Wondering how to cook spaghetti squash? Roasted spaghetti squash is quick, easy, and comes out perfect every time! But you can also make it in the microwave or slow cooker. All three methods included below!
The Best Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is so versatile. It’s one of my favorite dishes to prepare and I think it’s highly underrated! There are just so many ways to use it and it’s super easy to prepare.
One of the best and tastiest ways to prepare it is roasted in the oven. This is my personal favorite! However, you can also prepare it in the microwave or the slow cooker. All three options work great, so it’s just a matter of how much time you have!
To eat, you can simply enjoy it drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper or treat it like a pasta alternative and serve it topped your favorite bolognese sauce, Slow Cooker Beef Ragu or marinara sauce. I also love it in this cheesy baked Spaghetti Squash “Mac” and Cheese and this Spaghetti Squash Lasagna.
Why You’ll Love Spaghetti Squash
This has quickly become one of my favorite “veggie” sides (despite technically being a fruit).
- Super versatile. This winter squash can be used in so many ways. It’s most commonly known for being a pasta replacement but it makes a lovely side dish or entree on its own too.
- 3 ways to cook it. Roasted it, microwave it and even make it in the slow cooker.
- Healthy. Spaghetti squash is a low-calorie food with a high fiber content which makes it filling.
- Naturally Gluten-Free
How Do You Pick a Good Spaghetti Squash?
When choosing the best spaghetti squash, look for the following things:
- Firm skin with no soft spots
- Golden yellow color
- No cracks on the outside
- Firm and dry stem
How To Cut Spaghetti Squash
The trickiest part for many people who want to make spaghetti squash is cutting it. Here there are a few tips and tricks.
- Microwave first. To make it softer and easier to cut, microwave it for 2 to 3 minutes first.
- Cut off the ends with a sharp knife. The top and bottom ends with the stem at the hardest part to cut off. You can slice them off first to make it easier.
- Slice lengthwise. For this recipe, you’ll want to slice along the length of the squash, from top to bottom. Place the squash horizontally on a cutting board, holding firmly, and slice from one end to the other.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (3 Ways)
Roasting is my preferred method, but you can also cook it in the microwave or slow cooker.
In the oven
Roasted spaghetti squash is my favorite way to cook this squash. It turns out perfect every time!
- Prepare. Cut the squash in half according to the directions above. Scoop out the seeds and fibers then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast. Place the squash, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for an hour.
- Scrape. Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes then scrape the flesh with a fork to create spaghetti squash strands.
In the microwave
If you need spaghetti squash in a pinch, the microwave is a great option.
- Poke the skin. Prick the outside of the squash 8 to 10 times with a sharp knife.
- Microwave. Microwave for 6 minutes on high, then turn and microwave for 6 additional minutes.
- Cool. Cool the squash for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Cut. Cut the squash horizontally. If there is any resistance, pop it back in the microwave for a few more minutes. Remove the seeds and scrape the flesh with a fork to create the spaghetti-like strands.
In the slow cooker
The slow cooker method is an easy set-it-and-forget-it way to make spaghetti squash:
- Prepare the squash. Prick the outside of the squash 8 to 10 times. Place in the slow cooker and add 1/2 cup water.
- Cook. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
- Cool and shred. Let the squash cool for 15 minutes then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop the seeds out and shred the squash with a fork.
How Do You Know When Spaghetti Squash is Done?
You can tell when roasted spaghetti squash is done as when the skin gives easily under pressure and the flesh is tender.
For microwaved and slow cooker spaghetti squash, it’s almost the same. You should be able to easily pierce the skin with a fork and when cutting the squash, there should be no resistance. If there is, you can microwave it for a few more minutes.
Ways to Use Spaghetti Squash
One reason I love roasted spaghetti squash so much is that there are so many different ways to use it. It can be lightly seasoned and served as a side dish, used as a vegetable “noodle” for a low-carb option, or even served as the main entree. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use it:
- Topped with tomato sauce or marinara sauce for a quick & easy “pasta” dinner
- Topped with other ingredients to make “boats” – like my turkey taco spaghetti squash boats, enchilada spaghetti squash boats, and spaghetti squash lasagna boats
- As a low-carb mac and cheese
- In the Instant Pot with a beef and mushroom ragu
- Seasoned with butter and garlic as a side dish
- Fridge. Roasted spaghetti squash will last for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Freezer. This also freezes well. Cool completely then transfer to freezer storage bags. I like to divide it up by how much my family will eat in one meal. Be sure to squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag. Thaw in the fridge.
- Reheat. The microwave is the easiest way to reheat leftovers, though you can also warm them up on the stovetop.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash
- 1 large ripe spaghetti squash
- salt and fresh pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and fibers with a spoon.
- Place on a baking sheet, cut side up and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake at 350° about 1 hour or until the skin gives easily under pressure and the inside is tender. Remove from oven and let it cool 10 minutes.
- Using a fork, scrape out the squash flesh a little at a time. It will separate into spaghetti-like strands.
- Place in a serving dish and serve hot.
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