Grain Free Pesto Baked Cheesy Spaghetti Squash



Two years ago, I spent the summer studying in France and later traveling to Italy, where I stayed in the most magical of places called Cinque Terre, a group of five small towns hidden in the hills and right along the Mediterranean.  It was a beautiful few days filled with hikes through the vineyards, salty afternoon swims, and beautiful meals of fresh caught fish, local wines and lots of pesto!

Since green is my favorite color and pesto is one of my favorite foods, I created this spring green arugula pesto a while back and have since be putting it on everything, from eggs to chicken to grain free crackers—a scoop of pesto can brighten and flavor your daily plate in the best way!  Pesto backed macaroni and cheese has always been one of my favorite dishes, so I decided to re-create it using grain-free ingredients.  Its really quite delicious and a great dish to share with a crowd! I usually make a double batch of pesto and then save it to use throughout the week!

Exciting News and a Giveaway!

Also, in exciting news, my pesto recipe was recently published in Healthy Recipes Magazine and as a thank you, they are giving one of my readers a free year subscription to the magazine (iPhone, iPad, or iPod only).  All you have to do is follow Colorful Eats on Pinterest, re-pin this recipe on Pinterest, and leave me a comment below saying you did. One winner will randomly be selected at the end of the week.

Pesto Baked Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Mac & Cheese {Grain-free, gluten-free}

Cheerful green pesto gives this creamy baked mac and cheese a rich flavor.  A grain and gluten free baked “pasta” dish using noodled spaghetti squash, chicken sausage and melted cheeses for a healthier, low carb version of classic comfort food.



  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Use the tip of a knife, making a few slices in the skin of squash. This allows the heat to escape during baking.
  • Place squash on baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes depending on the size of squash.
  • While the squash is cooking, make the pesto.
  • Next, heat a non-stick skillet to medium heat.  Remove casings from sausage and crumble, browning and sautéing until cooked.  Set aside.
  • Use a fork to shred and noodle the spaghetti squash.  Add noodles to a bowl with the pesto and mix thoroughly.
  • Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees F. Generously butter baking dish (I used a 9 1/2 quart oval baker).
  • Layer half the ingredients—spaghetti squash, sausage, cheeses—then continue layering with rest of ingredients.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.
  • Garnish with parmesan and fresh basil slices if desired.

This & That

  • For step-by-step, detailed instructions on how to bake a spaghetti squash, view my spaghetti squash baking essentials.
  • If your spaghetti squash is larger than 2 pounds, just make sure you have plenty of pesto and cheese to cover so that your dish is creamy like “mac & cheese.”  Adjust the size of your baking dish according to the size of your squash.
  • I used chicken feta spinach sausage from US Wellness Meats. They have fabulous flavor and taste very fresh.  I think the lighter sausage flavor pairs well with the rich pesto.

{Shared with Gluten Free Wednesdays}

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