Kitchn Love Letters

We Published This Recipe 5 Years Ago, and We Still Think It’s One of Our Best

published May 9, 2022
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One of the very best parts of my job as a recipe editor here at Kitchn is getting to read through every recipe that we publish, and I’m pretty sure I’ve looked through thousands at this point. There’s always some new ingredient, technique, or flavor combination that’s inspiring and guaranteed to start my stomach rumbling if it’s getting close to mealtime. I occasionally come across recipes that sound so delicious or have a fun new twist that they immediately get slotted into my cooking rotation.

What caught my eye five years ago? This recipe for a gorgeous lasagna-stuffed spaghetti squash, a gluten-free play on the classic Italian favorite. It’s just as hearty and comforting as regular lasagna, but with the bonus that you get a healthy dose of veggies from the squash.

Remember when spaghetti squash was in fashion so many years ago? Those long strands that mimicked pasta were popular way before cauliflower got blitzed into rice, or every other vegetable imaginable got cranked in noodles. But low-key spaghetti squash is truly the OG of veggies that take the place of carbs, and you don’t even need any special equipment to eat it like pasta. All you have to do is cook it for the hard flesh to magically soften into pretty strands.

Running with the idea of spaghetti squash acting like pasta in a lasagna, Emma Christensen created this recipe that takes roasted spaghetti squash and tops it with herby ricotta cheese, tomato meat sauce, and lots of melty mozzarella. While lasagnas are never easy to pull off (there are so many elements), this recipe is a bit more streamlined, which I appreciate. Start by roasting the squash, and make the meat sauce and ricotta layer while it’s in the oven. When the squash is ready, use a fork to shred it up a bit: It’s pretty fun to scrape and twirl, especially for kids! Assemble single-serving lasagnas right in each spaghetti squash boat and warm them up in the oven one final time before diving in. I recommend making sure each forkful has a little bit of everything to get the full lasagna eating experience.

There are a few make-ahead possibilities here to spread out the work to fit your schedule: Make the meat sauce and refrigerate or freeze it so there’s no stovetop time later. You can also completely assemble these ahead of time and just throw them into the oven straight from the fridge for a weeknight dinner or even as an eye-catching dinner party main dish — it’s sure to impress your guests. I spy a few cans of crushed tomatoes in my pantry that need to be used up, so this oldie-but-goodie is now going into the next round of meal planning.