February 22, 2012

Sesame Soy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli and Edamame

sesame soy spaghetti squash with broccoli and edamame
After the rather indulgent caramel latte pancakes I last posted (not to mention the amount of pancakes I ate yesterday), I felt like I should post something healthier today. This sesame soy spaghetti squash with broccoli and edamame is a dish I’ve made quite a few times lately because it’s so healthy and really tasty!

I think the inspiration for this dish originally came from this steamed broccoli and squash with tahini dressing that I saw in a Whole Living magazine. I liked the idea but ended up changing everything around to my own tastes, so that the only parts of the original that really remained were the broccoli and tahini.

For my tahini sauce, I wanted to give it more of an Asian flavour with sesame and soy sauce. After a bit of experimentation, I came up with a sauce that I thought was full of flavour, and is filling and healthy from the addition of the tahini (sesame seed paste).

The first time I made the sauce, I paired it with steamed broccoli and sweet potato over brown rice (pictured below):

sesame soy broccoli and sweet potatoes on riceWhile I loved the sauce and veggies, I didn't like the way the rice absorbed all of the sauce and didn't think the textures of the dish were quite right.

So for my second try, I decided to make the same dish over soba noodles instead:

sesame soy broccoli and sweet potatoes on soba noodles
The soba noodles provided a much better base for both the sauce and the vegetables, and I really loved this version.

But a few days later I had a spaghetti squash to use up, so I decided to try the dish again, using the spaghetti squash as the base instead of soba noodles. Since I already knew that the sesame soy tahini sauce went well the sweet potatoes, I figured squash would also pair well with it.

If you've never tried spaghetti squash before, it's a lot like other winter squashes except that when the flesh is cooked, it scrapes off like strands of spaghetti! This makes it a great healthy and low-carb substitute for pasta - I've seen it in lots of recipes from basic tomato sauce with spaghetti squash to baked dishes with lots of other add-ins.

spaghetti squash
I used the cooked spaghetti squash "noodles" as the base for my latest version of this sesame soy tahini dish. I kept in the steamed broccoli but this time I added cooked edamame for protein. This combination turned out to be my favourite version of all, and was also the healthiest!

I think I've now found the dish I'm going to stick with, but if I experiment more in the future, I may try pairing the sesame soy sauce with salmon or chicken, I think that would go really well!
sesame soy spaghetti squash with broccoli and edamame
Sesame Soy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli and Edamame

Makes 2 servings


Sesame Soy Tahini Sauce:
3 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of cayenne pepper
1-2 tablespoons water

Half of a spaghetti squash
Half a head of broccoli, chopped into florets
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
Sesame seeds for topping
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp from the center. Place one half with the cut side facing down on a greased or lined baking sheet (keep other half wrapped in the fridge for another use). Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until tender - it may take longer, depending on the size of your squash. When done, use a fork to scrape the flesh off the skin and into a bowl (it will scrape off in strands, like spaghetti).

While the squash is cooking, prepare the remaining components:

Whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Taste and adjust any seasonings to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more water to thin it out.

Place chopped broccoli in a steamer basket and steam over boiling water for 3-5 minutes, until crisp-tender and bright green. Set aside. Cook edamame according to package directions.

When all components are ready, divide spaghetti squash into two bowls, top with broccoli and edamame, and drizzle sesame soy tahini sauce overtop. Top with sesame seeds and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

This is best eaten on the day that it's made.


  1. What a creative way of using spaghetti squash! I love all the green goodness in that bowl and that sauce sounds delicious!

  2. Yummy!!!! I love this idea. Super creative! Spaghetti squash, broccoli and edamame!? Some of my very favourites! 

  3. I love how you photographed every single one of your variations. They all look so good so I am glad that you really dissected which one tastes better. I haven't had spaghetti squash in years, so I may try to find one to try this. Yum!

  4.  Thanks Janet!  I always forget about spaghetti squash but this reminded me how much I like it - I'll have to try more dishes with it too!

  5. Thanks Courtney!  They're some of my favourites too, though I have a lot of favourites :)

  6.  Thanks Gen .. hmm, green goodness bowl .. you might have just given me a new recipe idea!

  7. The sesame soy Tahini sauce sounds amazing.  I will be giving that a try with chicken and veggies sometime.

  8. Hey sweetie :) JUST JUST JUST found your blog and so happy I did :) even happier to see you are Canadian ;) I will be trying this recipe soon :) I love everything about it :)

  9. As I scrolled down the page, each variation looked tastier than the last. :)

    I love spaghetti squash. It's cheap, healthy, low-carb, and super simple to cook. I'm definitely going to try this with a bit of grilled chicken. Yum.

  10. Aw, thanks Meg!  Hope you like the recipe if you try  it .. I just found your blog recently and love it too!

  11.  Thanks Tim!  I agree completely about spaghetti squash and think adding chicken would be a great idea!

  12. You dont' often see tahini featured with asian flavors, but I LOVE the idea! The sauce and the dish you've paired it with sounds delicious!

  13. Thanks, Joanne!  I never thought to pair tahini with these ingredients before either, or even to make a sauce with it, but I loved the flavour it added! 
    P.S. I noticed it's your birthday today, happy birthday! :)

  14. I have spaghetti sauce already cooked in my fridge.    This makes dinner easy. 

  15. Awesome!  It's amazing how much you get out of one squash, I had lots leftover in the fridge too after I made this.  I'm all out  now though so I might have to cook another one!

  16. I found this on Photograzing last week and I made it for dinner tonight--wow, so so good! My husband and I both loved it. Incidentally, I've been reading your sister's blog for a while now & just made the connection that you two are related from reading her last post! :)

  17. Aw thank you, I'm so happy to hear that you loved it!!   My sister's told me about your blog before but I keep forgetting to check it out, I'll definitely go do that now!

  18. Wow, this was delicious!!  And I had everything on hand too.  The sauce was really really good and soaked into the squash and broccoli wonderfully.  I'm not really a fan of tomato-based pasta sauce on spaghetti squash so I'm really glad I found this recipe. Definitely adding to my favorites.

  19. Thanks, Dana, I'm glad you liked it! I loved the sauce too, I need to try it on other things soon!

  20. I actually ended up trying it with shrimp, sugar snap peas, water chestnuts, sweet pepper, mushrooms, and onion over egg noodles last night.  Really good!

  21.  Wow that sounds great, I'm glad you found such a creative new use for the sauce!

  22. I made this on Sunday, and added a few things that I felt I needed to 'use up' in my kitchen. Mushrooms, green onions and almond slices were the extra touches. It was SO GOOD. I made both halves of the spaghetti squash and ended up with a giant bowl - there was plenty for me, my roommates and leftovers. We all loved it. Great recipe! I'm excited for more!

  23. Thanks so much Thea! I'm so glad you liked it and love the sounds of your version!

  24. I love spaghetti squash; these are great ideas! Thank you for sharing


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