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  • Writer's pictureSophie Zuckerman

Pesto Spaghetti Squash

I always felt like pesto got the short straw in terms of Italian sauces - it's delicious and nutty and so versatile! It can really pump up the flavors of something nice and simple like chicken and spaghetti squash to make it really special

Yields: 4 servings


  • 1 large spaghetti squash

  • Olive oil

  • Salt & pepper

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets

  • 1 lemon, zested and half juiced

  • 1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast

  • 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning

  • 1 cup of pesto sauce (click here for my recipe) or buy pre-made

  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise

  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Poke the spaghetti squash with a fork a few times all around the perimeter and then place it in the microwave for 5 minutes. Remove from the microwave with oven mitts and place it on a cutting board. Once the squash is cool enough to touch, cut off both ends and then slice in half, removing the seeds with a spoon. Season the inside generously with salt and pepper and drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil in both "boats". Lay the squash cut-side down on a parchment-lined sheet pan and roast until tender, about 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli - you can use a steamer appliance, a pot, the microwave, or whatever works for you! Once that's done, stir in the lemon zest and juice, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  4. Put the chicken breasts onto a cutting board. Cover with cling wrap and pound with a meat tenderizer until they are 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. Then remove the cling wrap and cut into tenders. Season both sides with Italian seasoning.

  5. Heat a large skillet with 2 tbsp of olive oil and cook the chicken until browned on both sides and 165 degrees F inside. Remove once done and allow to sit in a small shallow bowl or plate.

  6. Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and allow it to cool until it is safe to touch. Scrape out the "spaghetti strands" with a fork and put them into a large bowl. Mix with the pesto sauce and broccoli. Top with chicken, fresh grape tomatoes, and toasted pine nuts*


*How to toast pine nuts: Place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan often until fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Don't walk away because the nuts can easily burn! Remove immediately from the heat and transfer to a plate to stop the cooking.

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