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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Lean how to cook spaghetti squash – it’s easy! Just slice, scoop, and roast in the oven for the most delicious caramelized edges and soft, pasta-like interior, in veggie form. Watch my video below for a quick step-by-step tutorial.

Spaghetti squash halves on a baking sheet, with a fork creating strands.

When the weather cools and fall vegetables are in abundance, grab that big yellow spaghetti squash! I’m such a fan of squash in all its forms, from zucchini (and of course zucchini noodles) in the spring/summer, to butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and acorn squash in the fall/winter.

Spaghetti squash may look intimidating on the outside, but after a stop in the oven, the inside magically transforms into the most scrumptious thin strands – without having to spiralize. In other words, it’s mother nature’s version of gluten-free pasta and endlessly versatile. 

What’s the Best Way to Cook It?

If you search the internet for how to cook spaghetti squash you’ll find several different methods, including…

  • Roasting it whole (after stabbing it a few times)
  • Microwaving it (either whole or in half)
  • Slicing it into rings and then roasting (this is a lot of unnecessary work)
  • Cutting it in half, flipping upside down and roasting.

Want to know my favorite method? It’s the last one!

Sure, microwaving is a bit faster, but the flavor from roasting with a little olive oil, salt and pepper is far superior. The edges get beautifully caramelized and after you use a fork to create strands, you can serve it straight up!

Spaghetti squash cut in half on a cutting board.

How to Cut Spaghetti Squash in Half

I’ll admit, this is the hardest part of making spaghetti squash. It’s a pretty large vegetable with beefy walls that are difficult to cut through. But with a sharp chef’s knife and a careful hand, you’ll be a pro in no time. 

So which way should you cut it? Some say to slice across the middle because it’s easier and you’ll get longer noodles as they form around the narrower width. The only downside is that it requires a bit more work to scrape out the noodles. 

I personally prefer to slice lengthwise. The noodle length is about the same and its much easier to scrape out the flesh once it’s cooked. To do so, rest your squash horizontally on the cutting board and hold it firmly with one hand. Then slice it right down the middle.

A Few Tips For Easier Slicing

  • Slice the top and bottom off. The stem is the hardest thing to cut through, so if you remove the ends first, it’s easier to slice. 
  • Soften it. Even if you plan to roast it in the oven, you can soften the exterior of the spaghetti squash by microwaving it for a couple of minutes.
  • Keep it steady. If your cutting board has a tendency to move, lay a slightly damp kitchen towel underneath it.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Once you’ve cut your spaghetti squash open, the rest is super easy. First preheat your oven to 400F and scoop out the seeds using a large spoon. 

Next, drizzle it lightly with avocado oil (or olive oil) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Be wary of drizzling too much oil as it can make the squash watery.

Then flip it over on a baking sheet and cook cut-side down for 40-50 minutes (for a squash that’s about four pounds). If yours is smaller or larger, adjust the cook time accordingly.

When you remove it from the oven, flip it back over and use a fork to scrape the flesh into long spaghetti squash noodles.

Scooping the seeds out of the spaghetti squash and sprinkling with salt and pepper.

Ways to Use Spaghetti Squash

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 it with a variety of sauces. Here’s a few ideas to get you started. 

  • Side Dish: You can simply toss it with butter, garlic, salt and pepper for a simple and savory side dish. Or you can add in veggies such as shaved Brussels sprouts and shallots, kale, onions, carrots, or even legumes such as lentils or chickpeas. 
  • Pasta: Use this 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, like my zucchini noodle caprese or zucchini pasta with lemon garlic shrimp.
  • Stuffed: Similar to my stuffed butternut squash, the same idea can be applied to spaghetti squash! After scooping out the seeds, stuff it with ground meat, chopped veggies, leafy greens, or a sprinkle of cheese. Then roast as is. 
  • Breakfast: To add more veggies into your breakfast routine, simple saute some onions and leafy greens like spinach or Swiss chard, add the spaghetti squash, and top it off with a poached egg

Two spaghetti squash halves with strands fluffed up with a fork.

Storage Instructions

A whole, uncooked spaghetti squash will last about 2 weeks at room temperature. Here’s a few ways to store it once it’s been roasted.

To store: You can place it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

To freeze: Let the squash completely cool before storing in freezer-safe bags, and make sure to squeeze as much air out as possible to prevent freezer burn. 

For reheating: Simply pop this in the microwave for about a minute or saute in a pan with a little butter or oil (and any extra seasonings you’d like).

More Fall and Winter Vegetable Recipes You’ll Love

Watch How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

While it’s easy to cook spaghetti squash, it always helps to watch a quick video. Give it a watch below!

Scraping the inside of the spaghetti squash with a fork.
5 from 11 votes

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (Easily)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Spaghetti squash is a great fall vegetable. There are a few different ways to cook spaghetti squash, but roasting in the oven always makes for the most delicious flavor. Watch the video above to see how I cook it!

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 400F/200C. Carefully slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Note: if it's really difficult to slice, you can microwave it for a couple of minutes to soften the outside flesh.
    Slicing the spaghetti squash in half.
  • Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  • Coat the inside of the spaghetti squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    Seasoning the inside of the spaghetti squash.
  • Turn the spaghetti squash upside down on a baking tray and cook for 40-50 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.
    Spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet.
  • Let the spaghetti squash cool to the touch, then use a fork to scrape the inside to create long strands of spaghetti squash noodles.
    Using a fork to scrape out the inside of the spaghetti squash.

Lisa's Tips

  • Spaghetti squash are notoriously difficult to slice. Make sure your knife is sharpened and take extra care when cutting. See my note in the directions about microwaving as well.
  • If you need new baking trays, I highly recommend these heavy duty baking trays that won't warp in the oven.
  • Spaghetti squash is best slightly al dente, rather than overcooked and mushy. Especially if you plan to store it or add it to other ingredients where it may continue to cook. 

Nutrition

Calories: 182.1kcal, Carbohydrates: 29.3g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 7.9g, Saturated Fat: 7.9g, Sodium: 81.8mg, Fiber: 6.4g, Sugar: 11.5g
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: How to Cook Spaghetti Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Spaghetti Squash Recipe
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

This spaghetti squash recipe was originally published September 2016, but updated to include new photos and information. 

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66 comments on “How to Cook Spaghetti Squash”

  1. Perfect, I baked it for 40 minutes, it was a small squash and ended up al dente which was great and crunchy a bit :) I ate it with shallots and scrambled eggs, super yummy and fulfilling lunch :)

  2. Just perfect 👌

  3. How much (cups) is 1 serving of Spaghetti Squash?

  4. I had read your recipe and tried to cook it. Well, I’m not good at cooking but still I able to prepare spaghetti squash looking somewhere near to the image in this post.
    Thanks for the recipe!
    Regards,

  5. I really enjoy this recipe. It’s one of my favorites. So easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I made the spaghetti with some halibut and it was absolutely a delight.
    Thank you

  7. Delish – absolutely delish! Made this for dinner tonight and I cannot wait to enjoy leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Thanks for a great-tasting crockpot recipe!!

  8. I love to cook in my crockpot! Thank you for the great recipes! There are so many to choose from and now I have to see which one or ones I want to try first. Thank you!

    • Hi Hannah – This is definitely a great crockpot recipe as well! I can’t wait to see what you try next from Downshiftology :)

  9. “I’m always wondering what to do with Spag squash. Thanks for the idea – looks too good not to try 🙂

    • Hi Hannah – Can’t wait for you to cook your spaghetti squash like this :) It’s a great staple recipe in which you can add tons of toppings and other ingredients to make it a full meal.

  10. I had been cooking squash in the instant pot or microwave for awhile but after watching this and trying this method I’ll never go back. Way better texture and flavor!

  11. This really helps make cooking spaghetti squash easy and consistently perfect!

  12. How do you roast the seeds? I love them.

    • Hi Ana – To roast the seeds, just heat your oven to 275 degrees, coat the seeds in olive oil, and bake them for about 15 minutes :)

  13. Why do you cook the spaghetti squash cut side down?

  14. Good instructions

  15. What temperature do you cook / roast it at? You never mention in video or in the actual Recipe

  16. You must first wash off the squash so you do not introduce germs into the squash via the tip of the knife!

  17. You know, i have never cooked spaghetti squash but i’m Now determined to give it a try! I’ve never met a squash I didn’t love. Thanks for the great tips!

  18. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never tried spaghetti squash or tried cooking it!! Thank you for this handy guide, I’ve always thought it would be difficult, so it put me off!

  19. I love the versatility of spaghetti squash. And roasting it in the oven is my favorite method too. Great video and post with helpful tips!!

  20. Thank you for this post! I have always been intimated by spaghetti squash! This will be a big help.

  21. Thank you for reminding me — we have a spaghetti squash on the counter and sometimes I have a tendency to forget it. It becomes like a prop. We love spaghetti squash and I’ve even made stir-fry with it. Good tips and ones that I follow. 

  22. I absolutely adore spaghetti squash! Roasting it is the best, I think :) I have been missing it in Korea. Thank you for sharing this!

  23. I am a HUGE fan of spaghetti squash and I love that you make it look so easy! Looking forward to trying this! Thank you!

  24. Spaghetti squash can be so difficult. I love your method.

  25. Thank you for this video/post! I love roasting spaghetti squash.

  26. Spaghetti squash is such a great noodle substitute. I’m totally with you on the roasting part, this is how I cook mine too!

  27. Oh I really hope I can find spaghetti squash where I live – I’m so intrigued by it! Thanks for the tips!

  28. I think most veggies taste better roasted so not sure why more people don’t roast spaghetti squash. Also can’t get my head around how it has that texture lol

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  31. Cooking my first spaghetti squash right now :). According to your instruktions of course! :)

  32. Excellent spaghetti squash tutorial video!