Pumpkin, spinach and walnut spaghetti

Pumpkin, spinach and walnut spaghetti

pumpkin spinach walnut spaghetti

It’s almost the middle of the week so today’s dish is a no fuss, simple, mid-week supper. If, like me, you always have a container full of roasted pumpkin in your fridge during autumn, you will have your dinner on the table in no time at all.

If you need to roast your pumpkin, you can always do a quick yoga session while your oven does its magic. That’s what I’ve been trying to do lately – incorporate small yoga sessions into any waiting time.

I have a love/hate relationship with yoga. I know I need it as I have the flexibility of a small tank, but because I really suck at it, I tend to procrastinate. My current strategy is to develop a yoga habit (certainly much better than my current chocolate one;)) by finding 20 minutes to practise each day. Waiting for your veggies to finish roasting is as good a time as any. Once you finish, you’ll be in a good mood and your dinner will be just minutes away.

While many people enjoy pumpkin desserts, I’m a sucker for savoury dishes punctuated with this sweet vegetable. Its caramelised goodness goes so well with the flavours of garlic, chilli, spinach, walnuts and lemon that even writing about this makes me salivate. It’s a marriage made in heaven and it’s kind of hard to describe so best make it yourself:).

butternut squash before and after

pumpkin spinach walnut spaghetti in a pan

pumpkin spinach walnut spaghetti top down

pumpkin spinach walnut spaghetti close

pumpkin spinach walnut spaghetti portion

20 min
15 min
20 min
15 min
  • 200 g spaghetti (use gluten-free if you are gluten-intolerant)
  • 3 tbsp / 45 ml olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 cups of cubed butternut squash / pumpkin*
  • about 100 g spinach
  • ½-1 tsp chilli flakes (depending on level of heat and your preference)
  • ½ lemon, zest and juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 30 g walnuts, finely chopped
  1. Coat cubed butternut squash in 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Bake in a 220º C / 430º F oven for about 30-35 minutes, until butternut squash turns soft and gets caramelised. Give it a good stir half way through baking time.
  2. Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Fry off garlic gently on a low-medium heat, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn. Add chilli flakes and cook for another minute or two stirring frequently.
  3. Cook spaghetti for a minute shorter than you would normally.
  4. Mash half the butternut squash with a fork or potato masher (you can also use a food processor or blender for a smoother texture). Put both mashed and whole butternut squash chunks into the pan with chilli and garlic.
  5. Add drained pasta and washed spinach into the pan. Incorporate them well into the pumpkin. Taste and season with pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and additional salt and chilli if needed.
  6. Serve immediately with chopped walnuts and lemon zest on top.

*I’ve had a lot of enquiries, mostly from my USA-based readers, asking me why this recipe has pumpkin in the name when it uses butternut squash. To my mind, butternut squash (also known as ‘butternut pumpkin’ in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and my native Poland, to name just a few…), is a type of pumpkin. You are welcome to use any pumpkin variety you have to hand as long as it has firm and dense (rather than watery) flesh.

4 g
22 g
3 g
12 g
65 g
*per serving
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40 reviews, 92 comments
This dish was delicious & easy to make. It will stay in my list for meat free days. I love baked pumpkin. The lemon really adds to the flavour. I added some cauliflower as I was a little short on spinach
    Thanks Vanessa, I am glad you enjoyed this simple pasta and thanks for letting me know. Ania
Can this be made with frozen bagged squash?
    Hi Ray,
    I personally wouldn't as it's quite watery and mushy by comparison, but feel free to override me if you don't mind that. Hope this helps! x Ania
We had a small pumpkin so why not. Did not know what expect but it was a super delicious fall meal, simple and healthy!
    I'm delighted to hear that, Alan and thank you so much for taking the time to review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
HI, would you please update the prep/cooking time estimates to include the time it takes to bake the butternut squash? I was planning to make this tonight in 45 minutes based on the 20 minutes prep and 15 minutes cook time as shown, then I read in step 1 that the squash needs to be cooked 40-50 minutes. Thanks. I'll have to try this on another day. It looks delicious.
    Hi Ann,
    It is a widely used recipe convention to only include active time in the timing estimates, which is why roasting the squash was not included. Some websites also have overall time as well, but I don't have that option in my website unfortunately. Having looked at this recipe again, the time for roasting squash is too pesimisstic (I wrote that recipe long time ago, in a rented flat with a shabby oven) so I've updated it now - it should take more like 30 minutes at this heat. I'm sorry if you felt mislead, it was not my intention and I hope you'll enjoy this pasta if you decide to make it. x Ania
Enjoyed this recipe! Made modifications- used acorn squash and switched out the crushed chili for a smoked paprika to make it more baby friendly. I’d make again. It’s a nice, easy dish to add into rotation for fall!
    Thanks Kathryn, I am glad you and your baby enjoyed it! x Ania
delicious! A perfect example of how a few simple ingredients can quickly come together to make something fantastic.
    Aw, thank you Grace! So glad you enjoyed it, this one is on regular rotation in our house in winter. x Ania
Completely delicious! Exceeded my expectations, came out so much more tasty and 'juicy' than I expected. The lemon zest and the walnuts really take this over the edge. I also added a bit of parmesan over the top, which I would also recommend.
    Thanks Kate, I am delighted to hear that you enjoy this pasta! Cheers! Ania
I'm making this tonight--on Halloween! I'm in the US, and whether you call it "pumpkin" or "butternut squash," it's delicious in this recipe! I've made this as well as your Vegan Bibimbap recipe multiple times. Thanks so much for sharing them!
    My pleasure, I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed it as well as my vegan bibimbap too. x Ania
I must say, this was one of the best pasta dish i ever ate! Very good!
    Thanks Val! I am delighted this recipe was such a hit with you and many thanks for taking the time to let me know. x Ania
Pregnancy cravings led me here! I made this for dinner and even though I totally forgot to add in the walnuts I went out of my way to buy, it was delicious! I added parmesan, too.
    Glad to hear that you enjoyed it and that it satisfied those pesky cravings. x Ania
Genialnie sie to prezentuje, dzięki za super przepis :D
    Cala przyjemnosc po mojej stronie, dzieki! x Ania
Could this recipe be made in advance and reheated? if so what is the best way?
    Hi Honor,
    I guess it would work if you undercooked your pasta a bit and then reheated in a pan with a good splash of water. Hope this helps! Ania
We thoroughly enjoyed the pasta.
    Great to hear, thank you :) Ania
Jane B:
Delicious! This was absolutely wonderful, thank you so much bfor the recipe. I love roast pumpkin, but had never thought of mashing half and leaving the other half as is.
I did make a couple of very small modifications - I roasted a large clover of garlic with the pumpkin, and mashed it with the pumpkin for extra flavour. I also thinned the sauce slightly with a little of the pasta water and a generous dollop of white wine.
This will be a favourite, I’m sure of that.
    Thank you, Jane! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it and thanks so much for taking the time to let me know - much appreciated. Ania
Can I add tomatoes to this sauce
    Hi Louise,
    Sure you can, but I personally would not advise it. It's not that kind of pasta and I don't feel like they would go so well with the other flavours. Ania
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