Vegan Pesto Spaghetti Squash

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Spaghetti squash is awesome. First, it’s named after a pasta. Second, it tastes good no matter what you do with it. Sounds like a win-win to me! I bought a spaghetti squash at last weekend’s Farmer’s Market, but thanks to a lovely case of vertigo, was unable to do anything with it until last night. Feeling a bit more like myself, I decided to look up some super squash recipes for inspiration and came across this little gem from the Greener Ideal blog. Not only does it utilize the squash in a super healthy way, but it also involves pesto – a personal favorite of my handsome boyfriend. As soon as he heard “pesto,” he was in!

I already had most of the ingredients in house, but changed just a couple of things. I only used 1/2 of an onion instead of a whole one (it was pretty huge, so I figure it equalled out to about the same). Instead of pine nuts, which are very expensive, I chose some almonds that were already in my pantry. Lastly, by sheer forgetfulness, I neglected to use the tofu! I was wondering why it didn’t seem like a ton of pesto last night, but the flavor was definitely there! In the end, it didn’t really matter to me as long as it tasted good (two thumbs up from the boyfriend!) – but I definitely had a “DOH!” moment today when I realized what I skipped! Because of the missing tofu, I can’t honestly call this “creamy pesto spaghetti squash” but I think you will enjoy this version just as much as the original.

Vegan Pesto Squash

Vegan Pesto Spaghetti Squash
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
A flavorful mixture of roasted spaghetti squash, healthy veggies, and tasty basil pesto!
Ingredients
  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 3 cups basil leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 handful of almonds (about 15)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ large white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 small Campari tomatoes, chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the squash, hollowed side down on a baking tray and cut several slices in the top to allow steam to exit. Surround the squash with water and insert it in to the oven. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the insides are easily scooped out and the skin is soft.
  2. Using a food processor, blend the basil leaves, garlic, almonds, olive oil, salt, ground black pepper and lemon juice and zest together until smooth. I cut the amount of oil down from the original recipe - if you would like to cut it further, drizzle oil in as the processor is working until you get a pesto-like texture.
  3. Place one tsp. of oil into a large, deep-bottomed frying pan. Toss the onion and mushrooms with the oil and set on medium-high heat, cooking until onions are translucent. Add the red pepper and tomatoes and cook for 1 minute until sweating and slightly soft.
  4. Scoop out the insides of the roasted squash and add it to the mixture, tossing until combined with the other vegetables. If there is a lot of liquid in the pan, drain it at this time.
  5. Pour the pesto mixture over the squash and veggies, mixing until it is combined. Serve hot.
Notes
Differences from original recipe: tofu is not used, almonds are substituted for pine nuts, ½ onion is used instead of a full one, oil is cut down.

Vegan Pesto Spaghetti Squash

If you time everything correctly, you should be able to throw the squash in the oven to roast, have about 20 minutes to yourself, then prep and cook the rest of the recipe so that it’s ready when the squash is done!

What is your favorite spaghetti squash recipe? Share it in the comments below!

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