A delicious & satisfying Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Taco Casserole for dinner tastes like an indulgence without any of the guilt. Easy to make ahead and store, the whole family will love this flavorful, crowd-pleasing recipe.
Spaghetti Squash Taco Casserole
This recipe for Spaghetti Squash Taco Casserole is a hit for three reasons: First, it fulfills my my obsession with all things tacos. Second, it’s an easy-to-make-and-store casserole, meaning there is plenty of it to cover multiple dinners. And three, it tastes indulgent while staying on the lower calorie end of the spectrum. The strands of otherwise healthy spaghetti squash are held together with gooey cheddar and monterey jack cheeses, a creamy tomato sauce, salty pork and bacon, and spicy seasoning. Best of all, a single serving is less than 500 calories. It doesn’t get more satisfying than that.
Enjoy this lightened up version of a warm and delicious comfort food tonight and see why this Spaghetti Squash Taco Casserole has become one of my favorite weeknight meals.
Roasting a Spaghetti Squash
If you make spaghetti squash all the time, there is nothing new for you here. Skip ahead to the recipe! But just in case, here are some tips I wish I had known a long time ago:
Cut Short Ways, Not Long Ways: For a long time I cut my spaghetti squash lengthwise, but recently, I learned this was incorrect. Who knew? By cutting the squash along the shorter axis, you not only have an easier time getting your knife through, but you end up with longer strands of spaghetti squash! Of course, either direction will work in the recipe, but if you like longer strands, this is definitely the way to go.
Remove the Seeds First: I’ve seen some recipes suggest removing the seeds after you roast the halves of squash. For me, that results in a struggle with scorching hot squash and a serious mess. Instead, use a regular tablespoon to scoop out the seeds before you get ready to cook. You can then discard them, or make up some easy roasted seeds if you have the chance.
Spray and Season: Skip the olive oil and use a light non-stick cooking spray instead. Coat the edges that will connect with the baking sheet. Generously season the squash on the inside and on the edges with salt and pepper, similar to how you’d season a good piece of meat. The seasoning will be distributed nicely later, when you pull apart the cooked strands.
Wash Less Dishes: Roast your halved spaghetti squash cut-side down in the same glass baking dish you’ll use to assemble the casserole. Less mess, less fuss.
Split Up the Work: You can prep the spaghetti squash strands the day before and store them in the fridge if you don’t have time to do the roasting and make the casserole in a single night.
Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Taco Casserole, Lightened-Up
- 2.5 pound spaghetti squash, enough for about 5 cups cooked strands
- 1 pound ground pork
- 6 ounces bacon, chopped into bite-size pieces.
- 3 teaspoons taco seasoning
- 2 teaspoons salt divided (plus more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
- ½ cup plain tomato sauce
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 egg, lighten beaten
- 5 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1.5 cups), divided
- 4 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup), divided
- 1 fresh tomato, sliced into rounds
- Fresh cilantro and sliced avocado, for serving
Prepare the Spaghetti Squash:
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Prepare the spaghetti squash by cutting it in half and scooping out the seeds. Coat the edges with non-stick cooking spray. Reserve the seeds for another use, or discard. Sprinkle the edges and inside of each squash half with one teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Place the halves cut-side down into a 9x13 casserole dish.
- Roast the spaghetti squash for 35-45 minutes until the skin is pierced by a fork and the strands can be easily pulled out. Set aside and allow to cool as you prepare the rest of the casserole. (You can also do this 24 hours prior and store the spaghetti squash strands in the fridge until you make the rest of the casserole). Reserve the casserole dish for use later in the recipe.
Prepare the rest of the filling ingredients:
- In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the chopped bacon until just crispy. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and set on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb the excess grease. Carefully wipe down the pan with paper towels to remove most of the grease and return the skillet to medium high heat.
- Add the ground pork to the same skillet, sprinkling with the remaining teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Saute until browned, stirring the meat around the pan. When cooked through, drain the liquid from the pan and remove from heat. Toss the pork with the taco seasoning until well-coated.
- In a large bowl, combine the spaghetti squash strands, beaten egg, Greek yogurt, tomato sauce, and half of each of the cheeses (reserve the rest of the cheese for topping). Toss in the ground pork and bacon.
- When everything is well combined, transfer the spaghetti squash mixture into the same casserole dish you used to roast the spaghetti squash. After you smooth the filling out flat, top with the slices of tomato, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese until well-covered. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees F, then broil the top for an additional 3 minutes once cooked through.
- Let the casserole cool for 5-10 minutes, and then serve with a sprinkling of cilantro leaves and slices of fresh avocado on the side.