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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.

overhead photo of Creamed Spaghetti Squash with Browned Butter Walnuts

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.

Browned Butter Walnuts

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.

side angled photo of Creamed Spaghetti Squash with Browned Butter Walnuts

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.

overhead photo of Creamed Spaghetti Squash with Browned Butter Walnuts

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.

side angled photo of Creamed Spaghetti Squash with Browned Butter Walnuts with hands pulling up the spaghetti squash

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

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 263 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 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. 

overhead horizontal photo of Creamed Spaghetti Squash with Browned Butter Walnuts

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  1. Am I missing something or why there’s “spaghetti” in the name of the recipe but not in the ingredients list? I can clearly see pasta in the dish! When is it added?

    1. Hi there! This recipe calls for spaghetti squash, the squash that has noodles that look like spaghetti when cooked! Sorry for the confusion! Enjoy 🙂 xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    This was really good! I actually already had all of the ingredients. Except instead of Manchego I used Parmesan. It came out great!

  3. I look forward to trying this. (BTW, I think you mean intimidate vs intimate: “If you’ve let spaghetti squash intimate…”)

    1. Hey Holly,
      Yes, that is correct, just poke a few holes with a fork first and you are good to go! I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Patti,
      Sure, really any cheese that you enjoy will work here! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Another winner! I would totally bring this to a holiday family dinner and I’m sure everyone would love it! Thanks again for giving me such an easy recipe to follow and fool everyone into looking like I know what I’m doing in the kitchen! 🤣

    1. Hey Autumn,
      I am delighted that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for trying it out! Have a great Tuesday! xxTieghan

    1. Hey Ashley,
      Honestly, anything you like, salmon would be fantastic here! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    Yum! We didn’t have any pesto made so I added basil, garlic and Romano cheese. Also added mushrooms and spinach (because they had to be used). Delicious! Making again tonight.

    1. Hey Jeni,
      So great to hear! Love that this recipe was enjoyed and thanks so much for making it! Have a great week🌟 xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    All I can say is….wow. This was INCREDIBLE. I’m literally writing this seconds after finishing my plate. Instead of milk I used Earth’s Own culinary oat cream. I also sautéed mushrooms with the walnuts/butter. Such an outstanding recipe. Will make again and again!

  7. 5 stars
    Really loved this recipe! Never made a spaghetti squash before but it was actually delicious. I made the same amount of sauce for a 2 oz squash (considered 1 small as opposed to the 2 medium asked for in the recipe) and it was just more saucy and delicious. Also used extra garlic and still really good flavors.
    Didn’t make the walnut topping due to lack of ingredients but I did mix in cut up honey ham from New Years and it was very good!

    1. Hey Kara,
      Yes, that would work well. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe and I’m not upset at all the my partner refused to try it simply because it’s spaghetti squash…because now I get to eat it all myself! So delicious and creamy but not too heavy and super easy to make!

    1. Hey Rachel,
      Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try, I am thrilled that it worked out for you! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    We made this for a thanksgiving side dish and it was AMAZING! We ended up using a little heavy cream in lieu of milk because we needed to get rid of it, but holy wow was this recipe GOOD. The tangy richness of the goat cheese, with the warmth of the brown butter and walnuts was just amazing. The pesto was a great touch but I do think the dish would be delicious even if you didn’t have pesto on hand. So good and so easy!

  10. 5 stars
    This was delicious. Normally spaghetti squash falls short for me but not this recipe! Nice job. I did cut down on the brown butter but otherwise followed exactly.

  11. 5 stars
    This dish was practically the star of our Thanksgiving dinner (lunch since we eat at 2 before the football game)! We skipped making Mac and cheese this year, and I substituted this dish instead. Almost everyone at our table went back for seconds on my spaghetti squash dish. I wish I could attach a photo of it!

    I did use only 2 tablespoons of basil pesto instead of the 3 this recipe called for. I also added a little extra garlic, goat cheese, milk, and Manchego cheese since my family loves dairy. I also only needed to use 3 halves of squash since the ones I bought were a little bit larger.

  12. 5 stars
    This dish is so good that we are adding it to the thanksgiving menu! One question- if using the slow cooker to keep warm, do you keep the cream sauce separate until ready to serve? Or can you add it to the slow cooker too? I know walnuts are to be left off until serving. Thank you for this amazing recipe!!

    1. Hey Courtney,
      You can go ahead and add the cream sauce:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  13. 5 stars
    Made this dish tonight and we both loved it! My husband said it was the best squash dish he ever had. Easy to make and the easy of reading the recipe is perfect.

    As Always, Thank you!

  14. 5 stars
    O.M.G. That was SOOOOO good. I will make this FOR SURE for Thanksgiving but I surely won’t reserve it for once a year. Absolutely delicious! So creamy. So decadent. The buttered walnuts – heaven! Plenty leftover for tomorrow. Adding spinach and mushrooms for my redo. Love love! Thank you!!!

  15. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious. Th brown butter walnuts… I mean, is there anything tastier? I also like that it’s super creamy and comforting, but since it’s a spaghetti squash base it’s not too rich. I’ll definitely be making this again!

  16. There are two step 4s. I want to make this ahead of time so looking at those instructions. basically, do you do all the steps but not the nuts until you make it? thanks!

  17. 3 stars
    It was okay. I would personally watch the walnuts closely. They will overcook in a second, and it will throw off the entire dish. I added pomegranate seeds to mine, and it really helped the dish come together. Love HBH recipes; this one just wasn’t my favorite.

  18. 3 stars
    I followed the directions exactly. I thought it needed more flavor. I was disappointed that I couldn’t really taste the sage. Nuts were yummy. If I make it again, I’d add more sage, do three pinches of crushed red pepper and maybe more cheeses.

    Excited to be following you. Your recipes look amazing.

    1. Hi Sarah! I am sorry these did not turn out as expected. Please let me know if there is anything I can help with! I hope you love all of the recipes you try of mine! xTieghan

  19. This was absolutely delicious! My whole family loved it and it is now a recipe I will definitely turn to again.. Thank you!

  20. 3 stars
    Fantastic flavor, but VERY rich. A few of my family members raved about it and really enjoyed it. The rest of us were in agreement that it was yummy but just overbearingly rich. I would use half the amount of butter next time and a tad less pesto. I would also drizzle it over the squash instead of tossing the squash in it, to control how much sauce each person wants. Loved the combo of goat cheese and pesto though. And I look forward to each week’s Nine Favorite Things post! Love your recipes and blog!

  21. 5 stars
    I had a beautiful spaghetti squash from our farm share this week and decided to try this last night. We loved it. When my kids are giving me compliments on vegetable dishes, I know I’ve found a winner. I used Hemp milk which went well with the slightly nutty flavor of the Manchego. I also threw in a good handful of chopped fresh spinach. I may try making this again for Thanksgiving! Posted a picture to Instagram too. Thanks for another fun one! Oh— and I loved the tip to microwave the squash for a few minutes before roasting. It made it so much easier to cut it open!

  22. 4 stars
    Delicious and pretty easy to make! Very rich, so I’d suggest serving it with a light salad to balance out the richness.

  23. 5 stars
    Excellent! Tasty. I didn’t have all the cheeses. I used feta, regiano, coconut milk, and sour cream to thicken, but it worked and was delicious. Also, I used and italian mix for seasoning. This was spur of the moment craving for spaghetti squash and it was easy and amazing. The nuts really set it off.

  24. Hi Tieghan! Super stoked to try this recipe tonight. If I don’t have manchego cheese, is there a substitute I could use? I have sharp cheddar and parmesan. Thanks!

    1. Hey Anouk,
      I think either one would work well! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  25. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! My only substitution was mozzarella for machengo. My garden was bountiful this year, so I’m going to work my way through your spaghetti squash recipes! As with all other dishes I’ve tried so far in your collection, this is a keeper!!

  26. Not sure if you’ve ever tried this, but the way I bake spaghetti squash is by cutting the squash vertically into ‘rings’ then oiling + salting the rings before lying flat and baking, flipping once. It all bakes so evenly – the texture is perfect and it’s so easy to ‘pull’ the strands (which remain long) apart.

    Looking forward to trying this recipe this weekend!

  27. Not a fan of cooking with nuts. In place of walnuts, I wonder if pancetta would work, or is the walnut flavor the star here?

    1. Hey Staci,
      Pancetta would be great! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  28. 5 stars
    This was lovely! I bought a whole bunch of different types of squash to try a while ago, but wasn’t sure what some of them were. Turns out that the squash I used for this recipe wasn’t a spaghetti squash after all but a mashed potato squash! Never mind. It was great all the same! I just ruffled the flesh and drizzled some of the sauce over it, then tossed the remaining sauce through some gnocchi to make a complete meal. Really good! The mashed potato squash was a bit reminiscent of acorn squash in flavour, so I think that would work well too for anyone looking for alternatives to spaghetti squash, or even squash gnocchi. Thanks for this lovely recipe!

    1. I am really happy this recipe turned out so amazing for you, Franka!! Thank you so much for trying it! xTieghan

    1. Hey Jessica,
      You could use a vegan cheese. I hope you enjoy the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

    1. Hey,
      So sorry I don’t have a link for this bowl. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  29. 5 stars
    This recipe was amazing and this will now be a staple in my recipe roster. It’s got all the yumminess of a creamy pasta dish without the heaviness of the noodles. Softening the squash in the microwave is brilliant!. This recipe was so scrumptious that it changed my boyfriend’s mind on eating spaghetti squash. Thank you!

  30. 5 stars
    Made it!!! And OMG fantastic!!
    I put my own twist on things due to picky eaters… served it over a bed of angel hair pasta, topped with spinach and sausage.

  31. Tried this for the first time today. I can’t even begin to say how delish it is. I did combine regular pasta with the spaghetti squash, for my hubby, and it can’t stop talking about it! He says he is addicted!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!

    1. Hey Natasha,
      You can us zucchini noodles or using regular pasta! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  32. 5 stars
    Amazing! I have never been a fan of spaghetti squash but had an abundance in the garden. Tried this recipe and it knocked my socks off! Absolutely delicious! Don’t change a thing!

  33. 4 stars
    Very good! I couldn’t quite follow the exact recipe due to my shelter in place ingredients, but I subbed feta for the goat cheese and cotija for the manchengo. I’d probably add a little cream cheese next time instead of the cotija and half the butter next time. Thanks so much!!!

  34. I tried it using some spaghetti squash I had frozen after cooking. It didn’t turn out well at all so I don’t recommend using frozen cooked squash. It was very soupy and watery.

  35. 5 stars
    Super yummy. Each bite grew on me so when I finished my first bowl, I wanted a bit more. The hint of sage with the walnuts really added a lot. I cut the recipe in half. Worked great. Thanks again for all your creativity.

    1. Hi Tamara! Pecan will be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

    1. Hi Kristina, I would not use almond butter, but almond milk will work great. Tray replacing the butter with olive oil. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  36. Hi,
    This *looks* amazing, and like the kind of comfort food I’d love! I’m a fan of spaghetti squash, basil pesto, and buttery/creamy/cheesy/nutty things.
    But, I wondered if I could ask some cheese advice here. I’ve honestly only had goats cheese once, on a fruit/cheese tray at a nice hotel…it was super strong & sour/tangy. I didn’t like it. But I have a super sensitive palette for things that are too strong like that (I don’t enjoy a lot of salad dressings, vinegary things like sauerkraut or pickles, mustardy things, even super sharp cheddar, etc). Anyway, I don’t know if that’s what all goat cheese is supposed to taste like, since I’ve only had it once, and I have never had sheep/manchego cheese before (though the descriptions sound yum!), so I was just wondering if you think I ought to try this with something else beside goat cheese, or if I should just go for it? Is it a very tangy/sour dish?
    If it helps, my favorite cheeses are like brie, camembert, muenster, gouda, and I love noodles with parmesan and/or mozzarella – usually mild, creamy, sweet kinds. I’m otherwise rather excited about this recipe, and happy to branch out, but if it is supposed to taste like my one goat cheese experience, I wouldn’t want to waste the ingredients. Thank you for your experienced help and consideration! : )

    1. HI!! I would recommend using Brie or cream cheese in place of the goat cheese. That will be delicious and I think you will really enjoy!! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  37. 4 stars
    I made this is a side for Christmas dinner and while it was a little fancy for some I thought it was delicious! It was a little heavy on the goat cheese flavour though and I love goat cheese and only used half the amount.

  38. Looks delicious! If I wanted to add an easy meat to go with it, what do you think would be best? I was thinking sausage but wasn’t sure if greasy sausage would be too much with this rich pasta! Thanks <3

    1. I would totally do a spicy Italian sausage and then just drain off any excess grease before tossing with the squash. That will be so good! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you and happy holidays! xTieghan

  39. 5 stars
    Easily one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever made. So simple and cozy! I often make spaghetti squash with a tomato based sauce, usually with some sort of meatball or bolognase. I’ve never tried a creamier sauce, but this one intrigued me since it wasn’t just your usual cream base. The goats cheese and Manchego give the dish a rich flavour without the heaviness of using cream. The brown butter walnut topping just put it over the top. Will definitely make this recipe again. Thank you!!

  40. love this recipe and will be making but can you please share where you got the serving bowl that you show above? Thank you

    1. Hi Lisa! The bowl is a vintage store find. So sorry I don’t have a link! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! xTieghan

    1. Hey Meghan! I am sure gruyere will be so delicious. Great idea! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  41. 5 stars
    Cant wait to make so many of these. Was looking this morning for just a new fresh idea and my gosh I have found it. I have seen nothing I wouldn’t just love!!

  42. Loved this recipe! First time making spaghetti squash and we really liked this dish. Not very common vegetable where I live. Made some with A mix of pine nuts and pistachios as husband i allergic to walnuts. I love how the flavours complement each other.

  43. 1 star
    We didn’t like this meal at all. I couldn’t finish mine. My husband eats everything, so he finished, but didn’t like it. We usually love these recipes! We can’t quite decide what was the problem. Neither of us liked the walnuts. Both the texture and the taste wasn’t right for us. And way too much butter. But even without the walnuts, we weren’t fans. There were maybe too many different flavors that both didn’t go together and weren’t strong enough somehow. I’m puzzled. We’ll continue trying (and loving) other recipes from this site, but I’m going to have to make some scrambled eggs tonight as a backup to fill my tummy.

    1. Hi Gina! I am really sorry to hear that. I hope you do love other recipes of mine. Please let me know if you have any questions as well! xTieghan

  44. 5 stars
    Okay I made this yesterday and omggggggg it was sooo delicious. I dumped a bunch more of the red pepper flakes but wow.

    1. Hi!! I would use an equal amount of cream cheese. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

    1. Hi Julie! The bowl was a vintage store find. I am sorry I do not have the link. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  45. 5 stars
    This looks so warm and inviting! True comfort food and I love that it’s low-carb too. I’m running out to get a spaghetti squash asap! Thanks!

  46. This was so delicious! Due to allergies I skipped the walnuts and made spinach basil pesto (nut free). Flavor was perfect and enjoyed by all! HBH is always a hit in my house!

  47. 5 stars
    Oh no! How am I going to choose between this and the hasselback butternut squash!? Dilemma! (Delicious dilemma 🙂 ) Thank you for another great recipe!

  48. 5 stars
    I absolutely adore spaghetti squash, and love this version of it! Sounds so cozy for right now, the temps dropped majorly where I am! Also love the combo of walnuts and goat cheese- quite possibly one of my favorite pairings! Cannot wait to make this!

  49. Hi Tieghan!

    This looks so so great… but I haaaaaate spaghetti squash haha. Is there another pasta substitute you would suggest? I like zoodles and butternut squash noodles, go figure. How would the directions other than no longer roasting the squash differ? Thanks!

    1. Hi Laura! I think butternut squash noodles or just regular pasta would be delicious! Just simply toss the noodles with the cream sauce once they are cooked. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  50. Hello. I really like your recipes. I have one question, actually two. I don’t have a microwave so how can I change that part of the recipe? And second, if I can’t find machengo cheese, what can I use?

    1. Hi Chris! Just skip the microwave and bake the squash 15 additional minutes to help it soften. You can use Asiago or parmesan cheese. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan