Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Vegan, gluten-free, or none of the above? You'll love this flavorful pesto spaghetti squash bowl filled with spinach, roasted cauliflower & pine nuts.

Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Back by popular demand – spaghetti squash! If you’ve been following for long you’ll know that I haven’t always been the biggest fan of it. But here’s what I’ve learned: it’s best to get the “spaghetti” thought out of your mind. As pasta, it’s kind of mushy. As a roasted vegetable that happens to form into little strands, it’s so delicious. Especially with a squeeze of lemon and a few dollops of pesto. And if you’re new to spaghetti squash, head over to this post to read my favorite tips for cooking it.

How to make Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

For texture and crunch, I tossed the squash with roasted cauliflower, spinach, and pine nuts. This pesto spaghetti squash is a simple, healthy weeknight meal or vegetable side dish. Serve it like it’s pictured or mix everything together with the pesto. (It’s not as pretty at that point, but still tasty).

And if you’re still feeling like pasta, check back Friday 🙂

Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

4.8 from 19 reviews

Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

This veggie-heavy bowl is a great gluten-free, vegan weeknight dinner. Check out this post on how to cook spaghetti squash for tips on how to prepare perfectly al dente, not-too-mushy strands.
Recipe type: Main dish
Serves: 4
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • Hemp Seed Pesto (use spinach and herbs in place of the kale)
  • 2 cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • Juice of ½ small lemon, plus wedges for serving
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (parsley or basil)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare and roast the spaghetti squash according to the instructions in this post. Drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on the second baking sheet. Roast for about 25 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
  3. Meanwhile, make the pesto and set aside.
  4. Place the baby spinach in a large bowl. Use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash into strands. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper (you can do this right in the spaghetti squash halves). Add the spaghetti squash to the bowl and gently toss, so that the heat from the squash lightly wilts the spinach leaves.
  5. Add the roasted cauliflower, pine nuts, parsley, and a dollop of the pesto.
  6. Optional step: toss it all together so that the pesto coats all of the vegetables.
  7. Serve with lemon wedges, extra pesto, and Parmesan, if desired.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

    • Tricia Alberini

      Was amazing!!

  1. Rabecca from midnightburnout.com

    Oh gosh, this was so delish! Usually I’m not a salad person because it always tastes bland and never fills me up. But this recipe was actually enjoyable to the taste. Thanks!


    • jeanine

      so glad you liked it! 🙂

  2. Beverly

    This looks amazing – I’ll make it soon, but with traditional pesto because I
    l-o-v-e basil.

    • jeanine

      Ha – me too, (it’s just harder to come by in the winter time)

      • J Smith

        I make fresh pesto and freeze it in ice cube trays so I have it all winter long !

      • Sharon

        Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods and Costco sells Pesto in a jar. It’s made with basil, olive oil pine nuts and Parmesan cheese

  3. This spaghetti squash looks wonderfully refreshing! I usually see spaghetti squash recipes that have been packed with too much so this is more my style!

  4. Randle from weekofplenty.com

    OMG you’re so right. Have to get the idea of “spaghetti” out of your mind. It’s just like with zoodles. Only a noodle replacement in shape, not texture or taste. This looks super tasty and vibrant!

    • jeanine

      yep, my thoughts exactly 🙂

  5. Braiden from braidenchastain.com

    Yum! I love spaghetti squash. I can’t wait to try it with pesto!

  6. I see so many recipes for spaghetti squash and this is the only one that has ever made me feel PUMPED to try it right away!

    • jeanine

      Ha, let me know how it goes 🙂

  7. Tori from gringalicious.com

    What an delicious way to do spaghetti squash! This is so my kinda meal!

  8. Dennis

    FABULOUS. Made it last night and loved it. Used traditional basil. An absolute winner.

  9. The lemon pesto combination has me dreaming of summer!! too soon?

  10. Grey from intertwinedescondido.com

    I just tried this recipe! It was great. Thanks for this.

  11. Donna from Yummly

    I couldn’t wait to make this and it was delicous! Unexpected, but very tasty! I used fresh basil and tossed everything with traditional pesto. Wow..will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing!

    • jeanine

      Hi Donna – I’m so glad you liked it!

  12. This looks so appetizing! And seems to be a perfect blend of tasty and healthy. People tend to put too many flavors, and what I loved about your recipe is that it is simple and one can imagine tasting all the ingredients you’ve mentioned with every bite of the dish. Keep such recipes coming!

  13. Tracy from Loveandlemons

    My family of meat eaters is trying hard to clean up our diet and reset our taste buds. I have made several of your recipes thus far, and all are fantastic. This one, however, takes the cake!! Our teen girls loved it and hubby asked for seconds. Thank you for making clean eating so tasteful.

  14. kimtan from atozfoodrecipes.com

    very useful recipe, thank you for sharing

  15. Caitlin

    This looks so awesome! I’m also wondering about that gorgeous bowl. Would you share the source?

    Thank you!!

      • Caitlin

        Thanks Jeanine! I’ve (very) recently taken up wheelthrowing so really have my eye on beautiful ceramics these days 🙂

  16. Nicole from amodestfeast.com

    Spaghetti squash hasn’t really been my thing either, but most likely because it’s usually presented as a (very poor) substitute for pasta, and shouldn’t be treated as such. I really like the idea of punching it up with zesty pesto and some greens; can’t wait to try this.

  17. Oh how I wish we had access to winter vegetables locally here in Kauai! Oh well, I will have to live vicariously, through your beautiful imagery…..

  18. katherine dulcich

    Made this tonight for dinner. Used 1/2 baby kale and 1/2 basil plus extra garlic in the pesto. Upped the quantity of cauliflower and pine nuts because we’re big eaters. Subbed the spinach for some hardy arugula. Served it with a side of sautéed garlicky greens and some great local beer. SO good! Health on a plate and incredibly satisfying. Will make this again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Katherine – yay, I’m so glad it was a winner!

  19. Richard

    Such a nice recipes for healthy foods..

  20. Amy

    Recipe sounds delicious. I’m always looking for new creative dishes. Love that it is healthy can’t wait to try them.

  21. JoAnn

    I am making this recipe rt now.😋

  22. Julie Scher

    YUM!!! This is lovely!

  23. Elleb

    I really enjoyed your receipe for spaghetti squash! It was so easy and quick to prepare.

    Do you have a meat with spaghetti squash available?
    Thank you

  24. Ellen. b

    I really enjoyed your receipe for spaghetti squash! It was so easy and quick to prepare.

    Do you have a meat with spaghetti squash available?
    Thank you

  25. Shannon

    This is amazing and it comes together very quick once the cauliflower and squash are done. No modifications needed!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Shannon, I’m glad you loved it!

  26. Caroline

    Just made this and it is out of this world delicious! Would recommend to anyone and everyone

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Caroline, I’m so glad you loved it!

  27. Thank you very much for posting this recipe. Perhaps make step 0 to pre heat the oven to 400゚ F. It took over 10 minutes and I could have done that while slicing and removing the seeds. Just a thought. Thanks again!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Step 1 is preheat the oven.

  28. MommaMosh

    Very yummy!
    This summer I subscribed to an organic farm share – my first time. This week I got a spaghetti squash & some baby spinach. This is a perfect recipe, especially with the zip of fresh lemon.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  29. K

    Absolutely delicious and makes for great leftovers!! Will definitely be making again

  30. Karen

    Sooo good! I didn’t have lemon so I used lime. Made it with store bought pesto because I don’t have the pesto ingredients. Will make again! Thank you!!

  31. Leah Maria

    I love every ingredient in this recipe, and although it was good, the dish just didn’t seem to cut it for me🤷‍♀️ the lemon was a definite must here. Maybe I was missing more seasonings? I’ll still eat my leftovers but won’t be making again:(

  32. Liz

    Absolutely delicious – made it last night. A keeper!

  33. Diane

    Wow! This is a really tasty dish! My non vegan husband gave it a 9! I made the pestO with spinach and basil and 3 gloves garlic, so good. I never would have thought to use hemp hearts in pesto, great nutty flavour. I swapped pine nuts for cashews. Did the squash(20-30mins) and cauliflower(15-17mins) in the air fryer. So many combination possibilities for this dish! This is my new go to pesto recipe! Thanks 😊

  34. Gail

    I am so excited to discover your recipes for spaghetti squash. I share your feelings about squash as pasta, but am looking forward to creating and sharing these delicious dishes! Thank you for the detail and tips included in your basic roasting recipe.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.