Avocado Pesto Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Spaghetti squash is one of nature’s food miracles – vegetable noodles grown in a shell! I love the freshness of spaghetti squash and use it in any hot dish that usually calls for spaghetti noodles. It’s guilt-free and usually works great! This creamy avocado pesto is the perfect compliment to the freshness of spaghetti squash. Plus – from start to finish, this recipe takes only 30 minutes!
I know, I know, cooking spaghetti squash can be a pain. As much as I love spaghetti squash, sometimes I don’t feel like going to the effort of baking it for upwards of 45 minutes. And then there’s always the worry that I’ll chop off my fingers while preparing it… Roasting squash has always felt like more work than boiling noodles.
I’ve discovered the quickest, easiest trick to cooking spaghetti squash.
And it’s so obvious I wonder why it’s taken me this long to figure it out. Any guesses?
And the answer is… microwave it! Seriously.
All you have to do is poke around the squash every few inches with a knife and then stick it in the microwave for 5 minute increments 3 times. Once cooked, it’s easy to cut because it’s soft! Also much easier to scrape the seeds out. In sum: microwaving leads to quicker cook time and easier cutting. Game changer.
Now about this avocado pesto.
Pesto is a favorite around my house, and avocado takes it to the next level by adding some creaminess while also reducing the oil. We’ve used this pesto on sandwiches and noodles and loved it. I am sure it would be great on anything, really.
It is also really simple to make – all that’s needed is a food processor. Throw all the ingredients in while your squash is cooking and blend until smooth. It turns into a nice, thick sauce that coats the spaghetti squash noodles well.
Traditionally, pesto calls for pine nuts, but I’ve found that walnuts do a good enough job and at a fraction of the price. If you’re a pine nut lover though, feel free to use those in place of the walnuts in this recipe.
I decided to use shrimp and cherry tomatoes to round out this recipe, but it would also be delicious with some grilled chicken and spinach or peas. Pre-cooked shrimp and tomatoes worked well to make the dish in under 30 minutes because they only need to be sautéed for a few minutes and sprinkled with salt and pepper, but feel free to experiment with other veggies as time permits!
So there you have it, a very quick, very healthy, very tasty meal! I hope your family loves it as much as mine did!
Avocado Pesto Spaghetti Squash
- 1 medium Spaghetti Squash
- 1 medium avocado
- 1/2 cup basil, fresh
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1/8 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- Using a small, sharp knife, carefully pierce the skin of the spaghetti squash every few inches. Place whole squash on a microwave safe dish and microwave for 5 minutes. Rotate and cook for 5 more minutes. Repeat once or twice more, or until the skin is easily pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto: add avocado, basil, lemon juice, garlic, parmesan, walnuts, salt, and olive oil to a food processor. Pulse until a smooth paste forms.
- Saute shrimp and cut tomatoes on medium-high heat, or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once fully cooked, use a large knife to cut the spaghetti squash in half, from stem to bottom. Carefully scrape out seeds and discard. Using a spoon, scrape the “noodles” out of the skin and place in a bowl. Add the pesto sauce and mix until spaghetti squash noodles are well coated.
- Serve Shrimp and tomatoes over pesto spaghetti squash. Garnish with extra parmesan if desired.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
I love veggie pasta…but it is much better for you raw as once you put any food in the microwave it changes structure and the body does not recognise it…it becomes toxic. Studies are now showing that food cooked or heated in the microwave is really hazardous to your body….so I would really reconsider using the microwave:)
Anytime you are cooking or heating a food the chemical structure is changed whether it is conventional oven or microwave oven. With any heat source there are things you have to be careful about. When used properly a microwave is a safe way to heat food. http://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/ResourcesforYouRadiationEmittingProducts/ucm252762.htm
Katrina – did you heat your pesto? I made this and the kids commented that it wasn’t very warm – no complaints, though – the whole family ate it right up! I served with cherry tomatoes and some leftover grilled chicken. Yum.
Hi Johanna! So glad to hear they loved it! Grilled chicken would be great. And good question – I didn’t say, did I? I didn’t heat mine up, it was room temperature, but for leftovers I did heat it up and it was still delicious!
Second time I have tried this dish – absolutely delicious! Thanks ever so much for this!
I enjoy going to the Farmers Market here and get upset when i can’t. Trying new recipes with some of your suggestions and products is wonderful. I am getting my husband to eat more veggies and gluten free products. Won’t do the pizza, but does eat the pasta. Thank you Amy’s for making such good food for us!! Really love the macaroni and cheese.
I microwave my spaghetti squash. Poke it all over with a fork, cook 8 minutes. Then turn over and cook 8 more minutes. Viola! Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to try it tonight.
Hope you enjoy! I think this should be easy to adapt to cooking on the stove. Love to hear how it turns out.
Looks really good. Probably lots of flavor pop. Must try! ????
One pot dishes are my favorite to make. This looks so delicious and easy to make. I will have to give it a try this weekend.
This looks beyond amazing! I tend to spend all of my money on food, specifically soup (I can eat it all day, every day, and any time of the year). I haven’t heard of some of your ingredients but would love to try this recipe for sure!
I made spaghetti squash for the first time last night and LOVED it! I started eating gluten free recently, and my gluten-eating BF was craving pasta I tried spaghetti squash. He tried a bit of mine, and liked it – so it looks like i’ll be searching out more spaghetti squash recipes!