Spaghetti Squash With Sausage Ragù

If you love spaghetti but are trying to limit the amount of pasta you eat, Spaghetti Squash With Sausage Ragù is a dish you should try. Italian sausage, tomatoes, onions, herbs and red wine are slow simmered until they become a rich meat sauce. It is served on top of spaghetti squash and finished with grated Locatelli Romano cheese. Delizioso!

Spaghetti Squash With Sausage Ragú
Spaghetti Squash With Sausage Ragú

My husband and I are trying to cut bread, pasta, rice and potatoes from our meals for one month and so far we are doing great. With a delicious meal like this one, we won’t mind putting pasta on the back burner for a while. If you want to eat a little healthier, eat gluten free, cut down on carbs occasionally, or just want to have something different, do give this recipe a try.

Spaghetti Squash With Sausage Ragù

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Serves 2, adjust the recipe accordingly


  • 1 lb.  ground Italian sweet sausage
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups of basic marinara sauce (homemade if possible)
  • 1  14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • pinch fennel seeds
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water as needed
  • Locatelli Romano cheese, grated (optional)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan then add sausage. Break up as finely as possible with a spoon and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the onions and cook until soft, add more oil if mixture seems dry, then add the garlic. Cook until the meat has become brown. Pour in the marinara sauce, add the diced tomatoes, the wine and all of the seasonings and stir well. Reduce heat to very low and simmer, uncovered, for about an hour  until the mixture is thick and develops a rich deep flavor. You may have to add a little water occasionally if the sauce gets too thick during the simmering process. Remove the bay leaf before serving.


  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Brush the flesh with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 to 60 minutes until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork.* Remove from oven and cool  enough to handle. Scrape the flesh into strands and place in a bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil, toss and taste for seasoning.

*I have cooked the squash both cut side up and cut side down. When roasted facing down, the squash tends to steam and will produce wetter and softer strands. I personally like the results of roasting it cut side up better as the strands are a little drier and have a texture more like pasta.

To serve, place some spaghetti squash into each bowl, top with ragù and sprinkle with a little cheese if desired.


Spaghetti squash is very versatile and can be topped with many different sauces. I’ve made spaghetti squash with chicken meatballs and tomato basil sauce for a lighter Italian meal.

Spaghetti Squash And Chicken Meatballs Marinara
Spaghetti Squash And Chicken Meatballs Marinara

I’ve also made Thai style spaghetti squash with chicken meatballs which was another wonderful way to use the squash that you might not have though of.

Thai Style Spaghetti Squash With Chicken Meatballs
Thai Style Spaghetti Squash With Chicken Meatballs

As you can see, you can make delicious meals that might have been originally made with some sort of pasta but by using spaghetti squash you cut back on carbs and calories. While my husband and I won’t give up pasta, rice, potatoes and bread permanently, a month of doing without them is going to be easy. Tell me my dear readers, have you tried substituting different vegetables for pasta or rice in your meals lately?



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229 thoughts on “Spaghetti Squash With Sausage Ragù

    1. Hi Lea Ann, I agree with you about the squash being good on its own, adding a topping such as this ragu takes it from a side dish to the main dish. I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

    1. Hi Kay, I’ve read that spaghetti squash can be hard to come by in England. I’ve heard that when it is in season Waitrose often carries it. I’m sure you would enjoy it…thanks for the compliment on my recipe.

  1. Great post! Spaghetti squash is highly underutilized and a good value. At a recent dinner in our club I served a Spaghetti squash gratin topped with buttered Japanese bread crumbs and Italian parsley. It was a huge hit with the guests.

    1. Hi Daniel, I totally agree with you about the squash being underutilized. Gratin is a great way of preparing it, I can see why your guests would have enjoyed it.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Mandy. My husband calls me “potato girl” because I love potatoes any way they are prepared. A month is a short time to give up a food we enjoy, especially if the outcome improves your health. 😀

  2. Looks perfect, Karen – but since I already have to give up the garlic, there is no way anyone can pry the pasta out of my hands… 🙂

    We, too, are trying to reduce carbs – adding two veggies with a protein instead of rice/potatoes. And, when we do have pasta, we only have 2 ounces (dry) each. It looks like so little but really is plenty!

    Hope it goes well for you!

    1. Thank you David, I know what you mean about giving up pasta. We have such a variety of it in our pantry, it looks like a little Italian grocery store. 😀 A month isn’t long to do without it and yes, our portions are small like yours when we do have pasta.

    1. Hi Mad Dog, I’m glad you like the recipe. We love spicy Italian sausage and always have some in the freezer although I can’t get my favorite brand here in Florida.

    1. Thank you for the compliment Penny. A spiralizer is one kitchen gadget we have resisted as our mandolin can create a similar result. With that being said, I have done a little research on them however. 🙂

  3. I love low carbs meals like this….awesome! Sadly all the pumpkin and squashes are gone as soon as Halloween is over. So this has to wait until next year.

    1. Hi Angie, While we don’t have any pumpkins available at our market now, we have the spaghetti squash often. I’m glad you like the recipe, thank you.

    1. Thank you Diane, I believe you would enjoy them all. Maybe you don’t want to know but the weather is lovely here…60 at night and around 80 in the day.

  4. We used to be bread-aholics lol and gave up bread and real pasta a few years back. I now spiralize veggies. We do miss that bread occasionally 😉 Thanks for another delicious looking recipe!

    1. Hi Ingrid, I was surprised how much my husband enjoys the spaghetti squash and says I can sub it for pasta anytime. Now the bread…that is hard for him but we are halfway through the month. 🙂 I’m happy you like the recipe, thank you.

  5. Like all of your creations, these look delicious! I love spaghetti squash by itself or with just about any sauce. Like others, I’ve started using a spiralizer for zucchini to use instead of pasta.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Peter, they are very much appreciated. I don’t have a spiralizer yet but from all the comments I’m getting, everyone seems to like them, especially for zucchini. In the past, I’ve used a mandolin to make zucchini noodles.

  6. Spaghetti squash has been a stable in our family for many years. Your recipes look so delicious. I can’t wait to try them. For the last year I’ve been cutting down on carbs ( doctor’s order) and it has reduced my glucose levels.

    1. Hi Gerlinde, I appreciate your nice compliment about the spaghetti squash recipes. My husband’s last blood test showed that two of his numbers were just a little high so I thought cutting down on the carbs for a month would do the trick.

    1. Hi Amanda, If you enjoy spiralizing to make noodles out of vegetables, I really believe that you would enjoy spaghetti squash if you can find it in your area of France.

  7. Spaghetti squash is a wonderful and easy alternative to regular spaghetti, but have you tried zucchini noodles? If you love spaghetti squash, you will love zucchini noodles even more. Many spiralizers come with two or more sizes so you can do spaghetti or even linguini. I must admit, I have grown to adore this fake pasta, it is so versatile and equally as beautiful.
    Your recipe comes at the perfect time, Karen, everyone is trying to get back on track. JT and I (well, mainly me) are doing a very strict diet for the month of January and I’m already down about 7 lbs! I know it will slow down but a good start like that will keep me on track. A recipe like yours won’t hurt either, and JT is a huge fan of ragu.

  8. Sausage works so well in a ragu, doesn’t it? Love the pinch of fennel seeds in your ragu — they add such nice flavor. And spaghetti squash is a a great substitute for spaghetti. I know what you mean about the need to cut carbs for a bit — we overloaded over the holidays. 🙂

    1. Yes John, the Italian sausage makes for a very flavorful ragu and I do like to add fennel to the pork. I think we all overloaded during the holidays and cutting back temporarily on carbs is an easy way to correct the situation.

    1. Hi Ronit, I agree that a flavorful sauce really does add to the overall goodness of this squash. I’m glad you like the looks of this dish, thank you.

  9. This sounds delicious. I love that you researched up vs. down for us. It is these little tips that takes a dish up a notch. btw – Jamie Oliver said potatoes should be treated like chocolate, you can have them, just sparingly. I think I love potatoes just as much as chocolate. 🙂

    1. Thank you Madonna, I really appreciate your lovely compliment. I’m exactly like you, love both chocolate and potatoes. BTW…it is so good to hear from you, you’ve been missed. 😀

  10. Karen, this is perfect for me because I am a breadaholic and so try to limit my consumption of other carbs so I can enjoy my homemade breads. I’ve had spaghetti squash with Italian meat sauce, but I’ve never thought to give it a Thai twist like this! Perfect!

    1. Hi Jean, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m glad you like my Thai version…I tried to show that there are a lot more ways of preparing the squash.

    1. Hi David, I’ve not heard of the squash going by another name. From what I’ve read, try Waitrose if you have one near you as they are supposed to carry it from time to time.

  11. I was just telling a friend about your blog. She wanted ideas for taking photos of food and I told her how you make your dishes look as appetizing. The photos are always wonderful. The recipes are great too. I bet she would like this one.

  12. Love spaghetti squash and this flavourful recipe, tho’ your Thai one has been a favourite quite a while! And I also cook cut side up 🙂 ! That said good carbs are a healthy necessity in life. Personally I rarely eat potatoes: small ones with skins on to go with steamed fish yes! But brown rice [together with all the other healthy grains we can now buy] and moderate amounts of healthy bread [heavily grained, soy, linseed, nutty etc] are necessary for diet balance and actually make one LOSE weight – it very much does depend on portion control . . . .

    1. Hi Eha, I do agree with you that a healthy diet should contain some good carbs. Our goal was not so much to shed pounds but just eating healthier to improve some test results from annual checkups. Of course, the tests were done right after the holidays when we all eat a little too much of things we don’t usually eat on a daily basis. 🙂

  13. Omg Karen – we love spaghetti squash, and yours with a sausage Ragu on top is heaven!! Also thanks for the tip about roasting the squash side up for less moisture to set in – great tip!! Have a great week! 🙂

    1. Hi Liz and Anna, I appreciate your stopping by for a visit and your lovely compliment. Thank you and I’m glad to know that you liked the tip about which way to cook the squash.

  14. We love the almost creamy texture of spaghetti squash. This is a most scrumptious recipe and takes full advantage of best qualities of the spaghetti squash! (Although served with a smear of butter and a flurry of parsley is very good too!)

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Deb. I agree with you about the squash being good served with butter as a side dish. Served with the ragu, it turns the squash into a complete meal.

  15. Ahhh, this looks delicious Karen! We have used spaghetti squash for noodles a few times, but not in quite some time, thank you for the reminder! The sausage ragu must have made the house smell incredible.

    1. Hi Kathryn, The sausage ragu was indeed delicious. I’m glad this post was a good reminder to try spaghetti squash again. Thank you for your compliment.

    1. Hi Amy, Sometimes we have to try foods several times before we like them…I’m glad you gave spaghetti squash another try and now like it. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  16. Hi Karen – what a fabulous meal. Love what you did here. I can’t believe I’m saying this out loud, (or in print!) but I’ve never yet made spaghetti squash. This delicious recipe just might be the nudge I need in 2017. My four boys can be picky eaters, but I’d like to try this recipe out on them. Seriously, who could resist that rich sauce and they all love the Italian sausage. Wishing you and your family
    ALL THE BEST in 2017!!! xo

  17. We discovered spaghetti squash a few years ago and really like it…actually my husband prefers it to pasta. It’s a good healthy way to start the new year. Your photos are making me hungry!

    1. Hi Marigene, While my husband enjoys a plate of pasta, he is like your husband when it comes to spaghetti squash. I’m glad you liked the photos, thank you.

  18. I sometimes think I live in a different world, Karen! I’ve never heard of spaghetti squash (courgette?) and I’m not even sure about the sweet sausage (something like chorizo?) but it all looks good 🙂

    1. Hi Jo, I do appreciate where you are coming from…when it comes to food across our world I often find myself looking it up on google. I’m not sure that spaghetti squash has another name. It is a hard shelled squash that when raw, is solid and similar to other raw squash. What makes it different is when it is cooked. The flesh can be pulled apart with a fork into strands that look like spaghetti. The “sweet Italian sausage” is a mild Italian sausage often seasoned with fennel or anise and has no hot chili peppers. I do hope that helps. Thank you for your questions as there are probably others wondering the same thing. 🙂

    1. Hi Tandy, I’m lucky in that my husband was totally open to trying spaghetti squash the first time I made it and really enjoys it. Some other squash, maybe not so much so I know where you are coming from. I do think your husband would enjoy the ragu. 🙂

  19. Oh man, I love the sound of that sausage ragu, Karen! There are so many awesome layers of flavor going on in there…you’re making me hungry, and it’s only 7:40am here. 🙂 And, yes, I’m right there with ya on the spaghetti squash thing. I haven’t made “pasta” using spaghetti squash in quite some time now…and it’s about time to fix that problem. Great recipe for kicking off the new year! Good luck with the carb-ed down month.

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment David, thank you. I’m happy to know that you like the recipe and thank you for your wish…so far, so good.

    1. Hi Susan, Cutting the carbs for a month has actually not been bad…it just takes a little imagination sometimes. Thank you for your nice compliment about the recipe.

  20. What a lovely dish Karen. I try (and fail) to keep the carbs in check. My view is that I have a bike and can burn them off. That approach will fail one of these days.
    I hope all is good with you,

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment Conor. I know of your biking and appreciate the hard pace you set for yourself. I only wish I was as good at exercising as you. 🙂

  21. I don’t think I could give up the pasta being Italian and all, but love spaghetti squash and sausages are something I rarely say no to.
    This looks fabulous and only can imagine the flavor of that ragu with the sweetness of the squash.
    Love it!~

    1. Hi Loreto, It would be hard to give up pasta on a permanent basis but for a month, we’ve found it easy to do. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m happy to know that you like the recipe.

  22. I need to get back on track, I slipped over the holidays and went back to eating carbs again. I have to try spaghetti squash, I’ve never had it before and you have inspired me to try it. Lovely recipe.

    1. Hi Suzanne, I know a lot of us that usually eat healthy do indulge during the holidays and I know I enjoyed every morsel I had. 🙂 I’m happy to know that my post has inspired you to try spaghetti squash, I think you will enjoy it. Thank you!

  23. I really do need to buy a spaghetti squash again. I like them but in the past my husband hasn’t. Maybe now that he wants to get healthy he will give it a second chance. This looks so good Karen!

    1. Hi Abbe, Adding this sausage ragu sprinkled with grated cheese might convince your husband to give spaghetti squash another try. It is worth a try as my husband loved it.

    1. Hi Marcelle, I’m glad you like my recipes…it is nice to try different ways of preparing spaghetti squash. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  24. My crazy husband is so physiological when it comes to food. I tried this a long time ago and he kept saying “it’s not like spaghetti.” over and over! It had nothing to do with the taste of the squash on the fact that it wasn’t pasta…lol! Perhaps I should call it something else? Perhaps I should call it “Karen’s Italian Squash”? This looks so delicious!

    1. Thank you Debbie, for your nice compliment. Your comment gave me a laugh. Definitely call it Karen’s Italian Squash and I hope your husband will like it. 😀

    1. Hi Bobbie, Yes, we thought this would be a great way to start the year as we always end the year with a little to much excess as far as meals and desserts go. 🙂

  25. We love pasta, but are attempting to cut back also. This sounds like a great alternative that’s really delicious! And I love the addition of fennel seeds! Thanks for the recipe, Karen. Take care

    1. Thank you Pam, I’m glad you like the recipe. We didn’t miss pasta at all in this dish. I think the fennel seeds do go well with pork…I’m happy you like the idea.

  26. I love, love using spaghetti sauce instead of pasta. Bill looks at me like I’m crazy, but I’m happy to make him regular noodles. Your sausage ragu looks like a fabulous topping, especially during the winter!

    1. Hi Liz, Even though we live in Florida where we certainly don’t get much cold weather, we enjoyed this meal. I’m glad you like the ragu, thank you.

  27. Hi Karen, I pretty much just started enjoying spaghetti squash last year and I cannot get enough of it, Lovely recipe. Looks delicious!!!

  28. I’ve made spaghetti squash, but never like this Karen. Last night I must confess to eating some angel hair pasta and perhaps I went a wee bit overboard:/. Thank you for the idea to use this as a substitute. I can imagine it must be delish!

    1. Hi Doreen, I’m glad that you like the way I prepared the spaghetti squash, we thought it was delicious and didn’t miss pasta at all. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try.

  29. I LOVE spaghetti squash, Karen, and your sausage ragout looks delicious! I love using veggies in place of pasta, like making lasagna with zucchini slices. Kudos to you for a carb free month! It would be difficult for me right now….no willpower! But you are definitely off to a healthy new year!

    1. Hi Anne, I’m happy you like the sausage ragu, thank you. It really hasn’t been hard not having bread, rice, potatoes and pasta for the past couple of weeks. I think giving ourselves a short time goal has helped…as I wouldn’t want to give them up permanently.

    1. Hi Magali, I appreciate your stopping by for a visit and your nice comment, thank you. I’m happy to know that I gave you inspiration for one of your meals. 🙂

  30. I think this is one of the most comforting meals for most people. Didn’t we all grow up loving spaghetti and meat balls and now we’re all trying to make our meals more healthy. Win!

  31. this is pretty much my definition of comfort food, especially since spaghetti squash is superior to pasta in just about every way! great ragu!

    1. Hi Julie, Eliminating bread, rice, potatoes and pasta for a month has been an easy way to eat a little healthier as we start this new year. I’m glad you like the recipe.

    1. Hi Frank, It seems that there are a lot of us that enjoy spaghetti squash. I’ve not tried cooking the squash in a crockpot but I’ve seen recipes for it done that way.

    1. Hi Frank, I’m glad that you liked my tip for cooking the spaghetti squash. Don’t think of the squash as pasta…more like a good vegetable to top with one of your good sauces and I think you will like it. Do give it a try…perhaps just as a nicely seasoned side dish and go from there. 🙂

  32. I am a fan of spaghetti squash too! Love this combo with the sausage ragu…anything “ragu” gets my vote! I just cooked cauliflower fried “rice” for the first time this week! I was skeptical but it turned out great…in case you’d like to try. : )

    1. Thank you Monica, I’m happy to know that you like my version of spaghetti squash. Isn’t it fun trying out new and creative ways to use veggies, I bet your “fried rice” was good.

    1. Hi Debra, We haven’t gone completely carb free…just bread, rice, potatoes and pasta and only for a month, something we thought would be easy enough to accomplish. You are right, adding more veggies is a good way to eat a little healthier. I’m glad you like this dish, thank you.

    1. Hi Penny, I’m happy that you stopped by for a visit as well. 🙂 Thank you for your nice comment, I’m glad that you like my spaghetti squash recipe.

  33. I’ve never had very much luck with spaghetti squash, but I’ve always roasted it face down. Next time I’ll try face up because that makes sense. I roasted all my other winter squash cut side up. DUH! 🙂 What a lovely ragu and I bet it is delicious over the spaghetti squash.

    1. Hi MJ, I’ve tried cooking the squash both ways and I have definitely gotten better results with it up. The ragu was a great topping for the spaghetti squash, it made it a good and filling meal, I’m glad you like it…thank you.

    1. Hi Deb, I’m glad you like the recipe, it turned out great. Thank you, I got the chocolate bars the other day and can’t wait to give them a try. 😀

  34. Spaghetti Squash is plentiful here this time of the year and I do enjoy preparing it very much. I can’t say it is as enjoyable as spaghetti is, but I know it is low calorie and healthy.

  35. Carbs…. the love of my life! Whenever I try to cut down on something, carbs are the first group of products because I love them too much, but I would never eliminate completely rice, bread or noodles. You are very brave, but your squash spaghetti looks so delicious, it makes one forget about “real” pasta. Good luck with your new eating habits! I cross my fingers (and am looking forward to seeing new creative dishes…).

    1. Hi Sissi, I wouldn’t want to eliminate the carbs permanently either but I think the short term goal of a month without them has been easy. I’ve got another recipe I’ll be posting tomorrow.

  36. What a tasty looking meal. Love the use of spaghetti squash here and the sausage ragu sounds incredible.

  37. I love spaghetti squash, and this one looks really delicious and comfy. Lovely share. Love that you paired it with ragu. Wonderful share.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Anu. My husband and I thought the ragu was a nice topping for the squash…it made it a good and filling meal.

  38. I absolutely love the idea of using spaghetti squash as spaghetti…the ragu sauce sounds and looks delicious Karen…great dish!
    Have a wonderful week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Juliana, We were very pleased with this dish. I’m glad you like the ragu topped spaghetti squash. Thank you for your compliment and wish, we have had a nice week…I hope you did as well.

  39. Love spaghetti squash, I’ve got a few recipes on my blog too. I like the addition of red wine in your sauce, I’m sure it took it to another level. I’m making ground turkey with yellow grated squash tonight, I see you have that on your site too. Love my carbs, but at times I do try to cut it out completely and never win. Woe is me!

    1. Hi Loretta, Yes as much as we like our carbs, doing without them occasionally does help with a healthy lifestyle. I do think the red wine combined with the Italian sausage created a very flavorful sauce, I’m glad you like the recipe…thank you.

  40. Good Morning,
    I am a huge fan of trading out meat for vegetables. Although I did just make some homemade meatballs. (Sharing the recipe soon) However, I have never ever tried spaghetti squash…it is surely a must for me to do after seeing this yummy recipe!

  41. I love how you’ve added Italian sausage to the ragu; it does give it a wonderful rich flavour. Certainly spaghetti squash is very good for you and if you’re looking to cut out carbs (as we are trying to do in the evening) this is a very good option xx

    1. Hi Charlie, The Italian sausage did make for a very flavorful sauce indeed, thank you. Cutting carbs for one meal sounds like a good plan…good luck.

  42. Hi Claudia, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your lovely compliment. While not the same as pasta, spaghetti squash makes for a tasty dish…I have a feeling you will enjoy it.

  43. My hubby & I are trying to eat less bread and pasta too and unfortunately my spag squash recipes have been just okay. So excited to see this sausage ragu recipe but then I see your chicken meatball recipes too!! I’m doing the thai one tomorrow night 🙂

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