How to Prepare/Cook Spaghetti Squash

The other day while I was grocery shopping, I came across this beautiful Spaghetti squash. I know I may sound weird but sometimes I feel like vegetables are calling out to me, seeking my attention so that I can take them along with me. My better half, the joker, teases me saying “Why in God’s name would they want to go into their own gallows”! yeah! Thanks smart Pants!

Anyways, saw these beautiful squash and got them home with me. The squash is very easy to prepare and is very versatile. Its very famously used as a substitute for pasta. Yes, you heard me right. The flesh when cooked has this string like texture and looks pretty similar to spaghetti. Its very forgiving too – in the sense, add as little or as many seasoning as you like, it will still end more often delicious than not. For being so immensely low in calories, it is pretty high on nutrition. Lets see how to prepare this winter squash now shall we?

This squash can be baked, boiled, steamed, or microwaved.  I try as much as possible to avoid boiling vegetables, unless I am going to use the cooking liquid for the meal. Hence, I choose to steam them instead more often in my recipes. Here instead of boiling it, I have illustrated steaming.

Method -  Steaming

Cut the Squash into half. Yes, it takes little muscle and pressure. But its worth it since the cooking process is faster.

How to Prepare/Cook Spaghetti Squash

See all those seeds and fibers. They need cleaning up.

How to Prepare/Cook Spaghetti Squash

Scoop out the seeds and fibers. Don’t throw away the seeds. You can toast them just like how you would for Pumpkin seeds.

How to Prepare/Cook Spaghetti Squash

Once cleaned, I further cut the pieces into quarters.

How to Prepare/Cook Spaghetti Squash

Boil water for steaming. Once your steamer is ready, add the pieces face down and steam for 10-15 minutes or until tender.

How to Prepare/Cook Spaghetti Squash

You know its ready when your knife cuts into the flesh very easily

How to Prepare/Cook Spaghetti Squash

Cool for few minutes and then using a fork, scoop out the flesh. You will get these strands. You can now use them in your favorite recipes.

How to Prepare/Cook Spaghetti Squash

Method -  Baking

If baking whole squash, then pierce the flesh all over with a fork. Bake for 45min – 1 hour in a 375F oven. Once tender, cool for few minutes till you can handle it, chop it into half, scoop out the seeds and prepare just as above.

If baking already cleaned and chopped pieces, place them rind side up and bake for 20-30 minutes (or until tender) in 375F oven.

Method – Microwave

You can cook the whole squash in a microwave. But make sure you pierce it with a fork to avoid it bursting inside the m/w. Placing smaller pieces is a better bet.

Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place squash cut sides down on a microwave safe bowl. Cover it with a plastic wrap leaving little to create a steam vent. Cook for about 7-8 minutes (depends on m/w power and side of the squash). If you do not have carousel, then turn the dish every 3 minutes for even cooking.

Method – Boil

Cut the squash into smaller pieces. Bring enough water to a boil to cover the squash. Boil for 15-20 minutes or until it gets tender.

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26 Responses to “How to Cook/Prepare Spaghetti Squash”
  1. Cookie

    One of my absolute favorite winter squash. After cooking, I use the tender flesh as the “pasta” for cold pasta salad. YUM.

  2. Connie

    :) Look for these wonderful squash in any local vegetable stand now – I got one the other day for $1.oo What a bargain! Healthy, too.

  3. Kristen

    This is also the easiest vegetable that I have ever grown! My girls loved planting the seeds, watching them grow and then harvesting them. It made them interested in trying a new veggie too!

  4. Eloise

    :-P I like how you made it sound so exciting cooking a squash ! thank you for sharing. You are a good writter.

  5. CathyD

    Thanks for sharing! I just learned that I’m allergic to gluten and carbohydrates, I’m glad I can eat something close to pasta!

  6. Pam

    I am a diabetic and I use spaghetti squash instead of pasta. Less carbs.

  7. shelly

    i always used speghetti squash in place of noodles when I have the taste for speghetti. I bake it in the oven and then fork the inside out when its done and then pour the meat sauce over it. AWESOME!!!!

  8. Great explanation! The images makes it simple to follow. Spaghetti squash should definately be used by more.

  9. marcia

    i love to eat this veggie with a butter, garlic, and fresh parsley, salt and pepper. very very good!!!!

  10. Jo

    I do mine a tad different. I cut the squash in half. Put a tbsp. olive oil in each half with a large pressed clove or two of garlic then bake. It comes out tasting and smelling wonderful and is great with a chunky home made red or white sauce. The garlic permeates all through the squash which is a nice touch.

  11. Rumana

    I made this dish for friends who were over for dinner and they loved it! I also added 1 tsp of curry poweder. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Baking is my favorite. I just posted a video a couple of days ago where I baked a spaghetti squash with lemon and parsley. I see that everyone seems to recommend microwaving as an option, but I’m all about the baking.

  13. mridhu

    never knew of such a vegetable before reading this!. shall look out for it next time i go shopping :)

  14. My favorite way to heat spaghetti squash is baked. It’s mostly the same process as what you described, but I brush it with olive oil and sprinkle some italian spice mix over it before baking.

  15. Oh My..Never knew squash could be used like this…great stuff Dk…Nice illustrations too..and Lol at smart pants, he surely have funny bone to say the least :-)

  16. This sounds very interesting for me good idea.

  17. Anu

    I love this squash.. we used it in lieu of noodles in a pasta dish..it was real good.

  18. hmmm very interesting…i would never try a new vegetable until i know a dear one has tried and get some review of its tastes.Good u tried it.Will see if i can find it in my next grocery shopping.

  19. Interesting for new commers at the kitchen.

  20. Cool! I have never used it myself bi=ut have seen on Food Network. Like having ready cooked Noodles! :)

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