Few things are more comforting than a huge bowl of classic pasta with marinara sauce. But who wants to down all those carbs?! This “pasta” casserole replaces the classic pasta with waistline-friendly spaghetti squash to fill those cravings without the extra calories and carbs. Serve with a salad for the perfect healthy comfort food dinner.

Spaghetti Squash and Tomato Casserole

Adapted from Dr. Weil

What You’ll Need:

1 spaghetti squash

2 large carrots, diced

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 large can (28oz) crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon basil (dried or fresh)

½ teaspoon dried oregano

3 cloves garlic, chopped

¼ pound low-fat or part-skim mozzarella, grated

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Pro-tip: To make grating the mozzarella easier, freeze the cheese for about 10-20 minutes— the frozen cheese will be much easier to grate!

What To Do:

1. Cut squash lengthwise and place the halves skin-side down in a baking dish with 1 inch of water. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until the squash can be easily pierced with a knife.

2. While the squash is cooking, heat olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion and carrot until tender, about 10 minutes. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.

3. Add crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, and garlic. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

4. While the sauce is simmering, remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool enough so it’s easy to handle. Remove the seeds with a spoon.

5. Here’s the fun part: using a fork, scrape the inside flesh of the squash. It should come off in strands (that look like spaghetti pasta!).

6. Turn off the heat, add the squash to the sauce pan and mix well.

7. Now for the baking: Place half of the squash and tomato mixture in the bottom of a baking dish. Top with half of the mozzarella (and a sprinkle of Parmesan, if desired). Add the rest of the squash mixture and cheese to the top (layered like a Lasagna, basically).

8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned. Let cool 15-20 minutes before serving to let the dish set (and to avoid some seriously scalding burns!).