Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Do you ever feel the hardest part of preparing dinner is figuring out what to make?  Ever play this game- add three ingredients you currently have and the word ‘recipe’ into Google and see what pops up? I call lit recipe roulette. I did this previously with ‘spaghetti squash, kale, sausage,’ and found this recipe which I continue to make.  I decided to modify it due to having a plethora of fresh basil and cherry tomatoes from our garden. Below is the end result.  Enjoy!


  • medium sized spaghetti squash, roasted
  • 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 3 handfuls spinach leaves (or combination of fresh basil and spinach)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil,

Optional Additional Ingredients

  • Chopped, steamed broccoli
  • Sauteed kale, chard or bok choy
  • Diced peppers
  • Cooked ground meat or diced poultry

*traditional pine nut pesto can be substituted for walnuts


  1. Roast spaghetti squash at 400F for 35-45 minutes.  If you have never cooked a spaghetti squash before, it’s easy.  Cut the ends off, cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds and put cut sides down in a roasting pan filled with about 1/2 inch of water and poke a few holes on top with a knife to allow the steam to escape. Alternatively, cook squash in the Instant Pot – see instructions below.
  2. While the squash is roasting, begin making pesto:  Add walnuts & garlic to food processor, process until items are chopped and mixed.  Add spinach/basil, lemon and a pinch of salt.  Begin processing and stream the olive oil in from the top. You may need to adjust the liquid to desired consistency, water added a tablespoon at a time can help too.
  3. Once the spaghetti squash has cooked and cooled enough to hold, take a fork and scrape the squash into a pot or a bowl for combining. I like to use a soup pot.
  4. Add the pesto and cherry tomatoes, mix until combined and serve.

If adding additional ingredients, after step 2, begin sauteing veggies or cooking meat. Once all ingredients are ready, combine and serve.


Scrape out the seeds, prick the top so steam can escape when roasting.


After the spaghetti squash has been roasted and cooled enough to hold, using a fork scrape the inside of the squash into the pan.


Add pesto to the pan, mix, and serve.

Instant Pot Instructions for Cooking Spaghetti Squash

  • Add 1 cup of water to the stainless steel IP insert
  • Using a paring knife poke the squash all over
  • Place squash on top of the trivet in the IP with the water
  • Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes, with lid sealed
  • Allow the seal to naturally release