Stuffed Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream (vegan recipe) - The First Messpin it!Stuffed Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream (vegan recipe) - The First Messpin it!Stuffed Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream (vegan recipe) - The First Messpin it!
It’s been a while! Sending out my best and warmest for the new year. I sort of checked-out from screens in a general way around the holidays. Something about the busyness of that time combined with 24-hour media fatigue/total saturation made dwelling in the real world more appealing. I watched a lot of basketball, made delicious food without documentation, hung out in real time with my people, 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 going easy on food and certain lifestyle habits is also very much a thing for many in the month of January. The juicers might get dusted off, it’s possible that you’ve read a 12th article about the Whole 30 in a matter of days, and I don’t know about you, but our gym is waaay more happening lately. It’s easy to roll your eyes at it all, but I kind of love that everyone gets on board with a healthier way of life for at least 2 weeks.

This recipe is pretty simple and all-the-way good for you, 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 the butter up in large batches so that I don’t have to remember to soak cashews all the time essentially. 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 because it forces the squash to dry out a bit more. If I’m being honest, I typically eat spaghetti squash quite simply–just 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, and I imagine a more appropriate main course option for most people ;)

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream (vegan recipe) - The First Messpin it!Stuffed Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream (vegan recipe) - The First Messpin it!Stuffed Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream (vegan recipe) - The First Messpin it!Stuffed Spaghetti Squash w/ Chickpeas & Garlicky Arugula Cream (vegan recipe) - The First Messpin it!
Print the recipe here!
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.

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
1/3 cup raw cashew butter
1/2 cup filtered water
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1/2 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 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees 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 45 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.

  • Karlie05/01/2017 - 8:45 am

    This looks incredible, so warm and comforting + healthy to boot. I love anything with cashew butter. Glad you were able to take some time off! I can’t wait for your cookbook!ReplyCancel

  • Abby @ Heart of a Baker05/01/2017 - 10:19 am

    Ohh that sauce is callllling to me! I always welcome the reprive over the holiday break, but it feels so hard to get back into it come January. I’ll just be over here, eating this luscious dinner in the meantime :)ReplyCancel

  • Sarah | Well and Full05/01/2017 - 11:11 am

    Came here to say the lighting in these photos is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Seriously, how can you get a perfectly lit photo yet still have those moody vibes?! Teach me your ways :O Happy New Year, Laura! <3ReplyCancel

    • Laura05/01/2017 - 1:10 pm

      It’s aaaaaaallll Lightroom and a slightly dirty window, babe. Hehehe ;)
      xo LReplyCancel

  • Christine05/01/2017 - 12:45 pm

    Arugula cream! that sounds like the perfect way to fancy up spaghetti squash and this whole dish sounds so good! Our holiday was also spent pretty quietly and with lots of games – a new version of monopoly, jenga, and blockus! – and it was so fun to disconnect and live super simple :)ReplyCancel

  • Joan05/01/2017 - 12:50 pm

    Sounds awesome! I make a stuffed spaghetti squash ala primavera with sautéed onion, bell pepper, portabella, roma, and a touch of pesto on top. It’s the bomb. I’ll have to give this one a shot!ReplyCancel

  • Julia @ HappyFoods Tube05/01/2017 - 1:37 pm

    Your photos are beautiful! If I ever find spaghetti squash around here I will try this dish. Is there a big difference in taste between butternut squash and spaghetti squash?ReplyCancel

    • Laura05/01/2017 - 8:45 pm

      The difference is mostly in the texture, but butternut is also noticeably sweeter and probably way harder to eat if it’s stuffed. If I used a butternut for this recipe, I’d probably peel it, slice it, and roast it with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then, I’d combine those tasty roasted pieces with extra arugula, the chickpeas, pine nuts, and sauce–kind of like a warm, filling, composed salad sorta thing.

  • Tori//Gringalicious.com05/01/2017 - 7:11 pm

    Oh, how wonderful! I love spaghetti squash and the way you’ve dressed it up is perfect! Also, those photos are stunning!ReplyCancel

  • maya kuijper05/01/2017 - 8:59 pm

    I love the simplicity of this, looks so good! and the photos are amazing as usual. xoReplyCancel

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout05/01/2017 - 9:25 pm

    There is just this beautiful glow of light in every photo! Stunning. This recipe looks A++. I actually just ate a stuffed squash with miso gravy situation for dinner, but that didn’t stop me drooling at your recipe :)ReplyCancel

  • Veronica @ Rockridge Kitchen05/01/2017 - 11:44 pm

    This looks incredible. I just made spaghetti squash with a garlic sauce earlier this week. I need to do it again next week with this arugula sauce! Great idea.ReplyCancel

  • Grace06/01/2017 - 12:56 am

    I love your photos! They’re gorgeous! And of course, the food looks amayyzing :)ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder06/01/2017 - 1:48 pm

    I picked up a sketti squash yesterday and am so making this over the weekend girl. You. Slay. Hope you are having a refreshing start to the new year and easing back into the screens slowly <3 these breaks are always so nice. xxReplyCancel

  • Paige Margaret06/01/2017 - 4:07 pm

    This looks delicious!, and it’s healthy! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Mark07/01/2017 - 7:34 pm

    Looks brilliant. Love your photography too :)ReplyCancel

  • Laren11/01/2017 - 10:11 pm

    Just made this sauce. WOW IT IS AMAZING. Really impressive dish here, Laura. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Kimbydee12/01/2017 - 9:27 pm

    Made this tonight and it was delicious! My sister and I ate the whole thing and the spaghetti squash was enormous. Yum!ReplyCancel

  • La petite poire15/01/2017 - 2:37 am

    Wow!!! What a divine recipe. Beautiful photography and I can’t wait to try this out. Thank you for sharing ❤️ReplyCancel

  • […] this looks amazing…if only I had a kitchen this […]ReplyCancel

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  • […]  This stuffed spaghetti squash is just what I’m hankering after right […]ReplyCancel

  • autumn14/03/2017 - 10:38 am

    mmm mmm good! I made this last night and it was fantastic! Loved all the flavors and that arugula sauce was ridic! Can’t wait for my leftovers tonight :)ReplyCancel

  • […] thinking this would be a killer sauce to have around for lots of things. Go check this recipe out here from The First Mess […]ReplyCancel

  • […] temporary rush of happiness from a new purchase. Instead, I decided to focus my energy on trying a new vegan recipe, and I’m proud that I channeled that energy into trying something instead of buying […]ReplyCancel

  • Claire02/12/2018 - 11:14 pm

    This recipe is always one of my favorites once winter rolls around! I use almond butter because that’s what I keep on hand but otherwise replicate faithfully and am always so pleased with how it turns out! I make the sauce for other recipes, too – so good.ReplyCancel

  • […] round, I try to cook with veggies that are in season, so this stuffed spaghetti squash with chickpeas by The First Mess is a staple winter dish for me. I love how easy + simple it is, […]ReplyCancel

  • Sarah29/08/2019 - 12:55 pm

    This recipe is beyond good, I love it so much. I always forget how easy it is to make too, until I make it again. I get excited when spaghetti squash comes back around just because of this recipe :)ReplyCancel

  • Ryann11/09/2019 - 9:56 pm

    This recipe is absolutely amazing and definitely a new favorite! It’s was super easy to make – I had everything done plus the dishes washed in the 45 minutes it took to cook the squash. And it also tasted great. It’s a perfect blend of sweet and bitter and all of the ingredients go perfectly together. It’s easily one of our new favorite recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Instant Pot02/11/2019 - 6:37 am

    Just made this for the first time for the family. It was so good and fresh. Everyone in the family loved it which isn’t always the case with a family of 5. Pretty easy to make . Will definitely keep this dish on the permanent weekly menu.ReplyCancel

  • Donna in Inwood02/11/2019 - 11:31 am

    Coming back to your site after awhile away and noticing the nice grain-free recipes and gluten-free ingredients. Thanks!
    I’m thinking of making this for small lunch group next week. Might bun for people to put their own plates together from a buffet and it looks filling and tasty.
    Question: why do you scrap out the squash seeds after roasting? I’ve always scraped them out prior to roasting, but maybe it’s easier to do it after?
    Thanks. Also, I have recently discovered that toasted marcona almonds are a good sub for pine nuts or peanuts. Just put a little EVO in a pan and toast them lightly then add.
    I can’t tolerate peanuts and never seem to have pine nuts around, so it’s nice trick.

    • Laura04/11/2019 - 8:13 am

      Hi Donna!
      Thanks so much for your comment. I find that the seeds release much easier after roasting. Thank you for your pine nut substitution note as well!

  • Donna in Inwood11/11/2019 - 4:06 pm

    Tried it as you suggested and roasted the squash face up with the seeds in, then scraped them out after. You’re so smart — it’s much easier that way! ;-)

    The sauce is terrific would be great on lots of things. I am not a big fan of garbanzos, though. Not a reflection on your recipe, just a reflection on my stomach! (I am usually a low-carb eater.)
    I tried them here as you suggested, and the shallots and lemon juice did help to cut the starchiness, though it was hard to take too much.

    Don’t hate, but I think this whole thing would work nicely with ground turkey in place of the beans. It could be seasoned with the shallots, or onions, and maybe some chopped celery. Lean turkey (white meat) wouldn’t render much fat so it would still be a fairly light dish.

    I have another spaghetti and squash and some extra sauce, so I think will try it that way and see what happens. ;-)ReplyCancel

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