Caitlin Bensel
Active Time
20 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour
Serves 2 (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

This pesto packs a flavorful punch—it’s perfect for adding bold flavor to low carb spaghetti squash.

Instead of roasting squash halves, we opted to slice the squash in rings; this yields longer, twirlable strands that mimic your favorite traditional pasta. Because the greens and herbs in the pesto are blanched first, you can make it a couple of days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. This dairy- and gluten- free vegan recipe is perfectly delicious as-is, but if you want to take it to the next level, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese takes it over the top.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; coat with cooking spray. Cut ends off spaghetti squash; discard. Slice squash into 1 1/2-inch rings; scoop out and discard seeds and membranes. Cut lemon in half lengthwise. Squeeze juice from 1 lemon half to equal 1 tablespoon, and set aside. Cut remaining lemon half into 4 wedges. Arrange lemon wedges, squash rings, and shallot quarters on prepared baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray.

Step 2

Bake until squash is just tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Remove squash rings from baking sheet; set aside lemon wedges and shallot quarters until ready to serve. Scoop out spaghetti-like strands from inside of squash rings into a bowl using a spoon. (Discard remaining squash.) Stir 1/4 teaspoon of the salt into squash strands in bowl. Cover to keep warm, and set aside.

Step 3

Fill a bowl with ice water; place a colander inside bowl on top of ice. Fill a medium saucepan with water; bring to a boil over high. Add spinach, parsley, and 1 cup of the basil to saucepan; cook 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon; place in colander submerged in ice water, and let stand 2 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water.

Step 4

Place cooked spinach mixture, oil, garlic, reserved lemon juice, 3 tablespoons of the pepitas, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor; process until smooth, about 45 seconds.

Step 5

Add spinach pesto to squash strands; toss gently. Divide squash mixture, lemon wedges, and shallot quarters evenly among 2 shallow bowls. Sprinkle bowls evenly with remaining 1/4 cup basil leaves and 1 tablespoon pepitas.

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