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?



About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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128 Responses to Spaghetti Squash With Sausage Ragù

  1. With my love for spaghetti, this really is a good idea. I’ve always just eaten Spaghetti squash as a side dish with butter, salt and pepper. But with a good meat sauce, I’m all over this one. Thanks Karen.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  2. We don’t see spaghetti squash here very often but I must look out for it now I’ve seen your delicious recipe.

  3. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  4. Everything looks fabulous Karen. Must admit, I love me spuds! Then again I am sure I can do anything I set my mind to.
    Have a wonderful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Karen says:

      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. 😀

  5. Darlene says:

    What a great idea! Thanks.

  6. Cocoa & Lavender says:

    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!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  7. I love using spaghetti squash in place of pasta. It’s actually quite good especially with a ragu sauce like yours. Thanks for sharing Karen…

  8. Amy says:

    Looks delicious. Cut bread, pasta, rice and potatoes from our meals for one month, wow!!

  9. Delish! Spaghetti squash is great with sauces like this and the color contrast makes a lovely dish too. 🙂

  10. Monique says:

    Happy New year Karen..I love spaguetti fact most squashes:)

  11. I love this. Spaghetti squash is on the top of my list and with a meat sauce it’s even better!

  12. Mad Dog says:

    That sounds great and I’ve been thinking of spicy Italian sausage all morning!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  13. Penny says:

    Sounds great Karen. We are doing the same. I also love my spiralizer for squash. Happy New Year.

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  14. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  15. All look great Karen…I will try these recipes! 9F here this morning…;-)

  16. Ingrid says:

    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!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  17. Peter Herpst says:

    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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  18. I love love looooove spaghetti squash! So this dish is totally calling my name! Seriously, who needs pasta when you can have this? Your ragu looks amazing! Cheers!

  19. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  20. I’ve never had spaghetti squash but I love spiralizing so looks a great one to try.

  21. Eva Taylor says:

    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.

  22. diane frisch says:

    You have totally made me want to go out and get some Spaghetti squash!

  23. I love making spaghetti squash with different sauces. Your sauce looks awesome. Going to try that next.

  24. Larry says:

    I’m not a big fan of spaghetti squash, but I’d love the ragu on some pasta.

  25. kitchenriffs says:

    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. 🙂

  26. Too many times spaghetti squash can be a bit bland, so this bold flavor sauce is just perfect for it. Looks delicious! 🙂

  27. Madonna says:

    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. 🙂

  28. Diane says:

    This sounds perfect. We do not have bread or cheese in the house except for when we entertain, it all helps! Have a good week Diane

  29. 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!

  30. Do these have another name, Karen? I saw them about 15 years ago on TV when I was living in Calgary. I’m still yet to find them in the UK.

  31. Yum, this sauce looks like delicious and oh so tasty! I’d love to keep it around for when it’st time to pick garden tomatoes!

  32. A lovely recipe, Karen. I grew spaghetti squash once upon a time but have not seen them for years!

  33. We too are trying to keep the ‘white’ stuff out of our diet! This meal looks perfect! Thank you!

  34. 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.

  35. Eha says:

    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 . . . .

  36. 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! 🙂

  37. 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!)

  38. I’ve always found spaghetti squash a bit bland, but this is the cure! What a wonderful way to lighten up this dish without sacrificing flavor! Happy New Year!

  39. 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.

  40. I used to hate spaghetti squash, but now I love it! This meal looks great and perfect for limiting carbs. Happy New Year, Karen!

  41. nancyc says:

    I’m trying to cut down on carbs, too–this sounds like a great low-carb meal!

  42. 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

  43. Marigene says:

    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!

  44. restlessjo says:

    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 🙂

  45. I would do this in a heartbeat but my husband doesn’t like squash.

  46. spicedblog says:

    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.

  47. Kudos to you and your hubby! We try not to overdo the carbs either and it’s a great way to keep the pounds from piling on. This dish sounds especially tasty with the sausage ragu!

  48. Conor Bofin says:

    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,

  49. Gretchen says:

    We love spaghetti squash! We grow it in the garden and I can’t get enough. This ragu looks delicious.

  50. 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!~

  51. 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.

  52. 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!

  53. Karen, we love spaghetti squash with simple marinara and parmesan, but I will definitely be trying your comforting sausage ragu! I also love the Thai spin you put on spaghetti squash too. Looks really tasty!! Thanks for those extra recipe links 🙂

  54. Just the recipe we need for eat-healthier-January!! thanks Karen. It looks delicious!

  55. Printing your recipe to give a try! I limit starchy carbs, but do miss all the sauces that taste so good with them! This looks the best of both worlds!

  56. 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!

  57. Great low carb way to start the new year. Wishing you a super start of the New Year Karen!

  58. Pam says:

    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

  59. sippitysup says:

    Spaghetti squash is wonderfyl, It seems miraculous how the “noodles” form. GREG

  60. Marcie Bidou says:

    I actually prefer spaghetti squash over pasta with a hearty sauce, and that’s what’s on my menu for tonight! This is making me so hungry!

  61. 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!

  62. A super light yet comforting, easy and delish version of a classic. It looks amazing!

  63. Wonderful recipe. I love spaghetti squash and this sounds delicious. 🙂

  64. Spaghetti squash is such a great healthy alternative to use instead of the regular pasta. Your ragù sounds so delicious as well! Thanks for sharing!

  65. cheri says:

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

  66. doreen@foxdenrd says:

    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!

  67. Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons says:

    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!

  68. I cook many vegetables and I’ve never tried spaghetti squash. I just added it to my grocery list as you gave me the perfect idea for the weekend!

  69. I love squash, but what really interests me here is your sausage ragu! It sounds delicious!

  70. Zaza Cook says:

    Happy New Year Karen! This Spaghetti Squash With Sausage Ragù looks completely delicious!

  71. paintdigi says:

    Happy 2017 Good posts, beautiful blog. Congratulations.

  72. Damn Delicious!!!
    fancy comforting “pasta”

  73. Kelly says:

    This looks perfect for dinner tonight! Love spaghetti squash!

  74. ladyfi says:

    Looks tasty – and easy to make it vegetarian!

  75. Maureen says:

    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!

  76. grace says:

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

  77. Mary Frances says:

    This is a wonderful recipe! I love my pasta and am always exploring, cant wait to try!

  78. Yum Karen! I’m with you … throw those carbs out the window! Love the idea of squash spaghetti 😃

  79. Sophie33 says:

    I make a similar recipe a lot too! I will make your tasty looking version soon! Yummmm!

  80. aFrankAngle says:

    Good choice as we are also spaghetti squash people. Somewhere recently, my wife saw info about using a crookpot to cook the squash.

  81. Thanks for the tips. I’ve tried but never quite gotten the hang of spaghetti squash as pasta… Will try it again!

  82. Monica says:

    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. : )

  83. eliotthecat says:

    Although not going carb free, we are trying to eat LOTS more veggies and this is a perfect way to do so!

  84. Oh! That sounds wonderful! I have a spiralizer that is packed away, while we are waiting to build our house that I use on zucchini, but I wouldn’t need it for the spaghetti squash! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  85. mjskit says:

    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.

  86. Deb says:

    Karen, we love spaghetti squash and your recipe sounds delish. Check your email, you are the chocolate winner!

  87. Barbara says:

    Can’t wait to try this, Karen. We love spaghetti squash….eat it all the time. But never thought to turn it in to a dish like this!

  88. Fantastic. Thanks for the reminder. I need to get spaghetti squash on my next shopping trip. Your pictures are amazing! So delightful! 💖💖💖

  89. I love spaghetti squash! There is something a little magical about it 🙂 really enjoyed this one, Karen!

  90. I like Daniel M. Pliska’s idea of combining the spaghetti squash with buttered Japanese crumbs- yippee! I’m now getting all kind of new ideas!

  91. Pat says:

    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.

  92. Sissi says:

    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…).

  93. For the Love of Cooking says:

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

  94. Anu-My Ginger Garlic Kitchen says:

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

  95. Juliana says:

    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 🙂

  96. Loretta says:

    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!

  97. I Wilkerson says:

    I love using spaghetti squash to get in an extra vegetable serving too! Never miss the pasta!

  98. Look really delicious !!

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