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

serves
2-3
PREP
20 min
COOKING
15 min
serves
2-3
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
15 min
INGREDIENTS
  • 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
METHOD
  1. Coat cubed butternut squash in 1 tbsp of olive oil and season with salt. Bake in a hot oven (225º C / 435º F) for about 40-50 minutes, until butternut squash turns soft and gets lightly caramelised.
  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.

NOTES
*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.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
495
25%
sugars
4 g
5%
fats
22 g
32%
saturates
3 g
14%
proteins
12 g
25%
carbs
65 g
25%
*per serving
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4.9
30 reviews, 88 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Tania:
We had this tonight, just used regular pumpkins. Absolutely delicious, I think will become a new regular. Thank you very much for posting this. Tania
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Tania! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it. Autumn is now well and truly in the air, isn't it? x Ania
Isabelle:
Hi AniaI was for a hunt of another pumpkin recipe and found your fantastic pumpkin spinach and walnut spaghetti. We just added some non-vegan ingredients, fine diced smoked prosciutto and parmesan cheese. It was a really good experience, especially with the lemon juice and lemon zest. I was a bit unsure how that will taste, but I think that makes it. And it is also good, if vegan friends coming for dinner, its so easy to add things what everybody likes.Thank you! <3
    Ania
    Ania:
    Glad to hear you enjoyed my recipe, Isabelle! Thanks for taking the time to let me know - much appreciated! x Ania
Emma V:
Delicious- made it last night, upped the chilli and lemon and needed a bit of the pasta water to loosen it all up but my god it was divine! Thank you and I’ll now be looking at your website for more inspiration. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear, Emma! And thank you for taking the time to rate this recipe – I really appreciate it! Ania
Elizabeth:
This looks amazing! What would you recommend to sub the walnuts with? I’m allergic to most nuts (except almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts).
    Ania
    Ania:
    Sure, toasted hazelnuts or almonds would both be nice here! x Ania
Yvette:
Eating this for lunch as I type. So delicious and my hubby loves it too. I did omit the spinach as I didn’t have it on hand and used toasted almonds instead of walnuts as I had those ready.The pumpkin shrunk a lot after being in the oven and as we loved them we would probably add 1 more cup next time. I had to turn down the temp 20 min and some pieces ended burnt still. But they were still delicious overall 😍. I guess it was because mine were in smaller pieces. would suggest monitoring the pumpkin since everyone may slice them differently and all ovens are different.Thanks for the recipe!!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Yvette,I am glad you've enjoyed this - it is one of my personal autumn favourites too. Yes, I concur, you can never have too much roast pumpkin!! Thanks for taking the time to review and rate this recipe – much appreciated! x Ania
Rob:
Google brought me to this page, and I was in a bit of a hurry, so I skipped straight to the recipe. My first reaction when I tasted it was how delicious it is! Then halfway through eating it, I realised "oh wait, is this a vegan recipe?" I honestly had no idea. I'm not of the vegan persuasion myself, but I love finding these 'accidentally vegan' recipes. I think this is one of the best such recipes I've ever found. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Rob,That's fantastic to hear, thank you. I am delighted that you enjoyed it so much! Ania
Lisa Hill:
We had some leftover pumpkin made with Adam Liau's Lemon Pumpkin recipe, so I used it with this recipe for a light lunch. It was delicious! (I used 1/4 tsp of chilli-in-a-jar and it was perfect).
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear, Lisa! Thank you for taking the time to comment! x Ania
Arlene Cronin:
I am planning to make this recipe today for my family. My son is running in the marathon tomorrow and needs a pasta meal. I was wondering if I added cauliflower to this recipe if it would work. I have mixed cauliflower, spinach and butternut squash in other recipes and loved the combination. What do you think??
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Arlene,Sure thing, I don't see why not if you enjoy it. I would bake it with pumpkin although it should be done much sooner so make sure you take it off the tray earlier. I would also maybe reduce the oven temperature by 20º C / 70º F to make sure the cauliflower does not burn and extend pumpkin baking time by 5-10 minutes. It is even more delicious with a sprinkle of salt, smoked paprika and nutritional yeast before baking. Hope that helps! Ania
cchandler:
Ania, This recipe has staying power! And for good reason: you've been steadily getting comments for 3 years! It is such a wonderful combination of flavors. I admit that the baked pumpkin squares are like candy and the first batch that I baked never made it to the recipe. The second batch was still quickly disappearing before getting them into the mix. This is one of those great dishes that is so rewarding to share -- if there is any left : ) Thank you so much for sharing! Catherine
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Catherine! I'm so happy to liked it so much! It is one of my firm favourites too! Ania
Janeliz:
Wow this seems very tasty.It is a must try.Pumpkins are plenty in my country Kenya.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear, hope it will hit the spot! Ania
Anne:
My husband who is an AVID carnivore LOVED this recipe and declared it his favorite pasta dish! This is truly a fantastic recipe - hands down an all time favorite. For my touch, I upped the chili a bit and added the cubed butternut squash at the very end to maintain the cube shape. I'm an avid fan and can't thank you enough for these delicious recipes!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Anne! I'm delighted to hear that! And thank you for taking the time to leave this lovely feedback and rate the recipe – it helps my blog grow. x Ania
Donna:
I made this tonight, but since we were really hungry, I decided to add a little meat. I added one link of chopped Italian sausage. It was very good. Also, added some of the pasta water, as my husband likes his pasta to be very saucy!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Ania
Hilde:
So I wanted to make a pumpkin-spinach-mushroom lasagna but forgot to buy mushrooms (ADD - I have it), so I looked for a pumpkin-spinach recipe and found this. Makes me glad that I forgot the mushrooms :) Thx for sharing, I enjoyed it.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Glad to hear that, Hilde! Thanks for commenting! Ania
zinvollerleven:
I made this recipe yesterday for me and my partner. We loved it and will try more of your stuff, I am sure. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great to hear, thank you! :) Ania
Sarah:
This was so very good! My husband loved it! Thank you :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm so glad to hear that, thank you, Sarah! Ania
Saved me from a lazy night of toast for dinner. Absolutely delicious.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hahaha, great to hear! Thanks, CJ! Ania
Esha chatterjee:
Hi- Can I make this in the evening for a packed lunch the next day?
    Ania
    Ania:
    I've never done that, but I don't see why it would not work. Ania
georgie @ georgieeats:
This is such a good idea!! I need this in my tummy RIGHT NOW!! Haha!! I will be making this next week - just watch this space... thanks for the recipe :) x
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure! I hope it will hit the spot! Ania
Mitch Pon:
I always do this every weekend. Me and my husband loves this recipe so much. Spinach, Sweetness of pumpkin, and a touch of lemon and I put a little bit of cayenne pepper is really perfect ! Thanks for sharing this! :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Mitch! That's great to hear and thank you for taking the time to let me know that you are enjoying this recipe so much. Much appreciated! Ania
Shennae:
I didn’t have walnuts so i used cashews instead. I also didn’t mash my pumpkin and added crumnled vegan feta (I use Oliana because it will last forever in the fridge without going bad). I posted a link to your wonderful recipe in a vegan group so others can try it. I want to add sun dried tomato next time I make this.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Shennae! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it! :) Ania
Super yum and easy to make. And it’s dairy free.... Thanks for sharing this recipe.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed it! Ania
Amber:
Delicious! My children and I cleaned our plates in minutes.
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm really chuffed to hear that, Amber! Kids aren't easy to please sometimes either ;) Ania
Donna:
I’ve made this twice now and we love it. It’s firmly pinned in my Favourites Board. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much for kind words, Donna! I'm so chuffed to hear that as it also happens to be one of my favourite autumn/winter dishes! Ania
Emily:
I never comment on recipes, but this was too good not to comment. Thank you for this recipe - the first bite blew me away and I can’t stop thinking about the leftovers! I’ve already passed it along to family and friends!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much, Emily! That means a lot :) So pleased you enjoyed it that much (especially that it happens to be one of my fav pastas too!) x Ania
What a delicious recipe! I substituted the walnuts with grilled pine nuts & sunflower seeds. I also added parsley, thyme & grated parmigiano reggiano. Mmmmmmmmm! Thank you for the recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure, Jo! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :) Ania
Aurélie:
Hi ! I would like to try your recipe but I don't have an oven :( What could you suggest to replace this step please ? It looks so yummy !! Thanks !
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Aurélie,What you could do instead is steam, stir-fry (cut it into smaller pieces if you do) or saute pumpkin in some veggie stock (after frying garlic) until soft and until the moisture cooks out. Hope that helps! Ania
MaryJo:
Hi Ania,I plan on making this tonight it looks amazing. I have some add ins I could try to be a little more creative but I will let you know how it comes out. You location sounds amazing to would love to live in the middle of little island:)Thanks for the recipe I will be in touch
    Ania
    Ania:
    Great stuff, hope you'll like it! :) Ania
Michon D.:
I am wondering if pecans could be used instead of walnuts? unfortunately, I am allergic to walnuts. I usually substitute pecans in any walnut-wielding recipe because they have a very similar consistency. This recipe looks delicious and would love to try!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Yes, of course, Michon! That's not a problem, pecans will work just as well! Hope you'll like it! Ania
Lisa L:
I can't wait to make this dish. It looks fantastic!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Lisa, hope you'll like it! :) Ania
Giedre:
Hello! We tried this today since we had a huge pumpkin at home and we loved it! Thank you so much for such easy and delicious recipe. I used kale instead of spinach since I had that at home and it worked fine!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much for kind words, Giedre! I'm really pleased to hear that you enjoyed it! Ania
Susan Stickney:
After reading this recipe I want to try, because it looks very tasty ...
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Susan! Hope you'll like it! :) Ania
Oana:
I've made this twice and it's amazing! I really want to go vegan and your recipes are great. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's lovely to hear, Oana! I'm also super glad that my recipes are helpful in your transition. Good luck! x Ania
Carol:
I am currently making your recipe right now but l found an error. At the top it says cooking time 15 min but the pumpkin takes 40-50min to cook. I just thought you would like to know. 😊
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Carol. Technically you are correct, but it's a tricky one. Roasting pumpkin isn't an active cooking time, you simply put it into the oven and walk away so that's why I did it like that.
Teresa:
Hi there,I'm hoping to make this soon, and I just wanted to know if a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top wouldn't be too much (I've got a lot of it at the moment)Thanks :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Teresa,I'm glad to hear that you are planning to make this - hope you'll love it! As for Parmesan, I cannot help you as we are vegan so we don't use it.Ania
Hayley:
i just made this for my little sister and myself with a kent pumpkin as that was all we had and it tastes amazing! no walnuts unfortunately , will have to go to the shops soon so i can make it again!
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's so nice to hear! Thanks, Hayley! :)
Kathrin:
Thank you this is really fantastic, we were on a vegan challenge for a month and this recipe is so great it will be part of my regular cooking as well once the challenge is over.
    Ania
    Ania:
    That's so nice to hear, Kathrin! Thank you! :)
Kelly Cletheroe:
Hello there, I've posted a roundup of all my favourite pumpkin recipes, and this is one of them! I've credited your work, here's a link to the post: http://maverickbaking.com/10-very-best-pumpkin-recipes/ . Thanks for a great recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Kelly, I will be sure to check it out! Ania
Alexis:
Can you eat this as leftovers? I have a potluck at work tomorrow and want to make this the night before.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Alexis, I don't see why not.
Elizabeth:
Lovely recipe , thank you! I added the flesh of one avocado in the last few minutes of putting everything together just to warm it through and for extra creaminess! Plenty of chilli flakes give a nice heat as well!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Elizabeth - I'm glad you liked it! Yes, I'm a big fan of a chilli kick too! :)
Lee:
I absolutely love this recipe :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much Lee! That's lovely to hear! xx
NIcole:
We made this tonight and it was absolutely amazing! Thanks for the recipe :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Yay! That's so nice to hear - thank you, Nicole! x
Claire:
Have just recently got into vegetarian dishes and food having started to grow vegetables, and this dish is so yummy. I look toward to trying more X
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Claire! I hope you like them all just as much ;) and good luck on your veggie journey! x
Shennae Davies:
what can I use instead of chilli flakes? I can't tolerate more than a microscopic amount of chilli!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Shennae,If you want a tiny bit of chilli, simply use a pinch of chilli powder, but if you don't like it at all, skip it altogether :) .
Janice:
This looks so delicious, I'm going to make it tomorrow night.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Janice :) Hope you'll like it! x
Emma J:
Hi Ania,Ive just come across your blog and am loving your recipes. Want to try this one out on the weekend! great work, Emma
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much Emma :) Hope'll like this recipe!
Kyra:
You're making my mouth water with this recipe, it looks so good - and easy to make too! <3
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks Kyra! I hope you'll try it out. x
Jasmine Oppenlander:
this looks so good! I would like to make it for my boyfriend but he is allergic to chillis/ peppers in general, is there anything you would recommend for me to swap it with?? just to make sure it taste as great as possible
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Jasmine,Glad that you like the sound of this recipe. Sorry to hear that your partner is allergic to chillis. I cannot think of anything that would be an equally mouth-tingling substitution, I'm afraid. I would simply garnish it with plenty of black pepper once cooked.Hope that helps a little,Ania
Diane:
I'm a little confused by the ingredients list and the directions... You mention pumpkin in the content of the post but in the actual recipe, I only see butternut squash. Am I missing something? I'd love to try this recipe out but want to make sure I have the right ingredients!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Diane. I'm sorry for causing confusion! I'm not sure where you live but in Europe, Australia and New Zealand butternut squash (or butternut pumpkin in Australia) is a type of pumpkin therefore I used the word 'pumpkin' in a generic sense in the title and body copy for brevity. I made this pasta with butternut squash pumpkin, which has quite a dense flesh with lower water content so as long as you use similar type of pumpkin you will be fine.Hope that helps and please let me know how it turned out!Ania
      Laura:
      Hi Ania,I'm guessing Diane, like me, is from the US. Here "pumpkin" is typically used only to refer to a type of orange gourd most easily described as the ones often carved into jack o'lanterns for Halloween.Questions:(1). Would this recipe work with the American pumpkin?(2). My sister introduced me to using spaghetti squash as a replacement for standard pasta. Do you think using both spaghetti squash and butternut squash (or American pumpkin) in the same recipe would work? Or would it clash somehow?Many thanks!
        Ania
        Ania:
        Hi Laura,I'm not sure I've ever had American pumpkin as all I can get here is butternut squash, hokkaido pumpkin and kind of jack o'lantern ones but small. I would say that any firm (with smaller water content) pumpkin would work here so if American pumpkin is like that then it will be fine. I know what you mean about spaghetti squash, but again I cannot buy it here (the issue with living on a small Greek island in the middle of the sea ;) ) so I've never tried. My gut feeling is that you may want to use them for two separate meals as pumpkin spaghetti with roast pumpkin may be a bit too much in one dish! :) Ania
Matthew McDonald:
I made this last night for a dinner party - everyone agreed that it was fantastic! Wonderful overlapping flavours, the walnuts and lemon on top is genius. I'm not known for my culinary skills do I had to divulge me secret - Lazy cat kitchen! Thanks guys!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Matthew, we so pleased that it went down well with your guests.
Maikki // Maikin mokomin:
Looks so good.. I think fried sage leaves or couple of sprigs of rosemary would work well in this recipe :)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Completely agree! I cannot get fresh sage leaves here (they are in season in June here) at the same time as pumpkins but I love that combination too:)
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