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Do you know how to cook spaghetti squash? Today, I’m sharing the easiest methods, including my favorite baked spaghetti squash. I’m also showing you how to cut spaghetti squash and how to cook spaghetti squash whole without cutting it raw.

baked spaghetti squash halves on baking sheet

Spaghetti squash is a great way to enjoy noodles without the carbs and empty calories found in classic pasta. The flavor can be nutty, but is mostly neutral and extremely versatile. It’s budget-friendly and approved for most popular diets. When cooked, it resembles strands of thin spaghetti, hence the name. Once you know how to cook spaghetti squash, you have a nutritious noodle base for countless entrees.

BAKED SPAGHETTI SQUASH INGREDIENTS

  • spaghetti squash
  • extra virgin olive oil (or preferred oil)
  • salt and pepper

SAFETY TIPS FOR CUTTING SPAGHETTI SQUASH

There’s no effortless way to cut raw spaghetti squash. The hard skin and firm flesh makes it difficult and potentially dangerous.

Tip #1: Place the squash on a folded, thick kitchen towel over a cutting board to prevent the squash rolling while it’s being cut.

Tip #2: Instead of forcing the knife through spaghetti squash, use a firm, slight rocking motion to cut through a little a time.

HOW TO CUT SPAGHETTI SQUASH TWO WAYS

1. CUT CROSSWISE (ACROSS THE CENTER FOR LONGER NOODLES)

Crosswise is the best way to cut spaghetti squash to get longer noodles and it’s easier than cutting lengthwise. Imagine the squash stem as a north pole and the center perimeter as an equator. Lay the squash sideways on a folded towel to help secure it. Grip the knife firmly and rock it in small movements through the ‘equator’, eventually (and safely) moving the knife through the squash. Never use force.

Crosswise is THE BEST way to cut spaghetti squash for long noodles.

2. CUT LENGTHWISE (FROM STEM TO STEM FOR SHORTER NOODLES)

This is my least favorite way to cut raw spaghetti squash because it’s awkward, tricky, and cumbersome. If you prefer this method, I find the easiest way is to first pierce the squash with a paring knife forming a dotted line around around the whole squash. This creates a guide AND promotes easier penetration for a bigger knife to finish the job.

HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH (3 WAYS)

Visit recipe card below ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️️ for printable amounts and instructions

1. Roasted or baked spaghetti squash halves – Cut in half, remove seeds, add oil, salt, and pepper, and bake flesh side down 40-60 minutes.

2. Roasted or baked spaghetti squash WHOLE – Pierce the skin with a sharp knife and bake squash whole. After 20 minutes, cut the squash in half and continue baking until it’s fork tender.

3. Microwave spaghetti squash whole – Pierce skin in several places with a paring knife. Microwave on HIGH in 5 minute intervals until a knife easily penetrates into skin through flesh. Cut in half, remove seeds, and use a fork to separate the noodles from the skin.

HOW TO KNOW WHEN SPAGHETTI SQUASH IS DONE COOKING

There are two ways to know when spaghetti squash is done no matter how it’s cooked:

  1. The skin is easily and effortlessly penetrated with a knife or fork.
  2. The noodles separate effortlessly with a fork.
fork pulling up roasted spaghetti squash strands from squash half on baking sheet

HOW TO SERVE SPAGHETTI SQUASH

Food Lover’s Companion refers to spaghetti squash as vegetable pasta and it does an excellent job of being exactly that. Because of that, don’t expect to trick anyone into thinking it’s pasta, because it’s not. The good news is that it’s a low carb, low calorie alternative to pasta, and delicious no matter how you serve it. So, you can serve it with any kind of sauce, exactly like you would serve pasta.

Also, you can meal prep spaghetti squash and add it to countless recipes! This is how I frequently use cooked spaghetti squash. We love to add it to my Thai Zucchini Noodles or my Crustless Quiche Casserole.

ROASTED SPAGHETTI SQUASH TOPPINGS

  • Arugula Pesto
  • Thai Peanut Sauce
  • Easy Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe
  • Hidden Veggie Marinara Sauce
  • Olive oil drizzle, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper

RECOMMENDED TOOLS

  • chef’s knife and cutting board
  • portion scoop (not required, but great for scooping out squash seeds)
  • baking dish or baking sheet

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

Do you know how to cook spaghetti squash or how to cut spaghetti squash? Here’s a baked spaghetti squash recipe that shows both AND makes really long noodles. See recipe footnotes for how to microwave or bake spaghetti squash whole to avoid cutting it raw.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Yield: 6 1-cup servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3 lb. Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

Baked Spaghetti Squash (roasted spaghetti squash)

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Cut spaghetti squash in half crosswise * see recipe footnotes for details
  • Scoop out the seeds and loose stringy pieces. Save seeds for roasting, if desired.
  • Brush the spaghetti squash flesh with OLIVE OIL and season with SALT and PEPPER.
  • Place cut side down and bake 40 minutes.
  • Remove squash and test for doneness * see recipe footnotes for details
  • If needed, bake further in 10 minute intervals until it reaches desired doneness.
  • Serve immediately or allow to cool.

How to serve spaghetti squash

  • Use a fork to separate the strands/noodles from the skin.
  • Serve warm with desired toppings. Or, allow squash to cool, remove strands from skin, and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 5 days as a meal prep ingredient.
Tried this recipe? I’d love your review! Visit the comments below and tell me how it went.

Recipe Notes

How to cut spaghetti squash

  1. Cut crosswise (across the center for longer noodles)
  2. Cut lengthwise (from stem to stem for shorter noodles)
How to cook spaghetti squash WHOLE without cutting it raw
Skip cutting it raw and bake spaghetti squash whole long enough to remove, cut, and finish baking! Here’s how…
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Use a paring knife to pierce spaghetti squash skin in several places.
  3. Place squash in a baking dish and bake 40 minutes.
  4. Remove spaghetti squash, cut off the stem, and cut whole squash in preferred direction (lengthwise or crosswise).
  5. Scoop out the seeds, drizzle olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake 10-20 minutes, depending on how soft you want the noodles. The flesh should be cooked through and somewhat browned on the edges.
How to microwave spaghetti squash
  1. Pierce the skin with a paring knife.
  2. Microwave the squash whole (don’t cut) using HIGH setting in 5 minute intervals until tender.
  3. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Cut off stem and cut the squash in half.
  5. Remove the seeds.
  6. Use a fork to pull the noodles strands away from the sides.
  7. Serve warm or cool and refrigerate.

How to know when spaghetti squash is done cooking

There are two ways to know when spaghetti squash is done using any cooking method:
  1. The skin is easily and effortlessly penetrated with a knife or fork.
  2. The noodles separate effortlessly with a fork.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.

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