Last updated on March 26th, 2019.
Rich and creamy Shrimp Alfredo baked in Spaghetti Squash Boats is the ultimate low carb keto comfort food. Read the post for how to turn this into a quick weeknight meal.
This is hands down the most delicious thing I’ve cooked recently. I mean, you cannot go wrong with tasty, well-seasoned shrimp and creamy, rich Alfredo sauce. And the fact that this is low carb and has a large amount of healthy spaghetti squash per serving is a huge bonus.
I’ve always mocked the people who are eating zoodles and are all like, “try this recipe, you won’t even miss the carbs!” but it turns out to be true in this case – I did not miss the pasta. I mean, would shrimp Alfredo have been absolutely delicious over pasta? Absolutely. But this actually tastes so good and satisfying that it did not leave me wishing for pasta. And that’s saying something. I don’t think I would feel this way if the sauce was a marinara sauce – would have just tasted a bit too healthy for me. It would’ve been more like a vegetable side dish instead of the main course.
But this?? This Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Alfredo is definitely worthy of the ‘main course’ title and is filling enough to be the main course.
How to make this Spagheti Squash Shrimp Alfredo recipe into a quick weeknight dinner:
The whole recipe from scratch does take about an hour to make, mostly because spaghetti squash takes about a half hour to roast and then you need a few minutes for it to cool so it is not hot like lava. So to turn this into a weeknight meal, you’ll need to make this recipe over two days: Roast the spaghetti squash the night before, let it cool, and flake it with a fork. Keep everything refrigerated over night, including the spaghetti squash skins if you plan on using them as the “boat.”
Then right before dinnertime on Day 2, you can cook your shrimp, mix together the rest of the ingredients while the oven is preheating, and then bake it just in time for dinner. You can either bake this as a casserole in one large casserole pan, or divide the mixture between the four spaghetti squash boats (if you saved them) and bake individual servings.
How to turn this into a recipe for a crowd:
If you’re having people over for dinner and know that your guests are OK with eating pasta, then this is a really easy recipe to make to serve alongside pasta for a delicious dinner that your guests will love. This recipe already makes really generous servings for 4 people, so it’s really easy to tweak it to serve a larger crowd. This will serve around 8 people, or more if you serve this with a side salad and some garlic bread:
- Use 2 lb of shrimp and double the seasoning for the shrimp.
- Use 2 larger spaghetti squash (plan on about 10 more minutes of roasting in step 1), and bake the whole dish in a casserole pan when you get to steps 5-6 in the recipe card below.
- Increase the Alfredo sauce to 2-2.5 cups, since you’re using more spaghetti squash and will be serving pasta.
- While the spaghetti squash is roasting, cook a large pot of pasta and toss it with olive oil and fresh herbs. Rotini would be GREAT in this recipe – it will hold the sauce well and would be a nice contrast to the spaghetti shaped noodles of the squash. Your guests can then choose if they want to keep this low carb or serve themselves pasta topped with Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Casserole.
A few ingredient notes for this spaghetti squash shrimp bake:
- Use any size shrimp you like for this recipe, but I prefer smaller shrimp here – more pieces per servings!
- If you can find small spaghetti squashes – about 1.5 – 2 lb each, they would be perfect. They will roast faster, and they make perfect personal size servings. If you can only find large spaghetti squash, get one large one (3-4 lbs) – just keep in mind it will take longer to bake – about 40 minutes. You can choose to either do the final baking step in the two spaghetti squash halves, or to put the whole mixture a casserole pan and bake this dish as a casserole.
- You can use anywhere from 1-2 cups of Alfredo sauce for this recipe. One cup will yield a less saucy dish (with less calories!) but is still delicious and has all the flavor. Two cups is perfect if you want to serve this over pasta and would like some extra sauce.
- You can add tomatoes to this dish for a pop of color and nutrients: Chop a large tomato (or 2 smaller plum tomatoes, or a cup of grape or cherry tomatoes) and spread them evenly over the spaghetti squash and shrimp mixture before topping with cheese.
A few tips for making this Alfredo Shrimp Spaghetti Squash Bake:
- To scrape the spaghetti squash with a fork, start by scraping the inside of each squash half and transferring the loose strands of ‘spaghetti’ into a bowl. Work your way through each of the boats and then come back around to fork out the inner layers. This way the strands get a chance to cool and loosen a bit while you’re working on the other squashes.
- If you accidentally pierce the spaghetti squash skin with a fork so much that you think the sauce will leak out if it bakes – transfer everything to a casserole pan and bake this as a casserole.
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Rich and creamy Shrimp Alfredo baked in Spaghetti Squash Boats is the ultimate low carb keto comfort food. Read the post for how to turn this into a quick weeknight meal or how to turn this into a large dinner to feed a crowd.
- 2 small spaghetti squash , 1.5 - 2 lb
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- 1 lb shrimp thawed if frozen, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1.5 cups Alfredo sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs, such as parsley and/or basil , chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Brush the inside of each half with half the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on a large baking sheet with the cut side facing up. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash at 375F for about 30 minutes, or until the squash flakes easily when pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool for a few minutes, but keep the oven on - you'll need it in a few minutes.
Use a fork to scrape all the spaghetti squash strands out of each squash, taking care not to pierce the squash skin (read the recipe post for tips for flaking the squash, and what to do if you pierce the skin!). Place the spaghetti strands into a large bowl.
While the spaghetti squash is roasting, prepare the rest of the ingredients: Chop the herbs. Grate the cheese.
In a medium bowl, combine the peeled, thawed shrimp with the salt, garlic powder, paprika, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix with a fork.
Heat a large skillet, and add the shrimp to the skillet in a single layer. Cook for 2 minutes, then use tongs to flip each shrimp over. Cook for another 2 minutes, or until the shrimp are fully cooked. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked spaghetti squash, cooked shrimp, 1.5 cups Alfredo sauce, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and the herbs. Mix well, and place into the 4 spaghetti squash boat shells.
Arrange the spaghetti squash boats on the same large baking sheet. Top each filled spaghetti squash boat with about a tablespoon of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and about 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella. Bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is all melted. Remove from heat, allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving hot.
Read the recipe post for tips on choosing the right spaghetti squash size and shrimp size, how much sauce to use, and what to do if you accidentally pierce the spaghetti squash skin while getting the strands out!