Spaghetti Squash, Butternut Squash, and Kale Pesto with Shrimp

Like other winter squash, spaghetti squash are harvested in the early fall. With its perfectly al dente texture, it’s an ideal replacement for pasta with a bounty of health benefits: 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 10 grams of carbs and 42 calories, compared to 1 cup of cooked pasta with 60 grams of carbs and 300 calories. The Kale and Pepita Pesto adds a wonderful earthiness to the dish. Grilling the shrimp can add another, smoky dimension to the meal.

Key Nutrients: Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, fiber, manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, iodine

Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes


  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 tablespoon, plus extra for drizzling, extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed

  • Kale and Pepita Pesto
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup of curly kale, stems removed
  • 1/8 cup pepitas, toasted
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut and remove the stems off spaghetti squash and cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds.
  • Place the halves, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Add water, no more than ¼ inch deep, to baking sheet.
  • Add butternut squash to a medium bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet.
  • Place spaghetti squash on the upper middle rack in the oven and butternut squash on the rack below. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, stir butternut squash at 20-minute mark. A fork should easily slide into the squash but not be mushy.
  • Let the spaghetti squash cool until you can handle it safely. Then scrape the insides out with a fork to shred the squash into “pasta” strands.
  • Meanwhile in a food processor, add the garlic and pulse until minced. Add kale, pepitas, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, and salt process until smooth, scraping sides often. With the motor running, add olive oil in a thin stream until it is all incorporated.
  • Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat with one tablespoon olive oil. Add the shrimp and let cook for 2 minutes, then flip over and cook for another minute, until the shrimp is opaque throughout.
  • Remove from heat. Add spaghetti squash, butternut squash, and kale pesto.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

  • Calories
  • Total fat
  • Saturated
  • Trans fat
  • Polyunsaturated fat
  • Monounsaturated fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
    360 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate
  • Dietary fiber
  • Sugar
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Potassium