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



  • 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


  • Collect the ingredients.

Spaghetti Squash

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ªC).
  • Cut the ends off the spaghetti squash.
  • 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.
  • Deseed the squash.
  • Place the spaghetti squash rings into baking trays.
  • Sprinkle generously with a lot of salt on each ring. Rub the salt in with your fingers.
  • Leave for 15 minutes to allow the water to come to the surface. Pat with paper towels to remove water.
  • Place the baking trays with the squash into the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes.


  • While waiting for the squash to bake, prepare the pesto. Roughly chop the basil. Discard the stems.
  • Put the spinach and basil into a food processor.
  • Add the Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, garlic, and walnuts.
  • Pulse the mixture in the food processor while pouring the olive oil slowly into the mixture as it blends the pesto.
  • Periodically stop the food processor and use a spatula to scrape the sides of the container to ensure even mixing.
  • 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 pepper to taste and continue to pulse.
  • Add salt to taste and continue to pulse.

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. 
  • Gently push and pull the squash strands apart to unravel the strands.
  • Using a large mixing bowl, add the spaghetti squash and 3 heaping tablespoons of pesto. 
  • Toss together. Add more pesto to taste.
  • Serve by topping the spaghetti squash with mozzarella and cherry tomatoes.
  • Enjoy the Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Mozzarella & Cherry Tomatoes


  • 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:


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 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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