Here is a 30-minute, primal friendly, low-carb version of Spaghetti Amatriciana, made with spaghetti squash instead of pasta and bacon in the Amatriciana sauce instead of Guanciale. And I have a Great Big Bacon Giveaway!

Spaghetti Squash Amatriciana | 30 minutes, low-carb and primal | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

When we were in Italy last month, it was my younger daughter that ordered the best dish at every restaurant. Every meal we would try each other’s food and come to the conclusion that she had ordered the best meal out of all of us.

The funny thing is that she always ordered the most simple, basic recipes, yet they always seemed to be the most delightful. The Bucatini Amatriciana she had on our first night in Florence was unforgettable. It blew us away in its flavorful simplicity. The rich slow cooked and salty pork flavor, the hit of hot pepper, the thick tomato sauce cooked right into the al dente noodles. The sharp Pecornio! Mmmm!

Spaghetti Squash Amatriciana | 30 minutes, low-carb and primal | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

Creating This Spaghetti Sauce with Amatriciana Sauce

When I got home from our trip and was thinking ahead to the fall and the recipes I wanted to share here, I kept thinking about that Amatriciana in Florence. I decided it would be a fun twist to serve the sauce with spaghetti squash instead of pasta.

So to keep it simple and doable for a weeknight meal, I cooked the spaghetti squash in the microwave and made the sauce while that cooked. The whole thing came together in only 30 mintues. I also wanted to make sure that you wouldn’t have to make a trip to Eataly to make this, so instead of calling for the traditional Italian cured pork cheeks (Guanciale) that’s typically in Amatriciana, I used some American-style bacon. Vermont bacon, actually.

Spaghetti Squash Amatriciana | 30 minutes, low-carb and primal | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

How to Make Spaghetti Amatriciana

Making Amatriciana sauce is deceptively simple—don’t let the bold flavors fool you into thinking otherwise! To make the sauce, first dice the Vermont bacon and place it into a skillet. Pop the skillet onto the stove over medium heat and fry until it’s browed and crispy. (You want to add the bacon to a cold skillet so that the fat renders off during the cooking process and coats the pan. This prevents the bacon from sticking to it!).

Once browned, remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon and put it on a paper towel-lined plate. Drain the bacon fat from the pan and add in olive oil and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant, and then throw in the onion and cook until softened (your kitchen is going to smell amazing!). Stir in a can of tomatoes and let the mixture simmer until slightly thickened, which will take around five minutes.

Once the spaghetti squash is finished, spoon the spicy Amatriciana sauce onto it and sprinkle with cheese.

Spaghetti Squash Amatriciana | 30 minutes, low-carb and primal | Healthy Seasonal Recipes

And speaking of Vermont Bacon… I have some for you! Like a giant box of it, and summer sausage and pepperoni and meat sticks!! Yeah giveaway time! Thank goodness you can’t see me embarrassing myself on the other side of the screen doin’ the meatstick dance! Check out the details for the giveaway below, prize provided by my buddies at Vermont Smoke & Cure! I heart them! Check ’em out on FB and Instagram.

The prize is valued at $100 and includes 4 packages of uncured Vermont Smoke & Cure Bacon (2 of each flavor), 2 uncured summer sausages, 2 uncured smoked pepperoni and 2 boxes of meat sticks. All of which is made with meat that is raised without antibiotics or added hormones.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spaghetti Squash Amatriciana | 30 minutes, low-carb and primal | Healthy Seasonal Recipes


Do you always try what everyone else orders at restaurants?

Have you had Amatriciana sauce before?

What would you do with the bacon in this prize pack?

More Easy Pasta Recipes:

Bucatini all amatriciana on Cravings of a Lunatic

Spaghetti Squash with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce on Two Peas and Their Pod

Vegetarian Mushroom Carbonara  

Slow Cooker Beef with Pasta and Porcini Mushrooms

Vegetarian Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Lasagna 

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

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a plate of spaghetti squash with red sauce and cheese

spaghetti squash with amatriciana sauce

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


This spaghetti squash with amatriciana sauce is a 30-minute version of Spaghetti Amatriciana. This recipe is paleo and low-carb!


  • 1 large spaghetti Squash, cut in half lengthwise seeds scooped out
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flake, or to taste
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese, or Parmesan
  • chopped parsley, if desired


  1. Place spaghetti squash in a 9 by 11 baking dish, cut-side down. Pour one cup water in the pan. Cover with a layer of parchment or wax paper. Cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Microwave until the spaghetti squash pulls apart into tender threads when tested with a fork, 16 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until the bacon is browned and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a paper towel lined plate. Pour the fat off into a dish or can.
  4. Return the skillet to medium heat, and add oil and red pepper flake. Heat about 20 seconds. Add onion, and stir to coat with the oil and pepper flake. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes and salt and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  6. When squash is tender, carefully remove the cover, and transfer the squash to a cutting board with tongs. Scrape spaghetti squash out of the shell with the forks. Add the squash and the reserved bacon to the sauce and simmer one minute.
  7. Serve the spaghetti squash topped with pecorino and parsley.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 362
  • Sugar: 12 g
  • Sodium: 958 mg
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated Fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 14 g

Keywords: amatriciana sauce

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