Spaghetti Squash with Basil-Parsley Pesto and Sautéed Shrimp

Spaghetti squash with sauteed shrimp and basil-parsley pesto makes for an nutrient-packed low-carb paleo-friendly dinner that happens to also be Whole30 compliant!

Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Sautéed Shrimp

Truth: I’ve been roasting winter squash for weeks.

Behind the scenes, there has been a whole lot of preheating to 400, chopping, scooping, roasting, squash in my hair, on my spoon, in my coffee, in, on, around my pancakes and brownies.

Just kidding. I haven’t been making brownies lately.

While I wish summer fruit and veggies were available year-round, I can’t help but feel giddy when butternut, spaghetti, and kabocha squash wriggle their way into the produce section.

I could really just live on it.

I’ve kiiiind of been living on it.

It’s all I’ve eaten for 2 days.

I’ve been sitting on this here recipe for weeks and I just can’t stand it any longer. Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite squaaarshes because it makes me feel like I’m eating pasta, even though I’m not – I’m eating squash.

I whipped up a batch of basil-parsley pesto, sautéed some shrimp, and whamity slamity calamity Jane, what a glorious meal was made.

Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Sautéed Shrimp

I know. My spaghetti strands are unimpressive. We can’t win at all the things.

During my squash-roasting fests, I’ve been thinking, “Wow, Julia, it’s an ace move to get a jump-start on winter produce in the ol’ blogisphere.”

Get a load of this:

How to Make Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Sauteed Shrimp:

Begin by roasting the spaghetti squash. If you’ve never done this, follow my instructions on How to Roast Spaghetti Squash.

While the spaghetti squash is roasting, make the pesto sauce (or use store-bought).

Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Sautéed Shrimp

Look at that steam shot! I want to live in this bowl.

Saute the shrimp in a large skillet. Once the shrimp is cooked and the spaghetti squash is spaghettied, add the pesto sauce and the roasted spaghetti squash to the saute pan with the shrimp, and heat everything together.

I serve it all up with fresh squeezed lemon and pine nuts.  You can totes grate up some parmesan cheese, too!

Spaghetti Squash with Basil-Parsley Pesto and Sauteed Shrimp

Get a jump-start on winter squash season. Put it in all the places. Except your brownies.

Over and out.

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!

If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @TheRoastedRoot on Instagram!

Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Shrimp and Parsley Pesto - a gluten-free, paleo-friendly whole30 dinner recipe packed with nutrients #lowcarb

More Healthy Spaghetti Squash Recipes:

Spaghetti Squash with Sauteed Shrimp and Parsley Pesto - a gluten-free, paleo-friendly whole30 dinner recipe packed with nutrients #lowcarb

Spaghetti Squash with Basil-Parsley Pesto and Sautéed Shrimp

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Author: Julia


Basil-Parsley Pesto Sauce:

  • ½ cup tightly packed basil leaves
  • ½ cup tightly packed parsley leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • ½ cup avoocado oil see note*

For the Shrimp:

  • 1 pound raw shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil see note*
  • 3 cloves garlic minced

For Serving:


Roast the Spaghetti Squash:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Chop the tip and the tail off of the spaghetti squash, and stand the squash up-right on a cutting board. Carefully cut the squash in half length-wise - gravity will help you chop from top to bottom.
  3. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds out of each of the halves.
  4. Rub about a tablespoon of olive oil over the flesh of each half. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Place both halves cut-side down on a baking sheet.
  6. Roast the squash for 45 to 50 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Remove from oven and allow squash to cool about 10 minutes.
  7. When the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to gently scrape the flesh, releasing spaghetti-like stands. Do this until both halves of the spaghetti squash are scraped clean and place the “spaghetti” into a large serving bowl and set aside.

Prepare the Basil-Parsley Pesto Sauce:

  1. Add all ingredients for the pesto sauce to a small blender (or food processor) and blend until it reaches desired consistency. I blended mine until smooth.

Sauté the Shrimp:

  1. In a large skillet, heat the oil to medium.
  2. Carefully place the shrimp on the hot skillet, and add the garlic.
  3. Allow shrimp to cook until it begins to plump and turn pink, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Flip shrimp to the other side and allow it to cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Lower the heat to medium-low, and add the pesto sauce and prepared spaghetti squash. Fold everything together and cook until everything is hot.
  6. Serve heaping portions with pine nuts, fresh lemon wedges, and grated parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

*Use grapeseed oil, almond oil, or olive oil if you're okay with recipe not being Whole30

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp - a quick, easy, healthy dinner recipe that is paleo, keto, whole30 and low-carb

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  1. Julie

    Whee!!! TWO WEEKS!!!! I’m so excited! Plus, I’m feeling better every day, so there’s that. The beagles are resting as I type this in anticipation of your visit. Now for a food comment: Yum. I need to go to Stephie’s pre-calc teacher’s stand and get some spaghetti squash. I have some pesto in the freezer, so easy-peasy meal. It’s happening.

  2. Susan

    I haven’t cooked spaghetti squash in years, but the one thing I remember about it is that you have to be careful not to overcook it. If you do it becomes mushy and bitter. I think the instructions I got were to bake it whole at 350ºF for 1-½ hours, turning halfway through (instructions were from Sunset Magazine). This recipe sounds absolutely delicious.

  3. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    Ah, I’m so behind on the squash recipes! I’ve made pumpkin muffins and that is it. And they looked too lumpy to photograph so I have to remake them. I’m failing at life.

    I do love the idea to add pesto to spag squash though. It’s a nice change from the typical marinara recipes and it looks delicious!!

  4. Abby

    I am so on board with this! Adding spaghetti squash to my shopping list right now. 🙂 PS. My husband got a Kombucha beer?!! the other day and I thought of you!

  5. Terri Camp

    Spaghetti squash makes me forget about pasta and we’ve eaten it so many ways but I never thought of pesto so am eager to try it your way. Thank you for the idea!

  6. Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)

    Made this last night for Whole 30 Day 9 dinner. It was SO good. I left off the cheese of course, but it was spectacular. I’m definitely going to be repeating this. Loved the pesto, too with the flat leaf parsley addition.

    1. Julia Post author

      Kelli, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe!!! It’s so simple, yet so filling and enjoyable. Definitely a great recipe for clean eating, fo sho! Thanks for the feedback, love! xoxo

  7. Jody Hopkins

    Made your yummy recipe tonight, because I had a large bunch of Parsley ( instead of the cilantro my husband thought he was buying for salsa ).
    Delicious pesto…even without Basil.
    The squash was huge so we only used part of each half.
    Had the remainder for dessert…with fresh maple syrup. Mmmm.
    Thanks for “saving me”.

    1. Julia Post author

      You got it, Jody! I’m so happy you enjoyed the meal. I never thought of using spaghetti squash for dessert – I MUST try this!! xo

      1. Heather

        The reason you didn’t get good strands is you cut it the wrong way, cut it the short way where you get two cones, instead of two boats. It’s easier to cut that way too, but then you get the longer more spag like strands, then the short stubby ones.

  8. Sara

    Made this tonight and even the kids liked it! I thought it was delicious! I was not sure how the pesto was going to turn out with the addition of parsley, but it was fantastic. I will put this in my dinner rotation!


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