Whip up this quick and tasty pesto spaghetti squash bowl recipe to pack in the vegetables without compromising on delicious flavor. It’s filled with yummy squash noodles, broccoli, spinach, and tomatoes, all wrapped together with pesto (plus feta)!
You know those evenings when you just can’t pull yourself away from watching Criminal Minds to cook dinner or do anything really except watch 5 episodes of that damn addictive show? Today was one of those days. And now that Dark is back I’m really going to have to consciously plan my evening eating, lest I become the resident malnourished recluse.
But this spaghetti squash bowl sort of fixes all of that. It’s way easy (→ more time for Criminal Minds), works in a decent amount of nutrition (→ more endurance for longer binges of Criminal Minds), and can be enjoyed on the couch as you watch… Criminal Minds.
Spaghetti squash noodles can be used just about like regular noodles, so in this recipe we’ll just mix in some pesto (get the homemade recipe here), green healthy noms (spinach + broccoli + plus a couple other non-green veggies), and feta cheese to make a quick and filling pasta dinner.
I went through a few different methods for cooking spaghetti squash in the weekly ingredient rundown, and I mentioned that you’ll get longer noodles if you cut the squash into discs. Well for the purpose of this recipe, scratch that. We’ll cut our squash lengthwise this time to create two bowls from which to eat our tasty TV dinner (less dirty dishes → more time for Criminal Minds).
Here’s what you’ll need
This recipe for spaghetti squash goes heavy on the veggies which is why it’s a summertime favorite for me! The ingredients call for a bunch of different vegetables, in addition to a delicious pesto sauce and creamy cubes of feta!
- Spaghetti Squash: For the most important ingredient of the recipe, choose 1 medium sized, golden-colored spaghetti squash.
- Olive Oil: Spread olive oil on the inside of the squash before baking to help it tenderize.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes add delicious flavor and will be roasted in the oven alongside the squash.
- Broccoli: Broccoli adds both flavor, nutrients, and helps to make this meal more filling!
- Spinach: 3 cups of fresh spinach may sound like a lot, but it will shrivel down to less than a quarter of that in size!
- Pesto: This dish will need a bit of flavoring to go with all of the veggies, and pesto works so well! Here’s how to make homemade pesto.
- Feta Cheese: Tie it all together with creamy, salt feta cheese!
How to make these spaghetti squash bowls
Step 1: Prep the ingredients
To start, preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Then drizzle the inside with olive oil and rub around to evenly coat. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and prick the outside with a fork. Spread the tomatoes out onto the same baking sheet.
Step 2: Roast the squash and tomatoes
Next, roast the squash and tomatoes for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender but still a little firm. The tomatoes should be burst and lightly browned. When finished, flip over the squash and allow it to cool enough to touch.
Step 3: Cook the broccoli
Meanwhile, place the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
Step 4: Saute the veggies
Lightly grease a large saute pan and set over medium heat. Add the broccoli and spinach, cooking until the spinach has reduced in size. This will take about a minute or so.
Step 5: Spaghettify the squash
Next, use a fork to scrape strands from the inside of the spaghetti squash. Transfer the strands to a separate bowl, leaving about ¼ inch of flesh in the squash to support the bowls (if using the squash for bowls).
Step 6: Assemble the bowl
Finally, add the spaghetti squash noodles, tomatoes, pesto, and feta to the pan with the spinach and broccoli. Gently stir to combine, optionally spooning back into the spaghetti squash shells to serve.
How to pick the perfect spaghetti squash
Choosing a squash is kind of like choosing a watermelon (or a box of chocolates). You never quite know what you’re going to get… unless you know what to look for! Here are some pointers for choosing the best, ripest, juiciest squash that your local farmer’s market or grocery store can provide.
First, you’ll want a squash that feels heavy and dense, and the skin should be really thick. This usually means it’s ripe and ready to eat! Soft spots are a no-no, as these are usually bad spots and will have to be cut off. Color-wise, golden yellow or dark yellow mean we’re in business!
More delicious main courses to try
Not sure what else to include in this week’s recipe lineup? Here are some ideas! Choose from savory chickpea pot pie, delicious carnitas tacos, a yummy, creamy gnocchi, souped up ramen, or enjoy breakfast for dinner with huevos rancheros!
- Easy Chickpea Pot Pie
- Vegetarian Carnitas Tacos
- Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- Easy Kimchi Ramen Hack
- Huevos Rancheros
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes 250 g
- 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
- 1 cup chopped broccoli 175 g
- 3 cups fresh spinach 100 g
- 4 Tbsp pesto or to taste, 120 g
- 4 oz feta cheese cubed, 113 g
- Prep: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the inside with olive oil and rub to evenly coat. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and prick the outside with a fork. Spread tomatoes onto the same baking sheet.
- Roast: Roast for about 30 minutes, or until squash is fork tender but still a little firm. Tomatoes should be burst and lightly browned. When finished, flip over squash and allow to cool enough to touch.
- Broccoli: Meanwhile, place broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 3 minutes until broccoli is tender.
- Saute: Lightly grease a large saute pan and set over medium heat. Add broccoli and spinach, cooking until spinach has reduced in size, just a minute or so.
- Spaghettify: Use a fork to scrape strands from the inside of the spaghetti squash. Transfer strands to a separate bowl, leaving about ¼ inch of flesh in the squash to support your bowls.
- Assemble: Add spaghetti squash noodles, roasted tomatoes, pesto, and feta to the pan with the spinach and broccoli. Gently stir to combine, optionally spooning back into the spaghetti squash shells to serve.
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