Basil-Mint Pesto Spaghetti Squash is a great side dish which is healthy, low in carbs and full of flavor. This type of squash is a bit crunchy and firm which allows it to hold up to the sauce and it has a lighter feeling than regular white pasta.
Spaghetti squash is a winter squash that is rich in vitamins and low in calories. It also has a lot of fiber so it is a great alternative to pasta if you are limiting your carbs. The flavor is very mild so you can get creative with different sauces and it will pick up whatever flavor it is combined with.
Since we all want to get more vegetables into our diet, this is a great way to accomplish it plus you get to enjoy it with the yummy pesto.
I will usually have this dish as my main course but for those with bigger appetites I will serve it along with a grilled pork chop, chicken or some type of protein.
As you can see in this explicit photo, I cooked the spaghetti squash in the microwave. This time the squash was rather large so I wasn’t sure how long to cook it. After about 7 minutes, it needed additional cooking so I set the timer for 4 more minutes and walked off. Unfortunately, I forgot to poke some holes into the squash to let out the pressure and steam escape so about 2 minutes later I heard a big bang! I rant back into the kitchen and the microwave door had popped open, the squash exploded and I had a good laugh looking at the mess I had made! I think I may go old school next time and use the oven.
A healthy side dish.
- 1 medium – large spaghetti squash
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 cup of basil
- 1/2 cup of mint
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/3–1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 300º. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 10 minutes.
Microwave Method for squash
Puncture squash several times with a sharp knife. Put in microwave for 6 minutes. Check to see if the squash is soft to the touch. If not, cook for another 2- 3 more minutes then test again. Depending on the size of the squash, you will need to adjust cooking time. Once it cools, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds. Brush each half with olive oil and roast in a 400º oven for 30-40 minutes.
- Combine basil, mint, garlic and walnuts in a food processor or blender. Then slowly drizzle the oil with the motor running. Once all oil has been added and pesto is emulsified, add salt and pepper to taste, squeeze of lemon and the Parmesan.
- Scoop stringy flesh of spaghetti squash out with a fork. Work from the outside in scraping and fluffing it as you go.
- Heat a large pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil then add squash. Add the pesto a little at a time stirring until coated.
Cut 1 cup of cherry tomatoes in half. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pan, add tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and sauté for 5-7 minutes until tomatoes are soft but still hold their shape. Add additional salt and pepper.
Put squash into a large bowl with tomatoes in the center and serve. Finish off with some grated cheese.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Healthy
Keywords: Spaghetti Squash, Squash, Pesto, Healthy, Vegetarian