Get two new free healthy recipes each week. Sign Up

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
pin-it

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!

You May Also Like: Cauliflower Mac And Cheese – Healthy Comfort Food

cook spaghetti squash recipes
pin-it

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.

Trending Recipe: Buffalo Cauliflower Wings

pin-it

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
pin-it

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: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2016/02/15/how-to-cook-spaghetti-squash-oven-microwave/ @choccoveredkt
pin-it

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
pin-it

(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
pin-it

See also: How To Cook Sweet Potatoes

Pin it now to save for laterPin Recipe

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

The secret best way how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven.
4.95/5 (201)
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 1 spaghetti squash

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • *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!

Have you made this recipe?

Tag @chocolatecoveredkatie on Instagram

Trending Right Now:

why I gave up running

Here’s What I Eat In A Day

banana recipes

Banana Recipes – 30 Healthy Ideas

Lentil Soup Recipe

Lentil Soup – Reader favorite recipe

keto ice cream

Keto Ice Cream Recipe

Veggie Burger Recipe

Veggie Burger Recipe

Overnight Oats Recipes

Overnight Oats

hello-breakfast-recipes.png

More About The Cookbook

4.95/5 (201)

Rate this recipe

Published on February 15, 2016

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

Learn more about Katie

Get Free Recipes

Don’t Miss Out On The NEW Free Healthy Recipes

Sign up below to receive exclusive & always free healthy recipes right in your inbox:

Chocolate Covered Katie The Healthy Dessert Blog Recipes

Popular Right Now

Reader Interactions

259 Comments

Leave a comment or reviewLeave a rating
  1. Barb says

    This will be my first time cooking spaghetti squash. A friend shared your post with me and I am so glad she did!

  2. Abra says

    Thank you for saying, “it doesn’t taste like pasta!” Oh man this is one of my biggest pet peeves. I LOVE spaghetti squash, because I think it has a really unique flavor and texture that works in a thousand different ways. It does not, however, taste like pasta! I will definitely try your higher heat method. I do like my spaghetti squash softer though, I don’t like when it has a ton of texture which is why I think the steam method works well for me.

  3. Caitlyn says

    I have tried and love slicing the spaghetti squash horizontally before roasting! It definitely works to give you longer strands of the squash. However, more than once, I have gotten my knife stuck trying to cut all the way through. I would absolutely recommend trying it this way… just be careful with the knife!

    5/5

    5/5

  4. Debbi says

    I make spaghetti squash all the time, but this preparation made the BEST squash EVER!!! Thank you Katie!

    5/5

    5/5

  5. babykitted says

    Thanks for your post !! Great explanation and pictures.Its So yummy !! Prefer it in the oven for flavour.Thanks.

    5/5

    5/5

  6. Cynthia says

    Katie, I punch holes in the spaghetti squash and microwave it for about 12 minutes. It doesn’t seem watery at all when cut open, and I save a lot of electricity. Since I always sauce it, flavor isn’t a problem.

    5/5

    5/5

  7. Tom says

    WOW!!! I never made spaghetti squash before. I just followed your instructions to bake it at 460 degrees, with a light coating of olive oil, and it came out beautifully. I would recommend this method to anyone who wants something delicious.

    5/5

    5/5

  8. Karen M says

    I discovered an even easier way to cook spaghetti squash! I have tried many methods, but this one is by far the easiest! Wash and dry a 2.5-3 lb. squash. With a chef’s knife, pierce the big yellow oval in about 8 places, with 1-inch cuts. Place on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for 10 minutes in microwave. Remove from oven and let it sit for 15-20 minutes – just leave it alone while you do other kitchen duties! Put the squash on a large cutting board and slice it lengthwise. Put two paper towels on the board and put squashes cut-side down to drain for 5-10 minutes. This is so easy now that it is cooked and cooled a little. With a paring knife, cut away any seeds and membranes in the middle; discard. With a fork, separate the “strands” of your wonderful spaghetti. Season however you like, or this is the time to serve it with your favorite sauce. If you want to use the shells as serving pieces, you’ll need to remove some squash for another meal. One-quarter of a squash is a serving size. I made a fresh tomato marinara sauce and topped with shaved Parmesan last night – it was a big hit!

    5/5

    5/5

  9. JN says

    Works like a charm and does not have excess water/juice when you box it up to eat the next day! And cutting horizontally definitely gives longer strands!!!

    5/5

    5/5

  10. Don says

    The strands are longer when you slice the other way. It’s all about the preference. I prefer short spaghetti.

    5/5

    5/5

  11. Laura says

    Wow, you were so right! I’d sworn off spaghetti squash the last time I made it because it was so bland and limp. I’d used the adding water way and that was no good. This time, I tried the 450 degree baking method for the spaghetti squash you suggest, and it brought out such a deep sweet flavour and texturer. Just great!

    After it was baked, I took out the squash threads and mixed them with some Mexican Veggie Ground Round (Yves), some mozzarella cheese, then put that back in the oven and sprinkled Parmesan over top. I just broiled for about 5 minutes, and yum! Thanks so much!

    5/5

    5/5

  12. Jan says

    Just roasted a spagetti squash for dinner. I am sold! Tried this squash the old way and it was mushy and wet. Didn’t care for it. But roasted is a whole new thing. My son (a bodybuilder) loved it. We will be making this often. Cut off the stem so the squash is flat on the bottom and can “sit” upright. Cutting it in half through the middle definitely makes longer strands. Topped with marinara sauce, spinach and mushrooms. Roasting also brings out the flavor of the squash. So glad I found your site. Thank you.

    5/5

    5/5

  13. victoria says

    I cannot cut the squash in half length or width can I cook it whole and then scoop out the seeds

    5/5

    5/5

  14. jennifer Threet says

    I am a recent convert to spaghetti squash and now it is the love of my life. I have tried it many ways and find that I like it best with just butter and salt & pepper.

    5/5

    5/5

  15. PATSY S CULLEN says

    This cooking method was perfect! I cooked it at 460 as recommended, it turned out very much like a spaghetti noodle! I cut it around the middle like you suggested as well.

    5/5

    5/5

  16. Debbie says

    I am 61 yrs old and never grew up eating spaghetti squash. I actually only heard about it a few years ago while talking to my doctor about weight. I was afraid to cook this because I thought I might mess it up. So today I purchased a spaghetti squash and got on line to find a recipe. I baked mine per your directions and tried it w/o sauce and over the pasta sauce. It was delightful BOTH ways! I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE IT! One question thought….Would this work baking it with butter instead of the olive oil? Just curious. Thank you so very much!

    5/5

    5/5

  17. Heather Manley says

    I always cut mine width wise into rings and season both sides of the rings before roasting. This way gets all of the sweet delicious roasted flavor out of the squash and leaves you with beautiful spaghetti like strands. Once it cools I just peel the skin away and pull apart with my fingers!!

    5/5

    5/5

  18. kimberly reed says

    this is THE BEST WAY EVER to cook spaghetti squash…seriously, hands down perfections. thank you for offering the most logical solution to soggy squash!!!

    5/5

    5/5

  19. Rachael says

    Amazing! I tried a different spaghetti squash recipe that steamed it and was a bit disappointed with the mushy result. I tried to figure out what I did wrong the other recipes I found all called for streaming as well. One even suggested adding some water to the pan to keep it moist – the opposite of my problem! Then I finally found this recipe, and it’s fantastic! I did have to microwave mine for a bit so that I could cut it (I’m either too weak or my knives aren’t up to scratch), but otherwise had no problems. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

    5/5

    5/5

  20. Mike says

    My wife has prepared spaghetti squash in the past, but it’s been awhile. So I looked up recipes for her for preparing it. She already had her great sauce in the crock pot. We used your simple recipe and it was delicious. We need to get another squash to finish the sauce. One thing though, the squash didn’t carmelize as described in the recipe and this was a squash that was large enough to have to leave in the oven at least 50 mins. But again, it was still delicious. Thanks again. We’ll be back looking for more recipes!

    4/5

    4/5

  21. Stacy Hotes says

    I’m new to spaghetti squash, and really enjoy it. I have minimal use of one arm, however, so found the cutting was near impossible. However, I found a suggestion that has made an enormous difference! If you lightly score through the ‘skin’, then microwave on high for 5-10 minutes, it is MUCH easier to cut through. Hope this helps others as much as it did me! 🙂

    5/5

    5/5

  22. Karen says

    My favorite way to have spaghetti squash is to add: diced onion, lightly sautéed, a bit of fresh grated parmesan cheese and seasoned salt to taste.
    I have always microwaved the squash, but I can’t wait to roast it! Thank you

    5/5

    5/5

  23. karen says

    I poke holes in the whole spaghetti and put it in the microwave about 4 minutes, turn it and cook another 3 minutes. It’s fast , doesn’t heat up the house, and the strands are nice and firm. After I take it out of the microwave, I cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and bitter part. Then use a fork & scrape to get the strands out. Easy!

    5/5

    5/5

  24. karen says

    P.S. After I’ve cooked it in the microwave, my favorite is to mix it with pesto sauce, add a few extra pine nuts, and top with shrimp. Yummy one-dish meal.

    5/5

    5/5

  25. L Sush says

    I just tried spaghetti squash for the first time a couple months ago and LOVED it. For this recipe, what kind of pan or glass casserole do you use? I thought pyrex was only up to 450°.

  26. Kimberlie Tracy says

    I love this! I have heard about spaghetti squash for years and have never dared veer away from my yummy pasta. I am a type one diabetic and absolutely crave pasta and rice. I tried this recipe with the spaghetti squash tonight and Love It! my new goal is to stop eating pasta rice by replacing it with spaghetti squash. Thank you !

    5/5

    5/5

  27. Pammi-pie says

    I had never cooked spaghetti squash before and tried your recipe for my first try. It was AWESOME! A huge hit with everyone. I loved it. I did cut “around the equator” and the strands were nice and long. Delicious! This will now be a go-to for me! Thanks!

    5/5

    5/5

Leave A Reply

Get Free Recipes

Don’t Miss Out On The NEW Free Healthy Recipes

Sign up below to receive exclusive & always free healthy recipes right in your inbox:

Chocolate Covered Katie The Healthy Dessert Blog Recipes