Easy Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Published on: 01/12/2020

I love squash any time of year.  It makes a great main or side dish, plus it doesn’t hurt that it’s super low in calories and carbs with only about 30 calories and 7 grams of carbs per cup.  Instead of pasta, I often sub in veggie noodles (“voodles”) like zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) or butternut squash noodles (“bootles”) for a nourishing boost with fewer calories and more fiber.

I recently chatted about “The Nutrition Behind Squash” on Living Healthy Chicago.  Watch my segment here and see how easy it is to whip up this recipe!

Spaghetti squash – like all squash, is super simple to make, too.  All you do is pop it in the oven and roast away.  Once it’s cooked, you just scoop it out with a fork and it becomes stringy and spaghetti-like.   Spaghetti squash is loaded with vitamins like A and C, as well as minerals like potassium, which is great for keeping blood pressure in check among other things like bone health and balancing sodium in the body. Yaasss!

A family favorite in my house is pesto pasta – so, today I am whipping up a basil pistachio pesto and adding it to spaghetti squash noodles.  I encourage you to get creative with your pesto and use what you have on hand; your favorite kind of nut, as well as leafy greens, such as cilantro, arugula or spinach.

The great thing about pesto is it takes no time to puree it all together.  There’s virtually no mess and you can keep the leftover pesto in the fridge for a few days.  I toss it with cubed tofu and other veggies and roast it.  I add pesto to tomato sauce, as well as mix it with tuna for a tasty salad or top salmon fillets and bake them for a simple, nourishing dinner.

After you make the pesto, all you have to do is toss a bit of it with the cooked spaghetti squash.  Serve right away and enjoy.  This is a great dish for kids, too, since the pesto flavors the squash so nicely that they think they are eating pesto with regular pasta noodles.

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Serves 4


1 large spaghetti squash, washed and cut in half

2 cups fresh basil, washed and patted dry

1/3 cup lightly salted pistachios, shelled

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 garlic cloves

1 pinch of nutmeg


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place spaghetti squash halves on a cookie sheet, cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 30 – 45  minutes.

Prepare the pesto by adding basil, pistachios, oil, cheese, garlic and nutmeg into a food processor. Pulse for about 1 minute.  Scrape the sides, mix and pulse again for another 10 to 20 seconds.

Remove the squash from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Scoop out the squash with a fork and place into bowls.  Add a dollop of pesto to each bowl and gently mix until combined.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy eating simply,



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Hi, I am Vicki. I am a food-loving registered dietitian nutritionist and I want to inspire you to get in the kitchen with real food!

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