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5 Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

This 5 ingredient spaghetti squash carbonara is packed with protein, low on carbs, and makes for an easy weeknight dinner.

I’m always in the mood for pasta, but sometimes my family and I want to enjoy something lighter. While this five ingredient spaghetti squash carbonara entered our awareness during a health kick a few years ago, its rich, cheesy nature quickly earned it a spot in our regular recipe rotation. Even though this carbonara is low-carb, it lacks absolutely nothing in terms of flavor.

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This five ingredient spaghetti squash carbonara is rich and satisfying, and works well for keto and other low-carb diets. But my favorite part? After the spaghetti squash has cooked, it requires less than 10 minutes of hands-on time to transform from separate ingredients to a plate-ready dish.

Two bowls of five ingredient spaghetti squash carbonara sit in gold-rimmed bowls on a white surface. The top bowl is garnished with parmesan cheese and green onions. The lower bowl is garnished the same, but also with a sixth ingredient - crumbled bacon.

By using spaghetti squash instead of pasta, this carbonara becomes gluten-free and grain-free – and contains less than 1/7 as many carbs as the traditional version. While I’m not keto myself, I have seen many versions of this dish within the pantheon of keto spaghetti squash recipes.

Unlike other versions of spaghetti squash carbonara, my recipe omits heavy cream. (Yes, this probably makes it no longer an authentic Italian carbonara, but c’mon – we’re using spaghetti squash instead of pasta. You’re already straying from authenticity.) This was originally a bid to lower the fat content of the dish, but as a bonus, I recently learned that many Parmesan cheeses are lactose free. Obviously this doesn’t change things if you have a dairy allergy, but it does mean that this spaghetti squash carbonara is less likely to hurt your stomach if you have lactose intolerance.

Okay, okay, I’ll address the elephant in the room – where is the meat? Almost all keto spaghetti squash carbonara recipes include bacon as a primary ingredient. And mine…doesn’t. Truly, I wanted to make a vegetarian spaghetti squash carbonara. Most low-carb recipes use meat as a primary ingredient, which can be disheartening if you are avoiding both meat and carbs for health reasons. You are more than welcome to add bacon to your spaghetti squash carbonara, but I wanted to offer an option to all for my more plant-hungry friends out there.

If you’re looking for a low-carb side dish to serve with this vegetarian spaghetti squash carbonara, I recommend trying my recipe for roasted brussels sprouts, or perhaps this roasted broccoli.

Ingredients

As you already read, this recipe requires only five simple ingredients – or six, if you want to throw some meat into the mix.

  • A spaghetti squash
  • Parmesan cheese – I recommend using the highest quality affordable Parmesan available in your local grocery. The sawdust stuff that comes in a green can will technically work, but it’s not ideal.
  • Eggs
  • Minced garlic
  • Chives (or a green onion)
  • Optional: bacon (though most non-vegetarians will insist on this addition)

How to cook spaghetti squash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the squash in half and remove all seeds. Next, we’ll need to cook these non-noodles…but there are many different ways to cook spaghetti squash. You can:

  • Poke the sliced squash with a fork, place both halves in the microwave, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the squash is tender.
  • Place both halves of the spaghetti squash into your Instant Pot with 1 cup of water, then cook on “high pressure” for 7 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place the squash face up on a baking sheet and roast for 35-45 minutes, until the flesh is soft. 

I personally prefer the oven method, but only because that’s what I’ve always used. You’re welcome to use whichever method works the best for you!

Regardless of which method you use to cook your spaghetti squash, let me offer a few words of warning. First, be careful not to overcook it. Too long in the oven and the “noodles” will stop looking like spaghetti and just look like squash.

Second, the squash needs to cool slightly – about 5 minutes – before you carve out the noodles so you don’t burn your hands in process. That being said, the squash does still need to be very hot in order for the carbonara to come together properly.

If you let the squash sit for too long, it will be too cold for the carbonara sauce to come together, and you will need to add excessive heat to the spaghetti squash in order to cook the eggs. Reheating the squash will break down the structure of the “noodles” and, you guessed it, turn them into mushy squash.

How to make spaghetti squash carbonara

While using an oven mitt to stabilize each squash half, rake out the “spaghetti” flesh using a fork. Transfer this “spaghetti” into a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. 

Crack the eggs into the squash and stir. Cover the hot squash with Parmesan cheese and garlic. If using, add your pieces of cooked bacon. Stir until the mixture is completely combined and the eggs are somewhat cooked. 

If you are using bacon in this dish, you can fry and then crumble 3-4 slices of bacon….or you can use a few handfuls of bacon crumbles. Because my husband enjoys meat but I usually pass, we tend to use the giant bags of cooked bacon crumbles from Costco, making the bacon-adding process quick and easy.

Transfer your spaghetti squash carbonara to individual serving dishes and garnish with chopped green onions and, if desired, additional bacon and cheese.

It’s also worth noting that yes, this dish contains eggs that are not completely cooked. I don’t recommend this vegetarian spaghetti squash carbonara for people who are pregnant or who are otherwise immunocompromised, as eating raw foods does increase your risk of foodborne illness. While this dish is tasty, it’s better to be safe and healthy than to take a risk!

Eating a low-carb diet doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. I hope you enjoyed this five ingredient spaghetti squash carbonara (even if you added the magic sixth ingredient). If you made it at home, I would love to see pictures! Feel free to tag @WhiskAverseBaking in your social media posts, or to leave a message in the comments below. You can also save this recipe for later by clicking the “Pin Recipe” button in the card.

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

This five ingredient spaghetti squash carbonara is packed with protein, low on carbs, and makes for an easy weeknight dinner.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Resting time 5 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Optional – 3/4 cup fried and chopped bacon slices

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F*. Slice squash in half and remove all seeds.
  • Place squash face up on a baking sheet and roast for 35-45 minutes, until the flesh is soft.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Using an oven mitt to stabilize each squash half, rake out the “spaghetti” flesh using a fork. Transfer this “spaghetti” into a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Crack eggs into the squash and stir.
  • Cover the hot squash with Parmesan cheese and garlic. If using, add bacon. Stir until the mixture is completely combined and the eggs are somewhat cooked.

Notes

*If you would prefer to cook your spaghetti squash without using an oven, here are a couple of options:
  • Poke the sliced squash with a fork, place both halves in the microwave, and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the squash is tender.
  • Place both halves of the spaghetti squash into your Instant Pot with 1 cup of water, and cook on “high pressure” for 7 minutes.
 
Note: the squash needs to be HOT when you mix in the eggs in order for the eggs to cook.
This dish is not advisable for people who are pregnant or otherwise immunocompromised; while the eggs do cook as you make the carbonara sauce, they do not cook completely.
Keyword gluten free, keto, low carb, savory, spaghetti squash

1 comment on “5 Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

  1. Pingback: 5 Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Carbonara — Whisk Averse Baking | My Meals are on Wheels

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