Food + Drink

How to cook a spaghetti squash

Since I’ve been eating a lot of spaghetti squash recently, I thought that I would address one of the most difficult aspects of them: cooking the darn thing! So – here we go: how to cook a spaghetti squash!

After testing out 4 or more methods of cooking the squash (from boiling, to baking, to a combination of the two), I wanted to share with you the one that I find to be most successful! And…its really easy…I promise!

You start with your beautiful yellow spaghetti squash. If you’re curious how to select a ripe one, it should be yellow in color, hard, and heavy for its size (they are surprisingly heavy!).

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. As the oven heats up, use a sharp knife to perforate the skin of the squash on all sides. This is a very important step – if you forget to do this, your squash could explode in the oven (kind of like if you don’t perforate a potato before baking it); you don’t want to have to clean that up…yuck!

Next, pop the squash into your preheated oven and bake for one hour. You can place it directly on the shelves, or place it on top of a baking sheet.

After your squash has been baking for about an hour, test to see if it is ready – the squash should have turned soft/have some give to it. The baking time definitely depends on the size of your squash; I’ve made smaller ones that have taken only 45 minutes, and larger ones that have baked for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Remove your squash from the oven and let it cool. Don’t attempt to cut it open yet, because the darn thing will burn the dickens out of your hands.

When your squash has cooled down significantly, use a sharp knife to cut it in half length-wise.

Next, grab a large spoon and scrape out the seeds from the center. You can save these to season/bake just like pumpkin seeds if you want…otherwise just throw them in the garbage.

After you’ve seeded your spaghetti squash, it is time for the fun part! Run the tines of a fork through the inside of the squash. The strands should lift out relatively easily. Discard the shell, and get ready to enjoy! I find that if I purchase a medium/large squash, I can use it for two different recipes; I store half in the refrigerator for a second use!

Are you looking for a recipe to make with your spaghetti squash? If so – feel free to try one of my personal favorites: spaghetti squash with grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes, broccoli, and peas. It turned me from a skeptic to a believer!

Have you tried spaghetti squash before? Do you have a favorite recipe that you make with it?


Now that you have cooked your squash, what should you make with it???

Spaghetti Squash Pancakes

spaghetti squash zucchini pancakes

Spaghetti Squash Gratins

spaghetti squash gratin


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  • I tried to make it once, and I really, really wanted to like it… but it was yucky to me. =P We only ate it once and threw out the rest. Maybe we just picked a bad recipe though. =)

    • It really takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with! If you make it with actual spaghetti sauce (I’ve done this before with italian sausage and veggies added) it reminds you of spaghetti…the recipe I posted a while back has a more garlic-y taste to it. I’ve seen recipes where people just toss it with honey and brown sugar…I’m not on that bandwagon at all personally…

  • You can totally just throw the ENTIRE squash, with a few fork holes in it, in the microwave for 15-20 minutes, depending on size. It should feel somewhat squishy on the outside. It’s SUPER hot when it’s done so be sure use hot pads when cutting it!!

    • The microwave is definitely another option for cooking for those who don’t want to wait on the oven! I enjoy the smell of the squash cooking in my oven, so I don’t mind that it takes a little bit longer! 😉

  • Great post, Katie. When I make spaghetti squash during the busy work week, I use the slow cooker. I put the whole thing in the slowcooker before work without doing anything to it and add a few cups of water and set to low. When we want to eat (usually 12 hours later), just cut, remove the seeds and enjoy.

    • What a good idea! I’ve never tried cooking a spaghetti squash this way, but now I think I might have to try it out….so smart!

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