How to Cook Spaghetti Squash: My Favorite Method
There are a few different ways to cook spaghetti squash, but roasting in the oven always makes for the most delicious flavor. Watch the quick spaghetti squash video for my step-by-step tutorial.
Since we jumped into fall this week (though the weather hasn’t really changed in Cali), I thought it was perfect timing to cook up some spaghetti squash…one of my favorite fall veggies.
I still remember the first time I had spaghetti squash in a restaurant years ago and thinking, “Wait, it’s naturally like this? Like pasta?”
I honestly thought the waiter was lying to me and some cook in the back was shredding up squash into pasta. Sort of like making zucchini noodles or spiralizing veggies. But nope, it really does come straight out of the squash like this…making it mother nature’s version of gluten-free pasta!
Watch the video and learn how to cook spaghetti squash:
Should You Roast or Microwave Spaghetti Squash?
If you search the internet for how to cook spaghetti squash you’ll find several different methods. Roasting it whole (after stabbing it a few times), microwaving it (either whole or in half) and roasting in the oven, cut in half with a drizzle of olive oil (my favorite method).
Sure, microwaving is a bit faster, but the flavor from roasting with a little olive oil, salt and pepper is far superior. Meaning, you don’t have any additional work (if you don’t want to), just serve the spaghetti squash straight up – it’s delicious!
How to Cut Spaghetti Squash
You’ll also find lots of commentary on which way to slice spaghetti squash, lengthwise or across the middle. Those in favor of across the middle argue that you’ll get longer noodles as the noodles naturally form in bands around the narrower width. Some even suggest cutting it in several slices to take advantage of that.
But as you’ll see from the video above (and my furrowed brow – ha!) cutting the squash is by far the hardest part of eating it, so having to cut multiple slices is definitely not something I want to undertake.
Therefore, when it comes to cutting lengthwise or across the middle, it’s really 6-to-1-half-a-dozen-to-the-other. If you cut it lengthwise, it’s easier to get the noodles out once it’s cooked. If you cut it across the narrower side, it’s easier to cut (usually in one slice with a larger knife) but then a little more work to scrape out the noodles. So pick your favorite.
I find the noodle length to be about the same either way so don’t let that sway you. For me, it all depends on how large the spaghetti squash is to begin with and which way seems slightly easier to cut.
Additionally, you can microwave the spaghetti squash for a couple of minutes before slicing, even if you do choose the oven roasting method, for easier slicing.
Spaghetti squash is wonderfully delicious straight out of the oven. But if you’re feeling a bit creative just mix in some of your favorite veggies or top the spaghetti squash with a variety of sauces. In other words, use it any any way you’d use pasta or zucchini noodles. I personally love Spaghetti Squash with Broccolini and Truffle Oil. But any of my zucchini recipes can be modified for spaghetti squash as well, like my Zucchini Noodle Caprese, Zucchini Pasta with Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti Bolognese.
You could even top the spaghetti squash with the sage walnut pesto from my Sweet Potato Gnocchi recipe.
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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
There are a few different ways to cook spaghetti squash, but roasting in the oven always makes for the most delicious flavor.
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
Carefully slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds. Note: If it's really difficult to slice, you can microwave it for a couple of minutes to soften the outside flesh.
Coat the inside of the spaghetti squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Turn the spaghetti squash upside down on a baking tray and cook for 35-45 minutes, depending on the size. You'll know it's done when the top of the spaghetti squash can be easily pierced with a knife and the underside edges have become golden.
Let the spaghetti squash cool to the touch, then use a fork to scrape the inside to create long strands of spaghetti squash noodles. Serve immediately.
Spaghetti squash are notoriously difficult to slice. Make sure your knife is sharpened and take extra care when cutting.
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This spaghetti squash recipe was originally published September 2016, but updated to include new photos and information.