Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on January 10, 2013


So I mentioned this spaghetti squash alfredo the other day.  Along with a comment about exploding spaghetti squash.  I certainly didn’t mean to scare you off from this recipe!  So I will explain…

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You see, I read somewhere that instead of nearly losing fingers by trying to hack a giant, round spaghetti squash in half you could just bake the whole thing.  So when I had a hard time cutting a squash in half I just threw it in the oven, baked it for an hour and then stuck a knife in it.  Um, not smart.  Let’s just say you’d be amazed at the steam pressure a spaghetti squash can build up.  Thankfully, there were no injuries.

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So I tried again.  Except this time I poked it half a dozen times with a knife, all the way to the center to make sure the steam had somewhere to go.  And I let it rest for a few minutes after baking just to be safe.  And then it worked perfectly.  It was still terrifying for me to cut into after the first one exploded.  So I’ve left it completely up to you, prepare your own squash however you like.  Which would you prefer though?  Almost lose a finger chopping it in half raw or risk an exploding squash?

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Moving on to this amazing dish!  It’s everything you love in alfredo except you don’t feel like you ate 3 days worth of calories after eating this for dinner.  Because you’re not.

This recipe comes to just over 400 calories for a huge half a squash serving, or half that if you serve it as a side for 4(using low fat cream cheese and 1% milk) assuming the whole squash is 6 cups of squash.  Of course if your squash is smaller than mine was you may not need all the sauce(save any extra for a small portion of pasta, or maybe even pizza night!)  It’s not the lowest in sodium, but if the rest of your meals are home cooked and fairly low in sodium it’s not such a big deal 🙂  This is definitely one treat you can enjoy guilt free!


Let’s talk about time though… If you don’t count the squash baking time, which is the vast majority of the time it takes to make this… this is actually a really fast dinner to make!  The sauce comes together in just a few minutes.  I sprinkled the top of my little spaghetti squash boats with a little extra Parmesan and broiled them for a few minutes, but you really don’t need to if you need the extra time.  Mix in the sauce and you’re good to go!


To make things even simpler you can skip serving them in their “shells” and just scrape the squash out into your pot of sauce(just make sure it’s big enough), stir, and serve!  Awesome, right?


I enjoyed mine with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and as an afterthought, some roasted broccoli with lemon, garlic and Parmesan cheese would have been awesome with this too.  My 3 year old daughter actually loved this and keeps asking for it.


No matter how you serve it, I hope you love it as much as we did!


If you like this recipe, be sure to browse through my Recipe Index for more recipes!

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: 2 very large servings or 4 as a side
  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2½ tbsp flour(whole grain is fine)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, very finely minced, grated or pressed
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese(low fat is fine)
  • 1½ C milk(low fat is fine)
  • 1 C freshly grated, not packed Parmesan cheese(about 60g or 2.1oz), plus 2 tbsp extra for topping
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. First prep the spaghetti squash. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half using a large sharp knife, scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet covered with water. Bake until tender, about an hour Alternatively, keep the spaghetti squash whole. Poke a few holes deep into the squash with a large knife. Place in the oven whole. Bake for 60 minutes, remove from the oven and let rest for 10 to 20 minutes before slicing in half with a large serrated knife like a bread knife. Scoop out the seedy inside leaving the spaghetti strands. Once cooked, use a fork to gently scrape the "spaghetti" strands into the center.
  2. For the sauce, melt the butter in a small pot. Once hot add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes over medium low heat. Add the flour and whisk into the butter. Cook for another minute while stirring. Add the cream cheese, warm it up and stir it in to the butter mixture.
  3. Add the milk and whisk well. Bring up to a gentle simmer then remove from the heat. Add the freshly grated cheese and salt and stir until melted, just a minute or two. Pour half the sauce into each spaghetti squash half(or less if using a smaller squash). Gently stir to combine. Top with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan and place under the broiler of your oven for 2-3 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Half the recipe(approx. 3C spaghetti squash with half the recipe of sauce) Calories: 428 Fat: 17g Saturated fat: 10g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 43g Sodium: 990mg Fiber: 8g Protein: 22g Cholesterol: 49mg



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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carissa January 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I’m totally cooking my spaghetti squash whole next time! That’s brilliant! It’s worth risking the explosion compared to trying to hack through it raw.
Carissa recently posted..Tomato, Mushroom, & Ravioli Soup


2 Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies January 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Okay, this is going to have to go onto my lunch plan sometime soon. Man, I make your recipes all the time, don’t I? I guess it’s because you’re a genius! 😀
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies recently posted..What I Ate This Week | Quinoa in Muffin Tins, Quinoa in Salads!


3 Ari @ Ari's Menu January 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm

This is pretty similar to the way I make my alfredo, and it’s probably my favorite dinner that I have ever posted! I haven’t done it without scraping the cooked squash though–I will definitely have to give it a try!
Ari @ Ari’s Menu recently posted..Sunflower Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake


4 Sarah January 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

This is a great way. I love how the bowl is throw away..LOL. It looks so good 🙂
Sarah recently posted..Friday Feast-Maple Glazed Chicken Thighs


5 Carmen January 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm

If you want to spend less time just poke holes in the spaghetti squash with a fork and then cook it in the microwave. I haven’t done one in awhile but I want to say it usually takes about 20 mins. Start with 10-15 mins and check it frequently and once you can stick a fork into it easily or press it and it’s soft (with an oven mitt on!!!) it’s done. Let it cool, then cut and scoop everything out!


6 Kare @ Kitchen Treaty January 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Holy. Moly. I’m a spaghetti squash fiend and this just sort of blew my mind. Yum; looks so freakin’ good!
Kare @ Kitchen Treaty recently posted..Hearty Spiced Carrot Muffins


7 Jill January 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I made spaghetti squash for the first time last night and LOVED it! I started eating gluten free recently, and my gluten-eating BF was craving pasta I tried spaghetti squash. He tried a bit of mine, and liked it – so it looks like i’ll be searching out more spaghetti squash recipes! YAY!


8 Sasha |Global Table Adventure January 13, 2013 at 3:16 pm

I’m always wondering what to do with Spag squash. Thanks for the idea – looks too good not to try 🙂
Sasha |Global Table Adventure recently posted..Recipe: Chicken Yassa


9 Stephanie January 15, 2013 at 9:20 am

zomg! I adore both spaghetti squash and alfredo sauce. I am so making this when my boyfriend goes away at the end of the month (I save all vegetarian dishes I want to try for when he is away ha.)
Stephanie recently posted..Cranberry & White Chocolate Brown Butter Cookies


10 Melissa January 20, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Omg!!! Genius!!!! I just made it and it was delish!!!!!!


11 heather January 23, 2013 at 9:24 am

WOW your spaghetti squash looks so perfect…I think I tend to over cook mine, i need to work on that!

Nice recipe Heidi, keep em’ coming!
heather recently posted..breakfast quinoa


12 Stephanie January 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm

oh man, made this tonight and it is amazing!! I bought a really small squash and then only made half of the sauce recipe.. and it was perfect for two servings. Love the sauce so so much!
Stephanie recently posted..Brush Embroidery Sugar Cookies


13 Erin January 23, 2013 at 9:04 pm

I mad this tonight but used jalapeño Monterey Jack and it was AMAZING! Thanks!


14 Julie January 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I microwave my spaghetti squash. Poke it all over with a fork, cook 8 minutes. Then turn over and cook 8 more minutes. Viola! Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to try it tonight.


15 Colleen January 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm

This looks amazing, I’m going to make it this week! I’m thankful for your advice on avoiding an explosion too! Good thing there were no injuries.
Colleen recently posted..Turkey & Black Bean Tacos


16 Chels H February 15, 2013 at 11:46 am

You can also cut your squash in half, and put it in a casserole dish in the microwave to cut down on time. Put the squash in the dish face down, and add about an inch of water to the dish. It will only take about 10-15mins depending on microwave strength. Love this recipe, can’t wait to try!


17 Amanda February 15, 2013 at 9:25 pm

OMG – this looks and sounds AMAZING!! I think I need to try this this week!


18 Sandra February 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Wow that looks delicious. I love spaghetti squash. I know what you mean about exploding spaghetti squashes — I cooked one in my microwave and it exploded, blew the door open, and just missed my baby in the high chair! I had poked the skin, but don’t think I stabbed it deep enough. I had to get a new microwave – it was totally destroyed. So I always cut them in half now…
Sandra recently posted..Sprouted bean and kale soup


19 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking February 18, 2013 at 8:11 am

This is SO fantastic, Heidi! Thanks for the great recipe. I made it last night and it was absolutely delicious.


20 dani February 18, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Microwave the squash for 5 mins. It will make it soft enough to halve


21 Debra February 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

I made this last night, and it was wonderful! I added sauteed onions and mushrooms. My boyfriend loved it.


22 Jackie February 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm

You can microwave a whole squash for 60 seconds. It softens enough to cut through it w/o cooking it.


23 HungryBimbos March 3, 2013 at 11:00 pm

This looks absolutely amazing! Cannot wait to make this next week! Definitely want to try it out at our next Bimbo dinner party.


24 Chrissy D March 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Made this tonight and hubby and I loved it! I omitted the flour, double the cream cheese and added a bunch of baby spinach to the sauce. Thanks for the inspiration!


25 Rachel @ Bakerita March 5, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Wow – this sounds wonderful! I’ve been wanting to try making spaghetti squash at home for a while, and this sounds like the perfect way to try it. Thanks for the cutting tip as well! 🙂
Rachel @ Bakerita recently posted..White Chocolate Espresso Peanut Butter


26 Rhonda March 8, 2013 at 4:36 am

I cook spaghetti squash in the crock pot. I just poke it a few times with a fork, put in in a large crock pot (mine is oval shaped) and let it go all day on low. Very easy!


27 Carlie March 13, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I bakes this for an hour at 350 and when i cut it open mpst of it was pretty mushy. not the consistency i was looking for at all. Is that how its supposed to taste when cooked properly? or once you microwave the squash long enough to cut it open, is good enough, that it doesnt have to be recooked?


28 Heidi @ Food Doodles March 14, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I’m sorry I really don’t know because I don’t microwave my squash. The squash shouldn’t be mushy though. The spaghetti-like strands should have a little bit of bite to them still. You can test the doneness just by running a fork on the inside and if spaghetti like strands of squash come away from the rest of the squash, it’s done! Next time you bake a spaghetti squash try baking it for less time before testing to see if it’s done. Your squash may have just been smaller and cooked faster.


29 Robin March 18, 2013 at 7:29 am

LOVE the idea of alfredo speghetti squash. Making this for dinner tonight w/ some chicken sausage. I’ve found rubbing the inside of the squash w/ a little olive oil and seasoning it w/ a little salt and pepper then roasting it in the oven makes for an absolutely PERFECT squash every time. Worth the 60-75 minutes in the oven.


30 Steve Deola March 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I am making this right now. I am a little skeptical about the flavor profile. The squash may be a litle light for the sauce. Just pulled it out of the broiler. Looks good waiting for the wife.


31 Heidi @ Food Doodles March 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you thought 🙂


32 Tammy March 21, 2013 at 8:13 am

This recipe looks awesome!!! Since I don’t use grain flour, do you think almond or coconut flour would work well as a substitute? Thanks!


33 Cathye March 24, 2013 at 7:54 am

I cook spaghetti squash all the time. I’ve found if I place it in the microwave whole and cook on high for 5-7 min, it softens the squash up enough to more safely cut in half. The you can remove seeds and return to either the microwave or oven to complete cooking.


34 Daniel May 24, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Made this tonight, topped it with some fresh minced basil and it turned out phenomenal!


35 Jessi May 26, 2013 at 10:06 am

Since microwaving kills a lot of the nutrition, I bake mine in the oven while baking other items to save time and energy. 🙂


36 Jessi Marie June 2, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I made this tonight and my husband and I LOVED it! The sauce was simple and amazing- it would go great with almost any veggie or on a whole wheat pasta. I am committing this recipe to memory and will definitely make it again.


37 Suzanne June 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

What a delicious meal we had tonight. I added the broccoli and red pepper flakes,. It was just wonderful and enjoyed by my husband as well. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!!


38 Cindy O. July 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Made this tonight and topped the spaghetti squash with steamed broccoli, sliced cherry tomatoes, and green onions before pouring on the sauce. So delish!!!


39 Joan July 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm

With 10 grams of trans fat, I think I’ll skip this recipe. A shame, because it really looks great. Will try to cut the fat down though.


40 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm

I think you mean saturated fat. I’m sorry you can’t get away from saturated fat in a dish like alfredo, but 10 grams is very low for a large serving like this(especially since 1 tbsp of butter is 7 grams of saturated fat and alfredo is usually mostly butter and cream!). Like I said, this is quite a large serving, maybe consider eating a smaller portion as a side to something else to reduce the amount of saturated fats you have in one sitting. At least there’s no trans fats in this 🙂


41 Joan July 23, 2013 at 10:14 am

Sorry, read it wrong. Even so, it’s still too much for me.


42 Roxanne August 8, 2013 at 9:14 pm

My son stays away from saturated fats too. have you ever tried the Earth Balance buttery spreads? that might be a great substitute for this recipe. They only have 2 to 3 grams of fat per tbsp. They taste pretty good to. The sticks have 5g of sat fat.
This recipe sounds delicious. I can’t wait to try it!


43 Roxanne August 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm

My son stays away from saturated fats too. have you ever tried the Earth Balance buttery spreads? that might be a great substitute for this recipe. They only have 2 to 3 grams of sat fat per tbsp. They taste pretty good to. The sticks have 5g of sat fat.
This recipe sounds delicious. I can’t wait to try it!


44 Jennifer Trefz July 29, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Stab the squash with a fork a dozen or so times and stick it in the microwave for 5-10 minutes. It will soften it up enough so can easily cut it in half. Plus it will cut down on the baking time.


45 Megan August 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I’m bummed :(… I normally like squash but i don’t know… I didn’t like this at all! The sauce is AMAZING! I guess trying to pair it with something that by itself has nothing to it.. It’s just not good. Maybe it was the different texture between regular spaghetti and this? I don’t know. Not a fan 🙁


46 Heidi @ Food Doodles August 30, 2013 at 9:33 am

Aw, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it. I’m pretty picky about the texture of spaghetti squash, I don’t always enjoy it. I’m glad you like the sauce though, you can use it on regular pasta if you’d like, we do that all the time at our house 🙂


47 Susan August 31, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I am so sorry you had the exploding squash experience. I haven’t cooked spaghetti squash in years, but I know that even pricking it forcefully with a fork works on the steam. I have always cooked mine whole. And I learned to be careful not to overcook the squash. When you overcook it, it becomes mushy and bitter tasting. If you cook it whole, it’s a good idea to turn the squash over halfway through the cooking time.

I’m looking forward to making this as a side dish, so I can add a protein source. I think it might be nice (for non-vegans & non-vegetarians) with some chicken mixed in.


48 Ania September 15, 2013 at 4:18 am

Hi Heidi,
I run into your Fooddoodles browsing other blogs and got stuck here for a while, checking recipe after recipe 🙂 You are addictive! I bought spaghetti squash for the first time, just as a variety, having no idea that it actually looks a bit like spaghetti inside. Made it yesterday from your recipe, it was great! Thank you very much for the inspiration. One modification which I think might give it a good twist is adding nutmeg to the sauce next time… Cheers from Poland!


49 K8pers September 25, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Absoltively delish!! I can’t comment further cuz I’m too busy eating!! Yummmmm!!!


50 Kelsey October 4, 2013 at 8:30 pm

Made this tonight and it was really, really good! I added an extra tablespoon of low fat cream cheese for added creaminess as well as some fresh spinach and tomatoes. Once I had the sauce made I threw in the veggies for a minute and then put the scooped out squash straight into the pot with the sauce and mixed it up. Great recipe. Thanks!


51 Michelle K November 5, 2013 at 12:54 pm

This was yummy! I’ve never made spaghetti squash before and I’m not sure if it’s supposed to me soft or not when it’s done. My squash was on the larger side so maybe I should have cooked it longer.


52 Chrissy November 5, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I wanted to say omg this was SO good!!! I didnt have any milk so I used Dry milk, and added some grilled chicken and this was just AMAZING! Next time I will add some greens, probably some sweet pea tendrils or spinach. All in All, this recipe is an A++++++ LOVED IT!


53 KalynsKitchen January 19, 2014 at 8:11 am

Thanks again for letting me feature this, just subscribed to your blog!


54 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

Thank you so much again for the feature Kalyn! And I’m so happy to have you subscribed, I’ve been subscribed to your blog for years 🙂


55 Kathy July 20, 2014 at 8:24 pm

I just prick my squash all over and place in a large pot of boiling water and boil for 20-30 minutes depending on size. When it’s done you can pierce it easily with a knife. Take out let cool and cut open.


56 Judy Paul September 4, 2014 at 8:00 pm

This was so good!!! Now one of my favorite dishes!!!! Thanks


57 Brittney March 12, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Does this recipe reheat well??


58 Holly March 24, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Can’t wait to try this! If you have a pressure cooker, you can cook the spaghetti squash in about 8 minutes! I think you need one 😉


59 Katie April 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Sounds wonderful!! I’ll have to try this on weight watchers :). I love spaghetti squash so I usually poke a hole in it and cook it in the microwave about ten minutes. That gets it half way done. Then I finish by roasting it cut side down in the oven because it has better flavor!!


60 Karen Safranski June 23, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Sounds great. I have also prepared the spaghetti squash by leaving it in the crock pot on low all day for a time saver.


61 Tori September 21, 2015 at 6:53 pm

Loved this! Made it tonight for dinner, and other than being too impatient for it to go golden brown under the broiler, was a huge success! I love cheesy spaghetti squash recipes, and I love that this is quicker than my usual spaghetti squash carbonara. Added peas and some shredded chicken to make it a more filling main dish. Thank you!


62 Heidi @ Food Doodles September 21, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Mmm, that sounds delicious! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and thanks for stopping in to leave a comment! 🙂


63 Joyce September 28, 2015 at 7:23 pm

I’m on a very low carb eating plan that allows real, natural fats and meat protein, but does not allow garlic, milk or flour. I’ve discovered since starting this just after Easter that I have a bit of a gluten sensitivity, too, as gluten causes inflamation and achiness in my joints. I’m willing to “cheat” just a smidge by using a very small amount of garlic powder, and I can certainly substitute heavy cream for milk, but I’m not sure what to do to replace the flour. Can it be omitted completely?


64 Heidi @ Food Doodles September 28, 2015 at 9:46 pm

You will need something to thicken the mixture up a little. I believe any gluten free flour blend could be used instead, or as a last resort maybe a bit of cornstarch could be used. If using cornstarch just mix with a little liquid and then stir into the sauce and cook just a few minutes till thicker. Maybe with your eating plan, a traditional Alfredo sauce would be better, the ingredients are just butter, cream, parmesan cheese and garlic of course but you could use what you can tolerate for that. You could always make a traditional sauce and pour it over spaghetti squash. That would be delicious 🙂


65 Joyce September 28, 2015 at 11:15 pm

Thanks! It’s kind of surprising how many carbs a little flour and milk add up to!


66 Raven October 5, 2015 at 3:59 pm

Just made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I used Old Bay instead of salt just to add a bit more depth. So delicious and decadent!


67 Heidi @ Food Doodles October 5, 2015 at 9:33 pm

Yum! So glad you enjoyed it Raven! Thanks for leaving a comment 🙂


68 Liz October 23, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Omg I laughed my butt off when I read this! My coworker gave me a spaghetti squash today and my other coworkers and very concerned about what injuries I will come back with on Monday. Thanks for the advice!
Liz recently posted..Husker Punch


69 Lyndsey October 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm

Try cooking your squash in the crockpot!! Poke it like you would if you were baking it, put in the crockpot with about an inch of water, set it on high and forget it for a few hours! I love not having to heat up my house with the oven


70 Heidi @ Food Doodles October 29, 2015 at 8:04 pm

Great idea, I’ll have to try that!


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