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

4.9 from 25 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):  

  1. Deb

    I made this for dinner for two meat-eaters, one of whom is hardcore pro meet. And they both loved it (and so did I). The hardcore meat eater in particular raved. He was shocked he could enjoy a meal without meat. I made it with a salad – a beet citrus salad with kale and pistachios – in case anyone is looking for ideas. And it was such a healthy, delicious dinner. Thank you for this recipe!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Wow! So glad the recipe was a hit!

  2. Annie C.

    This was great! I roasted zucchini instead of cauliflower and accidentally toasted pine nuts to a med brown- which turned out to be awesome! Also used store bought pesto. This was a great meatless Monday dinner!

  3. Cherie

    I loved this dish! And you are right about striving for al dente with the spaghetti squash. I didn’t make the pesto recipe. Instead I used fresh, store-bought. Next time I would use the juice of 1 lemon, not half. Also I roasted the pine nuts before adding them. Will definitely make this again and have shared it on FB. Thank you!

  4. 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.

  5. 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 😊

  6. Liz

    Absolutely delicious – made it last night. A keeper!

  7. 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:(

  8. 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!!

  9. K

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

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Julie Scher

    YUM!!! This is lovely!

  17. JoAnn

    I am making this recipe rt now.😋

  18. Amy

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

  19. Richard

    Such a nice recipes for healthy foods..

  20. 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!

    • christina

      yum!!!! (actually, I said, “DAYUM,” out loud)

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.