yes! Leftover spaghetti squash mac and cheese is still totally delicious the second time around. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, then use one of the methods below to reheat it before eating.
- Can you reheat it? Yes. To reheat it on the stove, place the mac and cheese in a medium saucepan on the stove over medium heat and stir consistently for 5-10 minutes, or until the dish is heated through. You can also place the squash in an oven safe baking dish, cover with foil, and bake in a 350°F oven for 15 minutes to reheat. Or quickly pop it in the microwave in a covered microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes.
- What is the easiest way to cut a spaghetti squash in half? I like to use an electric knife to make slicing the uncooked squash safer and easier. You can also poke a few holes in the squash along where you will be cutting and microwave it for 3-4 minutes to soften it up a bit.
I love adding veggies to this mac and cheese, especially if I’m eating it as an entree. Roasted veggies add more nutrition and texture, and you can roast them right alongside the spaghetti squash. Follow these 3 simple steps to add roasted broccoli and/or cauliflower to the dish.
- Spread the vegetables out into an even layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place in the 400°F oven with the spaghetti squash for the last 20 minutes of cooking.
- Remove from the oven and add the veggies to the cheese sauce with the roasted spaghetti squash.
If you’d like to add chicken to the mac and cheese, I highly recommend checking out this Bruschetta Grilled Chicken recipe. You can use and the marinade + grilling techniques from this recipe to add flavorful grilled chicken to the spaghetti squash mac and cheese.
What to serve with it
This spaghetti squash mac and cheese recipe can be served as a side dish or as an entree! If serving it as a side dish, I recommend pairing it with one of these delicious main dishes.
More spaghetti squash recipes
Enjoy more of the health benefits of spaghetti squash with these easy recipes!
- Turkey Chili Spaghetti Squash
- Vegan Mexican Stuffed Squash
- Cilantro Lime Shrimp & Spaghetti Squash
- Green Chili Chicken Spaghetti Squash
- Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash
- Caprese Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1 spaghetti squash, 4-5 lbs in size
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ¼ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup goat cheese
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped (optional topping)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.
- Use a fork to remove the seeds from inside the squash.
- Brush the inside of the squash with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place each side of the squash cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and use a fork to pull the spaghetti squash “noodles” from the shell, place in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add the mozzarella, parmesan, ricotta and goat cheese to a large saucepan on the stove over medium heat.
- Add the milk and stir the cheese sauce consistently until it's smooth and creamy.
- Add the roasted spaghetti squash noodles to the cheese sauce and toss to combine.
- Finish with a dash of salt and pepper and fresh chopped basil, if you’d like.
- Cutting the uncooked spaghetti squash: an electric knife makes cutting the squash so much easier and safer!
- Adding veggies to this dish: to add roasted veggies to this dish, place vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven with the spaghetti squash for 20 minutes. Add to the cheese sauce with the roasted spaghetti squash.
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