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Want a simple and healthy side dish? This easy spaghetti squash recipe dresses up the squash “noodles” with pesto and Parmesan!

Easy Spaghetti Squash Recipe
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Scraping spaghetti squash into “noodles” feels like a miracle every time, and luckily, it’s seriously tasty too. This season Alex and I have taken it on ourselves to master everything spaghetti squash. With the magic of the Instant Pot we can make it in just in 30 minutes, so needless to say we’ve been making it much more often. (Yes, we’re lazy.) Here’s an easy spaghetti squash recipe that we’ve been making as a healthy side dish. The tender squash noodles are swirled with basil pesto and doused with fluffy grated Parmesan. WOW! I announced after my first bite. You can make this in the oven or pressure cooker: and you’re going to want to make it all the time.

Quick video: Easy spaghetti squash recipe (1 minute!)

To demonstrate the method, we made you a quick video of Alex making this easy spaghetti squash recipe. It’s always easier to watch what to do than read about it (in our minds, at least!). The full tutorial is below.

How to cook spaghetti squash: 2 ways

The biggest barrier to spaghetti squash is figuring out how to cook it! If you’re already a spaghetti squash pro, you can skip this part. But here are our two favorite methods for cooking everyone’s favorite squash:

Method 1: Roast it in the oven.

Here’s the standard method: roasting the squash in the oven! This method takes a little over 1 hour total. Our method shows you how to do it the “right” way. To get the longest noodles, you’ll cut the spaghetti squash width-wise instead of lengthwise. Because the strands of squash run this way, you’ll get long, luxurious noodles. Then you’ll roast it for 40 to 55 minutes, depending on the size and freshness of the squash. You’ll also need 10 minutes to let the squash drain any extra moisture.

Go to: Roasted Spaghetti Squash (the Right Way!).

Easy spaghetti squash recipe

Method 2: Pressure cook it.

Because it’s so quick and simple, we’ve been making Instant Pot spaghetti squash most often! This method takes about 30 minutes total. You’ll cut the spaghetti squash in the same way. Then, you’ll pressure cook for 8 minutes and quick release. After that you’ll drain the squash for 10 minute to release extra moisture. It ends up being just under 30 minutes, which is pretty life changing, we think.

Go to: Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash.

Instant pot spaghetti squash

Tips for this easy spaghetti squash recipe

Dubbing a vegetable spaghetti squash makes it go well with Italian flavors, right? This easy spaghetti squash recipe uses our favorite Italian sauce, pesto, to make flavor-bursting quick sauce. The way the garlicky pesto heightens the flavor of the tender twirly noodles is the perfect fit! And topped with a little snowfall of grated Parmesan cheese, it’s pretty perfect. Our toddler Larson LOVES it, so it qualifies as kid friendly too.

Outside of the cooking methods above, there’s not much to this pesto spaghetti squash! Here are a few notes about the recipe.

  • Make homemade pesto, or purchase for quick prep. Basil and spaghetti squash are available in different seasons. But if you have a lot of basil, we highly suggest our Best Basil Pesto recipe. If not, any high quality brand will do.
  • Make it vegan! You can easily make this recipe fully plant based! Make our Vegan Cashew Pesto and Vegan Parmesan Cheese.
Pesto spaghetti squash

Other ways to eat spaghetti squash

There’s nothing we love more than seeing our 2 year old gobble down a big plate of spaghetti squash! Luckily it’s a veggie that many people seem to love. Here are some of our favorite spaghetti squash recipes:

  1. Lasagna: Here’s a deliciously satisfying no noodle spin on the classic! Try Spaghetti Squash Lasagna.
  2. Spaghetti: What’s better than doused in marinara and Parmesan? Try Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti .
  3. Casserole: Turn it into an Italian style casserole with cheese and pesto! Try Spaghetti Squash Casserole.
  4. Pad Thai: Why not turn it into your favorite takeout? Try Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai.
  5. Mac and Cheese: Even better, let’s go cozy comfort food. Try Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese.
  6. Spring Roll Noodle Bowl: Haven’t tried it, but we’re pretty sure this Spring Roll Noodle Bowl would be amazing with spaghetti squash noodles instead of rice noodles.

Another great squash to try? Roasted Delicata Squash.

What ways do you like to eat it? Let us know in the comments below or over on Instagram.

This easy spaghetti squash recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Easy Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Easy Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Pesto

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes (Instant Pot timing)
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 (as a side) 1x


Want a simple and healthy side dish? This easy spaghetti squash recipe dresses up the squash “noodles” with pesto and Parmesan!


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
  • ⅓ cup basil pesto (homemade, vegan, or purchased)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve (or vegan Parmesan)


  1. Cook the spaghetti squash: follow Roasted Spaghetti Squash or Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash.
  2. Allow the squash to cool slightly, then use a fork to scrape out the squash into “spaghetti” strands. Place the noodles in a colander or strainer and rest for 10 minutes to remove any extra moisture.
  3. In a bowl, combine the pesto, Parmesan, and squash noodles. Toss until well combined. Taste, and add additional salt or pesto as necessary. (Leftovers store in the refrigerator for a few days; you may have to refresh the flavor with additional pesto.)
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker / Roasted
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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