University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Spaghetti Squash with Pomodoro Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Pomodoro Sauce

Looking to lighten up after the holidays? While spaghetti squash isn't exactly like noodles it makes a great low calorie way to indulge your urge for pasta (without the pasta, of course). This recipe combines the squash with Pomodoro sauce, a thick Italian tomato sauce. According to many studies, a high intake of tomato products may reduce cancer risk, especially risk for prostate cancer. Researchers believe that lycopene, a carotenoid found in tomatoes, contributes to this protective effect. Processed tomato products such as tomato paste and sauce are particularly high in lycopene with some containing up to seven times more then a fresh tomato. The little bit of fat (olive oil) in this recipe also helps with lycopene absorption.


  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 1 1/2 lb)
  • Approximately 2 T Olive or Canola oil cooking spray
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 container (28 oz) diced plum tomatoes
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Fresh basil (Approximately 5 leaves) for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Slice squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out seeds.
  3. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray; lay halves, flesh side down, on sheet.
  4. Bake 35 minutes or until you can easily pierce shell.
  5. While squash bakes, sauté garlic and onion in oil over medium heat 5 minutes.
  6. Add remaining ingredients except fresh basil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Lower heat if sauce begins to boil.
  7. Remove squash from oven. Scrape crosswise to pull strands from shell.
  8. Place in nonmetal serving bowl. Pour sauce over squash and garnish with basil.
  9. Serve and ENJOY!

Yields 4 Servings

Nutrition Information per serving: Calories 167; Total Fat 10g; Saturated Fat 1g; Carbohydrate 28g; Fiber 5g; Protein 3g; Sodium 758mg

Recipe adapted from Self Magazine, November 2002.