Creamy Pesto Spaghetti Squash

updated Jul 21, 2023
Snapshot Cooking
Creamy Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Homemade creamy pesto is a fast, flavorful way to upgrade mild-mannered spaghetti squash. Serve it as a summery main, or alongside your favorite protein.

Serves4

Prep15 minutes

Cook10 minutes

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taking a forkful of pesto spaghetti squash in a skillet
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

I was first introduced to creamy pesto pasta at one of my favorite New York City Italian restaurants many years ago. It was lighter and brighter than Alfredo, but just as rich and satisfying, and was packed with nutty, herbaceous flavor. Now, whenever the stars align and I have both heavy cream and pesto in my refrigerator, creamy pesto pasta magic happens.

In the wintertime, I toss my creamy pesto with al dente strands of spaghetti or bucatini. But on these long, hot summer days, I turn to spaghetti squash. I’m not really a fan of using squash to mimic pasta (I mean, they taste nothing alike), so I prefer think of this as simply a fast, flavorful way to upgrade the mild-mannered veggie. It’s great as a super-fast summer main dish, or served alongside your favorite protein.

This recipe works with a scrappy clean-out-the-fridge pesto or your favorite store-bought brand.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Creamy Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Homemade creamy pesto is a fast, flavorful way to upgrade mild-mannered spaghetti squash. Serve it as a summery main, or alongside your favorite protein.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Scrape the strands from a cooked spaghetti squash out with a fork. Halve 1 pint cherry tomatoes. Pick the leaves from 1 bunch fresh basil, then thinly slice the leaves (about 1 1/4 cups).

  2. Bring 1 cup basil pesto and 1/2 cup heavy cream to a simmer in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the spaghetti squash strands, tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to coat in the creamy pesto and cook until warmed through, 4 to 5 minutes. Reserve a small amount of the basil for garnish, then stir the remaining into the spaghetti squash. Garnish with the reserved basil and and serve with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in airtight container up to 4 days.