Mexican Spaghetti Squash with Pinto Beans

Caution—this Mexican spaghetti squash with pinto beans and homemade easy enchilada sauce will cause purring noises while eating.

Mexican spaghetti squash with pinto beans and easy enchilada sauce

Counting calories, ignoring the forbidden slice of bacon when you are really hungry, keeping your distance from chips at the Super Bowl party—those New Year’s resolutions are no fun.

Skip the diet. Make positive choices like these: Eat an apple a day for the next two weeks. Go meatless every Monday. Prepare one dinner a month featuring spaghetti squash. See the little phrase in my apple green Letty’s Kitchen banner at the top of the page? Change your life—one bite at a time.

When I was a pre-teen, my mother joined Weight Watchers. She attended meetings to weigh in, share recipes, and listen to weekly pep talks.  Mom changed her food habits and a healthier way of eating trickled down to my sisters and me. About the time teenage butt was blooming I was lucky to be learning lifestyle tips for weight management.

spahetti squash with seeds for Mexican spaghetti squash with pinto beans and easy enchilada sauce

One week Mom came home from her meeting psyched to make spaghetti squash “pasta”, a recipe she’d picked up from the weight-loss “teacher.” My younger sisters and me were suspicious this new vegetable would taste like acorn squash, which we thought was awful, even doctored up with butter and brown sugar. Thanks Mom for introducing us—we like spaghetti squash.

baked spaghetti squash strands for Mexican spaghetti squash with pinto beans and easy enchilada sauce

Spaghetti-like strands separate when the insides of the squash are raked with a fork, therefore the name. Spaghetti squash serves as a low calorie, low carb base for tomato sauces, or any sauce good on pasta.

cotija cheese, chili powder and cilantro for Mexican spaghetti squash with pinto beans and easy enchilada sauce

Mexican Spaghetti Squash with Pinto Beans details:

  • Make Easy Enchilada Sauce with prepared chili powder that includes spices and salt.
  • Use home-cooked beans, or open two (15 ounce) cans pinto beans. (You may substitute black beans if you prefer.) Either way, drain off most of the liquid from the beans, reserving the broth for soup if beans are home-cooked.
  • You can bake the spaghetti squash a day ahead refrigerate it overnight, before or after the strands are raked.
  • When separating the seeds from the cooked spaghetti squash, save the seeds. Rinse, pick out and remove any pieces of squash clinging to the seeds. (You don’t need to get the seeds completely clean: the little rogue strands will practically disappear in the oven.) Toss the seeds with a bit of oil and kosher salt and dump onto a baking sheet. Bake 5 to 10 minutes, until the seeds are crunchy and very slightly golden.

Wishing you a fabulous day–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious! If you make this recipe and love it, please consider leaving a blog post comment. Your comments help other readers learn more about the recipe.

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Mexican Spaghetti Squash with Pinto Beans

Yield: Makes about 2 cups sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

Mexican Spaghetti Squash with Pinto Beans


  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 2 cups Quick and Easy Enchilada Sauce
  • Cotija or feta cheese, crumbled
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • Sliced avocado


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Poke a few holes in the squash with a knife or carving fork and place in a pan. Bake about one hour, until the squash skin is soft. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile heat the beans with some of the the enchilada sauce.
  3. When the squash is cool enough to touch, cut it in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and stringy parts. Rake the squash meat with a fork. Divide into large bowls, 1 to 1 1/2 cups per person. Make a nest in the middle for the sauced beans and ladle them into the nest.
  4. Let everyone garnish as they wish, with more enchilada sauce, cilantro, cheese, and avocado slices.


  • This recipe uses cornmeal as a gluten free sauce thickener. If you want a smoother sauce, without the cornmeal crunch, substitute whole wheat flour.
  • If you don't have vegetable juice, substitute more vegetable broth for the juice.


  • Kelly Birch

    Do you have a recipe for the enchilada sauce? Reply · 22 January, 2014

    • Letty

      Ah! Somehow last night I did not click the Add Recipe button after I filled in the Ziplist form. Thanks for letting me know!
      Thanks for the comment and for the support. Reply · 22 January, 2014

  • Yum. We get a lot of spaghetti squash in our CSA so I end up freezing quite a bit. We enjoy it many ways but haven’t tried it with enchilada sauce. Thank you. Reply · 25 January, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Tammy. Spaghetti squash does freeze well. That was the last of my hoard from autumn farmers market. Reply · 26 January, 2014

  • I like the idea of using spaghetti squash as something besides a substitute for pasta; it goes with so many other flavors. And thanks for the shout-out for for my recipe! Reply · 27 January, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Kalyn! Reply · 27 January, 2014

  • I’ve never had spaghetti squash with a Mexican twist. Great idea. Reply · 29 January, 2014

  • Love you and your recipes! Took a pie class from Kitchen Kneads in Logan!!! love your cookbook and recipes!! Can’t wait to make this sauce!!! One of my new favorite things in my kitchen is a Spiralizer!! Thank you Lettie for all your awesome hard work Reply · 8 February, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks for your note! I am teaching a spring dessert class at LTC in April, or is ti May? I have yet to own a spiralizer–on my list. Reply · 9 February, 2015

  • Sorry I hit it twice!! Reply · 8 February, 2015

    • Letty

      2 x = a charm! I have the power to delete the 2nd one! will do. Reply · 9 February, 2015

  • […] essence, slightly tart, smoky and fruity, is like nothing you can buy in a can. You could make my quick enchilada sauce out of chili powder if you are in a big hurry and want homemade red sauce. But if you have thirty […] Reply · 16 October, 2015

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