This Paleo spaghetti squash pizza bake is hearty and flavorful, a low-carb family favorite with all the flavors of pizza but without gluten or dairy. It’s an easy and economical spaghetti squash recipe, a great Paleo meal for beginners.
In addition to this spaghetti squash pizza bake being a straightforward recipe, it's also kid-friendly and a very popular company and potluck dish. Spaghetti squash has little flavor of its own and absorbs the flavors of the tomato sauce and the Italian herbs.
Spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta
When you first eliminate gluten from your eating plans, pasta and pizza are two meals you want alternatives for (right after bread). There are now great pastas available, ranging from rice to chickpea to quinoa. And gluten-free pizza crusts are now available at Trader Joe’s as well as health food stores and some regular chains. But what if you are moving toward Paleo?
For Paleo eaters or anyone else avoiding grains or legumes, spaghetti squash is an wonderful option! It has a noodle-like texture - hence the name - and is a Whole 30 pizza alternative as long as you choose a sauce with no sugar. This casserole has the flavors of pizza but without the grains or dairy.
Spaghetti squash has a low glycemic index for anyone eating low-carb, too.
See more tips for preparing spaghetti squash in this post.
Spaghetti squash's health benefits
- Spaghetti squash is a nutrient-dense food; meaning it is low in calories but high in nutrition, including fiber
- Aids in digestion because of its high fiber content
- Fiber and polysaccharide content reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol while increasing "good" HDL cholesterol
- Its low glycemic index prevents blood sugar from rising after eating
- It is rich in several B vitamins including niacin, riboflavin, folate, and thiamine
- Its potassium content helps maintain muscle and nerve function and helps reduce high blood pressure.
- Its vitamin A and beta carotene content help maintain the integrity of skin and eyes
Making your own Italian sausage
I make my own Italian sausage from grass-fed ground beef, as it's less expensive, easier to find and customizable. It's easy to do - you add Italian seasoning to your ground beef as you brown it. Ground meat becomes more flavorful when cooked with the seasonings, rather than adding them later.
For authentic Italian flavor, use Italian seasoning or make your own from the recipe included below. Customize the heat level of the sausage and the the dish by adjusting the amount of red pepper flakes, or place them on the table.
Can I add more vegetables to this pizza bake?
You can add more vegetables - we’ve added zucchini - but if you do, keep in mind that spaghetti squash is already fairly moist, and zucchini or tomatoes will add more liquid to the casserole.
To avoid a watery bake, be sure to drain the liquid from your spaghetti squash before layering on the sauce. Don’t add any more than a cupful of spaghetti sauce, and if you want to add more tomato flavor, add it as tomato paste.
What can I serve with this paleo pizza bake?
A paleo bread and a green salad are terrific with this casserole. But you can serve it on its own, too, if you don't mind it not lasting for as many meals. In fact, once you’ve made this recipe, you’ll be preparing it even if you don’t need a gluten-free option. Leftovers are great for almost any meal.
Suggested dishes with Paleo pizza bake
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Paleo Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake
- Baking sheet
- Soup Pot
- Good knives
- Casserole Dish 9 x 13 inches
- 1 large spaghetti squash about 2 ½ pounds
- 1 ½ pounds beef italian sausage with ground beef and homemade seasoning, below
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 zucchini diced
- 1 can black olives without sulfites
- 1 cup pizza sauce no sugar added/whole 30 compliant
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 eggs whisked
- optional: fresh tomatoes, other vegetables, basil, etc
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning see note
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon fennel seed whole or crushed
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the skin of the squash gives when you press on it. Then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Once squash is done cooking, remove threads using a fork and arrange them evenly in a 9 x 13 inch oiled baking dish.
- Measure and stir the seasonings together.
- Place a large pan over medium heat. Add beef and the seasonings.
- Cook, breaking up the beef, until pink no longer remains. Remove beef to a bowl and drain fat if desired, (see note).
- Add a drizzle of olive oil and saute onion for about 5 minutes until it’s starting to soften.
- Stir in zucchini and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for another minute more.
- Add pizza sauce, and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Return the beef to the pot and stir until mixed.
- Pour the sausage mixture into the baking dish and mix well with spaghetti squash threads.
- Drizzle the whisked eggs evenly over the casserole and mix together with a fork until you can no longer see the eggs.
- Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top of the mixture forms a slight crust that doesn’t give when you press on it in the middle.
- Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information is approximate and can't be guaranteed accurate, as it represents information entered as into the nutrition calculator, which doesn't contain all gluten-free and paleo food items. I encourage you to consult the analyzer at HappyForks, at VeryWellFit or another of your choice.
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