Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Avocado Pesto

Sweet roasted spaghetti squash topped with blistered tomatoes, creamy chickpeas, and an avocado pesto. Ready in 40 minutes and requiring fewer than 10 ingredients this vegan, gluten-free, meal is loaded with plant-based power.

A plate of spaghetti squash topped with tomatoes, chickpeas and avocado pesto.

Get ready for another simple, delicious, vegan meal. If you’ve got prepared squash or pasta this dish is only going take you about 10 minutes. Yeah, you read that right. An amazingly satisfying and plant-based meal ready in a snap. Keep reading for why you’ll love this dish.

Why you’ll love it

Like most of my meals, let’s discuss for a second why you and your family are going to make this a regular on your dinner menu rotation.

  • Simple- Fewer than 10 ingredients, can be made in as little as 10 minutes, doesn’t get much easier than that
  • Quick- As noted above, as long as you have leftover squash (or pasta), this dish can be one the table in 10 minutes.
  • Satisfying- Full of vegetables, healthy fats, and plant-based protein this meal is well-rounded and sure to satisfy
  • Customizable- Don’t have (or like) spaghetti squash? Use your favorite pasta. Bulk up the vegetable power by including spinach, kale, or chard. Don’t want to make your own pesto? Use your favorite store-bought brand, or sub with your favorite hummus.

Spaghetti Squash

Begin by preparing the spaghetti squash. I have found (over many years) that the best way to prepare spaghetti squash is as follows…Preheat the oven to 450*F. I know that may seem high but trust me, it’s going to give you an amazing char on the flesh of the squash that is unbeatable.

Cut the squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Bonus: if you’re looking for something to do with the seeds check out my post on roasted seeds here. Place flesh side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper then flip the squash over so that the flesh is down. Bake the squash for 40 minutes if small, up to 60 minutes if large.

Once the squash is blacked on the outside and soft to the touch you’ll know it’s done. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, flip it over and, using tongs, pull the flesh squash from the skin. It will be tender, stringy and deliciously sweet.

A lemon and fresh basil with a plate of spaghetti squash topped with tomatoes, chickpeas and avocado pesto in the background.

Tomato and Chickpea Stuffing

In a medium-sized skillet, heat a teaspoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot add the sliced leeks. Cook or about 2-3 minutes until soft. Next, add the halved cherry tomatoes. Allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes until they’re soft and have ruptured their juices. Finally, add the drained and rinsed chickpeas cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes until warm.

Avocado Pesto

To prepare the pesto add the fresh basil leaves, garlic, vegan parmesan, avocado, and lemon juice to a food processor. While the pesto is blending, drizzle in the olive oil until smooth and creamy.

To assemble the dish, plate the spaghetti squash (either whole and in the skin, or removed from the skin), top with tomato and chickpea mixture, and top with avocado pesto. If you so desire, top with more fresh basil and vegan parmesan. My favorite vegan parmesan is this recipe courtesy of Hannah Chia.

I certainly hope that you give this dish a try. Spaghetti squash with tomatoes and avocado pesto has become a favorite here with my family, and I know it will be with yours as well. Enjoy friends!

Avocado pesto in a food processor.

Ingredient Health Benefits

Basil- phytochemicals, volatile oils (antibacterial properties)

Garlic- phytochemicals

Lemon- vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, potassium

Tomatoes- vitamin C, potassium, polyphenols

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Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Avocado Pesto

Sweet roasted spaghetti squash topped with blistered tomatoes, creamy chickpeas, and an avocado pesto. Ready in 40 minutes and requiring fewer than 10 ingredients this vegan, gluten-free, meal is loaded with plant-based power.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-Free, Vegan
Keyword: avocado pesto, basil, chickpeas, easy, garbanzo beans, gluten-free, healthy, leeks, mini tomatoes, nut-free, quick, simple, spaghetti squash, sun-dried tomatoes, vegan, vegan parmesan, vegan pesto
Servings: 2 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squashed, halved and de-seeded
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white only, sliced
  • 1 pint cherry or mini heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Avocado Pesto

  • 1 large avocado, pitted and flesh removed
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup vegan parmesan
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil (start with 2 and add more if needed to thin)

Instructions

Spaghetti Squash

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Sprinkle with pepper and salt and roast flesh side down for 40-60 minutes depending on size of the squash.

Tomato Filling

  • In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add sliced leeks. Cook for 2-3 minutes until soft.
  • Add sliced tomatoes and cook for additional 2-3 minutes until soft.
  • Add rinsed and drained chickpeas and cook until warm, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Avocado Pesto

  • Add all ingredients in order to a food processor. Process until smooth.
  • To serve, place spaghetti squash half on a plate. Fill each squash half with half of the tomato filling and top with desired amount of avocado pesto. Additioanlly, top with sliced basil or vegan parmesan cheese.
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Roasted Green Vegetables with Vegan Walnut Pesto

Roasted green vegetables get dressed up with a vegan walnut pesto. Five ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need to make this healthy and satisfying side dish.

Roasted green vegetables (asparagus, Brussel's sprouts, and zucchini spirals) on a wooden platter and to a bowl of vegan walnut pesto.

If you don’t think you like asparagus or Brussel’s sprouts you have to give this roasted green vegetables with vegan walnut pesto a try. Don’t write these veggies off completely, ok. I guarantee that the key to enjoying these vegetables is properly prepping and roasting them. Allow me to share a few tips for selecting, preparing and serving each of these vegetables.

Asparagus

When selecting asparagus it’s important to remember that you want thin, sturdy stalks. The thicker the stalk, the tougher and more bitter it will be. Not exactly the most desirable, right? After rinsing, snap the asparagus to remove the tougher bottom of the stalk. This part of the vegetable isn’t something you’ll want to eat. Lastly, cut the edible portion of the asparagus in half and it’s ready to roast in this dish.

Brussel’s sprouts

As far as Brussel’s sprouts go…I’ve been there. I know that they can seem very un-appealing at times. But just like the asparagus, there’s a trick to making them delicious. I’m convinced that the best way to serve Brussel’s sprouts is shaved. They cook quickly, get a nice crispy texture, and transform into something overwhelmingly amazing.

Zucchini

I don’t think its any secret that zucchini is super versatile. In this recipe I decided to add texture and interest to the dish by using spiralized zucchini. You can either buy the zucchini spiralized or do it yourself. I like making it myself to cut down on plastic and ensure freshness. This is the spiralizer I use. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.

Roasted green vegetables (asparagus, Brussel's sprouts, and zucchini spirals) on a wooden platter being set on a table next to a bowl of vegan walnut pesto.

Once you’ve decided to make this side dish (and believe me, you really should make it), it’s going to pair nicely with marinated tofu or a lentil loaf. Throw pasta in the mix for a unique take on a warm pasta salad. Or add beans or lentils to take this dish from the sidelines to the main attraction.

Share with me how you would use this dish to up you vegetable game.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Asparagus: Folic acid, vitamin C, thiamine, B6, glutathione, protodioscin

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Roasted Green Vegetables with Vegan Walnut Pesto

Roasted green vegetables get dressed up with a vegan walnut pesto. Five ingredients and 30 minutes are all you need to make this healthy and satisfying side dish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: asparagus, brussels sprouts, side, vegan, zucchini
Servings: 4 people
Author: Erin

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini, spiralized or cut into half moons
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends removed and trimmed
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, shaved or cut in half
  • olive oil spray
  • ½ batch vegan walnut pesto *see notes*

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Coat vegetables with olive oil cooking spray and toss.
  • Roast vegetables for 30 minutes stirring half way though to ensure even cooking.
  • Add Vegan Walnut Pesto to warm vegetables and serve.

Notes

*Check out my Vegan Walnut Pesto or sub your favorite homemade/store bought pesto
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Vegan Walnut Pesto

Traditionally made with pine nuts, this version of 5-ingredient vegan pesto is prepared with raw, unsalted walnuts. Use this pesto on your pasta or roasted vegetables, as a salad dressing, or a dip for raw vegetables. Simple, flavorful, and quick, this versatile vegan walnut pesto is sure to be your new go-to sauce.

Vegan walnut pesto topped with hemp seeds, walnuts, and basil leaves with vegetables in the background.

All that you need for this pesto are 5 simple ingredients and a small food processor. Toss the raw walnuts, fresh basil, vegan parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt and pepper into a small food processor blending until combined. I prefer a smooth, thick pesto but feel free to prepare it to fit your preference and desired use.

Pesto Texture

If this pesto is going to be used traditionally for coating pasta or vegetables, make sure that it’s relatively smooth and pourable. You want it to be just thick enough to stick.

On the other hand, if you’re going to be using this pesto as a dip or spread, it would be best served with some chunks of walnuts. You can process the ingredients until smooth and then pulse in extra walnuts. Alternatively, dice some walnuts yourself and toss them in after processing. You will also want the pesto to be fairly thick so that it can scooped up.

To use this vegan walnut pesto as a salad dressing, make sure that it’s very smooth and has a very pourable consistency. You can achieve this by adding more olive oil or water to the pesto while processing.

Be sure to share with me in the comments below how you are going to be using this pesto.

Enjoy friends!

Ingredient Health Benefits

Basil: Phytochemicals; volatile oils (antibacterial properties)

Garlic: Phytochemicals

Olive oil: Monounsaturated fats

Walnuts: Omega-3s, thiamine, B6, folic acid, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, Vitamin E, polyphenols

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Walnut Pesto

Earthy, nutty, creamy, this pesto is perfect when paired with roasted vegetable or used as a sauce on your favorite pasta. Be bold and use it as a salad dressing or even a dip for raw vegetables.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Dips and Sauces
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: 10-minutes, 5-ingredient, basil, parmesan, pesto, vegan, walnuts
Author: Erin

Equipment

  • Small food processor

Ingredients

  • ½ cup walnuts raw, unsalted
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • ½-¾ cup olive oil depending on desired consistency
  • 2-3 tbsp vegan parmesan *see notes below*
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until well combined. Start by adding ¼ cup of olive oil and increase amount to reach desired consistency.
  • Serve on roasted vegetables or pasta. Use as a marinade for tofu or tempeh. Add to a fresh salad for a dressing or dip tray with raw vegetables.

Notes

I love this recipe for vegan hemp parmesan cheese from Hannah Chia.
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