Easy Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese (in the Shell)
This spaghetti squash mac and cheese may be the perfect recipe to entice squash hesitaters to dive in and take a bite. But once they’re hooked, you’ll have to share with more people.
Also read: How to Make Crispy Spaghetti Squash Pancakes, Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, Four Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash, Ham and Peas Classic Mac and Cheese
I was introduced to this dish by Michael and Gayla, who prepared a delicious homecooked meal for my brother, sister and I before we hit the West Coast Trail and trekked through the forest for 7 days. The company, wine, beer and food were fantastic. And the spaghetti squash mac and cheese was amazing!
We all loved the smooth creamy interior with the contrasting crunchy top – Yum! Right away, I knew I’d want to make this with all the spaghetti squash waiting for me at home.
Turns out, it’s as easy as combining your favorite homemade mac and cheese sauce with baked spaghetti squash. The mixture can be baked in a casserole dish or returned to the empty squash shells to bake a second time. I used the same mac and cheese sauce I use with my Ham and Peas Mac and Cheese recipe.
Recipe for Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 Tbsp butter or canola oil
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese*
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg optional
- 1/2 cup Panko crumbs can use crackers or pretzels
- 2 Tbsp parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Wash and cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds.
- Place cut-side down on a greased baking dish.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes until fork tender.
- Once cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape the strings out of the squash halves. Set squash strands and empty shells aside.
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook for 2 minutes until softened but not brown.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in flour and mix well. Cook for 1 minute.
- Gradually whisk in milk until sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted and mixed in.
- Add pepper, salt and nutmeg. Taste and adjust as desired, especially if using mild cheese.
- Mix sauce with spaghetti squash strands.
- Divide mix into spaghetti squash shells or place in greased baking dish.
- In separate small bowl, mix Panko crumbs, parsley and Parmesan cheese.
- Sprinkle on top.
- Bake in preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and top is browning. If top is browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
The spaghetti squash and sauce can be made 2-3 days ahead and stored in the fridge. The dish can also be assembled and stored for 2-3 days before baking.
Finished dish can easily be reheated and leftovers can last 3-4 days.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Step one – Cut and Cook Spaghetti Squash
Read this article on How to Cook and Cut Spaghetti Squash for helpful tips and different ways to cook your squash. Basically, what you want to get is a mountain of stringy spaghetti squash.
Next make the cheese sauce and mix it with the spaghetti squash.
Now you decide whether to bake that delicious cheesy sauce in the empty shells or in a casserole dish. Both work well, it’s all about presentation at this point.
Top the sauce with a crunchy topping. Trust me, the contrast between the creamy filling and the crunchy topping is one of the best parts. In fact, the first time I made this dish my kids suggested I increase the amount of topping. I used panko crumbs and Parmesan cheese, but pretzels, crackers, bacon bits, potato chips, or toasted bread crumbs would work too.
And then you can either bake your spaghetti squash mac and cheese or wrap it up to save for another day. Yup, this is a great make ahead meal. Cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge for 2-3 days, then bake as directed.
Note: I have not tried freezing this dish and I’m not sure how well it would freeze – my biggest concern would be that the squash would turn liquidy. If you experiment with freezing – let me know how it goes.
More Ways to Enjoy Spaghetti Squash
Looking for a stuffed spaghetti squash recipe that’s a little more meaty? Try this Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Spaghetti Squash recipe.
Also Try These Ideas for Spaghetti Squash
Top a mountain of spaghetti squash with your favorite spaghetti sauce, roasted tomatoes, marinara or alfredo sauce.
Make Crispy Spaghetti Squash Fritters. Be sure to follow my top secret tip for making them crispy!
Try this tasty side dish Spaghetti Squash with Herbs and Parmesan.
If you’re interested in winter squash tips and recipes, check out these articles and recipes:
- Identifying, Storing and Cutting Winter Squash
- How to Cook Winter Squash
- How to Cut, Cook and Enjoy Spaghetti Squash
- Winter Squash Recipe Round-Up
- How to Make and Freeze Pumpkin/Squash Puree
- How to Roast Pumpkin/Squash Seeds
- How to Roast Delicata Squash
- How to Cut, Peel, Roast and Use Butternut Squash
- How to Make Crispy Spaghetti Squash Pancakes
- How to Make Herb & Parmesan Spaghetti Squash
As always, if you make this dish, let me know what you think. Leave a comment or take a photo and tag #getgettys so I can see it and like it!
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.