A vegetarian dinner never tasted so good with this Basil Pesto Spaghetti Squash Pasta Recipe. Just blend up an easy pesto while the spaghetti squash bakes and enjoy a hot & satisfying healthy dinner everyone will love.
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Enjoy a meatless main dish that is high on nutrition AND flavor with this Basil Pesto Spaghetti Squash Pasta Recipe. A copycat recipe of the traditional pasta with pesto sauce, it's a healthy pesto recipe that is easy to make and only takes 7 ingredients, a food processor, and a baking pan. So turn on your oven, cut up your squash, and enjoy a low-fuss and delicious dinner tonight.
I don't know about you, but when I see pesto, I get excited. Real excited.
It's simultaneously indulgent and satisfying while also being rich in so many good-for-you goodies like olive oil, nuts, garlic, and basil.
Oh, and it goes so well on so many things. Gnocchi, potatoes, chicken, pizza, bread, veggies, pasta... you name it.
At the risk of being sacrilege, I'm going to say it: it's almost like the Italian version of ranch dressing.
I know, please don't send me hate mail. I don't check my mail enough to keep up with it.
But, when you have something that is perfect for both more indulgent & gourmet meals as well as healthier and lighter meals, how does one not go about making bold claims? Especially someone like me?
So here, let nutty spaghetti squash pasta stand-in for the more carbohydrate-rich classic and enjoy that pesto for all that it's worth, knowing that with this recipe you're getting that healthier and lighter pesto dish.
The kind of dish that showcases pesto's versatility in a way that may lead you to make bold claims, too. And if your friends want to send hate mail, just give them my address. 😉
This Basil Pesto Spaghetti Squash Pasta Is...
- Full of healthy fats
- Ready in under an hour
- Great for leftovers
If you're looking for something a bit lighter after the food fest that is Thanksgiving, check out this spaghetti squash pasta recipe. It's easy to make and filling while not being so heavy to continue your holiday food coma.
Is spaghetti squash healthy?
Yes! Spaghetti squash is healthy. According to Healthline, it's particularly healthy because it's low in calories while being high in nutrients. It brims with fiber, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and more.
This impressive profile makes it good for you on its own or as a substitute for pasta, as we have here in this Basil Pesto Spaghetti Squash Pasta Recipe.
How do you cut a spaghetti squash?
To cut your spaghetti squash, first, make sure you have a very sharp and long knife. A chef's knife or de-boning knife are both perfect for this.
Then, rest your squash on a cutting board and cut the top stem off, slicing off about a ½ inch round of the squash off underneath the stem.
Next, cut the squash open lengthwise to expose the squash seeds. Scoop the seeds out and throw away.
Turn the squash over so the inside of each of the squashes faces downwards. Then, cutting perpendicular to the lengthwise cut, slice the squash into 1-1.25 inch pieces. They should then look like half-moons or the shape of rainbows.
Continue cutting the rest of the squash into 1-1.25 inch pieces and you have cut up your squash!
How do you cook spaghetti squash?
There are a few ways to cook a spaghetti squash, depending on how you want to serve it. You can rub it with olive oil, garlic, and salt, and roast it at a higher heat to have a caramelized and golden brown squash, or you can steam in it in the oven at a moderately-high heat to create a more tender and juicy pasta textured squash.
To steam it in the oven, cut your squash in half lengthwise, de-seed it, and then crosswise into 1.25 inch thick half-moons (see the picture below). Then add the squash to an 8 x 13" baking pan, add about an inch of water, and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
Next, add the squash to an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and roast for 40-45 minutes, or until the squash flakes easily when scraped with a fork. Now you have tender & nutty spaghetti squash pasta to enjoy!
Check out these other healthy dinner reicpes:
- Sundried Tomato Pesto (Red Pesto)
- Vegan Jackfruit Chili
- Easy Homemade Pasta Sauce
- Roasted Tomato Salad with Burrata Cheese
- Mediterranean Chickpea & Orzo Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad
- Air Fryer Green Beans with Lemon
- Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomatoes
- Healthy Macaroni and Cheese
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A rich and satisfying way to enjoy pesto that is big on veggies as well as flavor!
This pesto recipe makes about twice as much as you need for this amount of squash. Either halve the recipe or freeze the remaining pesto (see the directions in the recipe notes) for an easy way to enjoy it again later.
- 1 medium-size spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise & de-seeded
- 2 cups packed basil
- ½ cup walnuts halves
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 medium size garlic cloves
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice the halves of the squash crosswise into 1.25-inch pieces, forming half-moon or rainbow shaped pieces.
- Add the squash pieces to an 8x13 baking pan.
- Add an inch of water to the pan and cover the pan tightly with foil so no air can escape.
- Add the pan to the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the spaghetti squash is tender and flakes easily when scraped with a fork.
- While the squash bakes: add the rest of the ingredients -- the basil through the garlic cloves -- to the bowl of a food processor or blender and run on high speed for 30-45 seconds, or until the walnuts and basil are broken down and the pesto is the texture of a thick sauce.
- Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire cooling rack. Remove the foil from the pan and let the squash cool for 5-10 minutes, or until the squash isn't steaming anymore.
- Using a large spoon and fork, move the squash to a cutting board and scrape the squash out of the shell. I like to hold the shell down with the spoon in one hand while scraping the squash out with my right hand.
- Dish the loose spaghetti squash "pasta" into bowls, top with 1.5-2 tablespoons pesto and serve hot!
1. To freeze leftover pesto, simply add it to a quart-size freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. You can defrost it later by soaking in warm water for 20-30 minutes.
2. Leftover spaghetti squash pasta will keep covered in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Amount Per Serving Calories 229Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 3.5mgSodium 245mgCarbohydrates 19gFiber 3gSugar 6gProtein 4g
This nutrition breakdown is just an estimate of the nutritional value of this recipe and cannot be taken as facts. The owners of Mae's Menu are not nutritionists or dieticians and therefore cannot be held accountable for this nutrition estimate. Please contact your nutritionist or medical professional for a nutritional breakdown of this food. Furthermore, this food is not intended to prevent, diagnose, cure, or treat any disease