Let’s talk about spaghetti squash for a minute. I’ve been working on a new spaghetti squash recipe (coming Friday), and I noticed that there are quite a few different ways that people suggest cooking spaghetti squash.
Here are the methods: Baked or microwaved whole, steamed in a pan of water in the oven, sliced into rings, halved lengthwise or crosswise, baked cut-side up or down.
All of those options will work, but I have a strong preference for one method, which reduces the amount of moisture in the squash and yields golden, caramelized edges that add extra flavor.
Here’s my trick: Cut the spaghetti squash in half from the stem end to the base, rub the inside lightly with olive oil, and roast it cut-side down. There’s a little more to it than that (see the recipe below), but that’s the gist.
Easy, right? No fuss, no mush, just tender and delicious spaghetti squash! This way, the moisture can pool on the pan instead of collecting inside the spaghetti squash, and you end up with a perfect built-in bowl that you can load up with toppings.
I’m glad we got this cleared up, because spaghetti squash is a nutritious winter vegetable that offers lots of fiber, beta-carotene, folate and more. It offers a really fun, spaghetti-like texture and built-in bowl shape. See how I turned it into a burrito bowl?
Spaghetti squash is a good stand-in for pasta, and also plays nicely with a variety of other flavors. It goes particularly well with tomatoes and tomato sauce, Parmesan or other cheeses, garlic, onions, basil, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, thyme and vinegar (balsamic, sherry, red or white wine vinegar). How do like your spaghetti squash?Print
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (The Best Way!)
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings
- Category: Basics
- Method: Roasted
Here’s the best way to cook spaghetti squash! Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, rub a little olive oil and salt on the inside, and roast in the oven cut-side down. No fuss, no mush, just tender and delicious spaghetti squash! Recipe as written yields 2 baked squash halves (1 squash total); you can easily bake 4 halves (2 squash) at a time on a large baking sheet.
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- To prepare the spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Use a very sharp chef’s knife to cut off the tip-top and very bottom ends of the spaghetti squash. Stand the squash upright on a stable surface and carefully slice through it from top to bottom to divide it in half.
- Use a large spoon to scoop out the spaghetti squash seeds and discard them. Drizzle the insides of each squash half with 1 teaspoon olive oil and rub it all over the inside, adding more oil if necessary. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly over the interiors of the squash, then place them cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, until the cut sides are turning golden and the interiors are easily pierced through with a fork. Small squash will be done sooner than large squash, naturally!
- Once the squash is done baking, fluff the interiors with a fork to make the insides spaghetti-like. Serve as desired.
Storage suggestions: Baked spaghetti squash will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. Just reheat before serving.
▸ Nutrition Information
Recipes Made with Spaghetti Squash
Gluten free and vegan
“I’m a frequent visitor to your blog, and I’ve tried many of your recipes and they’ve all proven to be delicious, but this one, my oh my! I’ve never tried spaghetti squash before, and thought this was a great way to start and boy was I right! The spiciness from the salsa verde combined with the crunch of the slaw and sweetness of the squash… wow! Thank you, thank you. Just perfect and delicious.” – Anya
Gluten free and easily vegan
“This. Was. Marvelous! I left out the olives and bravely served it to workers doing some landscaping and they LOVED it! I was worried about the pesto being too zingy, but it’s not as pronounced when assembled with everything else. Thanks for another amazing recipe as I’m never disappointed with Cookie and Kate!” – Holly
“I just happened to have a spaghetti squash in my house so I was delighted to see this recipe in my inbox today. I gave it a try and was so impressed. It was incredibly delicious and satisfying. It does take a bit of time, but now I have the second half to look forward to at another meal. It’s also a very pretty dish and I can see serving it to a group of similarly health-focused girlfriends!” – Danielle