SuperAge Pasta Night: Spaghetti Squash and Pesto

Looking for a healthier alternative to heavy pasta dishes? Try this delicious combination of spaghetti squash “noodles” topped with a bright, dairy-free pesto sauce. It’s a satisfying yet lighter way to enjoy pasta while packing in plenty of nutrients.

Spaghetti squash is a fantastic swap for traditional pasta. When roasted, the flesh separates into long, thin strands that mimic the texture of spaghetti noodles. However, the squash is low in calories and carbs while providing a good source of fiber and vitamins like beta carotene, vitamin C, and pantothenic acid.

The star of this dish is the vibrant pesto sauce made with fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. Unlike traditional pesto which gets its creaminess from parmesan cheese, this dairy-free version achieves a lush texture from the pine nuts alone.

Not only is this vegan entree absolutely delicious, but it also comes together easily for a healthy weeknight meal. Simply roast the squash while preparing the simple pesto, then toss everything together. A sprinkling of chopped fresh basil and pine nuts added just before serving provides great taste and crunch. We recommend pairing this “pasta” with a protein like grilled chicken or marinated tofu. 

Pro tip: We heated our spaghetti squash and pesto sauce in the Our Place pan which is our favorite pan for cooking. It is non-stick making it a breeze for cooking and cleaning afterwards but it also isn’t made with the nasty “forever” chemicals that many pans on the market are made with. We snagged a discount code for AGEIST readers: Get 10% off site-wide with code AGEIST at checkout.

SuperAging Benefits of this meal:

  • The spaghetti squash noodles provide fiber and vitamins like beta carotene, vitamin C, and pantothenic acid.
  • The olive oil and pine nuts provide healthy fats, anti-inflammatory benefits, antioxidants, and protein from the pine nuts.
  • The fresh basil leaves contain vitamins like vitamin K, A, C, E, & manganese. Basil also contains compounds found to have antimicrobial effects. 
Heating our spaghetti squash in the incredible Our Place pan.

Servings: 4
Calories per Serving: 253 calories
Macros per Serving:

  • Total Fat: 23g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Total Carbs: 17g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Net Carbs: 13g
  • Protein: 6g

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1⁄4 cup toasted pine nuts, plus more for garnish
  • 2 packed cups fresh basil leaves 
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1⁄3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place squash cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast until flesh is easily shreddable, about 40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the pesto by combining pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until somewhat smooth yet still retaining texture. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a mortar and pestle — it will just take a little longer (and a little more arm power).

3. Once squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to shred the flesh into spaghetti-like strands. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the pesto sauce until fully coated.

4. Serve spaghetti squash noodles topped with extra pine nuts and chopped basil, if desired.