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Cheesy Pesto Spaghetti Squash

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Whether you’re trying to cut down on pasta or meat, this cheesy pesto spaghetti squash makes it easy! Roasted spaghetti squash is baked with a creamy pesto-infused cheese sauce for a flavorful Meatless Monday dinner.

Fork digging into cheesy pesto spaghetti squash boat

Ah, spaghetti squash. For years, people have been proclaiming it to be the perfect swap for pasta, but let’s be real: spaghetti squash might look like spaghetti, but there’s no mistaking it for pasta.

Instead, let’s appreciate spaghetti squash for what it is! It’s healthy, it’s pretty delicious when you roast it in the oven, and when you pair it with the right ingredients, you won’t even care that it doesn’t taste exactly like spaghetti. Case in point? This cheesy pesto spaghetti squash.

There are not one, not two, but three different cheeses in this recipe. This alone gives the creamy sauce a lot of flavor, but then we add pesto for a bright, herbaceous note to balance out all that richness. My other secret to tasty spaghetti squash is to roast it in the oven, rather than microwaving or steaming it. We all love to save time, but it’s not worth it with spaghetti squash! The longer time in the oven lets a lot of the excess water in the squash bake off, which keeps it from getting soggy and mushy. 

Fork lifting cheesy spaghetti squash out of squash half

What You’ll Need

Not counting the salt and pepper, you’ll only need six ingredients for this cheesy pesto spaghetti squash!

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pesto – Use a store-bought pesto or my Pistachio Pesto.
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese – A shredded Italian blend of cheeses will work, too.
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Milk – If you want to make this keto, you can use cream instead.

What size spaghetti squash should I use?

Use a small spaghetti squash that weighs about a pound and a half. If your grocery store only has larger squash, I recommend increasing the other ingredients to ensure that your squash boats have maximum flavor and cheesiness!

Overhead view of cheesy pesto spaghetti squash

How to Make Cheesy Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Here’s what you’ll need to do to make easy, cheesy baked spaghetti squash:

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 425ºF and place the spaghetti squash halves on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each half with salt. Place the squash in the oven with the cut side up and bake for 15 minutes, or until sightly soft.

Make the cheese sauce. Combine the pesto and cheeses in a bowl, then add the milk and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bake. Fill the spaghetti squash boats with the cheese sauce, then cover them tightly with foil. Return them to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 20 minutes more, or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Finish. Remove the squash from the oven, then use a fork to scrape the flesh into strands.

Overhead view of fork shredding baked cheesy spaghetti squash

Tips for Success

Here are some hints and tips for making this cheesy pesto spaghetti squash recipe:

  • Add fresh herbs. If you have fresh basil, parsley, or thyme on hand, you can add it as a garnish just before serving.
  • Making the “spaghetti.” When you’re ready to eat, take your fork and scrape the flesh of the squash from the stem end all the way to the bottom. This will separate it into strands.
  • Brown the tops. You can turn on the broiler for a few minutes at the end of the cooking time to get the tops of the squash nicely browned. Just make sure you keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

This is a dish that’s best served fresh, but if you have leftovers, you can transfer the insides of the spaghetti squash boats to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat the squash in the microwave and pour off any excess liquid before serving.

Can This Be Frozen?

I don’t recommend freezing this recipe. If you’re looking for a freezer-friendly dinner with a similar flavor profile, try my Lightened Up Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo.

Lifting forkful of spaghetti squash from spaghetti squash boat
Fork digging into cheesy pesto spaghetti squash boat

Cheesy Pesto Spaghetti Squash

This cheesy pesto spaghetti squash is the perfect meatless Monday dinner! Incredibly comforting and oh so easy to make it’s a dish you’ll find yourself cooking again and again.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

  • 1 small spaghetti squash (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved and deseeded
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp pesto
  • Cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 Cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½ Cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¾ Cup milk

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 °F. Set the squash halves on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes. It should be slightly soft. Remove from the oven.
  • Meanwhile prepare the cheese sauce. In a bowl combine the pesto with the ricotta cheese, mozzarella and parmesan. Add the milk and stir to combine. Season with some salt and pepper.
  • Fill the spaghetti squash boats with the cheese sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and take to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and bake for 20 more minutes or until the cheese is slightly golden and bubbly.
  • Take out of the oven and with the help of a fork, scrape into strands, combining with the sauce.

Recipe Notes

  • I love to add some fresh thyme on top to give it some herby flavor but it’s optional.
  • This dish is better when served fresh and it doesn’t refrigerate that well.

NUTRITION FACTS

Calories: 630 kcal | Carbohydrates: 43 g | Protein: 33 g | Fat: 38 g | Saturated Fat: 19 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g | Cholesterol: 93 mg | Sodium: 1118 mg | Potassium: 751 mg | Fiber: 8 g | Sugar: 20 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked spaghetti squash, cheesy spaghetti squash, stuffed spaghetti squash
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