This spaghetti squash pesto combines roasted spaghetti squash with an easy spinach pesto and a fried egg for one easy and delicious dinner. It’s a great alternative to a normal pasta dish without sacrificing flavor!
Whole 30 Pasta Alternative
I discovered spaghetti squash a few years ago when we were doing Whole 30. I was craving pasta and hated zoodles.
My husband suggested spaghetti squash and pesto as an alternative and you know what, I didn’t just like it – I loved it. It’s not the same as pasta, but it’s a really good option when you want pasta but something a bit less carb-filled.
You’ll love this spaghetti squash pesto recipe because it’s super easy to make, it’s inexpensive (great for budget dinners!), and the actual time you’re actively cooking is like five minutes tops.
Plus the combination of the squash, pesto, and fried egg on top is well amazing.
If you’re not a fan of spaghetti squash, you can always go with a traditional pesto pasta dinner too!
This is more about the method of cooking than the measurements!
- Walnuts – this pesto is written using walnuts but you could easily substitute them with another nut like pine nuts. Whatever nuts you are using, toast them quickly on the stove before adding them to the recipe.
- Parmesan – grated parmesan is best but if you only have shredded, that’ll work too. Skip the parmesan to make this Whole 30 friendly.
- Fried egg – this is optional but adds a ton to the recipe. We like frying an egg or two and adding on top – the yolk complements the pesto and squash well!
The first thing you need to do is cook the spaghetti squash. There are a number of ways you can do this. I’ve included instructions below for roasting the spaghetti squash in the oven, but you could also use an Instant Pot and these instructions to make it quicker.
1 – Roast the spaghetti squash
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While it’s preheating, put the whole spaghetti squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Roast the spaghetti squash in the oven for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the squash (larger ones will take longer).
Once squash is roasted, allow it to cool for 20-30 minutes or until cool enough to handle with your hands.
Once it’s cooled down a bit, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
Then use a fork to scrape out the flesh of the squash – this will create stringy strands of spaghetti squash that looks kind of like spaghetti (hence the name spaghetti squash).
2 – Make the pesto
While the spaghetti squash is cooling, make your pesto by lightly pulsing the baby spinach, lemon juice, basil, salt, and toasted walnuts in a food processor.
Turn the food processor on and while it’s running, add in the olive oil until it reaches a good consistency.
Remove from the food processor and add the grated parmesan and any additional salt to taste. If you want this to be a Whole 30 recipe, skip the parmesan.
3 – Combine and enjoy
If you’re planning to add fried eggs on top, this is the time to do it.
While the eggs are cooking, add your desired amount of pesto to indiviual bowls of spaghetti squash and serve with some extra toasted nuts, parmesan cheese, and a fried egg (or two) on top.
I recommend doing individual bowls because it’s better to store any leftover spaghetti squash and leftover pesto separate rather than combined.
Want to see how quickly this comes together? The video below shows making the spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot but roasting it is just as easy!
Double the pesto and refrigerate it to use for another meal, another day. We love adding the pesto to chicken paninis, English muffin pizzas, or pesto roll-ups.
Add lemon zest along with the lemon juice if you want the pesto a bit brighter. But if you don’t have it, it’ll still be yummy with just lemon juice!
Toast the walnuts (or other kind of nuts) by putting them in a dry pan on the stove. Heat over medium-heat for a few minutes, watching closely because nuts can go from almost toasted to burnt in seconds. Remove from the pan (not just the heat) as soon as they’re done.
Add some chopped up bacon for a little salt and added texture.
No, the spaghetti squash will be completely cooked and ready to eat after roasting. If you want to brown it up a bit and add a little texture, you can cook it on the stove with a bit of oil.
Combine the spaghetti squash with the pesto, a little chopped bacon, and the fried egg for a complete meal.
Store the spaghetti squash and pesto separately in the fridge, in airtight containers for up to five days.
More Whole 30 Recipes
Spaghetti Squash Pesto
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup walnuts toasted
- 2 TBS lemon juice
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan
- 4 eggs optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Put your spaghetti squash on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the squash.
- Once squash is roasted, allow to cool for 20-30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. While squash is cooling, make your pesto.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise then scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
- Use a fork to scrape out the flesh of the squash to create stringy strands of squash. Put squash in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add spinach, basil, salt, toasted walnuts, and lemon juice to the food processor and pulse lightly.
- With the food processor running, add olive oil and let it mix until you reach your desired consistency.
- Remove pesto from food processor and stir in grated parmesan cheese and additional salt to taste (if necessary).
- Add a tablespoon of pesto to a bowl of spaghetti squash and mix. Top with parmesan cheese and a fried egg or two.