Spaghetti Squash with Beluga Lentils, Parsley Pesto & Shiitake

My mothers husband is Italian. And as most Italians he loves Italian food. He can talk forever about how to make the perfect melanzane parmegiana. And how you always should rub the garlic against the bread when making bruschetta. Or debate why the pizzas are better in Napoli than in Rome. And while he talks, he is of course gesticulating frenetically with his hands. He is always very passionate when it comes to things like that. But whenever he watches us try modern alternatives of traditional pasta recipes he just puts his palms together and says “Spaghetti, spaghetti, that is not spaghetti, mama mia che schifo”.

If you are like my mothers husband you should probably stop reading here, because this is another healthier and gluten free version of spaghetti – The Spaghetti Squash (Squaghetti). A yellow and orange striped squash with a special talent. When cooked you can run a fork through it and it’ll separate into spaghetti like strands in no time and without any expensive kitchen appliance. The only down side is that it can be a little hard to come by. Some supermarkets sell it, otherwise check with your local farmers market or look at organic grocery stores.


You can serve the spaghetti squash with any of your favorite pasta sauces. Or try this rustic parsley pesto, beluga lentils & roasted shiitake topping. Here we have kept the pesto very chunky, by simply grinding it in a mortar. But you could also make it creamier if using a food processor.

Spaghetti Squash with Beluga Lentils, Parsley Pesto & Shiitake
Serves 2

1 large spaghetti squash
1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup (120 ml) beluga lentils, rinsed
1 cup (240 ml )water
a pinch of salt

1 cup (around 100 g) fresh shiitake mushrooms

Parsley Pesto
2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
3 tbsp pine nuts or nuts of choice, toasted
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Divide the spaghetti squash lengthwise with a large sharp knife. Rub the cut sides with coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Place both halves on a baking tray, cut side down. Bake in the oven for 40-60 minutes (depending on the size of the squash). The halves are ready when the skin is bubbly and slightly browned. Meanwhile prepare lentils, pesto and shiitake. Place water and lentils in saucepan, cover and bring to a boil, lower the heat and let gently simmer for 30 minutes or until tender and can be mashed easily between two fingers. Drain any excess water and set aside. Place all pesto ingredients in a mortar and grind until creamy, but still chunky, set aside. Remove the squash from the oven, turn it so you’ll have the cut side up and let cool for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile heat the shiitake mushroom in a frying pan with a little coconut oil until soft and browned, set aside. Use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti strands. Place on serving plates, top with beluga lentils, pesto and shiitake.


  • Magnus
    Hm....looks like I need to make an cool and calculated comment from Sweden here. One of the biggest bias about Italians are that they take them self to serious and are easy to trigger.......wounder were that came from.......
  • I have just discovered your blog and I am totally obsessed with your recipes!! The photography is gorgeous, and I am saving up for a good camera/trying to improve my own food photography. I saw a spaghetti squash in the market the other day, and i would love to try this recipe, but I don't have an oven at the moment.... Would it work to boil the squash? Or do you have any other ideas for me?! thank you!
  • I just have to tell you I've made this several times now and my friend, who was staying with me, has declared it her favorite meal. Which is saying a lot, since I cook all the time. Tonight, my husband actually asked me to make this. You know you have a win when a dude asks for "that thing with with spaghetti squash and pesto." Thanks so much for a delicious and simple recipe. It's totally restaurant quality!
  • I'm happy to have found your site. This looks so good. And the pictures on you site are amazing as well.
  • I love this recipe. A little bit Pumpikin seed oil make this lovelie to. Liebe Grüße aus Bremen
  • Love your website and all of the healthy recipes and gorgeous photos!
  • Quick tip- if you cut the spaghetti squash in half horizontally rather than vertically, the "noodles" are much longer. I've heard some people complaing that they don't like spaghetti squash because you can't twirl it, but if you cut it right, you can! If you get a small enough squash, you can serve it right in the squash, too.
  • Mathilda Murray
    Wow, I have to try this recipe - hopefully I can find this spagetti squash somewhere. . . have a look at this little christmas /recipes app if you like to find more inspiration maybe... enjoy!!!
  • I've seen spaghetti squash pop up everywhere on the blogosphere! Though, I haven't found this squash anywhere whatsoever (yet), but wow! Does this look good or what? I get what you mean about the Italian thing; I'm part Vietnamese, but if I were to mention a new alternative to my grandmother, she'd shake her head and go on with her methods (which are in no way bad, just sometimes too oily).
  • Claudia
    Spaghetti squash thankfully is easy to obtain her in San Francisco, California and I’ve made it in different ways. This recipe looks delicious and your story is heartwarming. I always look forward to ready your stories and trying out your amazing recipes. Thank you for sharing and don’t ever sensor yourselves, there is no need to apologies for what is a personal and beautiful family story.
  • I'm so big fun of pumpkin and I don't know why I have never heard about this sQuash. This is what I love about food blogs - finding new things,ideas, inspirations. Thank you!
  • Irma
    I just made my 10th recipe from your blog. My family and I adored all of them. Each one of them was so tasty and refreshing. Thank you for being so inspiring :) Irma Québec, Canada

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