This lasagna is made with a traditional marinara sauce, Italian sausage, and spaghetti squash. I saw this idea on several low carb sites, but most of the recipes, although low carb, were too high in carbs for keto. My husband, Rick, has a really delicious homemade marinara sauce recipe. We just needed to cut some of the carbs. For the actual lasagna recipe, I adapted my Dad’s traditional recipe with low carb spaghetti squash in place of the “noodles.” One serving of lasagna is 6.4 grams of carbs. I know, it’s difficult to keep it at one serving, but eat slowly, have a side salad, and be thrilled that you can still eat this delicious “pasta” dish on the keto plan.[Note – since publishing this recipe, I’ve discovered the Spiralizer, and I make it with zucchini noodles – faster and easier!]
Rick did some investigating while shopping and found that a 14 oz can of Del Monte diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chilis was 7g per can, and Kroger tomato sauce was ZERO net grams of carbs per 1/4 cup*. He used 1 1/2 cans in his recipe, with 2 tbsp of olive oil (og), and various ingredients like garlic, 1/2 cup onion (10g), and 1/2 cup of dry red wine (4g) – I think this is what adds some real flavor to the marinara.
Here’s the entire list of ingredients and what I calculated for carbs…
- 1 and 1/2 – 14 oz. cans of tomato sauce (zero)
- 2 cans of Del Monte diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chilies (5g each/10 for this recipe)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (zero)
- garlic (1g)
- ¼ cup diced onions (4g)
- 1/2 cup dry red wine (4g) (make sure it’s DRY and not sweet)
- 18 oz of shredded mozzarella (zero)
- 4 oz of shredded Mexican blend (zero)
- 3 oz of cream cheese (4g)
- 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese (3g)
First make the sauce. When done, stir in the cooked and crumbly Italian sausage. (I’ll link to my husband’s recipe and process for making the sauce when he posts it on his cooking site.)
- One layer of cooked spaghetti squash (1/2 the squash)
- Ladled half the marina sauce with sausage over the top
- One layer of shredded mozzarella (9 oz)
- Some grated Mexican blend cheese (about an oz.)
- Some dollops of cream cheese (3 oz.) and full fat ricotta cheese (1/4 c)
- Next layer of spaghetti squash (the rest of the bowl)
- Layer of the rest of the marinara/sausage
- Layer of mozarella (9 oz)
- Sprinkle of Mexican blend (2 oz)
- 20 slices of pepperoni on top
I baked it at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. Here are pictures of the process….
Here’s the layer of squash with a layer of marina over the top.
Next, add some cheese.
Dollops of cream cheese and ricotta cheese with a beginning of the next layer of squash on top…
Another marina layer, mozzarella and Mexican cheese, and topped with slices of pepperoni.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.
I started to cut it into 20 squares, but that wasn’t a very big portion, so I changed it to 10 servings. Each two pepperoni section = a 6.4 gram of carb portion.
It’s bubbly and delicious. I am always surprised at how well squash and cauliflower substitute for pasta. I think you really only need some texture and filler in most recipes; actual pasta, rice, and noodles aren’t truly necessary for the good taste (IMHO).
Unless I have miscalculated, this is pretty low carb. If you want even lower, skip the “carby” cheeses, like cream cheese and ricotta – I just thought they’d add to the whole flavor sensation.
I’ll measure better next time I make it, because I portioned out the spaghetti squash without using a measuring cup, but it seems like it was about 4 cups. You could always just make it with that amount, no matter the size of the squash (although mine was pretty large).
*Note about the Kroger tomato sauce: When I first wrote this blog, I put the sauce at zero carbs. I then found info online that said one can equaled 7 grams of carbs, so I added that to the total, making the dish 8.5 grams of carbs. I was discussing my supposed error with my son, and he told me that I was correct the first time. The Kroger brand claims to be 1 gram of carbs and 1 gram of fiber per 1/4 cup of sauce. I have since reduced the total carb count of the recipe back to my originally stated 6.4 grams per serving. See pictures of the cans below.