Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Pesto, Cannellini Beans, & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Because spring is here and the weather keeps heating up, having a lighter pasta alternative is a great thing to have. Plus spaghetti squash is already gluten free, low fat, and has fiber. There’s really no losing here.

This is one of my favorite ways to have spaghetti squash, other than regular marinara sauce with other veggies and a protein. This avocado pesto gives you good fats without oil and a creamy texture without dairy. Then adding the cannellini beans or another protein like chicken adds to it to make it a balanced meal. This is a very low calorie meal, so feel free to add in garlic bread, salad, soup, etc.

Spaghetti Squash

Oh spaghetti squash! The vegetable that doesn’t require a spiralizer to make vegetable noodles. I always say, the easier the better, and the less kitchen appliances the better! Or at least it will be more likely that I’ll do it. I enjoy cooking and cooking healthy recipes. However, there is a thing called life and a lot of time it’s the time that gets in the way. So the easier a recipe is, the less time intensive it is, and the less appliances you have to clean after is very important.

You do have too cook spaghetti squash, so it’s not a raw “noodle”, but it’s simple. It makes a lot and you can freeze it or have it as part of a meal prep for the whole week. It does take time to cook, but not a lot of your personal time. If you have never cooked a spaghetti squash before, check out my “How To Cook Spaghetti Squash” post.

Avocado Pesto

This pesto is something you can use on toast, with pasta, as a dip, etc. Usually pesto you find at the store has unnecessary oil and will add cheese to it. Which for here and there is not a bad thing, but if you want a healthier option to make sure the fats you are having are your healthy fats, and if you are trying to stay away from dairy but still want your pesto, check out this recipe!

Avocado Pesto

  • Servings: 1 cup, 4 Servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 large avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves, raw
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, you can use parmesan if you want dairy

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add 1-3 tablespoons of water to it while blending.
  2. Use right away or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Nutritional Information

1/4 Cup Serving

77 calories | 3.9 g total fat | 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat | 2.5 g monounsaturated fat | 0.5 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 535 mg sodium | 6.6 g carbohydrates | 2.9 g fiber | 0.6 g sugar | 5 g protein

Making a Meal or Side Dish

Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Pesto, Cannellini Beans, & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  • Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 medium size spaghetti squash, baked
  • 1 Avocado Pesto Recipe
  • 4 Sun-Dried Tomatoes, dry not packed in oil, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can or 2 cups cooked Cannellini Beans (you can use another protein like chicken if you’d rather)
  • Italian seasoning, if desired
  • Salt and Pepper, if desired

Directions

  1. Heat up the cannellini beans, if not already warmed. You can add Italian seasoning and salt and pepper if you’d like to season them for extra flavor. If warming on the stove, keep the juice from the canned beans and heat them with the seasoning.
  2. Place about 2 cups of spaghetti squash noodles in a serving bowl. Add about 1/4 cup of avocado pesto on top.
  3. Sprinkle with Sun-dried tomatoes & cannellini beans or chicken.
  4. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

1 Serving with Cannellini Beans

153 calories | 5.3 g total fat | 1.1 g polyunsaturated fat | 2.6 g monounsaturated fat | 0.8 g saturated fat | 0 g trans fats | 0 mg cholesterol | 568 mg sodium | 23 g carbohydrates | 7.4 g fiber | 6.3 g sugar | 7.4 g protein

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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

The original “zoodle”, spaghetti squash! Spaghetti squash is something easy to make, you just need to know how and to have the time to prep it before. Depending on the size of the squash, it can make a lot, so my suggestion would be to make sure you have people to share it with or have a few different sauces to eat with it throughout the week for meal prep. It doesn’t have much of a taste so any sauce will be the taste. Marinara, pesto, lemon garlic, creamy mushroom, red wine sauce, etc. The dishes are endless. Soon I’ll be sharing some of my sauces to have with spaghetti squash for a lighter and more nutrient dense pasta alternative that’s gluten free.

When I think of spaghetti squash I think of the first time I had it. When my mother was going through chemo treatments, she was trying to eat more organic foods and to stay away from starchy processed white foods. Since spaghetti was a weekly meal for us then, and now, she decided to try it out. It was delicious! The texture is different than pasta, but it is still soft and you can still twirl your fork around and enjoy slurping your favorite sauce!

So let’s get started and I’ll share the nutritional facts after.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
Scoop out the center with the seeds.
  • Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash in half.
  • Scoop out the center and any seeds.
  • Rub with a small amount of olive oil and salt and pepper if desired.
  • Lay face down and stab with a knife 5-6 times on each side.
  • Once oven is preheated, put in the oven for at least 40 minutes. Depending on the size it might take up to 1 hour.
Bake for 40-60 minutes depending on size.
  • When the skin of the squash looks a little wrinkled and the bottom is started to brown, your squash is ready!
  • Cool for a few minutes and then flip them upside down. With a fork from the longer side toward the center start pulling away the strings.
  • Add with your favorite sauce and enjoy!
Spaghetti squash ready to use and eat!
Nutritional Information

There are nutritional benefits to both, especially if the grain version is a whole grain pasta whether gluten free or whole wheat. But this is a simple and easy way to lighten your pasta bowl and not feel stuffed and bloated after eating a full bowl, or two, of spaghetti. Check out the differences.

1 Cup Spaghetti Squash

  • 31 Calories
  • 0.6 g total fat
  • 7 g carbohydrates
  • 1.5 g fiber
  • 2.8 g sugar
  • 0.6 g protein
  • 2% Vitamin A
  • 3% Vitamin C
  • 2% Calcium
  • 3% Magnsium

1 cup Regular Spaghetti Pasta

  • 221 Calories
  • 1.3 g total fat
  • 43 g carbohydrates
  • 2.5 g fiber
  • 0.8 g sugar
  • 8 g protein
  • 0% Vitamin A
  • 0% Vitamin C
  • 1% Calcium
  • 6% Magnesium