Learn How to Cook Spaghetti Squash by baking it in the oven until it shreds easily into noodles with a fork! This quick method is a foolproof way to prepare squash so it turns out perfectly roasted and caramelized. Serve it as a vegetarian and vegan side dish or replace pasta with it for a keto or low-carb dinner!
Cooking Spaghetti Squash in Oven
When I first learned how to cook spaghetti squash someone seriously led me astray.
They suggested I place the squash halves in a baking dish filled with water and THEN roast it in the oven.
What resulted was a mushy and watery mess of spaghetti squash!
Since then a new and SO much better method has become the ONLY way we cook spaghetti squash in our house…
By roasting it in the oven with a bit of oil, salt and pepper. (And absolutely ZERO water!)
While cooking spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot is a little bit quicker, the oven will give you the best flavor and texture. It will even make it a little bit sweet from the natural caramelization of the squash.
Trust me, once you’ve cooked this delectable Fall gourd like, you’re not going to want to go back to your old ways!
Why Spaghetti Squash?
Spaghetti squash is a remarkable vegetable that actually turns into “noodles” when it’s cooked and then shredded with a fork. It has a primarily savory but also slightly sweet flavor which makes it a great low-carb and keto substitute for pasta in many recipes.
Not only is this beautiful yellow squash full of flavor, but it’s also incredibly healthy for you! It’s low in calories, is keto and low-carb friendly, and is also full of Vitamin C, fiber, Vitamin B6 and manganese. A one cup serving has only 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber,
You can serve it as a main dish (like this Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash and Spaghetti Squash Carbonara) make it into a side dish, or you can even turn it into a casserole when used in place of pasta!
Typically spaghetti squash are in season between the months of September – November with October being their peak time. Most places in the U.S. will carry this vegetable year-round, but they tend to be a bit smaller and not quite as flavorful in the off season.
Tips for Cutting
Much like its oranger cousin the butternut squash, spaghetti squash have a somewhat tough and hard skin that can be challenging to cut through.
Here are a few tips to easily cut this stubborn vegetable:
- Smaller squash can be easier to cut through than larger ones.
- Use a freshly sharpened knife and a cutting board that does not slide around. (step 1 above)
- Poke a few holes into the squash and microwave it for a few minutes to soften the skin. (I like to use this trick when Cutting Butternut Squash, too!)
How to Prepare
Once you have your squash selected and your knife sharpened, it’s time start preparing it to be baked:
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.* (step 1 above)
- Scoop out and remove seeds using a large spoon with a relatively sharp edge. (step 2 above)
- Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over the inside of each half and sprinkle both with ¼ tsp. Salt and ⅛ teaspoon of black pepper. (step 3 above)
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place spaghetti squash halves face side down. (step 4 above)
*Cook’s Tip: Aluminum foil is not recommended since it will stick to the squash more than parchment paper will. Also, a small amount of the heavy metals in the foil will inevitably leach into the squash while it’s roasting.
How to Bake (Roast)
After your spaghetti squash is cut and prepared, it’s time to bake it in the oven.
You want the oven to be hot enough to caramelize the exterior of the squash slightly but not so hot that it does not cook through.
Because of this, it’s best if you bake spaghetti squash at 425 °F.
Depending on the size, it will be done as quickly as 40 minutes if it’s a smaller squash or up to 50 minutes if it’s larger.
You’ll know the spaghetti squash is done cooking when it shreds easily with a fork.
Shredding into Noodles
To turn the spaghetti squash into “pasta” place a large fork into the flesh at the stem end and pull towards the opposite end until long strands form.
Repeat this process until the entire squash has been turned into “noodles”.
Cooked spaghetti squash will last for up to 4-5 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
This vegetable also freezes exceptionally well.
Instead of freezing the squash in one big mass, place the “noodles” in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pre-freeze for 2-3 hours, or until squash is firm. Transfer frozen squash to a freezer safe bag (removing as much air as possible!) and freeze for up to 5-6 months.
Now that you know how easy it is to make this healthy vegetable, it’s time to get creative with it! There are quite a few recipes you’ll probably enjoy:
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
Roasted Spaghetti Squash Carbonara is filled with a creamy egg-based sauce, Parmesan cheese, and then topped with crispy bacon and fresh basil. You won't even miss the pasta in this easy, low-carb, and keto-diet friendly recipe. Meal prep this healthy Italian dish for busy weeknights and have it ready to enjoy for dinner or lunch!
- 1 4-lb. spaghetti squash medium to large
- 2 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado
- ½ tsp. salt to taste
- ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 °F.
Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.*
Scoop out and remove seeds using a large spoon with a relatively sharp edge.
Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over the inside of each half and sprinkle both with ¼ tsp. Salt and ⅛ teaspoon of black pepper.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place spaghetti squash halves face side down.
Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the edges begin to caramelize and turn brown and the insides are cooked through.
Shred the spaghetti squash by placing a large fork into the flesh at the stem end and pulling towards the opposite end. Repeat this process until the entire squash has been turned into “noodles”.
Serve as a Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash or with a Carbonara Sauce and enjoy!
- Serving size if for 1 cup of shredded spaghetti squash.
- If you have a difficult time getting your knife to cut through, try microwaving the squash for a minute or two to soften the skin.