Vegan, garlicky tahini Alfredo cream sauce drizzled over roasted spaghetti squash, topped with roasted chickpeas and cherry tomatoes, is the perfect plant-powered comfort dish for early autumn!
- 3 medium spaghetti squash (count on 1/2 a squash per person)
- Oil, for brushing (extra virgin olive, avocado, or melted ghee/coconut oil)
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas (or 2 14-oz cans, drained and rinsed)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tsp za’atar spice (see note)
- Couple pinches fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tahini Alfredo Sauce
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup tahini
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 1/2 lemons)
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tsp capers
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 tbsp light spelt flour or all purpose flour, or 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/3 cup pitted olives, chopped, or olive paste
- Cashew-Hemp Parmesan or grated pecorino cheese
- Fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Roast the chickpeas: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the chickpeas in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with za’atar, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and transfer onto a baking sheet. Roast the chickpeas for 25-30 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned.
- Roast the spaghetti squash. (Depending on size of baking sheet you have, the number of squash you are cooking, you might be able to roast the squash at the same time as the chickpeas.)There are a few ways to do this, but the following is my preferred method, which I learned from this helpful post by Kathryne Taylor. First, slice the squash in half lengthwise. (Be very careful. Squash can be difficult to slice through.) Scoop out the seeds and discard or save to roast later, and brush each half with 3/4 of a teaspoon of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place face-down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining squash, and roast at 400 degrees F for 45-60 minutes, depending on how large your squash are. You’ll know that they are ready when the flesh is tender and you are able to use a fork to make “spaghetti” strands with it. Don’t worry about the starchy water that pools underneath the squash while it’s baking- the parchment paper makes for very easy cleanup.
- Once the squash is ready, use a sturdy fork or spatula to flip them over to the right side up position and use a fork to make strands of spaghetti out of the flesh. Keep the “spaghetti” in the skin for a beautiful serving presentation- everyone gets their own “bowl!”
- Meanwhile, make the tahini Alfredo sauce. Warm the oil in a small saucepan. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned and fragrant. Remove from the heat. In an upright blender, combine the tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dijon, nutritional yeast, capers, water, and cooked garlic. Blend until smooth. The sauce will seem quite runny at this point, but this is normal. We are going to thicken it next.
- Transfer the tahini Alfredo sauce to a medium saucepan. Sprinkle in the flour or arrowroot and turn on heat to medium-low. Whisk to incoporate. Cook, whisking often, until the sauce thickens to mimic the consistency of a true cream sauce. This usually takes about 10 minutes on my stovetop. If using arrowroot, be careful not to overheat the mixture, since this can reduce its thickening ability.
- Finally, prepare the remaining toppings: Slice the tomato, whip up the cashew-hemp parmesan or finely grate some pecorino if you haven’t already done so, slice the olives, if using, and chop some parsley.
- To serve, drizzle your desired amount of tahini Alfredo sauce over each spaghetti squash half. Top with the roasted chickpeas, tomato, olives, parmesan or pecorino, and parsley. Serve immediately with a side salad and perhaps some good bread and butter, in the event that you, too, are a lover of grain. 🙂
If you end up roasting just one or two squashes to serve a smaller number of people, you’ll have enough leftover tahini Alfredo sauce to enjoy on real pasta the next day. The sauce is also delicious on a vegan pizza! It sounds strange, but I like to use it as a sauce base for white pizza, or dollop spoonfuls of it over a traditional pizza before baking in place of cheese.
- Category: Lunch, Supper
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: tahini Alfredo spaghetti squash, vegan spaghetti sauce recipes