Take-out Tuesday, Spaghetti Squash al forno

This is a fun twist on pasta, easy to assemble or make ahead, and light enough for warmer temps and summer dining

This dish is full of Italian favorites like salami, tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan.  Al forno is Italian for baked, thus the recipe name, Spaghetti Squash al forno

Spaghetti Squash boats

The hardest part of this dish is cutting the squash in half

Find a hunky guy  💪 to cut it or pierce the squash in multiple places as you would a baked potato, and  Microwave for 5 minutes on high.  Remove and test to see if it is softer.  Please pierce it so it doesn’t explode  🎉


Sprinkle salt on the cut side of squash

Place it cut side down on a parchment or non stick foil lined baking sheet with a head of garlic that has been topped, drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper and wrapped in foil


Roast at 400 for 45 minutes or until squash is done


Carefully remove seeds and then use a fork to scrape out the flesh, pulling the fork tines across the cooked squash forming “spaghetti”


Place spaghetti squash strands in a mixing bowl


The filling is a mixture of the cooked spaghetti squash and salami, sun dried tomatoes,* cream cheese, chives, cream, Parmesan and Mozzarella

*substitute grape tomatoes if you prefer.  You can sauté them with the salami and spinach or roast them along with the squash, adding them after 15 minutes, because they will only take 30 minutes to roast


Saute salami and dried tomatoes in a skillet


The rendered fat from the salami will hydrate the tomatoes


and will sauté the spinach


Add salami, tomatoes and spinach to squash in bowl and add Parmesan


Squeeze roasted garlic into measuring cup.  Add cream cheese and cream or milk.  Season with salt and pepper and microwave for 1 minute on high.  Stir until smooth.  Pour over ingredients in mixing bowl and combine

spaghetti sauce

Fill squash shells with mixture and top with Mozzarella, some more Parmesan and sprinkle with chives

Italian spaghetti squash boats

At this point, the filled shells can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking

spaghetti squash with Italian filling

Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until heated through

Don’t be put off by the length of the recipe, it’s super simple, I promise

This recipe is adapted from this epicurious recipe

Spaghetti Squash al forno

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
roasted garlic 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 2


  • 1 medium size spaghetti squash
  • kosher salt
  • 1 small head garlic
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 oz cream cheese or cream cheese and chives, softened
  • 1/2 cup cream half and half, or whole milk
  • 3 oz salami cut into small strips
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach leaves {and/or kale}
  • 2 oz sundried tomatoes or grape tomatoes*
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan divided
  • 2 oz Mozzarella slices or grated
  • chopped green onions or chives for garnish


  • Cut squash in half lengthwise. To make cutting easier, pierce squash in 6-8 places with a sharp knife and microwave for 5 minutes to soften. Sprinkle cut sides of squash with salt and place on a parchment lined or non stick foil lined baking sheet, cut side down.
  • Cut top of garlic head off exposing cloves. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap up in a square of foil and place it on baking sheet with squash. Bake garlic and squash at 375 for 40 minutes.
  • Gently scrape seeds off squash. Remove spaghetti from shells by running a fork across the cooked squash, the tines will remove the spaghetti like squash strings. Place into a large mixing bowl.
  • Sauté salami and tomatoes in skillet. The rendered fat from the salami will hydrate tomatoes.* Add spinach and stir to wilt. Remove from heat and add to squash in bowl. Add half of Parmesan and stir to combine.
  • Squeeze roasted garlic into a measuring cup. Add cream and cream cheese. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Combine with vegetables and divide mixture between squash shells. Top with remaining Parmesan and Mozzarella. Garnish with chives. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours if desired.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through


*substitute grape tomatoes if you prefer. You can sauté them with the salami and spinach or roast them along with the squash, adding them after 15 minutes, because they will only take 30 minutes to roast
Keyword baked squash, spaghetti squash, squash al forno, stuffed spaghetti squash with salami, tomatoes and cheese
Stuffed spaghetti squash

This is a light and satisfying one dish meal, or add a green salad and a slice of garlic bread

Italian squash

Remember, if you’re not a fan of sundried tomatoes, substitute grape tomatoes and roast them along with the squash for even more flavor.  You can also use kale instead of spinach if desired

Spaghetti Squash boats


You might also enjoy another unusual Italian dish using squash

Butternut and Spinach Manicotti with Brown Butter Sage

butternut squash cannelloni thepaintedapron.com


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8 Responses to “Take-out Tuesday, Spaghetti Squash al forno”
  1. Mary says:

    Your spaghetti squash boats sound oh so tasty Jenna! I haven’t had spaghetti squash in ages, what a great recipe to add to the menu!

  2. Jodi says:

    What a fun twist on spaghetti squash! Hunky guy or not! 🙂 wink wink!

  3. Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

    I rarely buy spaghetti squash because I just never know what to do with it, but it always sounds so good! This is definitely something I could do, so I’ll be picking up a few next time I’m at the spaghetti squash store!

  4. Jenna, this sounds like a great way to use spaghetti squash! It is not something that I buy often, but now I have a reason to with your recipe tucked in my mind!

  5. Oh Jenna. You can make a spaghetti squash lover out of any hater with this decadent preparation. swoon!

  6. Kim says:

    Yum and double yum! 🙂

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