Southwest Spaghetti Squash Bowls

$7.00 recipe / $1.75 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.60 from 10 votes
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Yesterday I cooked up my enormous 5 lb. + spaghetti squash using my slow cooker and today I wanted to experiment with a new way to eat it. Most people use spaghetti squash just like regular pasta and serve it with marinara, meatballs, cheese, or other Italian inspired ingredients. BUT spaghetti squash is good for so much more. Because this squash is so mildly flavored, it’s almost like a blank canvas for whatever you want to pair with it. Today I decided to take it in a southwest direction and made some very simple Southwest Spaghetti Squash Bowls to feed me for the week ahead.

A southwest spaghetti squash bowl on a striped napkin with a jar of salsa nearby and a sliced green onion on the side.

Beans, Salsa, and Cheese Always Wins

This recipe is basically a low-carb version of my “Poor Man’s” Burrito Bowls. It’s the most simple, basic combo of beans, salsa, cheese, and in this case spaghetti squash. It’s so simple yet SO good. If you crave something a little more complex, you can always start getting fancy with the toppings and add things like sliced jalapeño, avocado, tortilla strips, black olives, or whatever you like to add to your burrito bowls at Chipotle.

How to Reheat Southwest Spaghetti Squash Bowls

I plan to reheat one bowl each day in the microwave for lunch, so the directions below don’t include instructions for heating the beans or squash. If you want to make this fresh for dinner or consumption just after preparing, simply reheat the squash in the microwave (if it isn’t still hot from cooking), and heat the beans in a sauce pan with the liquid from the can. Once hot, drain the beans before adding them to your bowls. The heat from the squash and beans should be enough to melt the cheese and warm the salsa.

A forkful of Southwest Spaghetti Squash being lifted out of a white bowl, viewed from the side.
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Southwest Spaghetti Squash Bowls

4.60 from 10 votes
Spaghetti squash makes a great fiber-filled low-carb substitute for rice in these Southwest Spaghetti Squash Bowls.
Servings 4
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 2 minutes
Total 17 minutes


  • 4 cups cooked spaghetti squash ($3.56)
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder* ($0.07)
  • Salt to taste ($0.05)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans ($1.09)
  • 1 cup salsa ($0.80)
  • 4 oz. Monterey jack cheese ($1.20)
  • 2 green onions ($0.22)


  • Place the cooked spaghetti squash in a bowl. Sprinkle the chili powder and a pinch of salt over the spaghetti squash. Toss the spaghetti squash in the seasoning until evenly covered. Taste and adjust the salt if needed.
  • Drain the black beans, shred the cheese, and slice the green onions. Divide the spaghetti squash between four bowls, then add 1/3 cup beans and 1/4 cup salsa to each bowl. Top each bowl with shredded cheese and a few sliced green onions. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Reheat in the microwave just before serving (one minute on high, stir, then add more time in 30 second intervals until heated through).

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*This chili powder is a mild blend of spices.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 260.55kcalCarbohydrates: 29.05gProtein: 14.18gFat: 9.9gSodium: 827.1mgFiber: 11.08g
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How to Make Southwest Spaghetti Squash – Step by Step Photos

Seasoning added to Spaghetti Squash in a glass bowl

Place 4 cups cooked spaghetti squash in a bowl and sprinkle 1/2 Tbsp chili powder and a pinch of salt over top. The chili powder I use is made by McCormick and is not spicy.

Toss Squash in Seasoning

Toss the spaghetti squash in the seasoning until it is evenly covered. Taste and adjust the salt if needed.

Rinse Black Beans

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans. Also shred 4oz. Monterey jack cheese and slice two green onions.

Finished southwest spaghetti squash bowl topped with cheese, a sliced green onion on the side.

Now it’s time to assemble the bowls. Add 1 cup of the seasoned spaghetti squash to each bowl along with 1/3 cup black beans, and 1/4 cup salsa. Top with shredded cheese and sliced green onions!

Finished southwest spaghetti squash bowl viewed from the front, a jar of salsa in the background

And that’s seriously all there is to it. This is the type of “simple” food that I like to eat when I’m busy. I can prepare a few of these bowls and keep them in the fridge for the next few days and have a meal always ready to go. Spaghetti squash—it’s not just for spaghetti. LOL

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  1. Did anyone else’s turn out really soupy? I usually love Beth’s recipes and don’t have a problem with them.

  2. I am honestly surprised how much I liked this! I added lime and cumin to the squash as well. We topped it with avocado too. I think the seasoned squash with no toppings would make a great side dish with at a BBQ.

  3. I really enjoyed this recipe and I added it to my recipe box in my kitchen. I adapted the recipe to our needs/desires. I added quinoa per my husband’s request and I used kombocha squash I had on hand. Recipe is seriously delicious and I plan on using it for a long time. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I have some cooked spaghetti squash in my fridge, so this might be nice, but I’m hesitant. The beans are served straight from the can, unheated? And the spaghetti squash is cold, too? I love the simplicity of it, but find it hard to believe that I read it right.

    1. I made this recipe with the canned beans and the heat from the cooked squash heated everything else up to the point that it melted the cheese on top. It just depends on how you serve it. I’ve also made this where I did it layered in a casserole dish (I added 1/2 C cooked quinoa) and popped it in the oven for a while. This is an easy recipe to adapt. I didn’t have spaghetti squash so I used kombocha squash.

  5. Was given a box of 10 squashes from a friend. Now I finally know what to make with them. Thank you

  6. Really enjoyed this! So easy too. The whole family ate it and there were no leftovers! I made the squash in the slow cooker too. Just added sour cream as a garnish, but kept the rest of it the same.

  7. Oh my gosh so good! I have to admit I approached this recipie with a high degree of skepticism. I am sorry I doubted you – delicious! I marinated a few chicken breasts in salsa, grilled them, then chopped them up and threw them in to give it a bit more protein. Thanks for the recipie!

  8. WOW! I love this. Sauteed red pepper, garlic, and jalapenos then tossed in the black beans with a bit of salt. This southwest bowl will be made a lot in my house. Your site is my go to site for vegetarian recipes! Love them.

  9. When I told my husband (who is slightly obsessed with spaghetti squash) that I was making this recipe – he was not thrilled. He said it sounded gross. I made it tonight and we have ZERO left overs – he ate 3 helpings himself 😂😂

  10. Yikes.. this one was a total no-go from our family. Probably a preference in taste as we love all of your other recipes! Also, your rating system wouldn’t let me give this anything but 4 or 5 stars …

    1. Sorry the recipe didn’t turn out well for you! I don’t know what’s going on with the rating plugin… I need to switch to a new one because it has so many glitches. :(

  11. Love it! I ate one bowl straight after cooking and it was delicious. Packed two more bowls for lunches; added avocado slices, some chopped up veggies (peppers, onions) and a squeeze of lime juice. Squash noodles were a bit mushy from being in the fridge for a couple of days, but the flavor was fantastic!