My family is not so much about traditional Thanksgiving. We don’t go radically veer away from your typical Thanksgiving table but with gluten and dairy allergies, vegetarians, and meat lovers at the table there is room for lots of creativity. This dish here with butternut squash noodles fits in just as perfectly at our Thanksgiving table as it does for an easy weeknight dinner. It also makes for great leftovers!

I love creating different combinations of pesto. This one with toasted walnuts and parsley is one of my favorites. I’ve barely adapted to recipe from Bon Appetit, minus the adjustment to make it dairy free. It seems like it’s a rather high ratio of parm to parsley but it makes it deliciously garlicky and salty, which balances out the sweetness of the noodles.

This year we’ll be making lots of delicious vegetable sides, like this roasted cauliflower, these steam roasted carrots with cumin, and these roasted Brussels. We’ll also have mini pumpkin pies.

Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas and my menu from last year. Have a happy thanksgiving!

Serves 4
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 Fresno chile with seed
  • ½ – ¾ cup vegan parm 
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more
  • Kosher salt or pink salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large butternut squash, spiralized (look for one with a long “neck”) or 2 small

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darkened, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.

Pulse ¾ cup walnuts in a food processor or blender until very finely chopped (but not pasty). Reserve remaining walnuts for serving. Remove stems from chiles; add to food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer walnut mixture to a medium bowl and stir in vegan parmesan, oil, 1 cup parsley, and ¼ cup water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet with oil over medium. Add the butternut squash noodles and saute until just tender (but not mushy), about 5 – 7 minutes. Add in the pesto and toss, adding splashes of water as needed, until pesto coats the noodles and sauce is glossy.

Divide noodles amount bowls and top with additional crushed walnuts and chopped parsley. Enjoy!