Spaghetti Squash with Garlic Pesto, Mozzarella, & Cherry Tomatoes

A low-carb alternative to pasta, spaghetti squash does a great job satisfying my cravings for noodles.

The spaghetti squash takes a tad longer to make than pasta from a box. But it’s a wonderful variation on the traditional pasta salad. 

That’s a strong endorsement from him considering how much he loves pasta, as do I.  

And, it’s almost impossible to overcook which is a constant challenge I face when trying to get pasta al dente.

Enjoy with a glass of white wine or sparkling water.

Why it works

“Spaghetti pasta actually tastes like pasta,” Alex says, “with a tiny bit of a different texture.”

Using salt to draw out the water from the spaghetti squash stops it from being mushy. I learned the technique from Beth at Eat Within Your Means.

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Mozzarella & Cherry Tomatoes

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The spaghetti squash takes a tad longer to make than pasta from a box. But it’s a wonderful variation on the traditional pasta salad. 
Prep Time: 31 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 1 minute
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Anna&Alex
Keyword: 10 ingredients or less, baking, comfort, salad, sauce, summer, vegetarian
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 395kcal
Author: Anna Rider

Ingredients

Pesto

  • 6 sprigs (6 sprigs) Basil
  • 4 cloves (4 cloves) garlic
  • 1/2 cups (15 g) Spinach, Packed
  • 1/2 cups (108 g) Olive Oil
  • 1 cup (117 g) Walnuts
  • 1 cup (100 g) Parmigiano-Reggiano, Grated
  • Salt

Spaghetti Dish

  • 1 (1 ) Spaghetti Squash
  • 8 oz. (226.8 g) Mozzarella, Fresh pearl mozzarella.
  • 2 cups (298 g) Cherry Tomatoes, Washed & destemmed

Instructions

  • Collect the ingredients.
    Collect the ingredients.Pin

Spaghetti Squash

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ªC).
  • Cut the ends off the spaghetti squash.
    Cut the ends off the spaghetti squash.Pin
  • Cut the spaghetti squash into wide rings. It is very important to slice the squash horizontally and not vertically to allow the longest spaghetti squash strands.
    Cut the spaghetti squash into wide rings.Pin
  • Deseed the squash.
    Deseed the squash.Pin
  • Place the spaghetti squash rings into baking trays.
    Place the spaghetti squash rings into baking trays.Pin
  • Sprinkle generously with a lot of salt on each ring. Rub the salt in with your fingers.
    Sprinkle generously with a lot of salt on each ringPin
  • Leave for 15 minutes to allow the water to come to the surface. Pat with paper towels to remove water.
    water to come to the surfacePin
  • Place the baking trays with the squash into the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

Pesto

  • While waiting for the squash to bake, prepare the pesto. Roughly chop the basil. Discard the stems.
    Roughly chop the basil.Pin
  • Put the spinach and basil into a food processor.
    Put the spinach and basil into a food processor.Pin
  • Add the Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, garlic, and walnuts.
    Add the Parmesan-Reggiano cheesePin
  • Pulse the mixture in the food processor while pouring the olive oil slowly into the mixture as it blends the pesto.
    Pour the olive oil slowlyPin
  • Periodically stop the food processor and use a spatula to scrape the sides of the container to ensure even mixing.
    use a spatula to scrape the sidesPin
  • If the mixture seems crumbly, it is too dry. Add extra olive oil directly into the mixture until the pesto is a thick consistency that still flows.
    Add extra olive oilPin
  • Add pepper to taste and continue to pulse.
  • Add salt to taste and continue to pulse.
    Add saltPin

Assembling Spaghetti Squash dish

  • When the spaghetti squash is finished cooking remove from the oven and allow to cool. Run a knife around the edge of the squash.
  • Separate the strands of spaghetti squash from each other. 
    Separate the strands of spaghetti squash from each other.Pin
  • Gently push and pull the squash strands apart to unravel the strands.
    Gently push and pull the squash strandsPin
  • Using a large mixing bowl, add the spaghetti squash and 3 heaping tablespoons of pesto. 
    Using a large mixing bowl, add the spaghetti squash and 3 heaping tablespoons of pesto.Pin
  • Toss together. Add more pesto to taste.
    Toss together.Pin
  • Serve by topping the spaghetti squash with mozzarella and cherry tomatoes.
    Serve by topping the spaghetti squash with mozzarella and cherry tomatoes.Pin
  • Enjoy the Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Mozzarella & Cherry Tomatoes
    Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Mozzarella & Cherry TomatoesPin

Notes

  • This recipe makes more pesto than required for the spaghetti squash. Enjoy the remaining pesto on toast or steamed vegetables.
  • The classic pesto recipe uses pine nuts. Pine nuts are a delicious base for pesto but they’re expensive and not always easy to find at the grocery store.
    • Substituting with walnuts tastes just as good and helps your wallet.
  • Credit:

Nutrition

Calories: 395kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 564mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1265IU | Vitamin C: 16.7mg | Calcium: 404mg | Iron: 1.9mg
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About Anna Rider

Hi! I'm Anna, a food writer who documents kitchen experiments on GarlicDelight.com with the help of my physicist and taste-testing husband, Alex. I have an insatiable appetite for noodles 🍜 and believe in "improv cooking".

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