I’m a fan of spaghetti squash but sometimes struggle with creative ways to use it.
Spaghetti Squash Is Not Pasta
I don’t use spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta. I don’t put red sauce on it. If I want spaghetti, I want spaghetti.
Don’t Squash Experimentation
This recipe was a compilation of a few similar ideas I found online – pesto spaghetti squash (by itself) and a squash lasagna. Then, as usual, I basically went through my fridge looking for other things to throw in and made it up as I went along.
Experiments like that do not usually lead to a final recipe that I’d share, but I get lucky every now and then!
Spaghetti Squash – Why You Need Good Knives
The worst part of cooking spaghetti squash is cutting the darn thing in half. This is where having good knives is critical.
I’ve been a huge fan of Cutco knives forever. Lifetime warranty, personalized service, free sharpening yearly. Pricey, but worth it. Make the investment. Having real knives will immediately up your kitchen game to pro.
I use Cutco’s 8″ butcher knife for this job.
I was actually really happy with how this recipe came out. Two tips:
First, undercook the squash since it is going back in the oven after you mix in the veggies. Spaghetti squash turns to mush easily. Test your squash after 12 minutes. Use a fork to scrape a few strands. They should be al dente.
Second tip – don’t go overboard on the mozzarella.
I had an open package of fresh mozzarella pearls that needed to go. The pearls were perfect because I got a nice bite of the cheese vs. using shredded mozzarella which gets a little lost when it melts and would weigh down your spaghetti squash.
You can certainly use any pesto that you like, but if you have access to some fresh basil then I recommend Jenny’s Basil Cashew Pesto. 😜
If you have a favorite use for spaghetti squash, please share in the comments below!
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- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, sliced
- 2 tbsp Jenny's Basil Cashew Pesto* or other pesto
- 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella pearls or shredded mozzarella
- 2 tbsp shredded parmesan, optional
Bake the squash
- Preheat oven to 400°. Cut spaghetti squash in half, scrape out seeds. Set halves on shallow baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil on each half, using fingers to coat the entire surface. Season well with salt and pepper. Flip over so cut sides are down. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from oven. Using a fork, flip squash upright.
Prepare the filling
- While your squash bakes, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and allow to heat for 30 seconds. Add broccoli florets and stir to coat with the oil. Cook for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and crushed red pepper. Add 1/4 cup water to pan and cover. Allow to steam for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place 2 tbsp pesto in large mixing bowl. Once squash comes out of oven, use a fork to scrape the spaghetti strands into bowl. Use oven mitts to hold the squash because it will be hot, but you want to get the strands out before they overcook. Gently toss the hot squash with the pesto until incorporated. Add the broccoli florets, the roasted red peppers and mozzarella. Toss again gently to combine.
- Divide the squash mixture between the two squash shells. Lower oven to 350° and bake for about 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, add parmesan (if using) to the top of each squash and bake for 5 more minutes until melted. Serve entire boat on a plate.
2 thoughts on “Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli and Roasted Peppers”
Made it this evening. Came out PERFECT!!! We paired it with Bar B Q chicken made on the grill. Great combo. We have half the spaghetti Squash and half the chicke for another evening.
FYI, I found if yu cut the top and bottom off the squash then stand it on the bottom end you can make the cut easily and safely…..piece of cake 🙂
Love the tip for how to cut a spaghetti squash safely! Thanks for giving this recipe a try and for letting me know it worked for you.