How to Cook Spaghetti Squash


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Lean how to cook spaghetti squash – it’s easy! Just slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast it in the oven for the most delicious caramelized edges and soft shreds of flesh. Then, make your favorite spaghetti squash recipes (ideas listed below!).

Scraping the inside of a spaghetti squash.

When the weather cools and winter vegetables are in abundance, grab that big yellow spaghetti squash! Spaghetti squash, along with butternut squash, acorn squash and other winter squash make look a bit intimidating on the outside, but they’re actually really easy to prep!

And after roasting spaghetti squash in the oven, the inside magically transforms into the most scrumptious thin strands, without having to spiralize or do anything unique. In other words, it’s mother nature’s version of gluten-free pasta. And it’s mildly sweet flavor makes it endlessly versatile. 

Holding a spaghetti squash.

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?

  • Across the middle: Some say to slice it 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 from each end.
  • Lengthwise: I personally prefer to slice it lengthwise. The noodle length is about the same and it’s 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 spaghetti squash cut in half on a cutting board.

Tips For Easier Slicing

  • Soften it first. Even if you plan to roast it in the oven, you can soften the exterior of the spaghetti squash by microwaving it for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 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. 
  • Keep it steady. If your cutting board has a tendency to move, lay a slightly damp kitchen towel underneath it.
Scraping the seeds out of a spaghetti squash.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Once you’ve cut your spaghetti squash open, the rest is super easy.

  • Scoop: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and scoop out the seeds using a large spoon. You can toss these in the trash or roast them, similar to roasted pumpkin seeds.
  • Season: Next, drizzle it lightly with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Be wary of drizzling too much oil as it can make the squash watery.
  • Roast: Flip it over on a baking sheet and cook cut-side down for 40 to 50 minutes (for a squash that’s about four pounds). If yours is smaller or larger, adjust the cook time accordingly.
  • Scrape: When you remove it from the oven, flip it back over and use a fork to scrape the flesh into long spaghetti squash noodles.
Seasoning the inside of a spaghetti squash.

Common Questions

Can you roast spaghetti squash whole?

Yes, you can (after puncturing it a few times with a knife). But I don’t love this method as you miss out on that delicious roasted flavor and caramelized edges. It’s more similar to steaming veggies.

What about slicing the spaghetti squash into rings?

While some people recommend slicing spaghetti squash into rings for longer strands, I feel it’s a bunch of unnecessary work, as you have to slice the vegetable so many more times. And that’s the hardest part.

A spaghetti squash cut in half on a baking sheet.

Spaghetti Squash Recipe ideas

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

A fork in a spaghetti squash half.

Storage Instructions

A whole, uncooked spaghetti squash will last about 1 to 2 months in a cool pantry. After you’ve cooked it, here’s a few ways you can store it:

  • To store: You can place it in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last for 4 to 5 days.
  • To freeze: Let the squash cool completely 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 leftovers in the microwave for about a minute or saute them in a pan with a little butter or oil (and any extra seasonings you’d like).

More Simple Vegetable Recipes

Once you learn how to cook spaghetti squash, there’s so much you can make with it! If you roast one, I’d love to hear what you think in a comment below. You review will help the community!

Scraping the inside of a spaghetti squash.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (Most Flavor)

4.96 from 22 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Spaghetti squash is a great fall and winter vegetable. There are a few different ways to cook spaghetti squash, but roasting it the oven always makes for the most delicious flavor. Watch the video below to see how I cook it!




  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). 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 2 to 3 minutes to soften the outside skin.
    A spaghetti squash cut in half on a cutting board.
  • Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds.
    Scraping the seeds out of a spaghetti squash.
  • Coat the inside of the spaghetti squash with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    Seasoning the inside of a spaghetti squash.
  • Turn the spaghetti squash upside down on a baking tray and cook for 40 to 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.
    Two halves of spaghetti squash 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.
    Scraping the inside flesh of a spaghetti squash.

Lisa’s Tips

  • Make sure your knife is newly sharpened and take extra care when cutting. See my note in the directions about microwaving as well.
  • Spaghetti squash is best cooked 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. 


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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

This spaghetti squash recipe was originally published September 2016, but updated October 2020 and again today, to include new photos and information. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Previously, any spaghetti squash I’ve ever cooked is dry inside when I first cut it open to scoop out the seeds. For some reason, my latest uncooked spaghetti squash was watery when I cut it open. Any ideas? Is this an indication it is bad?

    1. Hi Beth – You can freeze cooked spaghetti squash, just make sure to remove all the moisture from it before freezing.

  2. I like my spaghetti squash sweet. After roasting it I put butter and brown sugar on the noodles. It’s really delicious!5 stars

  3. I like as I tried a spaghetti squash at 350 degrees F. And cooked for 1 hour because I started with a lower heat setting in my oven.5 stars

  4. I prepared my spaghetti squash with echridge sausage,sauted with onion and bell pepper and seasoned garlic,onion,celery and a can of tomato sauce, served with green beans and garlic bread.

  5. A great recipe. I tried another way, added garlic and cut up cherry tomatoes. Cooked in an air fryer at 400°F for 45 minutes. It was delicious!5 stars

  6. Just a note about cutting the squash for roasting, If you cut it vertically in 1 -2 inch slices you will get continuously long strands of the squash rather than cutting it vertically. Recipe is great and simple.5 stars

    1. If you cut Spaghetti Squash in half the other direction you will end up with longer strands. I know it sounds crazy but it’s true.4 stars

  7. I have a learning disability and I would like to know if there is a video on how to make spaghetti squash with chesse

  8. I never liked spaghetti squash the way my parents cooked it. But my aunt gave me one from her farm and I wanted to try it out again. I think placing the squash face down to get that caramelized edges really makes a difference! Plus I appreciate the simple seasoning, it really lets the natural squash flavour and sweetness shine through. I can now say that I like spaghetti squash, thanks Lisa! I will definitely be making this again.5 stars

    1. Happy to hear you finally found a way to enjoy spaghetti squash Sydney :) It truly is such a delicious and versatile winter vegetable.

  9. Such a great discovery! I made it with some homemade bolonaise sauce and I loved it! It really is tricky to cut in half. I don’t have a microwave oven so I really just have to use my strength!
    By the way, I roasted the seeds and they are delicious!!5 stars

    1. Hi Marcela – I’m happy you loved the spaghetti squash! It does take a bit of strength to cut through, but it’s worth it in the end. :)

  10. 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 :)5 stars

  11. 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!

  12. 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!!5 stars

    1. Hi Hannah- Wonderful! This is definitely a great recipe to meal prep and enjoy as leftovers :)

  13. 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!5 stars

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

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

    1. 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.

  15. 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!5 stars

    1. 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 :)

    1. Because it helps to steam the inside of the spaghetti squash and creates a tasty caramelized edge with more flavor. You can see it on my video. :)

  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!

    1. It’s much easier to cook than you think! And once you taste how delicious it is, I’m sure it will be in your regular fall recipe rotation. :)

  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!!

    1. I’m glad you found this post helpful! Definitely don’t be intimidated by spaghetti squash – it’s really simple. And once you do it once, you’ll be a pro! :)

  20. 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. 

    1. Haha. You’re so right about it becoming a prop! I have one on my counter right now as well and I’m debating leaving it as decor or cooking with it – lol!

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

    1. It’s so perfect for this time of year as well. Bummer you can’t get it in Korea – if I could send you some I would! :) x

  22. 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!

      1. If you’re willing to share even more ways to enjoy roasted spaghetti squash, hope you won’t mind! I need more inspiration.

      2. Absolutely! I’m hoping to have a new spaghetti squash recipe in the next month or two. :)

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

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

  25. 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

    1. I agree 100% on the roasting. And ditto on the texture – Mother Nature sure is awesome, right? :)

      1. I did it two days ago and it turned out perfectly!!! I had it with a creamy chicken and bellpepper sauce and it was delish!!! I was too hungry to remember to take a pic though haha.5 stars

      2. Oooh, that sounds amazing! And I’ve been there with forgetting to take food pics. Ha!