Oil-Free Arugula Pesto over Spaghetti Squash

Sometimes, I find that my senses get the better of me when I’m shopping for food. One example: I enter what I call the “Greens Tent” at my local Farmer’s Market and make a beeline for the arugula. I’ve gotten here before and was not let down, so I decided to see what they had to offer me. I picked up a thick bundle of broad-leafed arugula and inhale deeply to smell the peppery and smooth scent. After that, there was no turning back; I bought two of the large bundles with every intention to use them up almost immediately! The first bundle ended up being a huge salad, which was not bad, but I felt that it didn’t do complete justice.

A week later, I invited my lovely friend Amanda over for a homemade dinner (which seems to happen a lot ;)). The day before I was thinking about what I would make for us and realized that I had a gorgeous spaghetti squash sitting pretty on my counter top just waiting to be used. Naturally, you need a sauce of some kind for the spaghetti squash once it’s baked; this is when my hands delved into my produce drawer and pulled together the perfect ingredients for a pesto sauce. I had made a sauce somewhat like this before, from a recipe off of my Biggest Loser X-Box game (you’d be surprised at some of the tasty stuff on there!), but it wasn’t vegan and there was no arugula.

Besides being a great addition to baby spinach and other mixed greens in salads, arugula packs a nutritional punch! This peppery green is rich in Vitamins A & C, Potassium and is low-calorie. When combined with avocado, the taste becomes more mild and the texture is perfect when contrasted with the slightly crunchy properties of the spaghetti squash pulp.

Serves: 5-6

Ingredients:

  • 9 Cups Baked Spaghetti Squash, You will need a fairly large squash for this
  • 2 1/2 Cups Chopped Arugula
  • 1 Cup Avocado
  • 1 Cup Walnuts
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. Dried Basil
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • Optional: Additional water to help the blender puree the pesto

Directions:

  1. To prepare your spaghetti squash for the meal, cut it in half, scrape out the seeds, and bake (skin up) in a dish with a little water in the bottom at 375°F for 30-40 minutes.
  2. While the spaghetti squash is baking, prep the rest of the ingredients and throw them into a high-speed blender or food processor. Add in 1/4-1/2 cup of water if your blender needs help to puree the pesto.
  3. Once the pesto is smooth and of consistent texture taste and add more salt & pepper if you’d like.
  4. After the squash is done baking, wait 10-15 minutes to scrape out the pulp with a fork into a large bowl. I left the squash and pesto separate so that you could use whatever ratio of pesto:squash that you’d like.
  5. Serve warm with an additional sprinkle of nooch, salt & pepper.

I love this pesto recipe because you get healthy fats, omegas, protein and creamy texture from the avocados and walnuts, without the use of oil. This dish is extremely filling while still being on the healthy side of things; the spaghetti squash is high in fiber and lots of potassium! It’s a quick and easy dinner that is great for making during the week, when you may not have time on your side.

14 Comments

Filed under Healthy Recipes, Savory Recipes

14 Responses to Oil-Free Arugula Pesto over Spaghetti Squash

  1. Liz

    What a healthy, flavorful dish! I am a big fan of spaghetti squash :)

  2. Beautiful pesto! I bet it would be awesome massaged onto kale too. I could eat avocados by the spoonful. :)

    • Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack!

      Oh, that’s a fabulous idea!! I need to stock up on some greenery at the Farmer’s market this weekend, I’m all out right now. Also, I completely agree on eating avocados, a lil’ pinch of salt and pepper and I could have a meal!

  3. What a great dish, this looks amazing! :)

  4. Your pesto sounds wonderful and healthy. I have a couple packs of cooked spaghetti squash in the freezer calling my name.

  5. Nice idea using arugula in the pesto and pairing it with some spaghettie squash.

  6. I keep coming back to your blog – I love your style of cooking. I love spaghetti squash but have only prepared it with a typical red pasta sauce, so this arugula pesto will certainly break the habit. I have to admit, lady, I am a meat eater but I can’t get enough of your recipes!

    • Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack!

      I’m pretty obsessed with tomato sauce of any kind, but I find that it’s nice to take a break from it with a pesto like this (as opposed to what could be a heavy alfredo sauce). And thank you for the VERY kind words! :)

  7. Gabriela

    Loved the recipe!! I used 1 cup of arugula because i liked the way it tasted before adding the other 1/2 cup. I do have a question though, what’s the purpose of the yeast? I kept trying to figure that one out. Nonetheless I was stunned by how great and light it tastes! :)

    • Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack!

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast used as a Vitamin B supplement, but it is also used in a lot of Vegan recipes for a nice savory flavor. :)

  8. Caity

    OMG, this is delicious! My boyfriend is vegan and I’m vegetarian, and it’s not very often that we find a dish that is vegan that we both really enjoy, I usually add butter or cheese to my portion, but I wasn’t even tempted with this. I was tempted to lick the inside of the food processor before I washed it! Can’t wait for leftovers for lunch tomorrow :)

    • Jackie @ Vegan Yack Attack!

      That is so terrific to hear! I’m ecstatic that you and your boyfriend enjoyed it so much. Thank you for letting me know how your experience went! :D

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