spaghetti squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Learn how to cook spaghetti squash with these tips & tricks! Enjoy it with butter, salt, and pepper, or in one of my favorite spaghetti squash recipes.

When the garden is in full production in the fall, I start craving two things: warm soups and fresh spaghetti squash. Both are simple, light, and healthy. But while making a spaghetti squash pizza crust may be one of my favorite ways to use it, I also enjoy eating it with plant-based butter, salt, and pepper for a quick lunch idea.

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spaghetti squash being shredded with a fork

Spaghetti squash is incredibly easy to make in the oven. After a quick prep, you bake them until they are ready. Then, take them out of the oven and shred them with a fork!

How to cut and prepare spaghetti squash:

Since the outside of the spaghetti squash is hard to cut through, it’s important to use a sharp knife and a flat stable work surface. Then, you can either cut the spaghetti squash across the middle or stem to end. I usually prefer to cut them stem to end and give myself some spaghetti squash boats which can be stuffed with filling.

Tips for cutting and preparing the squash:

  • Wash and dry spaghetti squash to remove all the dirt
  • Place your squash on a stable cutting board
  • Insert the tip of your knife near the middle of the squash
  • Gently push knife down toward the cutting board
  • Turn the squash around and cut the other half
  • Crack open the squash and scrape out the seeds and soft flesh with a spoon
squash seeds being removed with a spoon

There are different ways to cook this vegetable. I prefer oven-roasting. I find that it makes the squash more flavorful. You can also microwave them or cook them in a slow cooker. It’s even possible to peel and cube the squash and add it to other recipes for a boost of nutrition.

squash halves on a foil lined baking sheet

Cooking times vary depending on size, cooking method, the temperature used, and the water content of the fresh produce. When spaghetti squash is freshly picked from the garden, it contains more water so needs a shorter cooking time (less than 30 minutes for a medium-sized squash). When they are stored for the winter and then cooked, the cooking time will take a bit longer (30-40 minutes) to get the desired consistency.

pasta like consistency of spaghetti squash strands

My tip to prevent spaghetti squash from being too watery if you want to achieve a pasta-like consistency when oven-roasting it is to start by baking it for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F (medium-sized squash).

Then check it by trying to shred it with a fork. If it is too hard, bake it longer. However, if you’re cooking a small squash, bake it for only 10 minutes then check it and add more time as needed.

How to cook spaghetti squash:

For a long time, I didn’t try spaghetti squash. When I was growing up it wasn’t a vegetable my mom grew in her garden. A few years ago, my daughter got me to try some. We started growing it in our garden and now, have a plentiful crop every fall! Here is how I cook spaghetti squash:

Time: 45 minutes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  1. Cut and prepare the spaghetti squash.
  1. Place face down on the baking sheet.
  1. Roast for 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of your squash)
  1. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before shredding into spaghetti strands.

The spaghetti squash is ready when the skin starts to soften. The best way to make sure they don’t overcook and get mushy is to check how easily they shred into fork-tender strands.

Spaghetti squash can be cooked a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be used in a meal. Leave it in the shell, then shred it with a fork prior to use in a meal. I wouldn’t recommend freezing it as it will get mushy.

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pinterest image of oven roasted spaghetti squash
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