How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Perfectly

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite veggies (it’s so versatile). The best way to cook spaghetti squash is in the oven. My easy method guarantees perfectly cooked squash that’s never soggy and tastes amazing.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Recipe Video

There are many ways to cook spaghetti squash, but the best way is to roast it in the oven (trust me). The squash has a better texture, isn’t soggy, and you can add flavor with herbs!

If you’ve never cooked spaghetti squash in the oven, it’s time to start. And while I love roasted spaghetti squash, I’ve also included my tips for cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave (just in case you are short on time).

Key Ingredients

  • Spaghetti squash: Choose a firm spaghetti squash without any soft spots. It should feel heavy for its size. I’m also picky about the stem and like to choose squash with it still intact (look for it to be dry, short, and rounded).
  • Olive oil or melted butter: You can skip the fat altogether, but a small amount helps the squash brown nicely. I rub about a tablespoon (or even less) of olive oil or melted butter all over the inside of the squash.
  • Salt and pepper: Squash, especially mild flavored spaghetti squash, needs seasoning. I stick with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, but you can use seasoned salt or your favorite vegetable seasoning.
  • Fresh herbs: We will roast our squash cut in half, with the cut side facing down. This means that we can sneak a few aromatics underneath. I love rosemary and thyme!

How to Cut Spaghetti Squash

You need to cut your spaghetti squash in half before cooking it. Don’t let spaghetti squash’s hard shell scare you! I’ve got the trick for cutting spaghetti squash safely (watch our video to see me do it).

Before cutting, I put half of a towel underneath my squash so it can’t roll around on me, and the other half sits underneath my hand to hold the squash in place.

How to Cut Spaghetti Squash

Pierce a heavy chef’s knife into the middle of the spaghetti squash and cut it from stem to end, but don’t try to cut through the stem (it’s too tough).

Cutting spaghetti squash in half before cooking in the oven.

Wiggle the knife out of the squash, then pull each half apart. The pulling force will release at least one of the halves away from the stem. Finally, scoop out the seeds (you can roast them like roasted pumpkin seeds).

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

Cooking spaghetti squash in the oven is easy! Start by rubbing the inside of the squash halves with olive oil or melted butter, then season with salt and pepper.

We will use a rimmed baking sheet when roasting spaghetti squash since it catches any liquid that falls away from the squash. Also, make sure you place your squash halves cut side down, which means all the excess moisture will drop away from the squash. If you were to bake the squash halves cut-side-up, the liquid would pool in the middle of the halves.

As you place the squash halves onto a baking sheet, sneak a few fresh herbs underneath them. Then, bake the spaghetti squash at 375°F until fork tender. The baking time will vary based on the size of the squash, but it should take around 40 to 50 minutes.

How to cook spaghetti squash (roasting squash halves on a baking sheet in the oven)

Shortcut: Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave

If you are short on time, you can microwave spaghetti squash. I still prefer the results from cooking it in the oven, but I turn to the microwave when I need to cook spaghetti squash quickly. We did include this method in the video.

To microwave your spaghetti squash, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the squash halves cut side down in a microwave-safe dish with about an inch of water. Microwave for 5 minutes, then cook in 2-minute intervals until a fork pierces it easily. Let cool before scooping out the squash strands.

Storing Cooked Spaghetti Squash

Roasted spaghetti squash lasts for one week in an airtight container in the fridge, or you can freeze it for six months. When freezing spaghetti squash, I like to divide it into individual portions. Thaw the squash overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Ways to Serve Spaghetti Squash

As I mentioned above, we love spaghetti squash around here. It’s a low-carb, low-calorie veggie that can be added to many delicious dishes. My favorite spaghetti squash recipe is this parmesan chicken with spaghetti squash.

You can also substitute spaghetti squash for noodles in many recipes. I often top roasted spaghetti squash with this homemade meat sauce or our easy red pasta sauce. You can even serve it next to these amazing Italian meatballs. Spaghetti squash is also lovely with a bit of butter and parmesan grated over the top.

Spaghetti squash cooked in the oven

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Perfectly

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How to cook spaghetti squash in the oven. This is my favorite way to cook spaghetti squash, but if you are short on time, I’ve also included the method for cooking it in the microwave (let’s be honest, we all need a shortcut every once in a while).

Makes 4 servings as a side

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

1 medium spaghetti squash, about 2 ½ to 3 pounds

1 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Fresh herbs, optional, rosemary, thyme, sage, and mint are excellent

Directions

    1Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet (or large baking dish) with parchment paper.

    2Use a heavy chef’s knife to cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Pierce the knife into the middle of the squash and cut it from stem to end, but don’t try to cut through the stem (it’s too tough). Remove the knife, then pull the two halves apart.

    3Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Lightly drizzle the cut side of each squash half with olive oil (or butter), then season with salt and pepper.

    4Place the squash on the baking sheet with the cut side facing down. Sneak fresh herbs underneath the squash halves (optional).

    5Roast the spaghetti squash halves until they are soft and easily pierced with a knife, 40 to 50 minutes.

    6Flip 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 “spaghetti-like” strands/noodles and serve.

  • How to Microwave Spaghetti Squash
  • 1Place the squash halves cut side down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Pour about 1 inch of water into the dish.

    2Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Check if the squash is starting to soften. If needed, microwave for 2-minute bursts until a knife easily pierces the flesh.

    3Carefully flip the squash halves cut-side-up. Let them cool for about 5 minutes before gently scraping and separating the spaghetti-like strands using a fork.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Cutting the squash: The video shows you two ways to cut the squash. I highly recommend watching.
  • The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1/4 of the squash / Calories 70 / Protein 1 g / Carbohydrate 9 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 4 g / Total Fat 4 g / Saturated Fat 1 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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32 comments… Leave a Review
  • Janet B September 11, 2021, 5:44 pm

    I baked the spaghetti squash as you instructed and it was wonderful! I served it as a pasta with a sauce I made with sautéed onion, garlic, zucchini & canned diced tomatoes seasoned with basil, oregano & garlic. Topped with Parmesan cheese. Delicious!

    Reply
  • Lise March 9, 2020, 11:55 am

    This is the best squash there could be in the supermarkets. I have made my squash like this for years ,is so filling you don’t need rice as a side dish this is your side dish! It is delicious, the next time I make it though, I will use time herbs like the top video! Great with Fish, delicious with chicken, or beef, or anything you want! Thank you so much for posting, 5 Stars to this recipe

    Reply
  • Nathanael Belotti September 13, 2019, 8:11 am

    Learned a bunch. Super easy to understand. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

    Reply
  • David Bobier February 23, 2019, 6:06 pm

    As I use to remember it being cooked by my mother

    Reply
  • Whole30 Guy January 7, 2019, 10:45 pm

    Had this at my friend’s house but didn’t ask for the recipe. I loved it so came here looking for a good recipe, and this did not disappoint! I love pasta, but this is a great grain free alternative I’ll use a lot in the future…

    Reply
  • LISA MEYER January 6, 2019, 4:59 pm

    Yummy. I made it today while watching football. Served it with spaghetti sauce and ground sausage(just like I would have done with pasta) a big hit. Also lower in carbs and a healthier option. Ps. I am a Very picky eater.

    Reply
  • Deb December 14, 2018, 9:26 pm

    Love the easy to follow video. Made the spaghetti squash and it was great.

    Reply
  • Melissa November 25, 2018, 6:33 pm

    If you want long strands, like spaghetti, you should cut across the squash, not end to end

    Reply
  • Wendy Kirkpatrick September 9, 2018, 5:00 pm

    I never made squash seeds before. They are delicious; perhaps better than pumpkin seeds. Thanks for sharing the instructions.

    Reply
  • Angeleen J Sanders August 13, 2018, 9:44 am

    I loved this. It was easy to make and delicious. Thanks for the easy instructions!

    Reply
  • Teresa June 10, 2018, 7:00 pm

    I baked the spaghetti squash. It was delicious! I actually like it better than traditional pasta.

    Reply
  • Sally White May 16, 2018, 1:37 pm

    Great! Thanks for the microwave tip!

    Reply
  • Karen May 15, 2018, 11:08 pm

    I went into Safeway desperate for a new vegetable. This recipe was spot on. The only difficult part I had was my knives weren’t sharp enough. It was really difficult to cut through the squash. I baked them for exactly 1 hour on parchment paper at 400. I only added salt and pepper and olive oil. It came out perfectly. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Meagan Grant April 23, 2018, 6:06 pm

    I loved it my daughter thought it would be nasty but she loved it when she tried it this way and is healthy I have lost 10 pounds eating less carbs

    Reply
    • Terry June 13, 2018, 7:10 pm

      I am also on a low carb diet. Have lost 4 pounds so far.

      Reply
      • Bonnie Whidden August 22, 2020, 2:54 pm

        I just forgot how to fix the spaghetti squash. You gave me ideas on how to fix it and I say thank you

        Reply

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