Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Basil Pesto

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Big plate of Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Pesto for a lower carb vegan meal

Do you remember the first time you tried spaghetti squash (if ever)?

I do. I was in college and my mom, sister, and I were all under the same roof. It was the height of “low carb” mania, which I never much subscribed to, but my mom was super into the idea of having pasta-free spaghetti, so we gave it a shot.

Much to my surprise, I actually really liked it. The texture of spaghetti squash is tender and the flavor is subtle, lending itself extremely well to pasta sauce and pesto.

I still don’t buy into the low-carb thing, because, bread. But I am a fan of eating more vegetables whenever possible. So, spaghetti squash pasta it is!

Blender with ingredients for making homemade Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Vegan Pesto

This recipe is simple, requiring just 9 ingredients. Plus, it comes together with minimal effort in about 1 hour!

My first idea was to make a white sauce, but it ended up being too heavy for the delicate texture of the squash. Back to the drawing board.

My second thought was to make a vegan pesto with sun-dried tomato, and I was so happy with the results! This pesto is full of flavor and distributes beautifully throughout the “noodles,” for a light-yet-satisfying dish.

You know it’s a success when you go in for a sample bite, and it’s so good you just sit down and call it a meal.

Freshly baked spaghetti squash prepared into strands for making an easy gluten-free vegan dinner

I hope you all love this dish. It’s:

Savory
Simple
Light
Satisfying
Loaded with flavor
& Perfect for fall

This would make the perfect quick weeknight meal when you’re craving something comforting but not too heavy. It generously serves two as an entrée (with nearly 11 grams protein!) or four as a side dish.

If you’re looking for extra staying power, pair the squash with my chickpea bolognese instead! I can’t even explain how delicious that combo would be.

Big plate of our Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Vegan Pesto recipe

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and don’t forget to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see what you come up with.

For more sun-dried tomato and basil goodness, check out our Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto Pasta, Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Vegan Meatballs, and Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pinwheels. Cheers, friends!

Plate of our delicious gluten-free vegan Spaghetti Squash Pasta recipe topped with pesto

Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Basil Pesto

A simple, 9-ingredient spaghetti squash pasta with sun-dried tomato and basil pesto! A light, plant-based meal that's perfect for fall and winter.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Top down shot of a big plate of Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Basil Pesto
4.82 from 37 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Course Entree, Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 2-3 Days

Ingredients

PASTA

PESTO

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or raw walnuts)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
  • 2 cups fresh basil (packed)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced // ~1 1/2 Tbsp as original recipe is written)
  • 3 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes (chopped // if in oil, drain)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a large baking sheet (or more if increasing batch size) with foil.
  • Carefully halve spaghetti squash lengthwise using a sharp knife. I find the best way is to pierce the skin with the very tip of the knife and push it all the way through to the other side. Rock the knife back and forth to cut one half all the way through, then repeat on the other side. Use an ice cream scoop (or sharp spoon) to scrape out the seeds and most of the stringy parts.
  • Brush the interior with oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Place cut-side down on baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, or until a knife easily pierces the skin and flesh. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • In the meantime, add cashews, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, and sea salt to a blender or food processor and pulse until a fine meal.
  • Add basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and olive oil and puree into a fine paste. If it has trouble mixing, add a bit more oil or hot water (2-3 Tbsp // amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) to help encourage it along. It doesn’t need to be finely pureed, just well-mixed. A bit of texture is a good thing in this dish. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Use a fork to scoop out spaghetti squash into fine strings and divide between serving plates. Top with desired amount of pesto and lightly toss.
  • Serve with additional toppings as desired (listed above). I prefer red pepper flakes and vegan parmesan cheese.
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, though best when fresh. Pasta can be enjoyed hot, chilled, or at room temperature.

Notes

*You can sub 2 small spaghetti squash for 1 large.
*Recipe inspired by my Sun-dried Tomato Basil Pesto Pasta, and loosely adapted from Simply Recipes.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional toppings.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 352 Carbohydrates: 33.3 g Protein: 8.3 g Fat: 23.6 g Saturated Fat: 3.6 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.84 g Monounsaturated Fat: 13.84 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 229 mg Potassium: 798 mg Fiber: 8.3 g Sugar: 12 g Vitamin A: 1550 IU Vitamin C: 26.4 mg Calcium: 130 mg Iron: 3.2 mg

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  1. Sarah says

    I made this with walnuts instead of pine nuts and minus the sundried tomatoes and it was a huge hit. So effortless and so, so good!

  2. Anonymous says

    I have made this multiple times over the past couple of years. It is absolutely phenomenal. The pesto is perfect. I usually make it with pasta noodles instead of the spaghetti squash. Such a wonderful recipe!

  3. Mariane Sfeir says

    It’s the first time I ever cook a spaghetti squash and I checked over 10 vegan recipes before choosing one. This recipe attracted me most. First, because of the way it’s presented on the website, second, because the ingredients are basic and the steps are easy to follow, and last, because I love pesto!

    The roasting time of the spaghetti squash was just perfect ! The dosing of the pesto sauce ingredients is also perfect !

    Would definitely recommend it and do it again !

    Thank you so much for sharing it !

    Mariane

  4. Beth says

    Yum!!! I followed the recipe closely, but did top with sauteed portobello mushrooms instead of sun dried tomatoes and kalamatas. I have used nutritional yeast as a cheese sub before but have never liked it as much as I do in this recipe. The pesto is so delicious!!! The whole dish is a beautiful alternative to pasta with cheesy pesto. Thanks for a great plant-based dinner!

  5. Cheri Glaser says

    It’s delicious!! I steamed the squash and added the pesto and it was very tasty. I did add a tsp. of lemon juice too. Just my preference. Thanks for sharing!
    Best,
    Cheri

  6. Kathy says

    Delicious recipe! Definitely a keeper! I can’t imagine ever eating spaghetti squash with a a tomato-based sauce again. The basil pesto complements the squash perfectly.

  7. Leanna, long time vegetarian says

    Delish! I confess that I cheated and made it using Costco’s (Kirkland) Pesto, but the whole thing is just awesome! And what takes it from good to out-of-this-world are the sun-dried tomatoes. So glad I came across this recipe. Thanks.

  8. Lauren says

    Pretty great recipe! I made it tonight and really liked it, I’ll definitely be adding this into the rotation. I followed it as written and it was very strong on the basil flavor for me so I’ll decrease it a little next time. I’m also not a huge fan of the sun dried tomatoes because they tend to add a bit too much sweetness for me. I also soaked the cashews before adding them in to decrease their starch content a little.

    Overall it’s a hit recipe though! I’m new to nutritional yeast and nut-based sauces, and I was 100% baffled that this didn’t have cheese in it while I was gobbling it down. Seriously, if somebody else served this to me and said it was a creamy cheese marinara sauce, I’d believe it.

  9. David Clanon says

    Made it tonight with a few mods. prepared the spaghetti squash just as described. Then topped it with kalamata olives and roasted red peppers, parmesan and pesto from Costco. Moto easy and tasted great. Used a garlic infused olive oil. The squash was out of our own garden. Will definitely make it again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woot woot! Cooking is the best when you’re able to use fresh produce right from your own garden, isn’t it? Glad you enjoyed this dish, David!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      I wouldn’t personally recommend it for meal prep, as it is best fresh! It does keep for 2-3 days though!

  10. Anna Jacqueline Parsons says

    This was a delicious healthy meal!
    The pesto is amazing, however I don’t like sundried tomato so I just left it out and it was still the best pesto I have ever made. Will 100% make again.

  11. Lauren says

    This is literally the best thing I have tasted. Made this tonight for dinner and omg I am in love! Thank you for a wonderful recipe

  12. Katie says

    Girl! Holy pesto pants! This dish was incredible. I added lemon because I’m a lemon-freak, but followed the other directions step by step. My boyfriend and I were literally licking our bowls by the end of dinner. Thank you, Dana!!

  13. Alyssa Beltran says

    I only had cilantro in the fridge, and I have a slight allergy to nuts—I used pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds and this pesto turned out great! Excited to eat this dish as leftovers!

  14. Stacy says

    We’ve made twice this fall & it’s earned a place in meal rotations during squash season ~ it’s fresh, satisfying, healthy, beautiful, comforting, vegan. The pesto recipe is flexible & forgiving, as I eyeball the measurements & add/adjust ingredients to what’s on hand (add spinach when I don’t have enough basil/add more sun dried tomatoes plus their flavored oil instead of the olive oil, sub pistachios for pine nuts, etc. ~ so deliciously flexible!) So, thank you for creating/sharing this recipe ~ we also enjoy many other dishes from your cookbook + website!

  15. Yasmeen Al-Aswad says

    Absolutely loved it! I’ve never had spaghetti squash before and this was fantastic. I’ve tried a bunch of your recipes btw and I’m never disappointed. Thanks!!!

  16. Monica says

    Hi Dana,
    I’ve just discovered your website and gone mad. What you do with food is just amazing, i mean genius. I love it, it is gluten free, sugar free at least the bad one, vegan, plenty of veggies, easy to make it. I just cant stop printing out the recipes. Thank you so much for creating it for us.

  17. Christina says

    Made this for me and my boyfriend tonight and we loved it!!!! My new favorite way to eat spaghetti squash!! :) seriously delicious

  18. Jessica Timbrell says

    I just made this and am eating in now. Omg!!!! Damn!!!!! Freaking delicious!! My kids are going to LOVE this. Fantastic and thank you so much!! I added more sun-dried tomatoes because I love them! I thought I didn’t like spagetti squash but you have converted me!! Perfect fall/winter dish. This is going in the rotation for sure!!

  19. Nilsa says

    I loved this pesto recipe so….so….so….much! Delicious! Your recipes never fail! They are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!

  20. Nilsa says

    I love this pesto so…..so…..so….much! Delicious! Your recipes never fail! They are amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  21. Lena says

    Made it tonight. It was the best pesto ever! Loved it very much! The whole dish was amazing! Excellent combo of spaghetti squash, delicious basil pesto, vegan parmesan cheese and pine nuts! Definitely 5 starts!!! P.S. Although I used only 1 clove of garlic. :)

  22. Alyssa says

    I followed this recipe to a “t” and it was awesome! I served it with garlic bread and a vegan chick’n patty. Thank you so so much!

  23. Kathy says

    Absolutely delicious!!! Quick and easy. The only thing I did different is cook the squash in the crock pot and a padded fresh tomatoes. Really good!!

  24. Lynn says

    Hi Dana,
    I am not a great cook and I have a husband who dislikes most vegetables. Making a healthy and tasty meal is therefore somewhat of a challenge. I tried this recipe (First time I ate spaghetti squash and first time to make pesto). We both enjoyed it a lot, so I would like to thank you for that.
    It is a stress free recipe, which matters quite a bit to me, often I have some serious time-management issues when I make dinner, but not with this recipe. The next time I have guests over for dinner, this is what they’ll get.
    Thanks!

  25. Katie says

    Just made this tonight and it is AMAZING! This is the third recipe we’ve made this week and they have all been delicious…and I’m a terrible cook! :) Do you think next time we could sub coconut oil for olive oil without affecting the taste?

  26. Sarah says

    Just made this for my meat-eating parents and they LOVED it! Your recipes seem to be the only vegetarian ones that they’ll try

  27. Christin says

    I just wanted to say that I made this for last night’s dinner and it was SO good! I just love the simplicity of it. So easy yet so flavorful. Thanks so much =)

  28. Laurie says

    My son and I tried this for dinner tonight and it is amazing! Very delicious and pretty simple to make. It was a spaghetti squash first for both of us and I’ll definitely make it again (and again and again). Thank you for this recipe!

  29. Oat&Sesame says

    I think you convinced me to give spaghetti squash another try. It’s my least favorite squash, but I think it may redeem itself in this one!

  30. Eva says

    Hi Dana! I made this tonight for dinner & it was superb! My husband loved it! The pesto was pretty amazing! And I am not a huge pesto fan, but I figured I couldn’t go wrong with YOUR variation :)

    Thanks for another awesome dish!

    Eva

  31. Becca says

    This was absolutely delicious! First time making vegan pesto and first time eating spaghetti squash.
    This was surprisingly filling and incredibly comforting even though I’ve never had this meal before. Hitting the comfort mark first taste is a huge win in my book. Thank you for your recipes!

  32. Ellie says

    I have never been a fan of anything in the gourd family. I decided to try this recipe with the chickpea bolognse (how do you say bolognese?). As a kid we never had anything like this so, since becoming vegan I’m open to healthy alternatives to traditional favorites. And THIS is the stuff first time food experimenters love. This was such a successful meal with my sister…and the dogs (they loved the noodles). The chickpeas go wonderfully with this dish. I’m always looking for different alternatives to spaghetti noodles and this is definitely one to add. Fantastico!!

  33. Erika says

    I tried this recipe for dinner tonight and it was AMAZING!! So delicious and such a great flavor with the addition of the tomatoes. I did not miss the cheese at all. Thanks again for another fantastic dish Dana!

  34. Tvv1stedlog1c says

    I made this last night for my meat/cheese-asaurous boyfriend and we LOVED it! The pesto is fantastic and the sundried tomatoes really kick it up a notch.

  35. Alexis says

    Oh. My. Word. I’m actually eating this right now and it’s amazing. My two-year-old is even devouring it. I’m making this as long as I can get spaghetti squash. Thank you thank you thank you.

  36. Jan says

    We tried this tonight and it was awesome. Even my one-year-old loved it! Thanks for the recipe. Will be using this quite a bit this season.

  37. Lou says

    This looked good in the picture but when I pulled together the pesto and put it on the squash it quickly formed an unappetizing lump. The nuts add a brown tinge that just doesn’t look as good when plated as a more traditional pesto with only a tablespoon or so of either walnuts or pine nuts. Also, I think a larger quantity of olive oil(at least twice what is called for) would make the pesto better.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, sorry about that! Pestos can vary based on what processor/blender you’re using. Definitely add more olive oil next time if it seems to help!

  38. Michelle Savage says

    This looks absolutely delicious, especially since fall is in the air and I’m in need of recipes using seasonal ingredients. Yummy!

  39. Tori says

    Delicious! Made it last night and it’s definitely going to be made again. Thanks for all the wonderful creations!

  40. Liz says

    Any tips to keep the squash from seeming “wet” if that makes sense…I used to make spaghetti squash a lot but the “noodles” often turned out too wet. Maybe it’s the steaming process?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Definitely roast at a high temp and don’t add any extra water. Once fully cooked, flip flesh side up and let steam escape (for 3 minutes), then use a fork to scrape out “noodles.” Hope that helps!

  41. Sarah says

    OK. So. Maybe I was so eager to try this recipe that I didn’t read all the instructions. Maybe I just threw all the pesto ingredients into a blender and went nuts on it before realizing that I had completely ignored the Dana-approved method to get a perfectly textured Dream pesto. Maybe what I ended up with was mo

    • Sarah says

      *more like dip…

      But DAMN was it good! Oh it was a happy and serendipitously simplifying mistake (as if this recipe weren’t already simple enough). I give this recipe one million stars for deliciousness and versatility YAY!

  42. Deborah @ The Harvest Kitchen says

    I love everything about this recipe!! Simple healthy ingredients = great flavors!!! Extra pesto for me!

  43. Jess says

    This squash pasta looks really comforting for some reason. I’ve been cooking lots of soups lately because they are comforting and light at the same time. But I’ve had enough of them and I want something different, something light and fall appropriate. This looks perfect for the case. I’m giving this a go tomorrow, as soon as I’m done with the groceries.

    xoxo

  44. Kelley says

    I haven’t had spaghetti squash in yeeears. I think just because I didn’t have a good knife and it was hard to cut? I’m grown up with better knives now, I gotta get on this!

  45. Luda Cheremeteff says

    Dana, I enjoy reading your posts. You are really passionate about your creations. It shows that you are blogging because you are truly a foodie. Every recipe I’ve tried – works deliciously. I used to be a vegetarian – still appreciate a good vegan creation. Can not wait to bake this squash!

    Also thank you your great blogging tips as well – used them to create my newly born blog!

  46. Tracy | Pale Yellow says

    I’ve never thought about adding pesto to spaghetti squash, usually I just add marinara. This sounds great!

  47. Tirza says

    This recipe inspired me to buy a spaghetti squash for the first time in my life to make this recipe. I liked the result, but the squash turned out rather mushy, not like spaghetti at all… oh well, the taste was great, though!

  48. Meg says

    This is a great dinner idea for tonight — thank you! I’ve had a lot of luck cutting the spaghetti squash into rings instead of in half (so just rotate the cut 90 degrees and do it multiple times). The spaghetti comes out in longer strands, and it cooks a bit faster.

  49. Libby says

    The first time that I ever had spaghetti squash as pastawas in Kansas City at a place called Cupinis. It was as simple as smearing marinara on 1/2 a squash and it was utterly life changing! I get excited every time that I see another recipe for a variation on this same theme!

  50. Margaret @ Veggie Primer says

    Looks delicious! Have you ever tried making spaghetti squash in a slow cooker? I find it to be any easy way to prepare it.

  51. wiredweirdly says

    Have you ever tried slicing the squash into rings and roasting it that way? I’ve read that the strands are much longer that way… but the internet HAS been known to exaggerate, or so I’ve been told!
    This does look amazing and will be tried soon!

  52. Sarah | Well and Full says

    I don’t think I’ll ever give up real pasta either ;) I do love myself a good veggie noodle though!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no, never give up on the real thing. But sometimes, a veggie noodle does wonders! Glad you agree, Sarah ;D

  53. Bethany @ Athletic Avocado says

    I love the simplicity of this dish! I eat spaghetti squash like once a week and I need to try it with this pesto next time!

  54. Dani Mendocha @ Styled Variety says

    This looks absolutely perfect! I’ve been loving spaghetti squash as a pasta alternative these days, so this pesto version will be a great new recipe to try!

  55. Sydney | Modern Granola says

    I love veggie pasta for the same reason! More vegetables are never a bad idea. And this pesto sounds so incredible. Looks like I need to go to the store and pick up my first spaghetti squash of the season! (Yay!)
    xx Sydney

  56. Emily | Robust Recipes says

    Dana, I love eating spaghetti squash as if it were a pasta. In fact, I had a version yesterday for lunch. Great minds think alike, right?! ;) I haven’t tried pesto with spaghetti squash, but I just know it will be delicious! :)

  57. Mia says

    I once read a tip for pesto that can be made in a blender but is closer to the italian original (which is ground, not chopped like in a blender and tastes much more basil-y and fresh). The trick is to put the basil leaves in a ziploc bag and pound them to crush them lightly. Then blend them with sll the other ingredients except the oil. Finally, mix in the oil by hand. It really does make a difference in flavor and texture!

  58. Samantha @ThePlantedVegan says

    I’ve never tried pesto on spaghetti squash, most recipes have a tomato based sauce. I definitely will give this one a try! Looks delicious!

  59. Kristina says

    Spaghetti squash was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw your chickpeas bolognese last week. But this pesto also sounds delicious.

  60. Leah @ Grain Changer says

    Dana this looks INCREDIBLE! I’m with you on the carb thing, but I do LOVE me some spaghetti squash and can’t wait to try this recipe. That pesto…. <3 <3 <3

  61. Liora @ Allthingsloveli says

    I just listened to your interview on Jessica Murnane’s podcast and loved it! Looking forward to your book and trying out this delicious spaghetti!