Creamy Ricotta Spaghetti Squash

This creamy ricotta spaghetti squash made with just 5 ingredients is the perfect cheesy low carb dish. Use it as a perfect side dish or add protein and make it a complete meal.


Spaghetti squash can quickly gets boring when used often as an alternative to pasta, but it doesn't have to. By adding just a few simple ingredients, turn this popular low-carb vegetable into something special. This Creamy Ricotta Spaghetti squash is anything but boring.

It’s no surprise that I love spaghetti squash and am constantly looking for new ways to use it in my kitchen. While my go-to spaghetti squash side dish usually involves lots of black pepper and Parmesan cheese, lately I have been mixing things up and using ricotta cheese instead. It adds protein, flavor, and this delicious creamy texture. 

When paired with a touch of garlic powder, basil, and lemon zest, it makes a seriously delicious side dish that actually packs a good amount of protein. 

It also serves as a great base for a lightened-up pasta dish with some balsamic chicken or garlic shrimp. Add roasted tomatoes or crispy baked broccoli for a veggie-packed, high protein/low carb meal. I like to add a little crunch as well with some chopped almonds or pine nuts.

Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps

  • Spaghetti squash: This pasta replacement recipe works great with spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, squash noodles, or heart of palm noodles. It will also work with regular pasta, chickpea pasta, or lentil pasta. 
  • Ricotta cheese: This fresh Italian cheese adds flavors, richness, and creaminess to the dish. You could swap in cream cheese or Parmesan cheese but it will have a different flavor and texture. 
  • Garlic: To save the extra step of sauteing garlic, this recipe uses garlic powder. If you want to use fresh garlic, saute it in some olive oil or butter first.
  • Basil: To add a pop of freshness, basil is the perfect way to finish this dish. If you don't have fresh basil, swap in dried basil or another fresh herb like parsley.
  • Lemon: Lemon brightens up the whole dish and adds some acid to cut through the richness of the cheese. 

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

There are lots of different ways to cook spaghetti squash. Here are the most popular options.

  • Microwave: Pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Place on a microwave-safe plate and cook for 10-12 minutes until you can easily push down on the skin with your thumb. Let cool slightly, then carefully cut in half and remove the seeds. 
  • Roast in the oven: Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds using a spoon. Brush with olive oil and place cut down on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes until cooked through.
  • Slow cooker: Pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Place in the slow cooker with 1 cup of water. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. 

Recipe Ideas

Here are some fun and delicious ways to add even more flavor to this creamy ricotta spaghetti squash.

  • Add some spice with red pepper flakes or a spoonful of jarred Calabrian chilies.
  • Boost the cheesy flavor by finishing the dish with some Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • Add more nutrients and flavor by adding some cooked spinach, kale, or asparagus. 
  • Add more flavor with sundried tomatoes, black olive, capers, or roasted red peppers. 

What to Serve with Ricotta Spaghetti Squash

Here are some low-carb and keto-friendly main dishes to serve with spaghetti squash.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to the most common questions about making this spaghetti squash dish.

This recipe works great with zucchini noodles. After making the noodles, cook them in a hot skillet with a splash of olive oil. Once tender (but not soggy), add the ricotta cheese, garlic, basil, lemon, salt, and pepper. 

This recipe works great with chicken, sausage, shrimp, or salmon. Cook the protein on the side and then stir it into the spaghetti squash before serving. For a plant-based protein source, add chickpeas or white beans.

Cottage cheese has a different texture and flavor than ricotta cheese and I do not recommend using it to make this recipe. The cottage cheese contains more water and won't create a thick, creamy sauce for the squash. 

The Recipe
Creamy ricotta spaghetti squash in a wooden bowl with fresh basil on top.

Creamy Ricotta Spaghetti Squash

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  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. chopped basil (or parsley)
  • Salt and pepper

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Prepare the spaghetti squash in the oven or microwave. For oven, cut in half and remove seeds. Spray with cooking spray. Place face down on a baking sheet and roast for 40-50 minutes at 400 degrees until tender. To microwave, pierce whole squash with knife or fork. Microwave for 12-14 minutes or until tender. Carefully cut open to remove the seeds. Scrape the squash out with a fork.


While hot, stir in the ricotta, garlic powder, lemon zest, basil, salt to taste, and lots of black pepper.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1-1.25 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 129
Calories from Fat 51
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 19mg
Sodium 100mg
Total Carbohydrate 13g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 4g
Protein 8g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.


Optional: sliced almonds or pine nuts
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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Creamy Ricotta Spaghetti Squash
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Kariann Hibbard
August 30, 2021 - 18:13
Add a Rating:
I added the juice of one lemon (per 4 servings) and roasted tomatoes and this was SO GOOD. Like I prefer this to candy (and I LOVE sugar). Thanks for this great recipe!
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August 7, 2021 - 14:01
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I added a pesto swirl, thank you this was a big hit! Great as a “make ahead” bake later recipe
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September 30, 2018 - 15:27
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I added roasted garlic to the ricotta mixture and then folded in some fresh baby spinach at the end.......Absolutely delicious and all I need for my dinner!
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Freda Potter
January 16, 2017 - 15:11
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This was ok, but not one of my favorites.
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Megan Eaton
February 1, 2016 - 16:55
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So good! Had a lovely buttery quality! Definitely a repeat!
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