Pesto Salmon Spaghetti Squash

Overhead shot of two round plates with squash pesto and salmon

This creamy Pesto Salmon Spaghetti Squash will knock your socks off. Made with cashew nuts and fresh basil, this sauce will blow you away. Lighten your typical pasta dish up and make this recipe with spaghetti squash instead. Finally, air fryer salmon, the best kept secret we have discovered since getting our air fryer. It is as if an air fryer can do no wrong, even with fish. Check out the recipe below and let us know how you like it!

Inspiration Behind the Recipe

Over the summer we were making pesto like crazy. It’s such a refreshing sauce to add to grilled veggies, fish, and chicken. We were craving this refreshing taste but wanted to tone it down and make it a tad bit creamier. That is where the cashews come in. Many pesto recipes like our Pesto Salmon Skewers, call for walnuts or pecans, but when they are ground up they produce a tangier taste. Cashews, like almond product a creamier accent to the sauce.

White bowl with a spaghetti squash with salmon and pesto

Tools Needed to Create

Blender/Food Processor: To quickly blend up the pesto, use a blender or food processor.

Air Fryer: We tailored this recipe around cooking the salmon in the air fryer. Linked is the one we have and LOVE!

Ingredients You Need to Have

Salmon: There is just something about pesto and salmon that pair so well together. We prefer fresh Atlantic salmon but whatever is your preference go for it!

Spaghetti Squash: Honestly I think this dish would be so amazing with butternut squash noodles but it’s time consuming and this dish is so simple and quick, I didn’t want to spoil it with a time consuming task. Spaghetti Squash is so fresh and tasty, it’s perfect for this.

Cashews: Like I wrote about at the top of this post, this type of nuts make for a creamier pesto sauce.

Basil: Basil paired with cashews are the perfect combo!

Parmesan: What would a pesto be without a creamy parmesan cheese added to the sauce and then again sprinkled on top. Do yourself a favor and grate fresh parmesan for this. It really does make a world of a difference.

Lemon: Any pesto requires a little acid to give you that perfect velvety taste and flavor.

Picture of a spaghetti squash with salmon and pesto on a wooden board

Step by Step Instructions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating slice the spaghetti squash in half length-wise and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg over the spaghetti squash and bake face down on a rack for 45-50 minutes. While the spaghetti squash is cooking, go ahead and combine all of your pesto ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. Add additional oil if needed based on your desired thickness.

Turn your air fryer on and let preheat to 400 degrees. Slather both sides of the salmon with pesto. You should have a thick layer of pesto around the salmon. Remove tray, spray with olive oil, and add salmon to rack. Cook for 5 minutes and flip the salmon, let cook another 5 minutes. In a small sauce pan add the remainder of your pesto and whisk to heat up.

Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and make the “spaghetti” using a fork. Add your salmon over the squash and then additional pesto to your linking. Garnish with extra parmesan and serve your Pesto Salmon Spaghetti Squash!

Two round white plates with squash and pesto salmon

From our kitchen to yours, cheers!

Overhead shot of two round plates with squash pesto and salmon

Pesto Salmon Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 people


Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp nutmeg


  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¾ cup basil
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup cashew nuts unsalted
  • cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese


  • 1 lb salmon


  • Preheat oven to 400°, slice open the spaghetti squash and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg on the spaghetti squash. Place the spaghetti squash face down on a baking pan and roast for 45-50 minutes
  • Place all pesto ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
  • Preheat airfryer to 400°. Smother both sides of the salmon in the pesto but leave a good amount aside for the spaghetti squash. Cook in air fryer for 10-12 minutes and flip half way through.
  • Add the rest of your pesto to a small sauce pan and whisk until heated. Remove spaghetti squash and shred up squash, pour pesto sauce on top and finally add the salmon to serve!

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