Take a bite of this all-paleo baked spaghetti squash dish and it’s hard to believe you’re not eating real pasta with mozzarella cheese – yes, it’s that good!
Being Italian, I know my pasta. For an all-paleo version with no wheat or dairy, this one comes amazingly close to the classic baked spaghetti dish I loved growing up.
This paleo recipe has it all – the melted cheese (actually made from cashews), the rich marinara meat sauce (the real deal that’s already paleo!) and the pasta (steaming spaghetti squash noodles, compliments of Mother Nature.)
And besides all those great flavors and textures, this dish is surprisingly easy to make! Roasting the spaghetti squash makes the “paleo pasta” for you in about 40 minutes…scrape it out with a fork, and the noodles are done. [av_sidebar widget_area=’Lockerdome’ av_uid=’av-vjduiq’]
And while the squash is in the oven you can get the marinara sauce simmering on the stove. The nut cheese is easily whipped up in a blender using a few seasonings and cashew halves you’ve pre-soaked in water.
I used this same cashew-based nut cheese in what turned out to be one of my most popular Paleo Newbie recipes so far – the Awesome Paleo Lasagna. This baked spaghetti dish has many of those same great flavors, but I think you’ll find this one a lot easier to make.
And you know, this dish would be even simpler if you could just pull a bag of my Paleo Marinara Meat Sauce out of your freezer. That’s what I did this time – I had made a double batch of the sauce awhile back, and froze half. So while I was roasting the squash, I simply reheated the marinara sauce and whipped up the cashew cheese. Then I layered everything in a dish, baked it in the oven for 15 minutes, and boom! Dinner was done.
Wondering if this dish is good? Well let me tell you, so was my hubs. He’s always a bit skeptical when he sees me in the kitchen recreating Italian dishes paleo style. He won’t admit it, but I can tell when he thinks one of my recipes needs more work. He’ll just smile and say, “Hmmm…that’s interesting.” Ha! That’s a code phrase for “try again.”
Well when he tasted this dish for the first time he was amazed – or maybe shocked is a better word – at how close this baked paleo spaghetti tasted to the real thing.
So I’m hoping this dish will join the lasagna as another Italian-dish-made-paleo winning recipe you’re going to love too.
Of course, you all are my experts…so you get to decide.
Try this baked paleo spaghetti squash recipe and let me know what you think!
- 1 large spaghetti squash (or 2 smaller ones) cut in half and seeds removed
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- You can use a jarred paleo marinara sauce of your choice, or follow my easy marinara recipe linked here: Paleo Marinara Meat Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashew halves
- 1/2 cup almond milk or water
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Soak cashews in water (at least 2 hours, or better, overnight)
- Preheat oven to 375º F
- Slice squash in half and remove seeds
- Drizzle squash halves with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Place squash flesh side down on foil or parchment lined baking sheet
- Roast squash for about 30-40 minutes, just until tender but not mushy
- While squash is roasting, prepare the Paleo Marinara Meat Sauce (link)
- When you have the marinara sauce simmering, make the cashew cheese: Place the soaked cashews and almond milk (or water) in a blender. Blend at high speed until very smooth – about 2 minutes. Next add the lemon juice, sea salt, garlic clove and onion powder. Blend again until smooth and creamy.
- Remove squash halves from oven and allow to cool a little
- Scrape inside flesh lengthwise with a fork or spoon to dislodge the spaghetti squash strands
- With your squash pasta, marinara sauce and nut cheese done, you're ready to combine everything and bake
- First add a small amount of the sauce to the bottom of an 8" x 8" (or similar) baking dish
- Next layer in some of the squash pasta
- Next about 1/2 cup of the nut cheese over the squash
- Next ladle in more sauce
- Repeat the above three steps one more time – so add a second layer of squash noodles, then the rest of the nut cheese, then top with the sauce. (Note: don't bake with the nut cheese directly on top – it will brown)
- Bake dish at 350º F for about 15 minutes until warmed through
- Serve and enjoy!
I made this tonight for the first time and it was amazing! My hubby almost didn’t believe it was paleo and my two year-old asked for thirds :-) I will definitely make again!
Yay Laura! That picture isn’t the best, but it sure is yummy! Thank you for taking the time to comment! :)
Hi Trina, does this freeze well?
I personally wouldn’t freeze this one. Most of my recipes I would say yes, but spaghetti squash gets mushy once its frozen.
Hi Trina! I LOVE your recipes!!
I was wondering if I could bake/shred the spaghetti squash and make the cheese beforehand then throw it all together for a quick meal?
I think so Sharee, I haven’t tried it that way but see no reason it wouldn’t work. Let me know! :)
Made this tonight and we all loved it. Thanks!!
Trina this was SO good. I had some homemade hot Italian sausage on hand to put in the sauce. The nut cheese was like a mix between a cream cheese and a creamy mozzarella – so easy to make with a Vitamix. I am on day 28 of Whole30 and to have something that could easily pass for cheese was such a treat! I hoping for more recipes using this nut cheese or different flavourings.
Ashleigh, Good for you! The Whole30 is tough! I plan on doing more recipes like this one. I really like the flavor and texture and it is helpful when you’re missing cheese. Thank you for your kind comment. I’m happy you liked the recipe! :)
Ahhh….. Cashews! Sorry, didn’t read. Carry in.. LOL!
How can it b paleo if it has dairy??
Garrett Brown….I know how much you
Gwen Lefley Anderson
You know, I. Love. Baked. Spaghetti!!!! Must try this :)
Michelle DeToy Myles
SpaghEttiquette squash is a bit sweet for me, could I do Cooke zucchini squash?
Zuchinni will get a bit soggy if cooked and then baked. I would slice it like Lasagna noodles and layer it with the spaghetti sauce and cashew cheese, then bake it. No pre-cooking involved. It will be delicious! :)