Monday, October 06, 2014

Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto and Parmesan (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com
Spaghetti squash is Low-Carb and it's delicious with pesto and Parmesan.

(This recipe was updated with better photos step-by-step instructions October 2014.  It's prime time for spaghetti squash, so grab some from the farmer's market or from your neighbor's garden and give it a try!)

Have you tried spaghetti squash?  In Utah it's a trendy plant for home vegetable gardeners that's easy to grow, low in calories, and versatile.  For years I grew spaghetti squash in my garden, and although I'm not a fan of spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta, I love to eat it as a side dish. This easy-to-make Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan is definitely something I'll be making again.

Spaghetti Squash is low-glycemic and low-carb enough to be considered a phase one food for the South Beach Diet, and it shows up in the garden about the time you've been making Pesto and storing it in the freezer, making this a perfect Meatless Monday dish for this time of year.  (To see more Meatless Monday ideas, use the label Meatless Monday or visit Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index.  I also have a Meatless Monday Pinterest board and share a weekly Meatless Monday idea for Meatless Monday at BlogHer.com.)

Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com
Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and use a sharp spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy gunk that's around the seeds.  Rub the cut sides with some olive oil and sprinkle with a little Italian Herb blend.

Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com
Roast the squash at 400F/200C until the squash pulls apart easily with a fork like this.

I had a really big squash so I scraped it all out into a baking dish to mix the pesto and Parmesan with the squash.  (You could do this in the same dish you bake it in if you're not taking photos!)

Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com
Here's how it looked when the squash, pesto, and Parmesan was evenly mixed.

Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com
I transferred it to this baking dish which is about 12 inches by 8 inches. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com
Bake 20-30 minutes more, or until it's bubbling and starting to brown.

Original photo Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com
And here's the original photo from 2009, which never was especially excited about!


Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto and Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com
Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Parmesan
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn.)

Ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash (6-8 lbs.)
1-2 T olive oil (depending on how big your squash is)
1-2 tsp. Italian Herb Blend (or use other seasoning of your choice)
3 T basil pesto (more or less to taste)
1 cup + 1/4 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Wash outside of spaghetti squash if it's dirty, then cut squash in half lengthwise. Use a sharp pointed spoon to scrape out seeds and stringy gunk that's around the seeds.

Cut ends off squash if desired, then rub inside surface with a small amount of olive oil and Italian Herb Blend. Put squash on baking sheet that you've sprayed with non-stick spray. Roast squash, starting to check after about 40 minutes and removing when squash is still firm but strings apart fairly easily into spaghetti-like strands.  (It took about 50 minutes for the large pieces of squash I had.)

Let squash cool a few minutes if needed, then scrape out strands into a plastic bowl or baking pan and discard skins. Gently mix in pesto and the cup of coarsely grated Parmesan cheese, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper, then pour squash/cheese mixture into a gratin dish and top with 1/4 cup more Parmesan cheese. Bake 20-30 minutes more, until mixture is slightly bubbling and cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve hot.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Spaghetti squash like this is a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any other type of low-glycemic eating plan.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

More Meatless Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash Sauteed with Vegetables and Feta
Spaghetti Squash Tacos ~ Taste and Tell
Greek Salad Spaghetti Squash Bowl
Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Marinara ~ Family Fresh Cooking
Vegan Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Mexican Bowl~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosures:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon! counter customizable free hit

This recipe was first posted for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by The Daily Tiffin.
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50 comments:

  1. my mama bought spaghetti squash one time, but it went bad before we could eat it :(

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  2. Spaghetti squash was always on our table. I love the addition of pesto and Parmesan too:D

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  3. This is actually perfectly timed because just last night I was looking for spaghetti squash recipes. This looks great!

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  4. I love spaghetti squash...will love making this recipe. Thanks-didn't know it was that good for you too.
    I just love the taste.

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  5. This sounds great. I can't wait to try it.

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  6. carole with an "e" in NYCFebruary 6, 2009 at 7:31 AM

    Good morning Kalyn,
    I was happy to see that one of my favorites, spaghetti squash, is healthy too. I usually just roast this as you started it, but add a little butter to the herbs and then just scrape out the squash for a side. And I usually eat the leftover squash for breakfast (cold) I love it so much. Thanks for this variation; my husband will be happy with the change!

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  7. Oh, I love the sound of that! After my hilariously bungled attempt at roasted spaghetti squash with the skin on, I am keen to try another recipe - and the flavours in this one sound perfect!

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  8. I love Spaghetti Squash, and we've got perfect weather for it right now in SoCal!

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  9. I am wanting to try spaghetti squash and this sounds like the right recipe to use!Pesto and cheese, yum!

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  10. This sounds amazing :) I am now on Phase 2 and looking for variety in my menu.

    Thanks for the great recipe!

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  11. Spaghetti squash was such a fad food for a while -- I remember so many dinner parties where the host made "spaghetti and meatballs" with spaghetti squash. So much better to let it be the wonderful vegetable it is! I'm jealous that you have your own garden-grown squash. How long will it keep after harvest?

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  12. What a day of running around I've had; hence no responding to comments until now. I do read and appreciate them all though. Glad to know so many people like spaghetti squash. I was shocked recently to discover it's phase one for South Beach. Lydia, it keeps for months and months. Definitely going to grow it again next year!

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  13. I love spaghetti squash and got it several times from my CSA last summer. I've always struggled a bit with the seasoning .. sometimes it's too bland, and other times, I over compensate and it's too spicey. This strikes me as a delicious balance.

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  14. TW, thanks. I have to admit, I've made some pretty bland versions of spaghetti squash myself. It definitely needs something to spice it up!

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  15. That looks divine! I love spaghetti squash -- especially with tomatoes and garlic on top. Mmmm! I am going to have to add this to my to-try list.

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  16. Thanks for the recipe! I love spaghetti squash! I hope to talk BF into putting it into our garden this year! I normally eat it with just butter and Parm cheese, either alone or as a side..have sometimes used it as a pasta sub. I can't wait to try this!!

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  17. Sarah, hope you like it!

    Debbi, nothing beats growing your own veggies! Good luck with that project.

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  18. Kalyn: This looks delicious. It could be served as a light lunch or as a side dish. I'd like to serve spaghetti squash more often, but I really never know what to do with it. Thanks for sharing. :D

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  19. That looks like a nice way to enjoy some spaghetti squash.

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  20. Kalyn, I'm not sure why it's never occurred to me to twice-bake spaghetti squash, but this recipe sounds awesome! I don't generally use it as a sub for pasta either -- realistically, it's NOT the same, and it does have that sweet flavor -- but I do enjoy it a lot as a side, or even, with a good roasted tomato sauce, as a main dish. I'm going to have to give this a try -- one of the things I don't like about it is that sometimes it can give off tons of water. I'm guessing twice-baking it eliminates some of that.

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  21. Man i dont have any pesto

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  22. can you freeze squash if so should it be before or after cooking

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  23. Realgoldn, I've never tried freezing spaghetti squash. I've frozen other kinds of winter squash though and the results are usually not too good for plain squash. It will freeze okay as part of a soup or stew, but for plain squash the frozen squash gets pretty waterey. I doubt that spaghetti squash will be that great frozen, but if you try it please let us know how it turns out.

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  24. I was hooked on almost this exact recipe for MONTHS. I'd have it a few times a week as my main dinner. Except I use feta cheese. Give that a try... awwwwesome!

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  25. Kalyn,
    You speed up the process, you can microwave the spaghetti squash, then use the rest of the recipe. Pierce squash in several places, place on paper towel, then microwave uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, turning over once during cooking time. Let cool 10 minutes, then cut in half, remove seeds and fibers.

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  26. Another delicious recipe, Kalyn. Thanks!!

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  27. This looks REALLY yummy, I can't wait to make it! I've been looking around at spaghetti squash recipes and it seems like they all have different cooking instructions: cut side up, cut side down, with water, without water, 30 mins, 90 mins.

    I saw that you suggested cut side up, with water for 50 mins. Do you know why there are so many other directions?

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  28. Anna, don't really know, but I think spaghetti squash is something where there are a lot of ways to cook it, so that might be why. I know people who just microwave it, and they swear it turns out fine.

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  29. I actually just tried this for the first time tonight. I microwaved it in a dish with 1/4 cup of water like the South Beach Diet book told me to. It came our similar to the consistency of sauerkraut. Is it supposed to be drier? Is it actually supposed to look like spaghetti? Maybe next time I will try roasting it dry in the microwave. It didn't taste bad though, despite looking like a hot dog topping.

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  30. I wouldn't use water to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave. I actually haven't cooked it with a microwave, although I know some people do. I think oven roasting will give a drier texture, and yes it does resemble thin spaghetti.

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  31. I too don't like it as a pasta sub. but last summer I made it into spagetti squash pancake like a potatoe pancake. It is especially good if you freeze it after you cook it. Then squeeze out your squash after it thaws then mix it with cheese and garlic salt. Then cook pancake til crispy. love your website.

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  32. Thank you! Love the Sound of your spaghetti squash pancake.

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  33. I have some fresh basil I'd like to use in this, but I don't have a food processor to make my own pesto. How do you think this would be with finely chopped basil instead of pesto, tossed with a little olive oil? Thanks Kalyn!

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  34. I think it would still be good. In Italy they make pesto by hand with a mortar and pestle, so you could try that if you have one of those.

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  35. I used spaghetti squash for the first time recently, and I'm a believer now. I featured this recipe on the Clark's Condensed first Sunday Dinner Party post, come grab a button if you want :) And if you'd like the picture of your food included in the blog, let me know. I just didn't want to use it without your permission :)

    http://www.clarkscondensed.com/2013/01/sunday-dinner-party.html

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  36. Thanks so much for this recipe. I was given a spaghetti squash today and had never cooked one. This was easy and delicious.

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  37. This is right up my alley! I LOVE spaghetti squash and pesto so much. I will have to make this. Pinning it to my "to make" board!!

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  38. I have a spaghetti squash in the house that is perfect for this! Can't wait to try it!

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  39. Love spaghetti squash, but I always select the one that is too hard to cut and takes forever to cook. What is the secret to selecting a squash that is ripe?

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  40. Lynn I don't think it's an issue with ripeness; they are always hard to cut. Some people microwave for a few minutes to soften them up.

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  41. I hate cutting them open - so I just roast them whole, then cut them and scoop out the seeds and then the flesh. It would probably change the flavor in this dish - no Italian seasoning roasting with the squash. But it's sooo much easier to cut.
    And I can't wait to try this. I still have some pesto, and I love spaghetti squash.

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  42. Debbie, I agree they can be a pain to cut open. Microwaving for a few minutes can help, but I'm sure your method will give good results as well. Maybe add a little bit of Italian Herb Blend when you mix in the pesto and Parmesan?

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  43. This is Fantastic! And easy! I used pre grated parmesan reggiano and a jar of pesto! Pared with snow peas for meatless monday! Thanks again for another winner Kalyn!


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  44. So good! Will be making this again for sure! Even my 9 month old LOVED it!!!

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