Learn how to cook spaghetti squash perfectly every time. We share how to bake it in the oven or, if you are short on time, how to cook it in the microwave. Jump to the recipe showing you How to Cook Spaghetti Squash or read on to see lots of tips for making it.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to easily make baked spaghetti squash with butter cooked chicken, parmesan, and fresh lemon. Jump to the Baked Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Chicken.
How to Safely Cut Raw Spaghetti Squash
Thanks to it’s hard shell, spaghetti squash can be tricky when it comes to cutting it. You will need a heavy chef’s knife, a towel to keep it steady as you cut (as well as to protect your hand), and some muscle power.
Cut the squash from stem to end, but don’t try to cut through the stem (it’s too tough). When you’ve cut through the squash, just pull each half apart. The force will pull one half away from the stem.
Here’s a trick we learned recently that helps make cutting the squash a little easier. Pierce the squash in a few places and score it where you eventually want to cut. Pop it into the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. This short time in the microwave softens the outer shell, making it a little easier to cut. We don’t recommend microwaving a whole squash longer than that, though — steam will build up inside the squash and it could lead to a pretty dangerous situation.
Once you’ve cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds. If you’re a fan of roasted pumpkin seeds, you can use these to make something very similar. If you take a look in the notes section of the recipe, we’ve given tips for how to roast them.
By the way, if you watch the video above, we show you another way to cut spaghetti squash. Instead of making boats, we cut it in half crosswise. You can see us do it around the 1:45 minute mark.
How to Bake Spaghetti Squash in the Oven
Baking spaghetti squash is our favorite way to cook it. Simply rub with some olive oil and then season with salt and pepper (or use your favorite spice blend).
Place the squash cut-side-down onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and then bake until soft. We use a 375 degree F oven, but adding or reducing by 25 degrees should not make much of a difference. (We will do this if we are making something else that requires a different temperature). You will need to bake the squash for 40 to 50 minutes, but keep in mind that the bake time will vary depending on how small or large your squash is.
If you’ve got some in the fridge, you can sneak a few sprigs of fresh herbs under each squash half — rosemary, thyme, sage, and mint are all excellent.
How to Microwave Spaghetti Squash
If you are looking to cook spaghetti squash quickly, the microwave is your answer. Microwaved squash can definitely be used in place of roasted squash in most recipes. Whether we microwave or not is dependent on the time we are willing to wait. Baked squash is more flavorful in the end. The extra bake time also gets rid of a lot of excess moisture that the microwave doesn’t. That being said, if you are short on time, the microwave is your friend.
To cook spaghetti squash in the microwave, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and season the squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Fill the dish with water so that it is about 1-inch deep.
Microwave for 5 minutes, check the squash and continue to microwave for 2 to 5 minutes until the squash is soft and easily pierced with a knife. Allow the squash to cool, and then scoop out the flesh with a fork.
You May Also Like These Squash Recipes
- Simple roasted butternut squash recipe with cinnamon, brown sugar and a little cayenne. Jump to the Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe.
- Butternut squash is roasted on top of garlic cloves and fresh thyme then blended with stock into a silky smooth butternut squash soup. Jump to the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe.
- How to bake acorn squash in the oven with walnuts and cranberries. Jump to the Roasted Acorn Squash with Walnuts and Cranberries Recipe.
- How to make our 20-minute zucchini pasta recipe with garlic, tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Jump to the Zucchini Pasta Recipe.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven or Microwave
Spaghetti squash is an excellent base for pasta sauces and protein. It’s also delicious when the cooked squash strands (or noodles) are tossed with a little butter or olive oil and toasted garlic. This recipe will make four side portions or will generously serve two for a full meal.
You Will Need
1 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
Fresh herbs, optional
- Prepare Squash
- Oven-Baked Squash
- Microwaved Squash
Using a heavy chef’s knife cut squash in half lengthwise — see the notes section for how to do this safely. Remove the seeds and discard. Lightly drizzle the cut side of each squash half with olive oil, and then season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet (or large baking dish) with parchment paper. Place the squash cut-side-down onto the baking sheet and bake 40 to 50 minutes until it is soft and easily pierced with a knife. (If you have some, sneak a few sprigs of fresh herbs underneath in the cavity of the squash — rosemary, thyme, sage, and mint are excellent.)
When the squash is done, flip the halves so that the cut-side is facing up and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Run a fork through the flesh to separate the “spaghettilike” strands/noodles.
Place the squash halves cut-side-down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Fill the dish with water so that it is about 1-inch deep.
Microwave for 5 minutes, check the squash and continue to microwave for 2 to 5 minutes until the squash is soft and easily pierced with a knife. When the squash is done, flip the halves so that the cut-side is facing up and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Run a fork through the flesh to separate the “spaghettilike” strands/noodles.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- To safely cut the squash, you will need a heavy chef’s knife, a towel to keep it steady as you cut as well as to protect your hand, and some muscle power. Cut the squash from stem to end, but don’t try to cut through the stem (it’s too tough). When you’ve cut through the squash, just pull each half apart.
- How to Roast Spaghetti Squash Seeds: Remove pulp and fibrous threads from seeds. Simmer seeds in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Toss seeds with olive oil and lightly season with salt. Roast in a 325 degree F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The seeds will not change much in color, but will crunch when done.
- Nutrition Facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. We omitted salt from the calculations since you will need to add to your tastes. We assumed 4 servings, which will be side portions.