This Low Carb Million Dollar Spaghetti is so hearty and delicious - without all the carbs! This recipe is a low carb version of one of our favorite Italian comfort meals. It has all the things you love like marinara sauce, a creamy layer with ricotta and cream cheese, zucchini noodles, and lean ground beef all topped off with some mozzarella cheese. Low carb heaven!!
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One of my favorite pasta recipes is million dollar spaghetti so I took the idea and swapped out zucchini noodles for traditional spaghetti noodles.
It turned out AHH-mazing!
Just like everyone else I love a big ole’ bowl of pasta and sauce, but just not all the calories and carbs that go with it.
So I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy the same yummy flavors and still fit into my skinny jeans. Who’s with me??
This low carb million dollar zucchini spaghetti casserole totally ticks all those boxes!
This yummy casserole starts with zucchini noodles that have been tossed with marinara sauce, then a creamy layer with cream cheese and ricotta, more zucchini noodles and sauce, then a layer with ground beef and marinara – all topped off with some mozzarella cheese – yum!!
It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
This low carb spaghetti is all about the magic of the zucchini noodle aka zoodles.
Have you tried them? They are the perfect healthy, low carb substitute for traditional pasta.
And they’re so easy to make at home with the right tools, or you can purchase them pre-made from the grocery store.
How to make zucchini noodles
First, like I mentioned, grocery stores sell premade zoodles in the refrigerated area of the produce department. Hit the "easy" button and grab some to make this yumminess.
Or head over to Amazon and pick up a Spiralizer for less than $30. You can order them with different blade options but honestly I’m good with the 3-blade option.
With this handy tool you can spiralize all the veggies you love like sweet potatoes, beets, cucumbers, squash – there are so many options.
You can also use a Vegetable Peeler in a pinch. The texture will be a little different but the taste will be just as amazing!
I should also mention that zucchini noodles are a great option for people who are looking for a satisfying “pasta type” meal but also need it to be gluten free.
I have several great zucchini recipes that are also low carb and gluten free:
- Zucchini Lasagna
- Grilled Stuffed Zucchini with Tomatoes and Feta
- Greek Salad with Zoodles
- Sausage and Peppers with Zucchini Noodles
Let’s recap this meal… low carb, keto, gluten free, so satisfying and insanely delicious. Boom – there it is.
How To Make Low Carb Million Dollar Spaghetti
(See all the details about the exact ingredients and quantities in the recipe card below.)
Start by preheating your oven.
Add your zucchini noodles to a large pot and season them with salt and garlic powder. Cook them for just a few minutes then pour them into a strainer in the sink. This will cause the zucchini to give off some of its liquid and cause the casserole to not become too runny.
Next, make your meat sauce...cook your ground beef, onions, garlic, Italian Seasoning and salt until the meat is cooked through.
Then add some of the marinara to the meat mixture, fold together, and set aside.
Next, in a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, nutmeg and parsley.
Now give the zoodles a good squeeze to drain off even more liquid. Then add them and 16 ounces of marinara to a mixing bowl and fold it all together.
Now it’s time to assemble the dish.
Add half the mixed zucchini noodles and sauce to a 9x13 baking dish.
Then spread the ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the spaghetti.
Add the rest of the zoodles and sauce to the ricotta cheese layer.
Next, layer on the meat sauce.
Top it all off with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
Bake uncovered until the casserole is heated through and bubbling around the edges, about 30-35 minutes.
You can garnish it with more parsley and parmesan cheese if desired. Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes, then devour!!
This low carb casserole is so cheesy, hearty and delicious! Trust me you won’t miss the pasta in this cozy comfort meal.
- 5 medium sized zucchini, spiralized into zucchini noodles
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds lean ground beef (93% lean)
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning
- 24 ounces Marinara sauce, divided (I use Raos Marinara)
- 8 ounces Ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the zucchini noodles to a large pot and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes, stirring often. Place the zoodles in a strainer and stir now and then while you prepare the rest of your ingredients. (This will cause the zucchini to give off some of its liquid and not be so runny.)
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add ground meat, Italian Seasoning and 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, then cook for 4-5 minutes or until no pink remains.
- Add 3 cups of marinara to the meat mixture, fold together and set aside.
- Next, in a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cream cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, nutmeg and parsley.
- Now, give the zoodles a good squeeze to drain off more liquid. Then in a large mixing bowl add the zucchini noodles and 16 ounces of marinara/spaghetti sauce and fold together.
- Add half the zucchini noodles and sauce to a 9x13 baking dish.
- Spread the ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the spaghetti.
- Add the rest of the zucchini noodles and sauce to the ricotta cheese layer.
- Next, layer on the meat sauce.
- Top with 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
- Bake uncovered until the casserole is heated through and bubbling around the edges, about 30-35 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and garnish with more parsley and parmesan cheese if desired, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then enjoy.
Serving Size8-10 ounces
Amount Per Serving Calories 416Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 12gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 111mgSodium 1007mgCarbohydrates 13gNet Carbohydrates 9gFiber 4gSugar 7gProtein 34g
This nutrition card uses an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. This estimate is not a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice!