This takes your traditional spaghetti dinner to THE NEXT LEVEL, fam. The spaghetti squash is such a fun/extra healthy alternative to the traditional spaghetti (and is a GREAT way to sneak in some veggies), the sauce is loaded with insane amounts of flavor, there are tender morsels of delicious sausage in every bite, and the whole thing just comes together to form THE best bite!
This is a repeated dinner in our house – we love how healthy it is, we love that the kids will eat it, and we love that it just feels like a down-home, nostalgic, comforting dinner. Because who in the world didn’t grow up eating spaghetti and red sauce and/or meat sauce like every single week ever?! I feel like it was a childhood staple for just about everyone.
Vodka sauce is my favorite homemade red sauce to make. There’s a few things different in this vodka sauce than your traditional marinara.
- The vodka – helloooo it IS called vodka sauce 🙂. Do you know why adding vodka to red sauce is a thing? It’s not really for the flavor, which vodka doesn’t have much of, especially when you cook the alcohol out. The reason behind this addition: there are certain compounds in tomatoes that are only soluble in alcohol. The addition of the vodka pulls extra flavor from the tomatoes that you wouldn’t get from just a regular ‘ol simmer. Pretty cool, right?
- The cashew cream – once we simmer and blend our sauce, we’ve got a delicious base as it is. But when we add cashew cream to that base? It adds such a creamy richness and luxuriousness to the sauce. Such an important step! If you aren’t dairy free, you can sub a big glug of half and half or heavy cream for the cashew cream.
My basic vodka sauce doesn’t have sausage in it, but I love the meaty addition here. Adds TONS of flavor and bulk to the meal. It makes it a very filling and satisfying plate of food! Otherwise I’m not sure how stick-to-your-bones roasted squash + non-meat vodka sauce would be. This really makes it extra hearty. And it tastes ah-may-zing 💃
Side note: check out the bowls in these pictures! Sweese sent me a set of them to use, and I absolutely love them. They are simple, clean, bright, have a cool shape that’s a little different but not obnoxiously so, and – most importantly – they’re big! I love a big bowl 🥰. Not sponsored, I’m just a big fan! Check ’em out!
In the meantime, make some of this delicious spaghetti squash! Here’s the recipe 👇🏻Print
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Meaty Vodka Sauce
This keto and paleo friendly dinner is piled high with al dente spaghetti squash noodles + lots and lots of hearty, flavor-bomb meaty vodka sauce. Hard to beat the flavor and comfort-food feel here!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 5 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 pound mild Italian sausage
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup vodka
- 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano is my fave!)
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 spaghetti squash
For the spaghetti squash
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
- To prep your spaghetti squash, slice the top and bottom off of each. Cut a thin slice off of a side of the squash to give you a flat surface, and then slice the spaghetti squash into 1/2 – 3/4 inch (ish) thick rings. Scoop the seeds out of each ring (SUPER extra easy if you use a grapefruit spoon)
- Place squash on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil on both sides, season with salt and pepper on both sides, and roast for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender when pierced with a fork
- Let cool for a few minutes, and then – using a fork – gently pull the “noodles” away from the skin of the squash and set aside until the sauce is ready
For the sauce
- Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add your sausage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside
- In the same pan, add your onion and garlic (plus more oil if needed) and cook until slightly softened.
- When softened, add your vodka and let it cook down for a few minutes
- Add your whole canned tomatoes and break the tomatoes up with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper
- Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
- To your blender, add your cashews, 3/4 cups of water, and your sauce that has finished simmering. Blend until the sauce is very smooth – about 30 seconds to 1 minute (if you have a high speed blender like a vitamix or blendtec, you can add the cashews in just as they are. If you have a regular blender, boil the cashews for 10 minutes and drain them (or soak them overnight and drain them) before adding to the blender with the water + sauce*)
- Add the blended sauce back to your skillet, stir in the sausage you set aside, and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes. Season to taste
- To assemble, add your spaghetti squash noodles to your bowl, top with sauce, and serve!
*If you are okay with using dairy, you can sub in about 1/2 cup of half and half or heavy cream and skip the cashews and water.
- Serving Size: 1/5 of the spaghetti squash and 1 cup of sauce
- Calories: 448
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 702 mg
- Fat: 26 g
- Saturated Fat: 7 g
- Carbohydrates: 26 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 27 g
- Cholesterol: 57 mg