Roasted spaghetti squash with homemade broccoli and pumpkin seed pesto makes for a light yet filling and nutritious dinner – perfect for post-holiday eats!
I don’t know about you all, but I have been seriously crunching on the spaghetti squash lately. While from where I stand, spaghetti squash bears zero resemblance to actual spaghetti, it still makes for a comforting meal during those chilly winter nights when all you want to do is curl up with something hot and steamy and stringy-cheesy.
All in all, this recipe is…
- Relatively quick and easy
- Vegetarian (can easily be made vegan, or can easily include animal protein)
- Fun to consume
Let’s talk about broccoli pesto for a hot second. SAWEET ramalamadingdong, I’d never think in a million years broccoli would make a good pesto…it does folks. Truly, madly, deeply, it does. So much so, that I made this exact meal 5 out of 7 sequential days until all of the pesto had been used up. Which brings me to my next point: the recipe for the broccoli pumpkin seed pesto makes enough for 3 to 4 spaghetti squashes (totalling 6 or 8 spaghetti squash halves). You can either bang out dinner for 6 to 8 or do as I did and eat on the pesto throughout the week. Or, you can store the pesto in a sealed jar and keep it in the freezer for future uses.
The roasted pumpkin seeds are everything in this pesto – roasting the pumpkin seeds is easy and speedy quick, and the process yields so much nutty, rich flavor. Of course you can skip the roasting if you’re under a time crunch.
The order of operations here is you roast the spaghetti squash in the oven (if you’re new to spaghetti squash or could use some tips, check out my tutorial on How to Roast Spaghetti Squash), and prepare the pesto while the squash is roasting.
I blanch the broccoli prior to turning it into pesto mostly to be sure nothing wacky inhabiting the broccoli makes it into my pesto, but also because I prefer the flavor and texture over using raw broccoli. Once the spaghetti squash and the broccoli pesto are finished, I simply combine the two forces, grate a metric ton of parmesan over the meal, and savor every bite of this plant-centric dinner.
Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli-Pumpkin Seed Pesto
- 3 to 4 spaghetti squash roasted
- 1 large crown broccoli chopped into florets
- 2/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- 2 cloves large garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to taste
- 2/3 cup olive oil
Follow these instructions on How to Roast Spaghetti Squash.
While the spaghetti squash is roasting, place chopped broccoli into a saucepan and cover with water. bring to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, just until bright green. Drain the water and immediately rinse the broccoli in a collander with cold water. Allow broccoli to cool all the way and pat dry.
Spread the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees F for 5 minutes, or until seeds are golden-brown.
Add the blanched broccoli, pumpkin seeds, parmesan cheese, garlic, and sea salt to a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped. Leaving the food processor on, slowly pour the olive oil through the opening at the top to combine. Continue processing until desired consistency is reached (Note: You may need to stop the food processor a few times to scrap the sides in order to get everything to combine). This recipe makes a very thick pesto sauce. For thinner consistency, add more olive oil until your desired consistency is reached.
Serve spaghetti squash with desired amount of pesto sauce and garnish with more roasted pumpkin seeds and grated parmesan cheese.