This spaghetti squash with creamy mushroom pancetta sauce is a concoction built from the memories of many fabulous mushroom dishes at restaurants from all over. A pasta dish at Estella in New York and a deeply mushroomy pizza at Rose Pistola in San Francisco – I wanted a cozy, creamy mushroom sauce to pair with spaghetti squash and bring me back to all those flavors and moments.
Here, with the help of dairy free nutpods, I’ve achieved that in a whole30 and paleo-friendly way. As I mentioned in my garlic creamed kale recipe, I like that nutpods tastes creamy without an overpowering coconut flavor. It’s my preferred way to substitute for dairy or cream in recipes! With spaghetti squash, it’s a Paleo home-run that makes me wonder if I ever need grain-based pasta again (lies, I will always love regular pasta, but am trying to keep it for truly special and out of this world preparations at my favorite restaurants).
This spaghetti squash with creamy mushroom pancetta sauce makes an excellent dinner and packs up well for lunches, too. It’s pretty quick, needs only a few ingredients, and cozies up any dinner table (and with the weather right now, who doesn’t need that?!).
If you have an Instant Pot, I’ll tell you now that if it hasn’t already changed the way you cook spaghetti squash, it’s about to. Nom Nom Paleo clued me in to both of cutting and cooking the squash, and I’ve never looked back. Cutting it in half horizontally (the short way) will create longer spaghetti strands, and you can cut it more easily with simply a paring knife. Check out her post on cutting and cooking these bad boys for more details.
You can use any type of mushrooms for this dish, but here, I’ve used shitake. To make this vegetarian-friendly, just omit the pancetta/bacon, and to beef up the protein, this would be great with some roasted chicken or Italian sausage added in. This cream sauce is an absolute dream. I honestly can’t believe there’s no dairy. I thickened it with a slurry made with arrowroot starch (my new hack for all sauces). Add this to your weekly rotation, and I guarantee you won’t hear any complaints!
An easy weeknight meal that’s comforting, cozy, and perfect all fall and winter long!
- 1 medium spaghetti squash – about 2–2.5 lbs
- 12 oz mushrooms (shitake, cremini, chanterelle, etc.), cleaned and sliced – about 5 cups
- 3 oz pancetta or bacon (sugar free if you’re whole30ing), diced up
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 large shallots, finely diced (about a ½ cup)
- Several sprigs of thyme
- 1 1/2 cups nutpods or coconut milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cook the squash – in the instant pot I like nom nom paleo’s approach. If roasting, set oven to 425, cut squash through the stem and de-seed. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with some salt, and place cut-side down on a lined baking sheet. Bake until fork tender, about an hour. Scoop out the strands and set aside
- While the squash cooks, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12 inch pan
- When hot, add the shallot and cook 2-3 minutes until translucent
- Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until crisp (for vegetarian, skip this, and cook the shallots a few minutes more, until starting to brown)
- Spoon out shallot and pancetta/bacon, leaving 1-2 tablespoons of oil/grease behind. Add olive oil if you need to so that there’s 2 tablespoons or so in the pan
- Add the mushrooms and 1/2 a teaspoon salt to the pan and cook until browned and golden delicious, about 15 minutes. Remove and add to the shallot and pancetta mixture that’s set aside
- Wipe out the pan and add the nutpods or coconut milk, the garlic, thyme and the remaining salt to the pan, and simmer for 5 minutes
- Mix the arrowroot starch with 3 teaspoons of water, and add to the pan, whisking until the sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. Remove the thyme and garlic
- Add the squash and the mushroom mixture to the pan. Stir to get the squash all coated with the sauce and get everything heated through
Keywords: spaghetti squash, mushroom, cream sauce, dinner