Spaghetti squash is not only delicious and nutritious but also super easy to cook. (Once you get it cut in half, it's totally hands-off)! Here we'll show you how to make spaghetti squash in just a few simple steps.

By BH&G Food Editors
Updated January 06, 2020
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Reducing carb intake is no easy task, and it's challenging to find healthy alternatives that still taste good. Enter spaghetti squash. Even if carbs aren't your top concern, spaghetti squash is still a lot more naturally nutrient-rich than traditional pasta. Instead of reaching for a box of pasta, use this golden-threaded squash in healthier spaghetti squash and meatballs, in place of pizza crust, or as the foundation of a baked spaghetti squash casserole.

Shaped like a small watermelon and light yellow in color, spaghetti squash is a winter squash that gets its name from its inner flesh, which, once cooked, can be separated into yellow-gold threads that resemble spaghetti noodles.

whole yellow spaghetti squash
Credit: Jason Donnelly

By the cup (cooked without adding fat), there are 42 calories in spaghetti squash and 10 grams of carbs. Compare that to the 160-190 calories in a cup of pasta (it varies by pasta shape) and 33-37 grams of carbs and it’s clear why it’s a healthier swap. Spaghetti squash also offers vitamin C, vitamin A, dietary fiber, and potassium. If you're new to cooking this winter squash, we have you covered with these easy steps to bake spaghetti squash at home.

Choosing Your Spaghetti Squash

You can generally find spaghetti squash year-round, though its peak season runs October through January. Luckily, uncut spaghetti squash can last up to two months stored in the pantry. When buying spaghetti squash, look for firm squash that feels heavy for its size. Avoid those with soft spots or a green tint, which is a sign of under-ripeness.

Prepping Spaghetti Squash

Rinse the squash with cool, clear tap water and scrub with a clean produce brush (like this Vegetable Brush with Natural Bristles, $3.99, Bed Bath & Beyond). Pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels.

To begin cutting your squash, lay it on its side. Using a large, sharp chef's knife (we like this Victorinox Fibrox Pro 8-in. Chef's Knife, $44.95, Williams Sonoma), trim the top and bottom to remove the stem. Stand the squash upright, then cut straight down lengthwise through the middle. Once the squash is cut, use a spoon to remove the seeds.

halved spaghetti squash lying face-down on baking sheet
Credit: Jason Donnelly

How to Bake Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

The most common way of cooking spaghetti squash is to bake or roast it. Place prepped squash, cut sides down, on a baking sheet (Set of 2 Classic Half Sheet Pans, $36.50, Sur La Table). Bake in a 350°F oven 45 to 50 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Arugula Pesto with Spaghetti Squash
Credit: Jason Donnelly

How to Microwave Spaghetti Squash

If you're short on time, microwaving spaghetti squash can get dinner on your table faster. Place your prepped squash half cut-side down in a microwave-safe baking dish (like this Simax Glassware Clear Oval Casserole Dish, Walmart, $30.36) with ¼ cup water. Microwave, covered, on 100% power (high) for about 15 minutes or until tender.

Try Our Microwave Spaghetti Squash with Arugula Pesto
Buttered Spaghetti Squash
Credit: Mike Dieter

How to Serve Spaghetti Squash

With just a nudge of the fork (or a spoon works, too!), that golden-yellow cooked flesh separates into spaghetti-like strands. Make sure you're holding the squash with a pot holder in one hand so you don't burn yourself while loosening the fibers. Then use a large, sturdy fork or spoon to scrape strands from the squash.

Get Our Best Spaghetti Squash Recipes

There you have it! Spaghetti squash is here to keep your comfort food cravings satisfied at only a fraction of the calories, plus many nutritional benefits. We like tossing ours with butter and Parmesan for a quick, simple meal, but it can easily be used in place of your favorite pasta along with any sauce.

Comments (1)

January 27, 2020
I disagree on how to cut spaghetti squash. The cooking methods are fine but the cutting and shredding is all wrong. Cutting the squash lengthwise severs all the natural fibers. Shredding end to end only servers them more. The end result is short little "spaghetti" strands. To get long fibers that can actually be twirled just like pasta, cut the squash into 3 or 4 pieces around the width. Clean the seeds and cook the same as described. When the squash is soft, just peel the skin off and break up the fibers into individual strands. They will be as long as the circumference of the squash.