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Mexican Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Recipe

This is a vegetarian spaghetti squash recipe with bold Mexican flavors. We top the ‘spaghetti’ with a rich sauce of beans, onions, tomatoes, peppers, corn, salsa, spices and cheese for a great weeknight meal.

No pasta needed – just healthier, lower calorie version of spaghetti with sauce. In this case, a cheesy Mexican sauce.

spaghetti squash with mexican veggie topping

Spaghetti squash has a slightly sweet mild nutty taste and a unique way of turning into fine spaghetti-like strands when cooked. Its a perfect vehicle for bold sauces and toppings. I prefer my squash quite soft, but you can cook it less if like some bite – sort of ‘al dente’.

As far as nutrition goes, 1 cup of spaghetti squash only has 42 calories. It also packs in Vitamin A, C and B12.  And don’t forget the high fiber black beans and nutritious tomatoes, corn and peppers in the sauce.

Bottom line – this might become your new favorite way to serve a meatless meal. Perhaps a change from taco Tuesday? And it’s an easy way to pack in those veggies.

What to serve with spaghetti squash

I serve this Mexican spaghetti squash recipe as a vegetarian main dish (I’m trying to eat less meat). It also works as a side, though, with Herb Stuffed Salmon, Marinated Pork Chops or Steak.

Shortcuts

  • Cooking method: There are two ways to cook spaghetti squash – baking and microwaving. I recommend a combination of the two. The initial 6 minute microwaving makes it much easier to cut the squash in half and also reduces baking time by 10- 20 minutes. You can, of course, simply microwave the cut squash. Place the two halves in a dish with a little bit of water. Cover and microwave for 12-15 minutes.
  • Replace the seasonings in the recipe (chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin) with 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning. Or use an enchilada sauce instead of the tomatoes and seasonings.

How to cook spaghetti squash

How to make Mexican topping to serve over spaghetti squash

corn, tomatoes, beans, seasoning, onions, salsa
Mexican topping ingredients: red pepper, onions, tomatoes, beans, corn, seasonings, salsa, cheese
onions and peppers in pan
Sauté onions and peppers and garlic in a large skillet.
mexican mixture in pan
Mix in remaining ingredients except cheese. Cook for several minutes.
cheese and Mexican mixture in pan
Add cheese. Cover and cook until cheese is melted.
spaghetti squash with mexican veggie topping p
Spoon topping over spaghetti squash and serve.

Tailor To Your Taste

This veggie spaghetti squash recipe is really just a guide as it’s easy to vary the veggies and spices to your taste or to what you have on hand.

  • Heat: Vary the heat to your liking by adding a jalapeno pepper, more chili powder, chili flakes or any kind of hot sauce. The spiciness will also depend on the salsa you are using – mild, medium or hot.
  • Cheese: Good cheeses to use are Mozzarella, a Mexican cheese blend, Fontina or Monterey Jack. You can also sprinkle on Parmesan at the end if you like.
  • Veggies and Beans:
    • Add other vegetables like spinach, mushrooms and zucchini while making the sauce.
    • Substitute canned tomatoes (drained) for the fresh tomatoes.
    • Substitute black beans with other cooked beans such as navy beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, etc.
  • Non meat version: Add sausage, ground beef or ground turkey. Cook it with the onions and peppers.

How to serve spaghetti squash with Mexican topping

Here are a few different ways to serve the Mexican squash dish.

  1. Like spaghetti on a plate – top the spaghetti squash with the Mexican-style topping. Kinda like healthy spaghetti 🙂
  2. As spaghetti squash burrito bowls
  3. Stuffed into spaghetti squash boats (using the the squash shells).

Make Ahead

  • Cooked spaghetti squash can be stored in an airtight container for 4-5 days in the fridge. Same with the topping or sauce. I suggest storing the sauce separately.
  • To reheat, warm the cooked squash in the microwave, covered for 1-2 minutes. Heat the sauce on the stove or microwave, then ladle over the warmed squash.
  • For left overs when the squash and sauce are already combined, just refrigerate and reheat in the microwave. The squash may get a bit softer and more watery, but it will still taste good. Hey, left overs for lunch, no complaining.

Love spaghetti squash?

Try our spaghetti squash with roasted vegetables.

Looking for other vegetarian meals?

Check out our 25 Meatless Monday dinner ideas.

spaghetti squash with mexican veggie topping
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4.84 from 6 votes

Mexican Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Recipe

This is a vegetarian spaghetti squash recipe with bold Mexican flavors. We top the 'spaghetti' with a rich sauce of beans, onions, tomatoes, peppers, corn, salsa, spices and cheese for a great weeknight meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican-style
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash. medium-large 3-5 lbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Mexican Topping/Sauce (Note 1)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions (1 medium onion)
  • 1 cup chopped peppers (1 bell pepper)
  • 3 minced garlic cloves (2-3 tsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder (or more if salsa is less spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup salsa from jar – mild, medium or hot (or homemade)
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained (about 1/2 can)
  • 1 cup frozen corn niblets
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated cheese like Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Cheddar

Optional garnishes

  • chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onion, sour cream, Greek yogurt, crushed tortilla chips, squeeze of lime juice, chopped red onions.

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 425F/218C. Line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up.
  • COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH and MAKE 'SPAGHETTI': Pierce squash a few times with a knife. Microwave on high from 5-7 minutes. Timing will depend on size of your squash. Remove from microwave to cutting board. Let cool a bit or use towel to protect fingers (it's hot!). Scrape out seeds and discard. Cut squash lengthwise. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place both halves, cut side down, on pan. Roast for 25-40 minutes or until squash is fork tender and easily pierced with a knife. Turn over squash, cut side up. Using a fork, rake squash to create spaghetti-like strands. Note 2.
  • MAKE MEXICAN SAUCE: While squash is roasting, heat oil in large saute pan or skillet to medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and cook for a 5 minutes until tender. Stir in garlic for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium heat. Add chopped tomatoes, beans, corn, cumin, oregano and chili powder. Stir and cook for 5-6 minutes until tomatoes break down. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
    Sprinkle on cheese, turn heat to low, cover and cook for 3 minutes to allow cheese to melt. If you don't have a cover, use tinfoil as a cover or just stir the cheese directly into the mixture.
  • ASSEMBLE: Place cooked spaghetti squash strands on a serving plate. Scoop out sauce with cheese from skillet and place on top (I use a spatula). Sprinkle with cilantro or chopped green onions if desired and serve. Alternatively, make individual servings with squash and a scoop of sauce on top.

Notes

  1. Shortcut for seasonings: You can replace the seasonings in the recipe (chili powder, garlic, oregano, cumin) with 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning. 
  2. Serving options for spaghetti squash:
    • Family style: Remove squash strands – scraping right to the skin of the squash – to a serving platter or individual plates, then cover with sauce.
    • In squash bowls: Alternatively, scrape strands, leaving 1/2 inch of squash in the shell, and serve the squash and sauce directly in the squash ‘boats”/shell. 
  3. Variations and Substitutions
    • Veggies and Beans:
      • Add other vegetables like spinach, mushrooms and zucchini while making the sauce.
      • Substitute canned tomatoes (drained) for the fresh tomatoes.
      • Substitute black beans with other cooked beans such as navy, pinto, kidney, etc.
    • Non meat version: Add sausage, ground beef or ground turkey. Cook it with the onions and peppers.
  4. Make Ahead: 
    • Cooked spaghetti squash can be stored in airtight container for 4-5 days in the fridge. Same with  ‘sauce’. I suggest storing  sauce separately.
    • To reheat, warm cooked squash in microwave, covered for 1-2 minutes. Heat sauce on the stove or microwave, then ladle over warmed squash.
    • For left overs where the squash and sauce are already combined, just refrigerate and reheat in  microwave.
 
Nutrition values are calculated on 4 servings

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 389 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 866mg38%
Potassium 1034mg30%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 12g50%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 2813IU56%
Vitamin C 69mg84%
Calcium 331mg33%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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