The other day I decided to add some ground beef to the casserole, and the boys liked this version even better. However, you could make this casserole without the beef and just add more mushrooms, and it would be delicious.
I like that this is a simple recipe with few ingredients. Also, you can assemble the casserole earlier in the day and put it in the fridge and bake it about an hour before you are ready to serve it. That’s one of the reasons I like to make this dish when we have guests. It allows me to clean up the kitchen after assembling it and then prepare other dishes. It makes entertaining stress-free.
You start by cooking the spaghetti squash. When I have a small spaghetti squash and not a lot of time, I usually cook it in the microwave for about 12 minutes. The key is to make numerous deep and long cuts with a sharp knife all over the squash, or it will explode. If I have more time, I usually cut it in half, remove the seeds, and put it cut side down in a baking dish with 1/2 inch water and bake it at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, I sauté the onions, mushrooms and ground beef.
Then it’s just about assembling everything into a casserole dish.
Just a few simple ingredients…
After the spaghetti squash is cooked and the onions, mushrooms and the beef are sautéed, it’s time to assemble the casserole. I used a 10.5 x7 and a 7 x 5 casserole dish.
Start with a layer of tomato sauce.
Next comes a layer of spaghetti squash.
Season the spaghetti squash with salt and pepper.
Put a thin layer of cheese on top of the spaghetti squash.
Next comes a layer of sautéed beef, mushrooms, and onions.
The beef is covered with more tomato sauce (so that the spaghetti squash is surrounded by tomato sauce on both sides) and then comes more spaghetti squash. Make sure you season the spaghetti squash with salt and pepper.
The spaghetti squash is covered with more tomato sauce and then topped with cheese.
Here are both casseroles ready to go into a 350 degree oven. If you want to bake the dish later in the day, just put it in the fridge at this point.
And here are the casseroles 40 minutes later.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Beef and Mushrooms
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 pound ground beef – you could omit the beef and just add more mushrooms
- 1 onion, diced
- About 15 mushrooms, sliced
- About 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used the 3-cheese blend from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 jar tomato or marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara sauce)
- Cook the spaghetti squash. I use two methods, depending on how much time I have. When I have little time, I usually cook the squash in the microwave for about 12 minutes (for a small squash). The key is to make numerous deep and long cuts with a sharp knife all over the squash, or it will explode. If I have more time, I usually cut it in half, remove the seeds and strings, and put it cut side down in a baking dish with 1/2 inch water and bake it at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. After the squash is cooked, take a fork and run it through the squash to make “spaghetti.”
- In the meantime, sauté the onions, mushrooms, and beef until the meat is cooked through.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Unless you plan to bake the casserole later on.)
- Assemble the casserole, starting with a layer of marinara sauce.
- Next, add a spaghetti squash layer and season it with salt and pepper.
- Add another layer of marinara sauce.
- Next, sprinkle some cheese on the marinara sauce.
- Add a layer of ground beef. Since this will be your only meat layer, you can make it a bit thicker.
- Add a layer of marinara sauce.
- Put another layer of spaghetti squash and season the squash with salt and pepper.
- Add a last layer of marinara sauce.
- Finish by sprinkling some cheese on top.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, until the cheese is melted. If you refrigerated the assembled casserole, add a few minutes to the baking time.
Questions: What are some of your favorite dishes to entertain with? The more I entertain, the more I realize the importance of easy, foolproof dishes that can be assembled ahead of time. After all, everyone should be able to enjoy the evening. Do you like spaghetti squash? If so, what’s your favorite spaghetti squash recipe? Feel free to post a link in the comments.