This recipe for Spaghetti Squash Taco Boats is flavorful taco meat and your favorite taco toppings stuffed into a spaghetti squash.
If you love tacos and you love spaghetti squash, you’ll love this recipe. It’s one of our favorite ways to eat spaghetti squash.
The idea behind these bowls is that you replace the tortilla with a spaghetti squash boat. It may sound crazy, but it works and is really good! We don’t have anything against tortilla shells, but sometimes it’s fun to mix things up. Plus, this recipe gives an extra helping of veggies, and that’s always a win-win.
Please note that this looks like a long recipe with lots of steps, but that’s because it includes detailed steps on roasting the spaghetti squash. This recipe really comes together quickly and is just like making tacos.
How to make Spaghetti Squash Taco Boats
- Roast the Spaghetti Squash. Simply cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, rub a little olive oil and salt on the inside, and roast in the oven cut-side down on a baking sheet for 40-60 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Make our favorite taco meat recipe from scratch. It’s incredibly easy to make with pantry ingredients — chili powder, flour, cumin, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano. For these boats, we add a few extra ingredients to the taco meat like onion, green pepper and tomato sauce before adding it to the boats.
- Add your favorite taco toppings, such as tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro and cheese.
How to make taco meat with homemade seasoning
The meat for the spaghetti squash taco boats uses our favorite taco meat recipe. It’s a DIY seasoning that skips the taco seasoning packet you can buy in the store.
We prefer homemade seasoning because it tastes so much better, and we can adjust the spices to our taste. We make a big batch and store it in a glass jar so that it’s ready to go whenever we’re hungry for tacos.
For this recipe, we also add onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce to the taco meat. Then, it simmers on low for about 15-20 minutes before adding the meat to the spaghetti squash boats.
What’s the best ground beef for Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats?
We like to use ground beef that’s about 90% lean for this recipe. This 90/10 ratio provides plenty of flavor while having a minimum amount of fat to drain. Other lean-to-fat ratios work too, but there will be more fat to drain.
When deciding what ground beef is best, keep in mind that fat equals flavor.
Here’s some background on how ground beef is labeled. The fat content of ground beef is listed on the label as a ratio, for example 80/20, 85/15, and 90/10. This number is called the lean point, and represents the lean-to-fat ratio of that particular grind of beef. The top number of the ratio indicates the leanness and the bottom number is the fat. For example, beef with a label that says 85/15 is 85% lean beef and 15% fat in the package.
- 80-89% Lean Ground Beef: This is a mid-range ratio with great flavor. It has a slightly firmer texture than beef with 73-80% leanness. It’s best in meatballs, leaner burgers, meatloaf, pizza toppings and chili.
- 90-92% Lean Ground Beef: This type of ground beef is ideal when you want to make your favorite recipes slightly leaner, such as lasagna, enchiladas, casseroles, chili, tacos and sloppy joes.
What size spaghetti squash is best?
We typically like to use smaller spaghetti squash that weigh about 2 lbs.
What are the best toppings for Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats
Whenever I serve these, I set up a taco bar with lots of toppings so that people can customize their Spaghetti Squash Taco Boats. Some of our favorite toppings are
- Shredded cheese
- Diced tomatoes
- Sour cream
- Shredded lettuce
- Black beans
- Diced avocado
Spaghetti Squash Taco Boats
For the Squash
- 2 spaghetti squash
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
Taco Meat Seasonings
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1/2 tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp oregano
Spaghetti Squash Boat Filling Mixture
- 1/2 small onion minced
- 1/2 bell pepper minced
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
Additional Taco Toppings, as desired
- diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, jalepenos, sour cream, guacamole, shredded lettuce, cilantro and diced avocado.
For the spaghetti squash
- To prepare the spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut off the tip-top and very bottom ends of the spaghetti squash. Stand the squash upright on a stable surface and carefully slice through it from top to bottom to divide it in half.
- Use a large spoon to scoop out the spaghetti squash seeds and discard them. Drizzle the insides of each squash half with 1 teaspoon olive oil and rub it all over the inside, adding more oil if necessary. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly over the interiors of the squash. Place them cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until the cut sides are turning golden and the interiors are easily pierced through with a fork.
- Once the squash is done baking, fluff the interiors with a fork to make the insides spaghetti-like.
For the filling mixture
- Mix all taco meat seasonings in a small bowl, set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. Approximately 5-7 minutes. Drain grease, if needed. When no longer pink, add dry seasoning and mix.
- Add onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce. Simmer on low for about 15 minutes.
Assembly of Spaghetti Squash Taco Boats
- Once the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to shred and fluff the inside flesh so it’s no longer attached to the walls and makes a “nest.” Be careful not to break the skin of the squash.
- Spoon approximately 1/2 cup meat into each spaghetti squash. Top each with favorite taco toppings. If desired, top each boat with cheese and transfer them to oven for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately!
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One More Thing!
Do you want to learn more about beef? Join our weekly e-newsletter where we share farm happenings, recipes and beef availability. Sign-up and get a cheat sheet with 9-must-ask questions before buying beef directly from a farmer. Or, we have an entire ebook about beef that goes through purchasing and preparing beef from a cattle farmers perspective.
Here are a few other links you may like:
- What everybody ought to know about beef cuts
- Buying a Cow. How Much Beef Is It?
- 7 Steps to Grilling a Steak to Perfection
- How We Raise Our Grass Fed Beef
- Bonfire Burger
- Prime Rib Roast with Garlic Herb Butter
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