Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

Serve up dinner for two in style with this Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp! Tender strands of squash tossed with spinach, pesto, and parmesan, then topped with the most delicious seasoned shrimp. 

Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

After quite a few friends mentioned loving my Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash with shrimp added to the mix, I had to give it a try for myself. Holy COW! The combination was nothing short of fantastic and SO filling too. Win-win.

Ever since that glorious day, I’ve been shrimpifying my spaghetti squash and loving every second of it.

Since I obviously need to let my blog buddies in on the fun, here’s a super simple recipe for pesto parmesan spaghetti squash with shrimp!

You can serve this up in the built-in veggie bowl that makes spaghetti squash oh-so awesome or pile the tender strands in a spaghetti-like tower on a plate. Both are excellent options as long as you get this in your face, stat!

Seriously, run to the kitchen! Cook all the things!

Then invite me over for a plate?

Sauteed Seasoned Shrimp

Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

The recipe below serves 2 but can be easily doubled to feed a family of four. Add as much shrimp, pesto, and spinach as your heart desires and feel free to round out the meal with a veggie-packed salad or a piping hot bowl of soup. Then come back and let me know how it was! I can’t wait! <3

Pesto Parmesan Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp
5 from 4 votes
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Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

Serve up dinner for two in style with this Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp! Tender strands of squash tossed with spinach, pesto, and parmesan, then topped with the most delicious seasoned shrimp. 

Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Pesto Spaghetti Squash
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 408 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 2 TBSP pesto plus any extra to taste
  • 1 ounce fresh spinach chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 8-10 ounces fresh raw shrimp (defrosted if frozen)
  • 1/4 tsp regular paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP  chopped parsley optional garnish 

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. For easy cutting, you can microwave your squash for 4 minutes to soften it up just a tad. The knife slides through way easier this way!
  3. Rub the cut side of the squash with 1/2 tsp olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast face-down for about 40 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Cooking time will vary a bit depending on the size of your squash, and larger squash will need to roast a bit longer to tenderize. Once ready, the once rock-hard exterior of the squash will be visibly softened with a tender interior.
  4. While the squash roasts, measure out your seasoning, clean your shrimp, and defrost if needed. Lately I've been buying frozen, deveined, easy peel shrimp. All I have to do is defrost, peel (I'll typically leave the tail on for extra flavor while cooking - totally optional!) and cook! I avoid pre-cooked shrimp at all costs because the texture doesn't work for me.
  5. Once squash is roasted, allow to cool slightly until easily handled.
  6. While it cools, pat your shrimp dry and season with paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper - plus any salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat a stainless steel skillet to medium-high heat with 1 tsp of oil and sauté your shrimp. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes until shrimp curl and become opaque. The saute time will depend on the heat setting you choose and the size of your shrimp, but regardless they’ll be perfectly cooked in a matter of minutes!
  8. Back to the squash! Use a fork to separate and fluff the strands of spaghetti squash and remove strands. While the squash is still warm, toss together with spinach, pesto, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The warm strands will wilt your spinach until bright green and glossy. If needed, you can toss the boats back in the oven to warm them up.
  9. Stuff the tasty strands back into your squash boat (load 'em up!) and top with your shrimp.
  10. Dive in while it's hot!

Recipe Notes

For this recipe, feel free to use your favorite homemade pesto or your go-to store bought brand.

I love making my own, but when my basil plant doesn't have enough leaves for a batch of green stuff I'll make some zesty kale pesto or pick up a tub of Buitoni pesto (so good!) found near the chilled pastas at my local store. Anything goes!

Serve with fresh lemon wedges for a burst of citrus flavor.

Nutrition facts below are an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed! xo
Nutrition Facts
Parmesan Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 408 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 295mg 98%
Sodium 1319mg 55%
Potassium 732mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 36g 12%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 14g
Protein 32g 64%
Vitamin A 62.4%
Vitamin C 34.7%
Calcium 47.2%
Iron 27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you get a chance to try this parmesan pesto spaghetti squash, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Pesto Parmesan Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

Serve up dinner for two in style with this Pesto Parmesan Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp! Tender strands of squash tossed with spinach, pesto, and parmesan, then topped with the most delicious seasoned shrimp.

special diets and swaps

  • dairy-free friends: use your favorite parmesan-free pesto recipe and skip the sprinkling of cheese in this recipe, the bold flavors of the pesto and seasoned shrimp will more than make up for it here!
  • t-rex chefs: Paul perked up at the idea of adding a sprinkling of bacon on top. But I mean, doesn’t he always?! Haha
  • seafood allergies: try it with roasted/seasoned chicken or simply whip up this pesto-riffic spaghetti squash instead.
  • ga-ga for grilling? Get your grill-master on and make this with grilled shrimp!

so. . . how was it?!

Fantastic! I’m so used to pairing my spaghetti squash with a medley of cheeses, chicken, and veggies that I was totally shocked that I hadn’t bust out the shrimp earlier! Much like shrimp and actual pasta, the pairing works marvelously together and the tender strands of squash are simply phenomenal swirled with the seasoned sautéed shrimp.

The pesto also makes a perfect flavoring for the mild squash and I love it alongside the slightly spicy seasoning blend I added to my shrimp. It reminds me of an super basic blackening seasoning and has been my go-to spice blend for shrimp for ages now. Good stuff! Ready to get cooking? I’ll see ya in the kitchen!

:: pin it for later ::

Starving for more spaghetti squash? Check out our favorites below!

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Comments

  • Frances

    Great recipe. Like how you always give options after a recipe. Gives good ideas. I added Penzey Italian seasoning and I am a calorie counter so I usually adapt a recipe to cut calories at least for me. I use less cheese and pesto but make up for it with extra fresh herbs and more veggies added.

  • Addy

    Yummmm is all I can say!!! We just had this for dinner and we thought we could eat it all but your right it’s super filling.

  • Christi Schiffer

    This was my husbands introduction to spaghetti squash! He is officially a fan!

  • Dawn

    I want to make this for my boyfriend’s birthday dinner. I’m pescatarian and this would be perfect! How would you recommend to make a day ahead and bring to his place and reheat on his birthday?

    • Hi Dawn! So excited you’ll be trying the recipe!

      The squash can be roasted the day before and stored in the fridge. For best results, I’d cook until al dente or slightly-undercook by a few minutes it since you will be reheating it the following day. Then once the squash cools a bit, fork out all the strands from the inside and store in an airtight container. This way any moisture that releases in the fridge can be discarded before you toss it with the rest of the ingredients and re-bake to heat up! Shrimp are always best cooked before serving and because they cook up so super fast it won’t hold you up time-wise. You can have them cleaned, peeled, and thawed in the fridge and then just cook them up while you reheat the squash, they’ll be done before the squash and good to go! 🙂

  • Brooke Sammons

    Made this last week for my husband, he has never had spaghetti squash before. He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Didn’t know how he would react…. But this says it all!
    I sent him out this weekend to pick up some stuff from the grocery store and he came back with two spag. squashes and shrimp!! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    • Brooke I’m over here squealing! Is that not the best sign ever?! Eeeee! So super glad y’all enjoyed the recipe – thank you! 🙂

  • Lilla

    I made this last night and my husband was amazed. It’s delicious! I added turkey bacon to add as well. We are fairly new to the “spaghetti squash” but we love it. Do you have other recipes?

  • Dorenda

    Omg! Made it last night with the Buitoni pesto sauce and it was awesome!!! I did make a slight change though. Fried 4 slices of bacon until crisp removed from oil then added chopped onion and garlic and sauteed. Afterwards I added the shrimp and added back the bacon until opague.

    • Yesssssss! #baconFTW! I have a bacon broccoli spaghetti squash that I love and know I would 110% adore some crispy bacon mixed in with this recipe! Love the extras you added and so so glad you loved the recipe Dorenda! You saved me a plate, right? 😉

  • my husband does not like squash:( can I use the same recipe but use pasta instead ? All the spices and other ingredients sound wonderful.

    • Absolutely Debra! Let me know how it goes 🙂

  • Bronnie

    OMG THIS! I am actually drooling thinking about how good that would taste!

    Definitely adding it to my to-try recipe list! Thanks!

    • Haha thank you Bronnie!!! Let me know if you get a chance to try it — so crazy in love with this recipe! 🙂

  • Oh my goodness, yes please, this looks so delicious!

    Rachael xx.
    theteacozykitchengspot.co.uk

  • Add shrimp to any dish and I’m there! This is such a unique and innovative way to eat squash! Thank you for sharing 😉

    http://theindiebyline.com/blog/

  • Can this stuffed squash be anymore perfect? Not only do I love spaghetti squash, but I love shrimp! This looks Mmmmmmm good!

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