Easy Meals

Spaghetti Squash Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe (aka “cheese and pepper”) gets a higher nutrition makeover in this version made with spaghetti squash instead of pasta! It’s super easy to make, and the perfect lightened up comfort food.

Spaghetti squash is one of the most underrated vegetables out there in my opinion and one that I didn’t even really knew existed until a couple of years ago! If you see one at the grocery store it’s hard to believe that you can get squash “noodles” out of it!

Cacio e Pepe is one of my favorite meals to order at really nice Italian restaurants (in Chicago, I get it at Monteverde!) — it’s so simple, yet so good which is why I wanted to see how it would turn out with spaghetti squash! And I absolutely love it!

Spaghetti Squash Nutrition

This recipe is great for you if you are looking for a lower carb option to use instead of regular pasta. 1 cup of spaghetti squash has less than 50 calories and about 10 grams of carb per cup. It’s a good source of vitamin B6, C and fiber.

I don’t eat super low carb, but do like to add as much nutrition as possible into my meals, which is why I love using spaghetti squash in a variety of ways. This cacio e pepe rendition is so simple and delicious! Another way this spaghetti squash cacio e pepe recipe would be great is if you did half pasta, half spaghetti squash noodles.

I usually eat this meal paired with roasted chicken, or salmon. In this recipe I added fresh spinach which is not typically in cacio e pepe, however I added it here and you can definitely add any other veggies you have on hand.

Ingredients for Spaghetti Squash Cacio e Pepe

  • spaghetti squash
  • parmesan cheese
  • pecorino romano cheese ( I like to spring for the good stuff from the cheese section at the grocery store when I’m making cacio e pepe!)
  • grass-fed butter
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • spinach (optional)
  • freshly ground black pepper (freshly ground makes all of the difference here!)
  • salt
cacio e pepe made with spaghetti squash

How to Roast a Spaghetti Squash in The Oven

Cutting, let alone roasting a spaghetti squash can seem really overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Learn how to cut and roast a spaghetti squash so that you can use it in this recipe and future recipes!

  1. Start by placing a kitchen towel under a cutting board so that it does not slip. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise all of the way through.
  3. Use a spoon to scoop out the stringy insides and seeds (you can totally save them for roasting just like you would with pumpkin seeds).
  4. Lay the two halves flesh down on a parchment lined baking sheet. You can sprinkle them with olive oil and add salt and pepper if desired.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, and remove from the oven.
  6. Using tongs (the squashes will still be hot!) flip them over and let cool for 10-20 minutes. This helps you to be able to get the “noodles” out really easily.
  7. Use a fork to scrape down the spaghetti squash to pull out the noodles. Keep going until you get to the skin and repeat with the other half!
how to roast spaghetti squash
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spaghetti squash cacio e pepe

Spaghetti Squash Cacio e Pepe

  • Author: Maggie Michalczyk, RDN
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: easy meals
  • Method: bake & sauté
  • Cuisine: american

Description

Spaghetti squash replaces traditional pasta in this cacio e pepe recipe that is lower in carbs and higher in nutrition!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese + extra for sprinkling on top
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated pepper.
  • 2 cups of spinach

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash in half removing the seeds with a spoon.
  2. Lay squash cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before using a fork to scrape out the “noodles” from both halves of the squashes.
  3. In a sauté pan over medium-low add the butter and olive oil, then add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant careful not to burn (about 2 minutes).
  4. Add the spaghetti squash noodles and still together, coating the noodles.
  5. Next stir in both cheeses and salt and pepper. Feel free to add more pepper.
  6. Add spinach and continue stirring until spinach is mostly wilted.
  7. Plate and serve with additional parmesan cheese and black pepper on top.

Notes

Enjoy this spaghetti squash cacio e pepe by itself or paired with chicken, or fish.

More Spaghetti Squash Recipes You’ll Love

Do you love pumpkin year round like I do? Check out my favorite pumpkin recipes here!

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