Easy Stuffed Spaghetti Squash: Lasagna-Style!

This easy stuffed spaghetti squash recipe has all your favorite lasagna ingredients stuffed into handy (and healthy!) spaghetti squash boats. It’s an easy weeknight meal the entire family will love!

An overhead shot of two plates of stuffed spaghetti squash with herbs and a hunk of Parmesan.

I love finding ways to add an extra-healthy touch to a typically indulgent dish. While I’m certainly not against a hearty slab of lasagna every once in a while, putting all of the dish’s typical ingredients into a vessel that also just so happens to be a delicious vegetable ups the nutrition-factor AND presents the dish to the kiddo in a new and unusual way. You may recognize this tactic from my ever-so-popular Papaya Breakfast Boats recipe. Kids get such a kick out of eating out of something other than a plate or bowl.

So, here’s the scoop on this Easy Stuffed Spaghetti Squash: Lasagna-Style!

What You Need to Make Lasagna-Style Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

You don’t need much to make this delicious family meal, mostly all of the typical ingredients you’d use to make a classic lasagna, with spaghetti squash taking the place of the pasta.

You’ll need:
  • Garlic herb butter (Trader Joe’s has a great one!)
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Italian sausage
  • Marinara sauce
  • Ricotta
  • Mozzarella
  • Fresh oregano

And a few other basic things like salt, pepper, onion and garlic.

How to Make It

 Aside from a little bit of cooking time on the front end, this meal is very much “set-it-and-forget-it.” My favorite kind of meal!

A close up shot of lasagna-style stuffed spaghetti squash.

The first thing you’ll need to do is give your spaghetti squash a little head start on cooking. This will take the majority of the cooking time, about 30-45 minutes. You could also do this part in advance when you meal prep for the week!

If you don’t choose to prep your squash in advance, you can start on the filling while they’re cooking.  You’ll be preparing the “lasagna” part of this dish over the stove top, to make sure the meat gets fully cooked and all of the ingredients get nice and integrated.

Once your filling is ready and your squash boats have gotten their cook on, it’s time to stuff ‘em!

Sprinkle on the mozzarella and then it’s time to bake. The stuffed boats will only need to be in the oven for 10-15 minutes, with another 4 minutes or so of broiling to get your cheese nice and bubbly. Everything is already cooked through, we’re just putting on the finishing touches right now.

How to Serve Your Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Unless you have some hungry teenagers on your hands, you’re probably going to want to divide your stuffed squash halves in half once again after they’re cooked. Serve them with a little sprinkle of fresh oregano and some fresh bread to scoop up any extra filling, and you have yourself a delicious, well-balanced dinner.

Bonus if you can find some sleek black dining plates like these to serve [affiliate link], they’re such a fun change-up to the typical white china this time of year!

A giant forkful of a stuffed spaghetti squash.

Other Easy Weeknight Meals Like This One

 You asked, so I’m answering. Many of you have mentioned to me that you need more ideas for weeknight dinners (hence this tasty recipe) so I also want to point you in the right direction of some other great weeknight meals I have here on the site. Here are some of my other favorite weeknight meals, especially for this time of year:

What are your favorite weeknight meals for fall? Let me know in the comments below!

Easy Stuffed Spaghetti Squash: Lasagna-Style!
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
 

This easy stuffed spaghetti squash recipe has all your
favorite lasagna ingredients stuffed into handy (and healthy!) spaghetti squash
boats. It’s an easy weeknight meal the entire family will love!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: dinner, gluten-free, Italian, lasagna, squash, weeknight
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 552 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved with some of the insides scooped out to form a well Reserve any of the extra insides to stir into the filling.
  • 2 tablespoons garlic herb butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 of a large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup marinara sauce See notes for recipe, or use a jarred version.
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces shredded mozzarella
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place spaghetti
    squash halves on a rimmed baking sheet facing up. Brush the garlic herb butter
    evenly over each of the spaghetti squash halves. Roast in the preheated oven
    for 30-45 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender.

  2. While the squash is cooking, prepare the filling. Place a deep skillet on the stove over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add the onions and sauté for a few minutes, until fragrant and translucent, then add the garlic and stir to combine. Let cook for a minute or two and then add the Italian sausage and cook until browned.

  3. Add in the marinara, ricotta and oregano and stir to combine. Let the mixture heat up and come to a gentle bubble, then turn off the heat.

  4. When your squash is fork-tender and you’ve pulled it out of the oven, lower the oven heat to 350 degrees. Then, carefully scoop the filling into each of the halves and sprinkle with mozzarella.

  5. Return the squash to the 350-degree oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, then turn on the broiler and cook for another 4 or so minutes, until the cheese on top is browned and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before cutting the halves in half and serving.

Recipe Notes

You can find a great recipe for homemade marinara here!

Lemon Vanilla Buckwheat Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup

Zesty gluten-free Lemon Vanilla Buckwheat Pancakes are topped with a homemade Blackberry Syrup in this easy recipe that’s sure to be a hit with the entire family. They’re perfect for special occasions but just as perfect for a lazy Sunday morning!

A stack of Lemon Vanilla Buckwheat Pancakes topped with a homemade blackberry syrup.
This post is sponsored by Sonoma Syrup Co. As always, I only promote brands and products that I’m actually in love with! Thank you for continuing to support the folks that make CaliGirl Cooking possible <3

Are you ready for an utterly delicious, flavor-packed breakfast that’s as easy as pie to whip up?? I hope so, because today I’m sharing a recipe for Lemon Vanilla Buckwheat Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup and it is going to knock. your. socks. off.

I’m so thrilled to once again be partnering with my friends at Sonoma Syrup Co. to bring you some tasty recipes throughout the year. If you haven’t yet tried their syrups, extracts and sauces, it’s simply a must! Their products are made with all-natural ingredients and can be used in a multitude of ways. For example, I’ve used them in cocktails like this Chico Cocktail and this Spiked Lavender Lemonade, non-alcoholic beverages like this Pomegranate Soda Ice Cream Float and this Honey Citrus Detox Elixir, and let’s not forget all the baked goods. I’ve used them to make donuts, Bundt cakes, coffee cakes and more!

When they asked me to create another special treat just in time for Mother’s Day, I knew a recipe that would take brunch to the next level would be just the thing. I mean, isn’t Mother’s Day just one of those holidays where brunching is non-negotiable? I mean, I’ve only been at this mom thing for a couple of years, but it sounds pretty perfect to me.

Side view of a fluffy stack of Lemon Vanilla Buckwheat Pancakes topped with a chunky blackberry syrup.

So, what makes these pancakes so special?

Well, let me tell you.

First off, you know I’m the last one to foray into the gluten-free baking world, but when there’s a tasty alternative like buckwheat flour involved, you don’t even miss the other stuff! Add some protein-packed almond meal and these pancakes have just gone from simply gluten-free to straight up POWER pancakes.

But we’re not stopping there. That’s right, we’re also adding in my favorite Meyer Lemon Infused Simple Syrup, some lemon zest AND a healthy serving of Sonoma Syrup’s Vanilla Bean Extract Crush (which – in case you were wondering – is basically vanilla extract on steroids with real vanilla bean seeds mixed in).

Do you see what I’m getting at here? These pancakes are seriously next-level.

Shall we keep it going? Let’s talk about this Blackberry Syrup. Super simple, super tasty, and the perfect contrast to those lemony pancakes. There are only three ingredients – two of which you most likely already have in your pantry – and it’s basically a “set-it-and-forget-it” deal. I love the chunkiness of this fresh syrup – the macerated blackberries add a whole other dimension to an already tasty dish.

Overhead view of Lemon Vanilla Buckwheat Pancakes topped with a homemade blackberry syrup.

I love how these pancakes taste full-bodied and earthy, yet they’re actually quite tender and refreshing with all of the lemony vibes. The Blackberry Syrup might as well be the cherry on top – the robust tartness is the perfect contrast – and you may just end up making a second batch to drizzle on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

I’ll venture to guess that any mom would be more than happy to wake up to a big stack of Lemon Vanilla Buckwheat Pancakes drizzled with Blackberry Syrup on Mother’s Day. It’s the perfect way to say thanks for being the amazing woman she is. In fact, if anyone wants to drop a hint to my hubby, I’d be ever so grateful 😉

A stack of Lemon Vanilla Buckwheat Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup with a big wedge cut out of them.

Lemon Vanilla Buckwheat Pancakes with Blackberry Syrup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Zesty gluten-free Lemon Vanilla Buckwheat Pancakes are topped with a homemade Blackberry Syrup in this easy recipe that’s sure to be a hit with the entire family. They’re perfect for special occasions but just as perfect for a lazy Sunday morning!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, brunch, gluten-free, lemon, Mother's Day, pancakes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 260 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the pancakes:
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Sonoma Syrup Co. Meyer Lemon Infused Simple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Co. Vanilla Bean Extract Crush
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • Butter for griddle
For the syrup:
  • 12 ounces fresh blackberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon syrup, lemon juice, egg, milk and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in the lemon zest. 

  3. Heat a griddle or large pan on the stove over medium heat. Add a small pat of butter – just enough to “grease” whatever pan you’re using. Once the griddle or pan is hot, use a 1/3 cup measuring scoop to scoop the batter onto the pan. Fit as many as you can on at once, but don’t overcrowd it. You need room to flip!

  4. Once the batter in the pan starts bubbling and setting up around the edges, flip the pancakes and cook a couple more minutes, until golden. Place on a baking sheet fitted with a rack (or directly on the oven rack) to keep warm while you cook the rest and make the syrup. Continue this process until all of the batter is used up.

  5. In a small saucepan, combine all syrup ingredients and bring to a heavy simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the blackberries begin to break down and the mixture has reduced and become thicker (more syrupy) in consistency. Drizzle over pancakes to serve. 

Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

These tasty miniature Brazilian cheese breads are packed with cheddar and fresh chives with a wonderfully chewy texture. Pao de queijo is the perfect snack or accompaniment to any meal.

This Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) is the perfect quick and easy side dish to accompany any meal!

Cheese-lovers, this one’s for you.

I’ll be the first to admit that cheese is one of my favorite food groups, so I’ll take any excuse to come up with recipes that happen to be loaded with it. When I found myself with some extra tapioca flour on hand from last week’s No-Bake Honey Roasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars, I decided it was the perfect time to try out a recipe that had been on my mind for at least a couple of years – Brazilian cheese bread!

Believe it or not, I tasted my first pao de queijo in Hawaii at the ever-so-popular KCC Farmer’s Market on Oahu. It was piping hot, wonderfully chewy and oh-so-cheesy. When I learned that it was in fact made with only tapioca flour (making it entirely gluten-free) and still so flavorful, I knew I had to figure out how to make it on my own.

Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread is gluten-free and can be made in under 30 minutes!

Fast forward a couple of years, with a huge bag of tapioca flour just begging to be put to use, I knew it was time. Brazilian cheese bread was happening. But of course I couldn’t make it your typical Brazilian cheese bread, I had to give it my own little twist with sharp aged cheddar cheese and fresh chives. I have to say, the end result was all that I had hoped for…and more. I think it’s safe to say there will be a lot of pao de queijo in my future.

After being so intimidated to even go to the store and buy tapioca flour, I was– as is often the case for me when exploring new recipes and techniques—extremely surprised by how EASY it was to make this cheesy deliciousness. I mean, we’re talking “throw everything in a blender and call it a day” easy.

The end result was these chewy, cheesy, popping bread rolls. They’re not unlike popovers in batter consistency and looks, but when you bite into them you’ll be surprised at the soft yet chewy texture that’s undeniably full of flavor.

Serve this Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) hot out of the oven with your favorite dinner.

Did I mention they take almost no time to make? The batter comes together in less than five minutes, and they’ll be hot out of the oven in less than 15. And you’ll want to eat these bad boys HOT if you want the ultimate cheesy- and chewy-ness.

In short, Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread is PROBABLY going to become your new go-to side for all of your homemade meals.  Or maybe your favorite after-school snack? Or weekend brunch addition? Whenever you make them, you’re not going to be disappointed!

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) has a wonderfully chewy texture, is gluten-free and can be made in under 30 minutes!

Cheddar and Chive Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
17 mins
 

These tasty miniature cheese breads are packed with cheddar and fresh chives with a wonderfully chewy texture. Pao de queijo is the perfect snack or accompaniment to any meal.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Brazilian
Keyword: baking, bread, cheese, gluten-free, side dish
Servings: 24 rolls
Calories: 100 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a two-dozen mini muffin tin (see notes for link.)

  2. Combine all ingredients except chives in a blender and blend until smooth. 

  3. Stir in chives.

  4. Pour or scoop batter into prepared muffin tins and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the bread are a light golden brown. 

  5. Enjoy warm!

Recipe Notes

Shopping link for miniature muffin tin.

Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote

One of my favorite oat recipes for baby, this dairy-free, protein-packed Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote has no sugar added, is baby-led weaning approved and will satisfy every member of the family!

Three jars of Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote lined up on a rustic wood serving tray, surrounded by fresh blueberries.

What’s the big deal about oats?

When it comes to baby-led weaning and feeding my little one, there is one ingredient that I have absolutely sworn by, and that’s rolled oats! They’re incredibly nutritious – being rich in antioxidants and high in fiber – and also very filling. They’re also often gluten-free, which makes them a great alternative for any little ones who may have a gluten allergy or intolerance.

Some of my favorite ways to include oats in my little one’s diet are via blender muffins and pancakes, and you can read all about those in my e-cookbook, 30 Freezer-Friendly Recipes for Babies and Toddlers

However, I recently jumped on the oat milk bandwagon, so I couldn’t wait to try and make this dairy-free treat for my babe. Let me tell you, after coming up with this recipe for Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote, it has become a breakfast staple for EVERY member of our household. It is just so good!

A close-up shot of a jar of Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote with a bowl of blueberries in the background.

As I mentioned in my Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes post, we’re following the baby-led weaning method for introducing Raia to food, and have already tested her on dairy, wheat and nuts/nut butters with no adverse reactions. (I’ve written a post with more about when to start baby-led weaning and what it all involves as well.) In regards to common allergens, this recipe doesn’t contain ANY, so even if you aren’t doing BLW (or your child has shown some sort of adverse reaction to those allergens I’ve listed above) this is the perfect healthy recipe to keep in your arsenal.

Didn’t I tell you oat recipes are magical for little ones??A straight on shot of a row of Oat Milk Chia Pudding jars topped with blueberry orange compote.

How to enjoy this Oat milk chia pudding recipe tomorrow

As all chia puddings do, this recipe does need to be started a day or two in advance, but aside from that the preparation is sooo easy. If you’re any sort of meal prepper, this recipe is for you. You’ll want to get the chia pudding started at least one night before you want to eat it (I like to prepare it in mason jars like these [*affiliate link]), but I found it got even better with a couple of days in the refrigerator to set up.

As far as the compote, I recommend making it the day before as well since I’m not so sure how a warm compote would taste on the chilled pudding (could be good, though!) You can also use this compote as a no-sugar-added way to make a delicious PB&J for your little ones. Because we all know that’s another go-to for all us busy moms!

I can promise you this – once you taste this Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote, you won’t want to stop making it. It’s tasty, nutritious and, once it’s prepped, takes no time at all to serve. It’s the perfect breakfast for these last few summer days and still a great option once school starts up again in a couple of weeks.

Three jars of Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote on a rustic wooden plank.

Curious about more of my favorite products for feeding little ones? Check out my Amazon shop!

Need help with meal planning? Download my Ultimate Meal Planning Toolkit here OR get in touch about my personalized meal planning services!

Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote (Baby-Friendly!)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Resting Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 30 mins
 

A dairy-free, protein-packed breakfast with no sugar added, this Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote is baby-led weaning approved but will satisfy every member of the family!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baby-friendly, breakfast, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, kid-friendly, make-ahead, meal prep
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 90 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the pudding:
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup oat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
For the compote:
  • 6 ounces blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
Instructions
  1. Combine the chia seeds, oat milk and vanilla extract or paste in a Mason jar with a lid. Shake to combine and place in refrigerator for at least 12 and up to 36 hours.

  2. To make the compote, combine blueberries, water and orange zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking until blueberries break down and mixture is reduced to a jam-like texture. Let cool completely before serving with chia pudding. 

  3. To serve, scoop some chia pudding into a bowl and top with compote.

Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse

These bite-size appetizers feature the best healthy ingredients – ahi, pineapple and avocado – and are both gluten- and dairy-free! 

Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse are the perfect healthy appetizer for your next get-together.

If you know me at all, you know that poke is one of my absolute favorite foods, and it seems to be right up there on your list of favorites, too. My Spicy Poke Bowls are the most pinned recipe on this site, after all, and this Spicy Beet Poke has become one of the most-requested dishes from some of my closest friends.

I’ve been dying to share these Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse for MONTHS now, but I wasn’t about to share them when I couldn’t enjoy them (thanks, pregnancy!) Well, let’s just say that now I’m making up for lost time and ahi poke in any way, shape or form has once again become a weekly staple in my diet.

I love these flavorful little bites because they combine so many of my OG foods in one bite – poke, pineapple AND avocado? I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse are both gluten-free and dairy free!

So let’s chat a little bit about the three different components that go into making these tasty appetizers..

The pineapple is the easiest part. I cut into a fresh piña because they are plentiful here in CA even in the winter, but if you live somewhere that’s not the case, you can even use canned slices. The important part is to get the wedges as thin as possible so the juicy pineapple flavor doesn’t overwhelm all of the other deliciousness we’re getting to next.

Speaking of – the next step is perhaps the most important part: the poke! You know the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” so I stuck with the basic recipe I’ve used for the other poke dishes on this site. When I made this dish to photograph I left out the spicy sambal oelek, but I must say that there would be absolutely nothing wrong with adding some in to the mix to give the poke a little extra hit of flavor.

And, the third and final step – avocado mousse! Guys, I don’t know why I’ve never ventured down this path before but I kind of feel like I’ve just opened the door to a whole new world of avocado usage. And it’s so easy! Just take ripe avocado, lemon juice and a touch of salt, throw it all in the food processor and – voila! – the creamiest, fluffiest, avocado-ness you’ve ever tasted.

A tray of Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse is sure to be the star hors d'oeuvres at your next party!

I mean, how can you hate a healthy appetizer that contains THE best healthy ingredients (IMO) on the planet? Pineapple, avocado, ahi – I’m looking at you.

Okay, I have to admit that there is ONE more special touch that I think would really take these Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse over the top…and that special touch comes in the form of CRUMBLED MACADAMIA NUTS. I was seriously kicking myself for not thinking of this before I shot the recipe, so please, please PLEASE do me a solid and sprinkle some over top when you make ‘em. And then invite me over 🙂

Ahi Poke Pineapple Bites with Avocado Mousse
Prep Time
25 mins
 

These bite-size appetizers feature the best healthy ingredients - ahi, pineapple and avocado - and are both gluten- and dairy-free!

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 292 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the poke:
  • 1.5 pounds sushi-grade ahi
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1/4 of a sweet onion, diced
  • Sambal oelek or sriracha, to taste
All other ingredients:
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pineapple, peeled and cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. Add all poke ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Place peeled, ripe avocados, salt and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until no chunks remain. Transfer to a piping bag and set aside.

  3. To assemble the bites, scoop a small spoonful of poke onto each pineapple wedge, then pipe a dollop of avocado mousse on top. [And here is where you would also sprinkle on the macadamia nuts if you’re smart enough to use ‘em.] Serve immediately, before the avocado mousse has a chance to brown.