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Paleo Spaghetti Squash Bolognese #Recipe

There are some quick and easy comfort foods that I miss every now and then. Spaghetti is one of them. When we went paleo, we tried to find a substitute for wheat pasta, but the rice noodles we tried were all mushy and blah. Then we discovered spaghetti squash, the standard paleo substitute. It’s called spaghetti squash because when its cooked, the squash shreds like – you guessed it – very short spaghetti noodles.

Here’s how to make a fantastic spaghetti substitute. Slice your squash lengthwise in half and clean it out. You can roast the seeds just like pumpkin seeds if you want. Yummy!

Paleo Spaghetti Squash Bolognese #Recipe | This West Coast Mommy

Bake the squash face down on a cookie sheet for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the squash. It really does vary that much (and wreaks havoc on my meal timing!). It’s done when the squash is soft and you can scrape out the inside with a fork, forming spaghetti-like strands. Be careful not to overcook the squash or the strands will be too wet and leave a puddle on your plate. Start checking at about 30 minutes and keep cooking it as needed. When it’s done, the “spaghetti” looks like this.

Paleo Spaghetti Squash Bolognese #Recipe | This West Coast Mommy

While your squash is baking, make up the Bolognese sauce. Saute diced onion in coconut oil over medium heat. Once soft, add 4 or 5 cloves of minced garlic and saute another minute or so. Add 2 pounds ground beef and 6 rashers of chopped bacon and cook until beef is browned. Drain the excess fat then mix in 2 and a half cups of tomato sauce (about one and a half cans) and 1/2 cup tomato paste.

Add 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 2 stalks (8-10 leaves) of fresh basil, and 4 dried bay leaves. Then add your spices: 1 teaspoon each of thyme oregano, garlic powder, cumin, ground ginger, chipotle chili powder; 2 teaspoons chili powder; and a quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon to warm everything up. We like a little spice in our sauce, but feel free to reduce or leave out the chili powders entirely. Season with salt and ground pepper to taste. Simmer on low for at least 30 minutes so the flavours can mix and deepen. The sauce will thicken as it simmers. I like to throw in some sliced mushrooms about 5 minutes before serving for some extra yum!

For an extra touch of fancy, put the shredded squash back in the hollowed out shell. Add your Bolognese sauce on top, then sprinkle with cheese if desired. Since hubs can’t eat cow dairy (no Parmesan, boo), we use soft, unripened goat cheese on top. Herb-flavoured goat cheeses are especially good. I used garlic and parsley goat cheese here. Leave out the cheese to make this Whole30 compliant.

With this paleo spaghetti squash bolognese and crumbled soft goat cheese on the menu, you won't miss the wheat!


Paleo Spaghetti Squash Bolognese


  • 2 small or 1 large spaghetti squash
  • One onion diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 6 rashers of bacon chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 stalks fresh basil or 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 white mushrooms sliced
  • Optional Parmesan or soft goat cheese


Spaghetti squash

  • Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit.
  • Slice spaghetti squash lengthwise in half and clean. Bake halves face down for 35-50 minutes. Squash is done when soft and inside shreds easily. Use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti-like strands.

Bolognese sauce

  • Heat coconut oil over medium heat. When shimmering, add diced onion and saute until translucent.
  • Add minced garlic and saute one minute.
  • Add ground beef and chopped bacon. Break up beef and cook until browned.
  • Add tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir well.
  • Add balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs, and spices.
  • Mix well and simmer on low for at least 30 minutes for sauce to thicken. Stir occasionally.
  • Add sliced mushrooms 5 minutes before sauce is done.
  • Add meat sauce to spaghetti squash and sprinkle Parmesan or soft goat cheese on top if desired.
This post is linked up to some fantastic recipe link parties. Check out my Link Parties page to see where I’m linking up and to find some wonderful blogs and more amazing recipes!

Leave a Comment


  • I’ve never tried spaghetti squash, but if it’s anything like spaghetti, it’s worth a try!! Your recipe really does look yummy.

    • Honestly, it isn’t anything like spaghetti other than the shape. I think people might be disappointed if they go in thinking it’ll taste like pasta. You have to try it and appreciate it on its own merits. It really is very tasty!

    • Thank you! I don’t usually, but I wanted a nice picture for this post. Hubs was pretty impressed by the whole thing so win-win! 🙂

  • Sounds wonderful, I’ve never tried to cook spaghetti squash so I think this recipe will walk me through the steps quite nicely. Thank you for linking up with our weekly Tasty Tuesday linky.

    • Thank you, Bonnie! I know it’s not a typical dinner which is why I added extra pictures to show how the squash should look. I’m glad you found the pictures helpful.

  • We LOVE spaghetti squash, but this is unlike anything I’ve ever made before! Must try this with the next spaghetti squash I buy!
    Thank you so much for linking up to Delicious Dish Tuesday again!! <3

  • I have been wanting to try spaghetti squash for a long time now but keep chickening out. Your recipe with this amazing sauce looks like one I have got to try. Thank you so much for sharing it with Delicious Dish Tuesday. I have featured you in this week’s post!

  • My brother has asked me for squash recipes – he is a long-time widower with a teenage daughter. I am sure he will like this recipe, which isn’t one that I, a vegetarian, would generally share. Thanks

  • Wow! I love to use spaghetti sauce as a healthier alternative to noodles, but I’ve NEVER made a sauce like this; I’m expecting a very complex and rich sauce to compliment the light squash. The house smells amazing!

  • This was great,we made this on Saturday and the grandkids thought it was great to eat it right out of the squash.Thanks

  • We’ve made spaghetti squash many times, but it’s never been as good as when we baked it this way. Thanks so much for the idea!

    • Ok, you have just made my day. I was just talking to my husband about wanting to make more things from scratch. This is awesome.

      • This is brilliant! I just had spaghetti squash at a restaurant last night – and I couldn’t think of how they cooked it so well! This must be how! So glad to have read this – perfect timing!

  • I’ve never made anything like this recipe but it looks so good that I’m going give it a try

  • I don’t usually post on recipe blogs, but I just had to say how delicious this was. I made it exactly as the recipe states, and it was just absolutely divine. Making it again this weekend for a friend who doesn’t eat dairy. Thanks so much!

    • i never try any kind of non veg dish till now but you are making so yummy stuff with beef than how can i save myself from this recipe.