Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Spaghetti Squash CarbonaraI decided last night tonight we hadn’t cooked a Spaghetti Carbonara in ages and I wanted to give a classic recipe a new twist using spaghetti squash for the noodles.  It was delicious!  I think my husband liked it even more then me!  And he usually doesn’t care for spaghetti squash.

Unfortunately, I was out of black olives, and classic carbonara usually has some in it.  I tossed in a small can of drained mushrooms instead and this version came out GREAT!  This recipe is a little high in carbs because the spaghetti squash itself if a bit carb-y.  On the brighter side, it’s all healthy carbs, so you can eat this one guilt-free. 🙂  This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets, Primal and Paleo folks will want to use coconut milk for the cream.

I wish I could get smaller squash, but our stores only seem to stock them 3# and larger as a rule. It would be so pretty to serve a half on each plate.  But I’ve only found a small squash ONE time at the store in the 17 years I’ve lived in this town.  Maybe it’s because everything’s bigger in Texas?

NOTE:  If you can get smaller squashes, or grow your own, I would use two smaller 1-1½# squashes for serving 4 people and place one half on each plate.


3 lb. raw weight spaghetti squash (yields 4 cups cooked threads)

1 c. chopped low-sodium bacon

2 oz. red onion, chopped coarsely

1 oz. red bell pepper (or any color)

1 clove garlic, minced

½ c. parsley

¼ c. heavy cream

1 egg yolk

¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

VARIATIONS:  Add a few sliced black olives for a more authentic dish (I was out); or toss in a small can of drained mushrooms (or 4 fresh ones sliced, added to the saute pan with the onion).

DIRECTIONS:  Cut off squash stem.  Cut squash in half lengthwise.  Place face down in dish with 1/2″ water and microwave on HI for about 25 minutes (only 13 minutes if you do them one at a time).  When done, drain off water, scoop out seeds and discard.  Fork out the threads into the baking dish and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350º.  Place the squash shells in a baking pan.

Mix the cream, egg yolk and Parmesan in a dish and beat with a fork to blend well. Set aside for a few minutes.

In a skillet, brown the bacon.  Add onion and saute until tender.  Add red pepper and garlic and saute a couple minutes.  Stir in the parsley and let it wilt a couple minutes as well.  Lower heat.   Stir in the egg-cheese mixture.  Stir the squash threads in now.  Spoon the filling back into the shells and pop the pan into your preheated oven.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cheese-egg mixture appears done.   Each filled half will probably feed two people, especially if you have a salad or other vegetable with this.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:   Makes 4 servings, each contains:

237 cals, 25g fat, 13.35g carbs, 2.87g fiber, 10.48g NET CARBS, 10.72 g protein, 867 mg sodium

18 thoughts on “Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

    1. Well, some people bake them cut side-down in the water in the dish in a conventional oven. I don’t really know how long, but probably 350º for maybe 35-45 minutes or so? Skin will get slightly when a knife is stuck through it when the squash is done.

  1. Nancy

    I love your recipes but run into issues with because I am lactose intolerant and the dairy has killer after effects. My husband is diabetic and the recipes. make him happy and his blood sugars.

    1. Glad you like them but sorry about all the dairy in so many of them. But you see, a low-carb diet usually ends up being pretty high in dairy, or at least most of my cyber low-carb blogging companions use a lot of dairy. I suppose all you can do it subs in coconut milk or almond milk. None are as tasty IMHO (have tried them all). Using those, you WILL end up having to thicken most of your sauces with xanthan gum (or whatever you like) to get them to thicken up. But those are some substitution options. 🙂 For cream cheese, gee, I just don’t know, unless you try maybe the softer tofu? You probably want to check out some dairy-free sites for their typical subs for all things dairy. I’m sure no expert.

  2. Heather baer

    I can’t wait to try this. I am on spaghetti squash overload from my garden and always looking for new recipes. Thanks for posting

    1. Susan

      I add four diced cooked chicken breast, mushrooms instead of onion, and I quadruple the sauce (1 cup cream 1 cup parm 4 yolks). Then I make some garlic toast from low carb bread. It’s a whole meal that way, and it’s to die for! 🙂

  3. Annette

    Peggy, I appreciate your posts. I have a question about the squash. Will it be tender or crunchy. I seem to always end up with hard squash. Is there a trick to getting it tender?

    1. Not really. There’s always a little bit of firmness to it. It’s the nature of the fiber in the vegetable itself. It’s never gonna be as soft as real pasta. Just not gonna happen. Older/larger squash can be bit more soft when cooked, but that’s not always true. Over-Cooking it a bit can also soften it a bit, too, but again, not completely. Something that will definitely soften it (almost reduced it to being a little mushy IMHO and only fit for baking in cakes and such, is freezing the threads, thawing and using at a later date, but that causes it to bleed out its moisture/water that you really have to blot out with paper towels. And it can tend to be a bit mushy after freezing. Depends on what texture you are wanting. I personally don’t like to freeze spaghetti squash any more for this “mushy” tendancy. You’ll just have to try freezing a cup of threads in a ziploc bag sometime and see if you like the consistency a bit better that way. 🙂

  4. Made it tonight with a small spaghetti squash from my basement – I planted some Small Wonder seeds a couple years ago thinking it was a winter squash, but it turned out to be spaghetti squash! After I got over my disappointment I realized it was great and planted them again. Usually get about 2 servings out of one, but with this recipe I got 3-4 tasty meals. Thanks!

    1. Oh, I’m jealous of your small squash. I’m so happy you liked this, Arm2008. We were particularly surprised about how tasty it was, as neither of us are particularly fond of spaghetti squash. I find this recipe to be a keeper, for sure. 🙂

  5. Pamela Gilmore

    I have read the recipe six times and I still don’t understand it. It says to fork the threads into a baking dish and set aside, but never says when to combine them with everything else. Please help?

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