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 37 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. Amber Rohrer

    This was so good and super easy!

    I can’t believe how flavorful the pesto is, and it’s much healthier than most pesto recipes.

    My boyfriend actually went back for seconds, the first time I have ever seen him do that😂

    Thank you for another easy, delicious and healthy recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

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

  2. Melissa O'Toole

    So good!
    I added honey to the pesto
    I used all fresh ingredients , and it feels good to feed my family a healthy meal

  3. Hailie

    I made this for dinner and it tastes great! my only criticism is that it’s a bit soggy. Really try to dry up the spinach and don’t put too much oil if you’re making this or it’ll be very wet and that isn’t the most pleasant experience. it is probably my own fault though given that i didn’t measure the oil but overall great taste! added lots of parmesean

  4. Rhonda from Rhonda%20Wolke%20Designs

    I made this for dinner party of eight, and every single person person complimented me on the dish! Also, everyone wanted the recipe. It’s such a nice healthy, tasty dish and if you are a vegetable person. Perfect. Highly highly recommend. Thank you, Jeannine.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it!

  5. Mary Joy from veganglobetrotter.com

    I absolutely love this recipe! It’s an incredibly creative way to turn a classic dish into something new and exciting. Squash is one of my favorite vegetables, so I’m always excited to see new ways to incorporate it into different recipes. The combination of lemon, pesto, and squash is an interesting mix of flavors that I’m sure would be delicious. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I hope you enjoy!

  6. Jeff

    It’s okay but I wouldn’t make it again

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.