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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: 337 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. 
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  1. If I am preparing this ahead…should I add the sauce to the spaghetti squash at the time of cooking and then put it all in the fridge, already combined? Or should I keep the sauce and squash separate until I’m ready to reheat it all to serve?

        1. Hey Sue,
          Sure, that would work well for you. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Fantastic dish!
    I loved the flavors – that browned butter flavor is so perfect. Next time I make this I am going to add pomegranate seeds to top it off and cook salmon on the side. Thank you for a delicious recipe, my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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!