Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream

Stuffed spaghetti squash with chickpeas and garlicky arugula cream is a low fuss, super satiating and flavourful vegan meal.

An overhead shot of a stuffed spaghetti squash half on top of a matte black plate that’s set on top of a grey linen tablecloth. Inside the spaghetti squash is chickpeas, bright green garlicky arugula cream and leaves of arugula as well.
An overhead shot of ingredients for stuffed spaghetti squash on top of a worn wooden cutting board that’s set on top of a grey linen tablecloth.


It’s been a while! Sending out my best and warmest for the new year. I sort of checked-out from computer screens in a general way around the holidays.  We watched a lot of basketball, made delicious food without documentation, hung out in real time with family, played boardgames, read books. Kind of boring simple stuff, but great all the same. I think when you start seeing those boring things for the real blessings that they are, your perspective changes a bit.

While I’m trying to go gentler on myself in 2017, I know that re-examining lifestyle habits is a mood in January. The juicers get dusted off. It’s possible that you’ve read a 12th article about the Whole 30 in a matter of days. Also, I don’t know about you, but our gym is way more happening lately. I kind of love that everyone gets on board with the positivity of change for a few weeks at least.

This recipe is pretty simple and all-the-way wholesome, but totally lush too. There’s 10 core ingredients with a simple blender sauce that brings plenty of sparkle. When I need a touch of richness or a fast sauce, I almost always start with raw cashew butter. I make this butter up in large batches so that I don’t have to remember to soak cashews all the time. It’s amazing blended with some hot coffee and a dribble of maple syrup too.

I’m not sure if I got lucky with this squash or what because the strands were PREMIUM. Sometimes spaghetti squash cooks up super moist to the point of not being… spaghetti-like. I find that roasting the halves facing up does help with the strand-making. It forces the squash to dry out a bit more. If I’m being honest, I typically eat spaghetti squash simply: roasted with salt, pepper, and a couple shakes of white wine vinegar. This one, smothered with chickpeas, shallots, and that peppery/creamy sauce, is definitely a fancier outing. I imagine it’s a more appropriate main course option for people too!

I have a great spaghetti squash recipe with lime peanut sauce right here for you too.

An overhead shot of baked spaghetti squash halves on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
An overhead shot of a jar of bright green garlicky arugula cream sauce in a mason jar. A spoon is lifting out a spoonful of sauce. It is photographed on a worn wood background.
An overhead shot of stuffed spaghetti squash with a bright green arugula cream, leaves of arugula, and chickpeas. The squash is served on a black plate on top of a grey linen tablecloth.
A side angle of a stuffed spaghetti squash with arugula cream and chickpeas. A fork is sticking out. The squash is on a black plate on top of a grey linen tablecloth.
Stuffed Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream (vegan recipe) - The First Mess
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Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream

Stuffed spaghetti squash with chickpeas and garlicky arugula cream is a low fuss, super satiating and flavourful vegan meal.
PREP TIME25 mins
COOK TIME40 mins
TOTAL TIME1 hr 5 mins
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 2
Author: Laura Wright

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (mine weighed 1.25 kg)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • cup raw cashew butter
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • ½ teaspoon gluten-free tamari OR coconut aminos
  • 1 cup packed arugula, plus extra for serving
  • 1 medium shallot, small dice (about 1/2 cup diced shallot)
  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place the halves face-up on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Season the squash with salt and pepper and slide the sheet into the oven. Roast the squash until tender strands start to pull away, about 40 minutes. Remove the seeds from the squash and set aside.
  • While the squash is roasting, toast the pine nuts in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Once pine nuts are golden brown, remove them and set aside.
  • Make the arugula cream: In an upright blender combine the cashew butter, water, garlic, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, tamari, arugula, salt, and pepper. Blend this mixture on high for about 45 seconds, or until totally smooth and fluid. Check the cream for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Transfer the cream to a sealable container and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Return the medium sauté pan with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil to the stove over medium heat. Add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring often, until very soft, about 4 minutes. Add the chickpeas to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Once the chickpeas are warmed through, stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • To serve, place warm squash halves on plates and gently pull out some strands of “spaghetti” to make a pocket of sorts. Divide chickpea mixture between both squash halves. Drizzle garlicky arugula cream over both servings, and garnish with toasted pine nuts and extra arugula

Notes

  • This recipe makes extra sauce (almost all of my recipes do because extra sauce is obviously great to have on hand), so if you decided to double the squash, chickpeas, shallots etc., there would definitely be enough sauce for 4 servings.
  • If you want to try a nut-free version, I’d replace the cashew butter in the sauce with tahini and add a bit of maple syrup or other sweetener to the sauce. The toasted pine nuts on top could be replaced with any toasted seed that you like
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