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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

Many online recipes for how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven will tell you to poke holes in the squash and bake it at 350 F… but I think this is a huge mistake!

The ONLY way you should be cooking spaghetti squash

With spaghetti squash, most people seem to fall into one of two categories:

There are those who LOVE spaghetti squash as a lower-calorie replacement for spaghetti. And there are those who shun it, believing that if you’re going to eat pasta, you should enjoy the real thing.

But I feel that looking at spaghetti squash as a pasta “substitute” in the first place does the vegetable an unfair disservice.

The unique taste and texture of spaghetti squash ought to be appreciated in their own right, not compared to carb-filled noodles.

No matter how many websites you find that claim their spaghetti squash recipe “tastes just like the real thing,” spaghetti squash will never be pasta.

And that’s completely okay!

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cook spaghetti squash recipes

Another thing to keep in mind if you think you hate spaghetti squash is that it might just be the way you’ve been cooking it.

So many tutorials for how to cook spaghetti squash will tell you to poke holes in the vegetable, add water to the bottom of the pan, and either cook the whole thing or two halves at 350 F or 375 F.

I think this is a mistake because the extra water and lower temperature mean you end up with watery, steamed spaghetti squash instead of sweet, roasted spaghetti squash, especially if you don’t cut the squash in half to give the moisture inside the squash a place to escape.

And watery strands will, in turn, also water down whatever sauce you choose to put on your spaghetti squash after cooking. If you’ve made spaghetti squash this way and do prefer steamed strands, that’s fine…

But I much prefer it roasted, so if you’ve had spaghetti squash in the past and think you aren’t a fan, it might be worth giving the vegetable one more chance.

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The following recipe is my favorite method for how to cook a spaghetti squash that yields non-watery results every time.

It calls for roasting the spaghetti squash at 460 F, which is higher than any other recipe I’ve ever seen and works beautifully to caramelize the natural sugars in the squash and zap away extra moisture, leaving you with perfectly cooked spaghetti squash that is ready to be dressed up however you wish or even eaten by itself.

baked spaghetti squash

How To Bake Spaghetti Squash:

Start by carefully cutting the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise.

EDIT: Many readers say that cutting it width-wise is even better because you get much longer strands. I haven’t tried that yet, but I am intrigued! (Have any of you tried it?)

Place the squash—flat sides up—in a baking pan. If desired, scoop out the seeds and brush the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. I usually opt to scoop out the seeds after baking.

Place the pan on the middle rack in a non-preheated oven, and turn the oven to 460 F.

Most spaghetti squashes will take around 40-50 minutes to fully roast, depending on the size of the squash; but if you have a small squash, it’s a good idea to check it after 20-30 minutes or so.

Many "how to cook spaghetti squash" tutorials tell you to bake at 350 F for an hour… But there is a MUCH better way, & the difference in texture is absolutely incredible! Recipe: @choccoveredkt

Scoop out the strands, and add tomato sauce, cheesy sauce, alfredo sauce, Mushroom Stroganoff, salad dressing, pesto, or any other sauce you’d add to pasta.

You could also top the spaghetti squash with a Coconut Curry, vegetable stew, or Vegetarian Chili like you’d do with rice. It is the perfect blank canvas for thousands of recipes.

Below are a few of my favorite sauces to use with spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti Squash Recipes:

Vegan Mac And Cheese

Red Pepper Alfredo Pasta

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce (Reader Favorite)

The Ultimate Vegan Cheese Sauce

Try any of the above sauces over spaghetti squash. Or there are also recipes on my blog for spaghetti squash lo mein, spaghetti squash parmigiana, avocado alfredo, and numerous others.

Or you can keep things simple by seasoning the baked spaghetti squash with salt and olive oil or buttery spread – it makes the perfect accompaniment to sautéed kale and a toasted English muffin, as seen in the photo below.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash In The Oven

(Above, roasted spaghetti squash with sauteed kale and a homemade English muffin, using my favorite English muffin recipe from my cookbook.)

I’ve written up the recipe for how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven and am also including instructions for how to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave for those of you who would rather not cook it in the oven.

My preference is for the oven-roasted spaghetti squash, but the microwave version will work if you are short on time and want something quick and easy.

The BETTER Way How To Cook Spaghetti Squash
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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

The secret best way how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven.
4.94/5 (212)
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 1 spaghetti squash


  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • optional olive oil, salt, etc.
  • sauce or seasonings as desired


  • *Note that larger spaghetti squashes tend to yield sweeter strands. However, small ones will also work if they are all you can find. To Make: Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. (Some readers say that cutting it width-wise gives you longer strands. I haven ‘t tried this yet, but I am intrigued!) Place the squash—flat sides up—in a baking pan. If desired, scoop the seeds out and brush the squash strands with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. You can opt to scoop the seeds out and season after baking if you prefer. Place the pan on the middle rack in a non-preheated oven, then set the oven to 460 F. Large squashes will take around 40-50 minutes to roast fully, but very small ones may take less time, so it’s a good idea to check the squash after 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and scoop out the strands. If you’d like, you can mix the strands with other ingredients and then stuff them back into the hollowed-out spaghetti squash shells. I've found that storing the strands in a glass pyrex and covering only with a paper towel is best, because it allows water to escape instead of getting trapped inside the container and weighing down the roasted squash. If you make this recipe, don't forget to leave a review!
    View Nutrition Facts
    Microwave Method:
    If you’re short on time and don’t mind more of a steamed-spaghetti-squash result, you can cook your spaghetti squash in the microwave. I do highly recommend trying the oven version at some point, though! To microwave: Poke holes in the spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds if desired. Fill a glass baking dish about 1/4 up with water, then place the squash—flat sides down—in the pan and microwave 10-15 minutes or until tender. Remove from the microwave, and scoop out the strands.
    Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash:
    Cut the squash in half, put the steamer insert into the instant pot, add 1 cup water and the squash, and cook on manual for about 8 minutes (more or less, depending on squash size). Thanks to reader Lauren for creating this version and letting us know it works in an instant pot!


Also be sure to try this best tutorial for How To Cook Sweet Potatoes.

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Published on February 15, 2016

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  1. Janet says

    This way of cooking spaghetti squash is by far THE best of all I’ve tried. My husband raved about how good it was. Checking on the roasting time is key. I checked after 20 min then 30 min and again at 35 min. That was the perfect time for the size of squash. And no H2O is genius. Not watery or mushy at all. Thanks!

  2. Lynn Spangler says

    Best spaghetti squash I ever made. I cut mine the short way across. Removed the seeds and pulp before baking. I rubbed olive oil on the squash, baked it at 460d. for 40 min. (Cut side up)Flipped it over and baked it 10 more minutes. Shredded with a fork and added salt and pepper and a spaghetti sauce. So good!!

  3. Val Chaney says

    Delicious. I’ve had spaghetti squash before and hated it for the reasons you stated, (mushy, watery). I cooked it your way added a bit of butter and parmesan cheese and a little Mrs Dash. So yummy!

  4. Robin says

    Thank you! This is the first method I’ve tried that didn’t end with watery squash. I cut in half crosswise, and it was perfect.

    • Colleen says

      One cup (155 grams) of cooked spaghetti squash provides the following nutrients (1Trusted Source):

      Calories: 42
      Carbs: 10 grams
      Fiber: 2.2 grams
      Protein: 1 gram
      Fat: 0.5 grams
      Vitamin C: 9% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
      Manganese: 8% of the RDI
      Vitamin B6: 8% of the RDI
      Pantothenic acid: 6% of the RDI
      Niacin: 6% of the RDI
      Potassium: 5% of the RDI
      Spaghetti squash also contains small amounts of thiamine, magnesium, folate, calcium, and iron.

  5. Diane says

    I also roast my squash, but before I do, I make knife/fork slits in the squash from end to end length wise and put in microwave for 4 minutes. After it comes out, let it cool until you can handle it. Then I take a knife and cut the squash where the slits are and it opens up. This is a simple and safer way to cut the squash in half. Then proceed with recipe.

  6. Mary Jane says

    I always did my spaghetti squash in the microwave and always found it watery. When I saw this method I thought it would solve my problem and it did. Also, I started cutting my squash width-wise and it works out fine and so much easier to cut…lol..

  7. Tracy L Phillips says

    I took some amazing pictures of my chicken broccoli/asparagus alfredo bake using this method. Is there a way to submit. Yes I’m pretty proud of my culinary accomplishment tonight hahaha
    Typically an epic fail lol

    • Chocolate Covered Katie says

      Thank you so much for trying it :). I wish we had that capability… We used to, but it was causing issues with the blog pages being jumpy. Hopefully we will be able to offer it again soon, because I really love seeing reader photos.

  8. Gail says

    I’ve made this about a zillion times now and it is awesome every single time. Cutting across the middle for longer strands DOES work! And it’s easier to cut across the middle of the squash then cutting it lengthwise anyway so win-win! Our favorite toppings are alfredo, pesto, or a combination of the two 🙂

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