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!
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.
I hope you all love this dish. It’s:
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.
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.
Spaghetti Squash Pasta with Basil Pesto
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 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
- Toasted pine nuts
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Red pepper flakes
- Garlic bread
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.
*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 Per Serving (1 of 4)
- Calories: 352
- Fat: 23.6g
- Saturated fat: 3.6g
- Sodium: 229mg
- Potassium: 798mg
- Carbohydrates: 33.3g
- Fiber: 8.3g
- Sugar: 12g
- Protein: 8.3g
- Vitamin A: 1550IU
- Vitamin C: 26.4mg
- Calcium: 130mg
- Iron: 3.2mg