January in the Kitchen – Spagetti Squash with Mushrooms and Pesto Sauce

Spaghetti Squash

Spagetti squash with mushrooms and pesto

Spagetti squash with mushrooms and pesto

At the time the British food writer Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book was published (1978), Spaghetti Squash was considered a newcomer on the vegetable scene. She found it an embarrassing name and preferred noodle squash or squash novella. It now seems to be taking the U.S. by storm, particularly in Paleo or low carbohydrate circles. It’s called spaghetti squash because the flesh, when cooked, can be scraped out of the skin and resembles strands of spaghetti.

I think the name is somewhat unfortunate as well; it is a type of delicious winter squash and deserves to be treated with more respect. The name suggests that you can substitute it for pasta and the www abounds with lovely pictures of using it in lasagna or with a red sauce. I’ve tried it and don’t think the flavor mixes well with tomato sauce, just my opinion. It looks good with the runny cheese (as you can see below) but that’s where it ends. We didn’t like it that much. Any kind of cream sauce, or sautéed mushrooms or chicken is a different story.

Baked Spagetti Squash with Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce

Baked Spagetti Squash with Mozzarella and Tomato Sauce

Ms. Grigson suggests poking a hole in the stem end and boiling. I prefer to cut it in half, remove the seeds, and bake it (flesh side down) at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. The time will depend on the size. The squash should retain some crunch but be easy to separate from the shell with a fork. If you intend to stir fry it, let it drain on paper towels in a colander for a few minutes. Otherwise it can be watery.

This is what I consider a ‘non-recipe’, just a loose set of directions rather than a strict ‘how-to’.

Spagetti squash with mushrooms and pesto


  • 1 pound of mixed mushrooms, wiped with a paper towel and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 shallots, diced finely
  • 1/4 cup of pinenuts, briefly browned in a dry skillet
  • 4 tablespoons of pesto sauce
  • Optional, a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream
  • Few cubes of fresh mozzarella
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  1. Prepare the squash as above, baking at 400 degrees, cut side down.
  2. When slightly cooled, shred the strands with a fork into a collander lined with a dish towel or paper towels. Leave to drain while you prepare the mushrooms.
  3. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add the mushrooms and saute the liquid is gone and they begin to brown.
  5. Add the shallots and continue to saute for another 5 minutes until softened.
  6. Add the cream, pesto and squash to the skillet. Turn off the heat, add the mozzarella, and warm all briefly before turning out onto warmed plates.
  7. Top the the pinenuts and additional grated parmesan.
Squash with mushrooms

Spagetti Squash with Pinenuts and Pesto and Mushrooms

I’m going to take this to share with Angie and the gang at Fiesta Friday, sponsored by the Novice Gardener. Please come join the party and sample the delicious food.

Fiesta Friday

Fiesta Friday

14 thoughts on “January in the Kitchen – Spagetti Squash with Mushrooms and Pesto Sauce

  1. Spaghetti squash is on my list to make – hard to give up my carbs or at least cut back. Pesto always adds some great flavor. I wonder what I could substitute for the mushrooms – zucchini or maybe eggplant? Thanks for bringing this to Fiesta Friday and reminding me I need to make spaghetti squash. See you next week for the big “52” 🙂

    • The big “52” will be quite a celebration! I’m still trying to decide what to bring…maybe crab cakes.

      Zucchini would be good and fun, both winter and summer squash in the same dish. I don’t know about eggplant, somehow the textural combination doesn’t work for me. Let me know if you try it.

  2. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #51 | The Novice Gardener

    • I know, tomato sauce is just wrong! But the pictures on line of it baked with tomato sauce and runny cheese are so beautiful.

      Try this one. Another blogger says she will use zucchini instead of mushrooms. That might work as well, I like the double squash idea. I might add more garlic if you do that.

Leave a Reply