Creamy, cheesy and packed with veggie goodness. This Creamy Pesto Spaghetti Squash dinner is a cozy addition to dinner that is so simple to whip up!
This recipe was originally published January 2018 and photos and copy updated September 2020.
Spaghetti squash has been all the craze the last several years and since it's so versatile, and easy to prep, I can see why!
This Pesto Spaghetti Squash is my favorite way to prep it other than just tossing some marinara and cheese in with it.
The hardest part is cutting the spaghetti squash--from there, it's a piece of cake! Cream cheese, pesto, cheese--not sure I need to say much more to convince you!
Don't be afraid of spaghetti squash if you have never had it before. All you need to know for easy prep is:
- Microwave the squash for about 5 minutes to make cutting easier.
- Scoop out the seeds (think pumpkin seeds)
- Lay it on a baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes
Seriously, you are already a pro and don't even know it!
Now grab the pesto and let's do this!
What you will need to make this recipe:
- Shredded or grated parmesan will work fine. Whichever you have or whatever you prefer, go with that! (recipe updated to add the parmesan in 2020)
- Any pesto you love will do! Sometimes I have store bought and other times I have some homemade to add. I prefer the homemade but don't always have everything I need to whip it up at home. One of my favorite pestos is actually this cilantro pesto if you can believe it!
How to make this recipe:
- For best results, and easier cutting, I microwave my spaghetti squash for about 5 minutes before cutting. This makes it so much smoother in the end to get through! Cut your spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds from the center. Then lay the spaghetti squash on a baking sheet and spread olive oil over top of the the inside flesh and season with salt, pepper and garlic. (step 1)
- I like to bake mine face up for a bit more crispiness to the "noodles" on the edges. Most people say to cook your spaghetti squash face. I think you are fine either way! Bake it for about 30 minutes or until hot and you are able to easily pull the "pasta" away from the edges. Remove from the oven and begin to fluff and pull apart the insides. (steps 2 and 3)
- While the spaghetti squash bakes, mix the softened cream cheese and pesto together. Then add it to the mozzarella, parmesan, red pepper and spinach. Mix to combine. (steps 5 and 6)
- Scoop half of this mixture into each half of the spaghetti squash and stir to incorporate . (steps 6 and 7)
- Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese over top and bake until cheese is melted. You are all set to serve it up! I like to sprinkle some fresh parsley or basil over top. Feel free to add some cut up chicken as well. (steps 8 and 9)
Notes and Pro-Tips:
- If you are interested in meal prepping, you can always cook the spaghetti squash earlier in the week and then add the fixins the night you plan on eating this.
- The pesto spaghetti squash recipe is really simple to multiply if you need to make more. This one is for the use of one squash so you just do the same thing for each additional squash you use.
Try these other simple dinner recipes:
- 20 Minute Black Bean Salsa Soup
- Simple Turkey Pepper Skillet
- Baked Orange Sheet Pan Dinner
- Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili
- Instant Pot Creamy Garlic Chicken
Creamy Pesto Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash halved and seeds removed
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 2 T pesto
- ½ c fresh chopped spinach
- ¼ c parmesan cheese, shredded
- ½ c mozzarella, shredded
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Olive Oil
- sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Brush thin layer of olive oil on the inside of spaghetti squash. Season with garlic powder, sea salt and pepper
- Place open side up on a baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes.
- While squash is cooking, mix together the softened cream cheese and pesto. Then add it to the spinach, parmesan and ¼ c mozzarella and mix to combine.
- When squash is cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Use a fork to start scraping some of the some of the strands from the sides.
- Spoon equal amounts of the cream cheese/pesto/spinach mixture into the halves and stir to work into the spaghetti squash, continuing to fluff and pull the spaghetti like strands of the squash until mixture is combined.
- Cover each half of the spaghetti squash with the rest of the mozzarella and return to the oven.
- Bake for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle fresh parsley or basil on top and more red pepper and serve!