How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

how to cook spaghetti squash

If you have never cooked up a spaghetti squash, either because you're not sure what it is, or how to cook it, or even how to eat it, let me introduce you to it. I'll give you several easy methods for cooking it up, so you can pick one that suits you best.

FoodSubs.com defines spaghetti squash like this:  "After it's cooked, you can dig a fork into the flesh of a spaghetti squash and pull out long yellow strands that resemble spaghetti.  Though they taste like squash, the "noodles" can serve as a low-calorie substitute for pasta."

I've been substituting spaghetti squash for pasta ever since my husband became a type 1 diabetic early in our marriage. It's a nice alternative to pasta, and I rotate it in every few times that I cook up spaghetti. Of course there are lots of other ways to use it in recipes but the easiest one to start with is traditional spaghetti sauce.

Let's get you started:

 Here's what we are aiming for:
low carb pasta substitutes
  • You can cook a spaghetti squash whole or in half.   To cook it in half, the down side is, you have to cut through the tough rind with a good knife and cut it open length wise and scoop out the seeds (just like a pumpkin!) The only time I ever do this is if I feel like slow baking it seasoned with some olive oil and parmesan cheese. But usually I'm in too much of a hurry, so I usually cook it whole. 

  • The advantage to cooking it whole is that it is way easier to cut in half and scoop out the seeds. You can use every method for whole or half, except the slow cooker. It is better to only use a whole squash for this method.

  • The disadvange to cooking it whole is that it does take just a few more minutes this way (but not much!) and you risk burns (if you are like me!) from not waiting for it to cool down just a bit before cutting and scooping seeds. 

Boil: 20-30 minutes till fork can pierce the skin.

Bake: 375 degrees on a baking sheet.   Whole: 1 hour.  Half: 30-40 minutes.

Slow Cooker: add a cup of water to crock and cook on low 8-10 hours. Cut it in half at the equater (not length wise as it'll probably fall apart on you anyway. Lift out the pieces with tongs. to scoop seeds and shred squash.  (I don't usually use this method. I've found I'd rather slow cook the Spaghetti sauce all day and quick cook the sqaush in the microwave, but it's my personal preference.)


1) Using a skewer or knife puncture several holes in the  whole squash (We don't want a squash expoding!).
Microwave on high10-12 minutes for a whole one. 6-8 minutes for a half.

2)  It should be easily pierced with a fork when done:

3)  Here's what the inside looks like. There's actually not that much pulp/seeds to scoop. The sides show the strands of squash that are ready to be separated like spaghetti strands.

4)  Scoop the seeds and pulp.

5)  Using a fork, pull the strands away from the outer rind.

6) I always use the rind as a bowl and serve my family small spaghetti squash for each person. I always add a dot of butter/margarine and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on the hot squash. It's ready to eat as is....
Low Carb Pasta substitute

Or top with your favorite sauce!

Jan's Tip:  Did you know that you can roast any squash seeds just like pumpkin seeds? So save those seeds you scooped out and roast them like you do your pumpkin seeds!

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  1. I always put mine in the oven for about 15 minutes to soften it up, then I take it out and cut it and remove the seeds. Then I stick it back in for the rest of the time.

    Personally, I like mine with just a few dashes of salt! YUMM!!! Perfect for lunch. :-)

  2. I so want to try that, it sounds great.

  3. Trying spaghetti squash is on my list on things to do... thanks for the tips.

    1. Good luck on it! I'd love to hear what you thought once you do!

  4. Will have to try this!! Have seen them in the market and never bought them as I had no idea what to do with them. Will have to see how well they grow in my area and perhaps add it to my garden as well : ) Thanks for the tip.

    1. Good luck Lynda! Let me know how the adventure goes if you do try them!

  5. Can you believe I have one spaghetti squash left from my 2011 Garden Harvest? I didn't plant any this year, but last year we had so many just form one plant. We love them!!!

    1. Wow! That's awesome! My crop this year didn't work out at all. So it is store bought for me. I need your garden magic!

  6. I have a bumper crop of spaghetti and acorn squash. We made Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with peas and ham, very good.

    1. I love the idea of te Alfredo! Super yum! Is it ok if I'm jealous of your bumper crop? Thanks for the Alfredo idea!


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