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These Mexican-Inspired Spaghetti Squash Boats are packed with yummy, nutritious ingredients like shrimp, peppers, corn, salsa, avocado, and melty cheese. They’re easy to make and super cozy for dinner! Recipe is gluten-free and can be made vegetarian and/or vegan if desired.

Overhead photo of two halves of spaghetti squash stuffed with mexican-inspired ingredients.

Are you looking for a fun new way to prepare spaghetti squash? These spaghetti squash boats are inspired by Mexican flavours and are such a delicious way to enjoy the popular winter squash!

In this recipe, spaghetti squash is baked in the oven before getting stuffed with a mix of veggies and shrimp cooked in taco seasoning. Freshly-grated cheddar cheese is added to the top which gets nice and melty, and everything is finished with some extra garnishes.

As a dietitian, I’m happy to share that spaghetti squash is packed with nutrition benefits. This recipe is also a complete dinner meal, offering a mix of fiber-rich carbohydrates, veggies, quality protein, and fats.

As always, I’ve included some ways you can modify this recipe using different proteins and toppings. I hope you enjoy it!

PS. If you enjoy this recipe, you may like some of my other spaghetti squash recipes, too! Feel free to check out my recipes for Pesto Spaghetti Squash and this Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

Overhead photo of a mexican spaghetti squash boat in a white bowl.

Ingredients Needed

All you need to make this easy spaghetti squash recipe are 9 simple ingredients (plus garnishes as desired):

  • spaghetti squash
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • bell pepper
  • canned corn
  • shrimp
  • taco seasoning
  • salsa (use mild or spicy, as preferred)
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • optional garnish: cilantro or parsley, avocado chunks or guacamole

Full ingredient measurements and detailed instructions are located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!

Overhead photo of small bowls of ingredients on a wood cutting board.

Recipe Modifications & Ingredient Swaps

  1. For a vegetarian option – you could try making this with crumbled tofu! I would squeeze the excess liquid out of half a block of firm tofu and crumble it till it resembles ground beef. Then cook the crumbled tofu along with the peppers and corn, following the rest of the recipe as is.
  2. For a vegan version – use the crumbled tofu as above and swap cheddar cheese with a vegan alternative.
  3. If you’d prefer, you could also try swapping the shrimp with ground beef or chicken (cooking them accordingly).
  4. While my stomach struggles to tolerate them, you can always sauté some diced onions along with the garlic and/or use black beans as an additional filling ingredient!
  5. Instead of cheddar, you could use a similar cheese like Monterey Jack or more traditional Mexican cheeses if you have them available to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to cut spaghetti squash?

The hardest part of this recipe is cutting up the squash – but promise it’s not too difficult! All you need is a sharp chef’s knife and a cutting board. A dish cloth can be handy to help push down the sharp end of the knife, too.

  1. Start by chopping off the hard end of the squash.
  2. Then, place the squash upright on the flat cut end.
  3. Take your knife, and cut down the middle of the squash to slice it in half (lengthwise).
  4. Remove the seeds using a spoon. That’s it!

How to store and reheat leftovers?

Leftover spaghetti squash will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. You can reheat it in the microwave or in the oven.

Do note that spaghetti squash can get a bit watery when it sits for too long. Because of this, I would recommend eating this recipe right away if you can!

Can you use another type of squash for this recipe?

I have not tried this recipe with another type of squash and there are no other squash varieties that will create the same “spaghetti”-like strands that spaghetti squash does. I would recommend sticking to spaghetti squash for this one 🙂

Photo of mexican spaghetti squash boats topped with shrimp and melted cheese.

Spaghetti Squash Nutrition Benefits

Spaghetti squash is a delicious winter squash that comes out in spaghetti-like strands. While it doesn’t exactly compare to pasta, I still love it for its taste and impressive nutrition profile!

Some of spaghetti squash’s health benefits:

  • high in certain micronutrients like vitamin C, B6, manganese, niacin, and potassium
  • rich in antioxidants (like beta-carotene and vitamin C), which helps to fight free radical damage to your body’s cells
  • a GREAT source of dietary fibre, with a one-cup serving providing 9% of your daily needs (2.2 grams)
    • Fibre plays an important role in promoting digestive health, lowering cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, and helping us feel satiated!
Overhead photo of a mexican spaghetti squash boat in a white bowl.

More Winter Squash Recipes

Did you give this Mexican Spaghetti Squash Boats Recipe a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

If you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!

Get the Recipe: Mexican-Inspired Spaghetti Squash Boats With Shrimp

These Mexican-Inspired Spaghetti Squash Boats are packed with yummy, nutritious ingredients like shrimp, peppers, corn, salsa, avocado, and melty cheese. They're easy to make and super cozy for dinner! Recipe is gluten-free and can be made vegetarian and/or vegan if desired.
Overhead photo of two halves of spaghetti squash stuffed with mexican-inspired ingredients.
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Ingredients

  • 1 small spaghetti squash
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Salt + pepper, to taste
  • 16 large shrimp, thawed, deveined + tails off
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large bell pepper, cored + diced
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa (use mild or spicy, as preferred)
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • Optional garnish: chopped parsley or cilantro, diced avocado or guacamole

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Prep spaghetti squash: Cut the hard end off the squash. Place the squash upright on the flat cut end. Using a sharp chef's knife, cut down the middle of the squash to slice it in half (lengthwise). Remove the seeds using a spoon + discard.
  • Brush the insides of the cut squash with a small amount of olive oil (approx. 1-2 teaspoons). Sprinkle with salt + pepper.
  • Place squash face-side down onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 mins.
  • Meanwhile, toss the prepared shrimp in ~2 teaspoons of olive oil and half of the taco seasoning. Set aside.
  • Heat remaining olive oil in a large pan over medium-high. Sauté minced garlic for 2-3 mins, until fragrant. Add diced peppers, corn, and remaining taco seasoning to the pan, and cook for 5 mins, stirring regularly. Set aside in a clean bowl.
  • In the same pan, cook the shrimp for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from heat.
  • Remove squash from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes until it's comfortable to touch. Flip squash over (face side up) and scrape insides of squash with a fork to create "spaghetti-like" strands.
  • Leaving the "spaghetti" strands in the squash, top them with layers of veggie mixture, salsa, shrimp, and cheese (in that order). TIP – if you have a little extra mixture, feel free to leave it off for now so the squash doesn't overflow – you can add it in when you're eating the squash!
  • Return squash to the oven for 10 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt.
  • Serve squash boats and add garnish as desired. Enjoy hot!

Notes

*LEFTOVERS:
  • Leftover spaghetti squash will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. You can reheat it in the microwave or in the oven.
  • Do note that spaghetti squash can get a bit watery when it sits for too long. Because of this, I would recommend eating this recipe right away if you can!
*RECIPE MODIFICATIONS:
  • For a vegetarian option – you could try making this with crumbled tofu! I would squeeze the excess liquid out of half a block of firm tofu and crumble it till it resembles ground beef. Then cook the crumbled tofu along with the peppers and corn, following the rest of the recipe as is.
  • For a vegan version – use the crumbled tofu as above and swap cheddar cheese with a vegan alternative.
  • If you’d prefer, you could also try swapping the shrimp with ground beef or chicken (cooking them accordingly).
  • While my stomach struggles to tolerate them, you can always sauté some diced onions along with the garlic and/or use black beans as an additional filling ingredient!
  • Instead of cheddar, you could use a similar cheese like Monterey Jack or more traditional Mexican cheeses if you have them available to you.
  • I have not tried this recipe with another type of squash and there are no other squash varieties that will create the same “spaghetti”-like strands that spaghetti squash does. I would recommend sticking to spaghetti squash for this one 🙂

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for a mexican-inspired spaghetti squash boat recipe.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.