• Hayley Lucero

Fresh Basil Pesto Spaghetti Squash- Whole30, Paleo

Key Words: Fresh basil, spaghetti squash, Whole30, Paleo, Gluten-Free, easy, fresh

Summertime is the time of year to start your own herb garden, veggie box, or attempt whatever you think you can grow! This year I started an herb garden for the first time and am LOVING what I am getting out of it. You know the herbs are fresh, no pesticides and you know exactly where it came from. Basil was my biggest producing plant this year and it has been fun experimenting with it. 

If you can't grow your own, it is fun to take a trip to the farmer's market to see what you can find. All these products will be as fresh as you can get them and all locally sources... meaning cheap, accessible and better for the environment. You can also take the time to get to know the farmers who grew that produce, which I find pretty cool too. Each area of the country grows something just a little different, so go exploring to see what you can find! 

This pesto recipe can be used on any and every pasta, as a veggie dip, or anything else you find needs some summer freshness. As far as the pasta, you can use any veggie noodle, this would go great on zoodles too, and you can add any veggie to throw in there that you can find near you! This is what is great about cooking with fresh veggies, you can pick and chose the ones you love and make meals your own, based on what you can find! 

My new way of cooking spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash can be a tricky one to cook if you have never cooked on before. Along with always wanting to try new recipes, I am always looking for ways to cook faster. Typically I cook my spaghetti squash in the microwave by scoring it first and putting it in for about 10-15 minutes, rotating every 4 minutes. However... for this recipe I tried it in the Instant Pot and I will never go back! This is truly setting it and forgetting it... for at least 15-18 minutes, at least. In the time I cooked it in the Instant pot, I had cooked the rest of the meal and it was ready to throw together! I knew I loved that Instant Pot! Of course, if you don't have one this recipe is very doable... like I said before I have always microwaved my squash before now.



1 cup fresh basil

1 cup fresh cilantro

1 1/2 cup walnuts

1 cloves garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 lemon zest and juice

Salt and pepper


1 Spaghetti squash

1 pound Italian Chicken Sausage (sugar-free)

2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes

1/2 red onion diced

1 tsp garlic powder

Salt and Pepper


  1. Score spaghetti squash all the way around, place in Instant Pot on the cooking rack, with 2 cups water. Cook on high pressure for 15-18 minutes (depending on size).

  2. Combine all pesto ingredients into the food processor and chop until smooth.

  3. Brown Italian Chicken Sausage for 4 minutes in the pan and then add onion, mushrooms, garlic powder, salt and pepper and continue to saute for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes last and saute for 2 minutes.

  4. Once Instant Pot is done, release the valve and remove the spaghetti squash using hot pads, be very careful, it will be hot.

  5. Cut spaghetti squash in half (around the equator) and let cool for 10 minutes. 

  6. Once squash is cool enough to touch (or using hot pads) scoop the seeds out and throw them away. Then scrape the "meat" of the squash out with a fork. This will create the spaghetti-like strands.

  7. Serve the spaghetti squash on the bottom, then chicken and veggies, and add pesto. Enjoy!! 

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