Spaghetti-Squash with Pancetta and Sunflower Seeds

 Tips from the F&W Test Kitchen More Vegetable Side Dishes

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins


  • One 2 1/4 pound-spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 2 ounces sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-by-1-inch strips

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  • 2 tablespoons shelled, roasted, salted sunflower seeds


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti squash and cover the squash with a small plate to keep it submerged. Cook for 12 minutes, until tender. Drain and let the squash sit cut side down in a strainer to cool slightly. Using a fork, scrape the squash into strands.

  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the pancetta and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the squash, season with salt and cook until dry, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and sunflower seeds, transfer to a bowl and serve right away.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight.

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