Pro cooking tip of the day: If you stuff really good things (a Southwest-spiced blend of ground turkey, black beans, veggies, and cheese, for example) inside of another good thing (spaghetti squash), you can end up with an EVEN BETTER THING —> Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats.

Healthy Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats with Cheese, Ground Turkey, and Black Beans. Easy, filling, and low carb! Great for busy families. Everyone loves this recipe! {gluten free}. Recipe at

I know. How did I get this job?

In all seriousness, stuffing vegetables with all types of tasty fillings has become one of my favorite ways to use seasonal produce. It’s familiar territory worth visiting again and again.

Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats with Ground Turkey, Black Beans, and Cheese. Easy, delicious, and low carb! Recipe at

Why I Love This Taco Spaghetti Squash

Baked Taco Spaghetti Squash with Turkey and Black Beans. Easy, healthy, low carb meal that’s perfect for fall dinners. Recipe at

I served these Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats to friends who concluded that 1) it was the best way they’d ever eaten spaghetti squash and 2) I must be on a mission to turn everything into a taco (the last meal I’d brought over to their house was a slow cooker taco casserole). I happily accept both compliments!

The taco-inspired filling is spiced with chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin. Ground turkey and black beans make it lean, healthy, and satisfying. It’s also easy to adapt. Feel free to mix in other veggies (I used red bell peppers, but green bell peppers, spinach, or even very finely chopped carrots would also work), swap the ground turkey for ground chicken, and adjust the level of spice to your liking.

Recipe Adaptations

  • To Make Dairy Free. To make the recipe dairy free, you can simply omit the cheese.
  • To Make Vegetarian. Try replacing the turkey with a different type of beans (red kidney would be nice) or even crumbled tofu. If you use tofu, I’d recommend upping the spices to taste, since it can be a bit bland on its own.

Taco Spaghetti Squash with Ground Turkey or Chicken, Black Beans, and Cheese. Filling and low carb! A healthy gluten free recipe that families love. Recipe at

More Spaghetti Squash Recipes

Finally, in true taco style, don’t forget the fixins. We enjoyed ours with avocado, cilantro, and a big dollop of plain nonfat Greek yogurt, my healthy swap for sour cream.

Healthy Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats with Cheese, Ground Turkey, and Black Beans. Easy, filling, and low carb! Great for busy families. Everyone loves this recipe! {gluten free}. Recipe at
Print Review
5 from 6 votes

Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats

Healthy Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats stuffed with cheese, ground turkey, and black beans. An easy, filling recipe that everyone will love!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Servings: 6 generous servings


  • 3 medium spaghetti squash - about 2 pounds each
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey - 93% lean or chicken
  • 1 bunch scallions - about 6, chopped, with white and green parts divided
  • 1 red bell pepper - cored and chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can black beans - (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices - (14 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar - Monterey jack, cheddar jack, or pepper jack cheese, divided
  • For serving: chopped fresh cilantro - diced avocado, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream


  • Bake the squash: Place a rack in the upper and lower thirds of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the cut sides with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil each and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut-side down on rimmed baking sheets. Pour 2 tablespoons of water into each baking sheet to prevent sticking. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the squash flesh is fork-tender and the skin gives a little when pressed. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Meanwhile, make the filling: Heat the 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. Add the ground turkey, all of the white parts and half of the green parts of the green onion, bell pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat, until it is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the black beans and fire-roasted tomatoes. Increase the heat to high and cook until the mixture is thickened and most of the tomato juice has cooked off, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Stir in 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.
  • 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.” Divide the taco filling evenly among the boats, using a fork to lightly mix it with the spaghetti squash. Arrange the stuffed squash on baking sheets and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake until the cheesy is bubbly, about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve hot, sprinkled with any desired toppings.


  • The squash can be roasted and “shredded” up to 1 day in advance. The entire dish can be assembled up to 1 day in advance as well. Bake as directed just before serving.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Reheat in the oven or gently in the microwave. I do not recommend freezing the fully assembled boats, as the spaghetti squash will become mushy.


Serving: 1(of 6), without toppings, Calories: 322kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Sodium: 743mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 5g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
All text and images ©Erin Clarke / Well Plated
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