Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Kale

Recipe adapted from, and published with the permission of the authors of, Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden by Todd Porter and Diane Cu.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • One 3-pound (1.4 kg) spaghetti squash
  • 3/4 pound (340 g) turkey sausage (or any favorite sausage), bulk or removed from casings
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 cups thinly sliced kale
  • 1 cup (100 g) coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1 Preheat oven and prepare pan: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Oil a sheet pan with one tablespoon of the oil, or line the sheet pan with Silpat.

2 Prep the spaghetti squash: With a sharp chef's knife, slice off 1/2-inch from the ends of the spaghetti squash. Then stand the squash up on one of the ends to stabilize it, and cut the squash in half, top to bottom.

Scoop out any seeds and stringy bits inside, and place the squash halves cut-side down on the oiled or lined sheet pan. Poke the tops of the halves with the tip of a sharp knife.

3 Bake: Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 35 to 45 minutes until you can easily poke the sides of the squash with a fork. Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Then using the tines of a fork, scrape out the "spaghetti"-like strands of the squash to a bowl.

4 Sauté onions, garlic, kale: In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Add the sliced kale and cook for a minute or two.

5 Add the sausage: Add the sausage and cook without stirring, until the sausage starts to brown, then stir and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage bits are cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes.

6 Add the spaghetti squash strands to the sausage mixture and stir to combine, cook until the squash is heated through, about a minute.

7 Add Parmesan and oregano: Remove from heat and add the grated Parmesan cheese and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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  • Carla

    Family favorite! Even the teens and the 10month old loved it!

  • Patricia Fuqua Lovett

    Hi, love the recipes. Do any of your recipes have the nutritional values listed? I count carbs and would like and easy way to keep count. I just might have to total each ingredient myself and that’s not a problem. Thanks.

  • Lynne

    Oh my. I’ve tried a couple of your recipes before, Elise, but this takes the cake. My elderly parents and teenage daughter who often pick at my healthy meals both went for seconds before we ran out. Husband and I had to hold back and filled up with ice cream. I made my life a little easier by – merely poking the whole squash a couple times before baking it whole until soft (the previous day); – using frozen chopped onion and kale; – using ground sweet Italian pork sausage (would have used chicken/turkey if they’d had it aty grocery). The whole thing came together in less than ten minutes. A keeper. Only next time I need to make more.

  • Teresa

    I’m sure this would be great as written, but for some reason I couldn’t stick to recipe, lol. I doubled the sausage, I added green peppers and diced tomatoes fresh from my garden. I reduced the Parmesan cheese as well. My husband and I loved it. My 7 year old wouldn’t touch it so, more for us!

  • Samantha N

    Wow, this was delicious!! My boyfriend said “This is one of the top 3 to 5 things you’ve ever made”…and I cook a LOT. Used extra kale, and I actually stuffed the filling back into the squash shells, topped them with extra parmesan, and broiled them. Fantastic!

  • Olivia V

    Made this today with chicken sausage and no parmesan (didn’t have any). Sprinkled it shredded manchego. The whole family loved it!

  • Sharon F

    After weeks of unhealthy holiday overeating, this was the perfect meal to start the new year – it will definitely make a repeat appearance on my dinner table. I made a few minor changes: replaced the red onions with shallots, nearly doubled the kale, and used both spicy and sweet Italian chicken sausage. Absolutely delish!

  • Amy B

    I’ve now made this recipe twice and my family LOVES it – teenagers included. I use a whole bunch of kale as well – doesn’t seem to alter the flavor – and have used two different types of sausage. My husband, not usually impressed by squash, just said, “You have renewed my faith in the squash family.” (He has a botany background.) And, I used the SR app on my phone for the recipe since the kids were on the big computer. Thanks!

  • Kaylee Kolditz

    This was so yummy. I added sundried tomatoes. What a wonderful option for those of us who are not supposed to have pasta.

  • jen

    Hi! I hate spaghetti (I have no idea why, it’s probably just a stubborn habit at this point!) and so have resisted even trying spaghetti squash because of the correlation. What a fool! I love, love, loved this recipe! Thank you for turning me on to it! I used local hot italian sausage (Humboldt County, CA yay!) and it was amazing. I too doubled the greens. I had chard on hand so i used that, but next time i think i would quadruple the greens. What can i say? We are lucky enough to have amazing meat and produce here, that I was able to use ALL local ingredients, even down to the olive oil! Awesome recipe!

  • Sun

    I have to admit that when I saw this recipe, I was hesitant to try it. I tried spaghetti squash years ago and didn’t like it: I thought it was too crunchy, flavorless, and just not worth the effort. I’m happy to report that I did try it and it was delicious, especially the day after, when the flavors really had a chance to meld together. I will admit that I roasted my spaghetti squash at a higher temp — 425 F. — because I wanted the high heat to “caramelize” the squash and make it more flavorful. It definitely made my squash softer, and it didn’t come out as “stringy” as yours, and whether that was due to the higher cooking temp or because of the squash, I don’t know. I used Olivier’s Butchery’s (in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood) Provencal sausage and packaged organic baby kale. This recipe is definitely going on the keeper list — thank you!

  • Buffalo Sauce Chef

    I can’t believe how good this recipe was! Normally my family hates squash and it’s a struggle to get them to eat any vegetable really. This recipe went over so well, I was asked to make a double batch next week to make sure everyone has enough. I’m going to play around with the meat and try some fresh venison we just got. I’m guessing it will be even better! Thanks again!

  • Andrea Elkins

    Delicious! I used a slivered white/yellow onion as that’s what I had on hand. Also doubled the amount of kale. Between my husband and myself we ate the whole thing!

    Also, as someone else suggested, you can cook the squash in the microwave to speed up the process. I cut the squash in half, scoop out the guts & seeds and invert one half (cut side down) in a bowl with a few tablespoons of water. Microwave on high for about 8 minutes for each half, then let cool before scooping out the strings. Easy way to cook any kind of squash, really.

  • Donna

    I baked the squash before I went to work and scooped out the (spaghetti) and refrigerated it. When I got home I did the rest for a fairly quick meal. It was really good and even my husband liked it.

  • Bob @ Cooking with an Evolved Dad

    Made this for dinner tonight before settling down to watch the World Series. It was a great dinner — so good that my hopes for leftovers were dashed by my son going back for a third helping!

  • Elaine

    I loved this recipe. I used Isernio chicken apple sausage which gave it a lot of flavor, maybe too much flavor. I didn’t feel the parmesan was needed. I added some lime juice, because I had it on hand but next time I’d put in a generous squeeze of lemon. This dish really screams for lemon, in my opinion. Also I agree that 3 cups of kale would be fine.

  • Hugh W. Lydiard

    This dish is really the bomb. First time I tried spaghetti squash, and I love it. Have made it a couple times already. I am such a fan, Elise. I’m from Acton, and live in DC now. So I really appreciate your New England connection, as well as your Mexican connection because my Dad (from Boston) spent a lot of time in San Antonio (USAF) during the Korean Conflict so he (and eventually Mom) raised us on Tex Mex too. Brava!!

  • Sam

    It was awesome!!! It was the first time I’ve ever had spaghetti squash so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turned out really well.
    Have you thought about putting out a cookbook? I consistently love your recipes–they’re easy to follow, not too complicated and super delicious. My favorite is the tomatilla with shrimp and feta. Super yum!

    • Elise Bauer

      Thanks for the kudos Sam. If you like this recipe I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of Bountiful, the beautiful cookbook from which I got the recipe (my only addition was to add kale). Diane and Todd are dear friends and fabulous cooks. Every recipe in that book is wonderful.

    • Kay

      The Simply Recipes website IS my cookbook. I refer to Elise’s recipes all the time; my go to site for anything new. Plus I love the photos and comments.

  • Elizabeth

    Made this tonight and LOVED it! Only things I did differently was using chicken sausage and also adding a few handfuls of fresh spinach. I’d up the greens even more next time because they really do cook down so much. My meat and potatoes loving husband went back for seconds :). Can’t wait to make this for my gluten free friends who miss their pasta. Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Mary

    Just made this Saturday night, and it was real good. I substituted spinach for the kale since I had that on hand, and used Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage. We had the rest of it last night and my hubby said it’s a keeper!


  • Juliet Davenport

    Elise, I make this tonight and it was fabulous! I subbed in spinach for the kale, and garlic/herb chicken sausage from Trader Joe’s. Truly great! Thanks for doing what you do – keep up the great work!

  • Ken Gibbs

    Great recipe. Made today as a comfort food for a brisk New England day; just enjoyed a second helping, THANK YOU!

  • beth

    Made this tonight and it was amazing!!! Used 2 cups of kale and will do 3 next time.

  • Paula Francese

    Unfortunately this was not a hit in our house. Not sure why that was. I’m not in the habit of cooking spaghetti squash but will look for another preparation to see if we can grow to appreciate it.

  • Enia

    hate to be the lone nay-sayer, but I thought that was waaaaay too much cheese. I will cut it at least in half next I try it, if not in quarter.

  • Julia

    This is beyond delicious. Thank you, Elise! Wonderful…

  • Maria

    This was fabulous! Made it for dinner tonight and presently have Lemon Marscapone Blondies in the oven. Thanks for the wonderful recipes!!

  • Sarah

    Wondering if anyone knows if this reheats well in a microwave? I too am looking for healthy recipes I can make on the weekend and bring to work for lunch.

    • Elise Bauer

      I made a batch and ate it all week long by reheating in the microwave. Worked fine!

  • Matt

    I made this over thew weekend. Was a bit put off initially when I cut into the spaghetti squash by its pumpkin-ey aroma, and figured this dish was going to be a wash out(eww…pumpkin.) In the end did the squash tasted fairly neutral and not too much like pumpkin(thank goodness). Was really good, but I was wondering if the ‘noodles’ are supposed to be a little crunchy or did I not cook it long enough? Been saying I’d make spaghetti squash for quite some time but this was a first for me. Thanks for the recipe Elise!


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Matt, yes the noodles are supposed to be just a little crunchy, but not much, just a little more than pasta, which isn’t at all crunchy. The real test for doneness is does the fork easily scrape up the shredded spaghetti squash? There should be no effort.

      • Matt

        In that case it came out fine…wish I thought to bunch up some paper towels first to hold it with before it went flying across the floor because it was too hot :)

        • Matt h

          I think I make this once a month or so using spinach instead of kale…It’s Delicious!

    • Maria

      That’s happened to me cooking spaghetti squash at times. I think it’s the squash and not the cook. I cooked the spaghetti squash in the microwave…saves time of time.

  • Sarah

    I started a nutritarian-based diet recently, and this recipe fit the bill. The dish came out perfectly! I used sweet Italian turkey sausage and a whole head of kale (maybe 3 cups), to make it a really nutrient-rich meal, and ended up only needing half of the spaghetti squash. I guess the other half will be used to make spaghetti tomorrow night! Thanks for another great meal, Elise.

  • Angie

    I’d cooked a spaghetti squash only once before and I only recently tried kale, so I was intrigued to try this recipe. I made it tonight and Hubby and I both loved it! Next time, though, I will double the kale since the 1 cup cooked down and got a little lost in the squash and sausage. Thank you!

  • mike jackson

    I tried a spaghetti squash recipe quite awhile ago. After roasting the squash and “forking” it – tasted it and was disappointed when found it to be sweet. I just remembered the spaghetti squash I purchase was green. The one used in this recipe is yellow. Is there a difference? I would LOVE to try this mouth-watering recipe BUT what can I do about sweetness? HELP

    • Elise Bauer

      I’ve never heard of a green spaghetti squash, only yellow. Perhaps what you had was some sort of melon, pretending to be a spaghetti squash?

    • birdgal (another amy)

      Maybe it was an acorn squash?

  • Alicia*

    Since your fingers were a little forgetti, I’m reminding them how to spell “spaghetti” (in the ingredient list). ;-) Can’t wait to try this BTW.

  • Ginny Gibbs

    We made this tonight – it just looked so good in the description, and I knew the spaghetti squash was something we needed to try, as my husband is diabetic. He loved it, and loved how low-carb it was for as much “comfort food savor” it had. This recipe is going in the kitchen binder!

  • Jen.

    We made this for dinner last night – it just so happened that I had a huge spaghetti squash on hand and was looking for an interesting way to prepare it. This dish was awesome! I never would have thought of using sausage with the squash – fantastic. Will definitely be working this one into the rotation!

  • Jean

    Perfect recipe. Made it for my mostly Paleo husband tonight and he loved it. If you use pork sausage I recommend making sure you spoon off the excess fat before stirring in the squash. Another great recipe from my favorite food site!

  • Angela

    This looks great. Perfect for this time of year….can’t wait to see the book, looks like it might be right down my chemin!

    • Elise Bauer

      It’s beautiful Angela, and the recipes are made for those of us who garden or love fresh produce.

  • Jerry Russell

    Looks amazing! I love the sausage and kale addition, but I think if I try this, I’ll use some Pecorino instead of the Parmesan, just to kick up the flavors a bit.

  • Liz

    Thank you for the nice recipe.

  • Kalyn

    Great dish, and I cannot wait to see the cookbook!

  • Anna

    Don’t forget to roast the seeds!! :)

  • Joanna Spadafora

    Hi Elise,

    This recipe looks wonderful, I was wondering do you think it would freeze well? It seems like a great idea for lunch!!!
    Also I have one last question I am looking at puchasing a new skillet, do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks so much!!!