Creamed Spaghetti Squash with Browned Butter Walnuts.
Make some room on your holiday tables for this Creamed Spaghetti Squash with Browned Butter Walnuts. It’s the perfect, make-ahead side dish. Seasonal spaghetti squash is oven-roasted, then tossed with an extra creamy goat cheese-based cream sauce that’s swirled with pesto and hinted with garlic. Toss the roasted spaghetti squash with the cream sauce and finish this simple side with buttery walnuts and crisped sage. This is an easy and delicious seasonal squash recipe that can double as a hearty side dish or vegetarian main course.
Crazy as this is, I don’t believe I’ve ever shared my history with spaghetti squash. Over the years, I’ve only shared a handful of spaghetti squash recipes. But did you guys know that spaghetti squash was one of the first real dishes I learned to cook?
Way, way back in the day (think little thirteen-year-old Tieghan), my mom turned me onto roasted spaghetti squash. She would roast it in the oven, scrape the strands, and simply toss with butter and salt. She’d serve it to me straight out of the spaghetti squash shell and I remember it tasting SO GOOD. Buttery, salty, and the noodles had just the slightest bit of sweetness to them. To this day, it’s still a favorite. I make roasted spaghetti squash every single year for Thanksgiving. I’ve done so since my family’s very first Thanksgiving in Colorado. It’s always one of the first side dishes to disappear.
Also? Thinking about it now, I have no idea how my mom discovered spaghetti squash. She’s not the most adventurous eater and crazy looking vegetables like spaghetti squash wouldn’t be something she’d typically reach for.
Who knows, she does love buttered noodles…so. Thankfully she turned me onto spaghetti squash, and it’s been one of my favorite fall vegetables to roast ever since.
Roasting spaghetti squash is easy….
If you’ve let spaghetti squash intimate you, don’t. Simply microwave the squash to soften the shell, then slice in half, scrape the seeds out, and roast. It does take a while to fully roast, about 30 minutes. But the time in the oven is worth it.
Roasting the squash brings out its sweetness and turns its strands into buttery deliciousness. Sounds too good to be true, but promise, it’s not.
Now for that cream sauce…
While the squash is roasting away in the oven, make the sauce.
This cream sauce it extra special. It’s made with browned butter and a little milk (you can use any variety you’d like). But the real the secret?
Goat cheese. Using goat cheese keeps the sauce creamy. It gives it an almost Brie like flavor, and it’s all-around delicious.
In addition to the cheese, I also use a little pesto to flavor sauce, and a good amount of garlic too. Once the spaghetti squash is roasted, just scrape it into “spaghetti” and toss the strands with the sauce.
That final touch…
The last thing you must do is toast the walnuts in butter with a little bit of fresh sage. This step takes five minutes to do this, but it makes ALL the difference and creates a recipe that’s truly mouth-watering.
The butter turns nutty, the walnuts golden, and the sage gets perfectly crisp.
Simply spoon the nuts over the creamed squash, kind of like a bread crumb finish, SO GOOD.
Without a doubt, this is one of my current favorite recipes. I made it on a whim the other week and it’s already been remade multiple times.
It’s simple, but warming, and so delicious.
And yes, this is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu. It makes for a great, updated, but still traditional side dish or a vegetarian main course.
If you make this creamed spaghetti squash with browned butter walnuts, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Creamed Spaghetti Squash with Browned Butter Walnuts
An easy and delicious seasonal squash recipe that can double as a hearty side dish or vegetarian main course.
- 2 medium spaghetti squash, halved and seeds removed
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter
- 1 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 cup whole milk, nut milk, or canned coconut milk
- 3 ounces creamy goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup grated manchego cheese
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto, homemade or store-bought
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Place the squash on a plate and microwave 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the squash in a baking dish and season the cut sides with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake 30-35 minutes or until the squash is tender.
3. Meanwhile, heat 6 tablespoons butter, the walnuts, sage, and a pinch of salt in a large skillet. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter is browned and the walnuts are toasted. Remove the nuts from the skillet to a plate.
4. In the same skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter with the garlic. Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper flakes, milk, goat cheese, manchego, and pesto. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth and creamy. Remove from the heat.
4. When the squash is ready, use a fork to scrape the squash into strands, then toss the squash with the pesto cream sauce. Serve the squash warm, topped with buttery walnuts.
To Make Ahead: prepare the squash through step 4, but leave the walnuts off the squash. Cool and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, gently warm the squash over low heat on the stove, stirring until warmed. Top with walnuts.
To Keep Warm in the Slow Cooker: prepare the squash through step 4, but leave the walnuts off the squash. Transfer the squash to the slow cooker and keep on the WARM setting for up to 4 hours. Keep the walnuts to the side of the squash until ready to use for topping.
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