How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Here’s how to cook spaghetti squash: the two best ways! Roast it in the oven until tender, or use a pressure cooker to make it fast and easy.

How to cook spaghetti squash

Want to cook spaghetti squash? It makes slurpable noodles you can use to pack vegetables into all your meals. Pasta marinara, pad Thai and even mac and cheese become instantly more nutrient-dense. This popular veggie is always a hit over here. The only obstacle to using it in a tasty meal: cooking the squash! There are two best ways we’ve found to do it: roasted or in a pressure cooker. Alex and I have picked up a few tips along the way to streamline the process. Let’s get started!

The trick to cutting spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is notoriously difficult to cut. It’s hard to pierce the thick skin and hack through the tough flesh. Even worse, it’s easy for your knife to slip: which is dangerous. Here’s a trick! Unbelievably, all you need is a small paring knife to cut through this hard vegetable:

  • Cut around the middle width-wise, not lengthwise. Here’s a little known fact: the strands of spaghetti squash run around the interior width-wise. So instead of cutting it lengthwise, cut it in the middle! You’ll get the longest, most luscious squash noodles.
  • Use a paring knife to make small cuts around the middle. Pierce the knife into the squash and swing down, making small slices around the squash until it breaks in half.
  • Cut around the seeds. Then scoop them out with a spoon!
How to cut spaghetti squash: use a small sharp pairing knife to cut width-wise

How to cook spaghetti squash: roasted!

The standard way of how to cook spaghetti squash is roasted! This method takes a little over 1 hour. You can make it ahead and refrigerate until you’re ready to make the rest of the recipe. After you cut the squash with the trick above, pop it in the oven and…wait. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Rub the squash lightly with olive oil.
  2. Roast for 40 to 50 minutes at 400 degrees. Bake until it’s tender when pierced with a fork.
  3. Scrape the squash into noodles with a fork. Use a fork to unravel the squash noodles.
  4. Drain for 10 minutes. Here’s the most important part! Place the squash in a strainer for 10 minutes. This allows extra moisture to steam out, and the texture of the noodles to set. Skip this step and your dish runs the risk of being too watery.
How to cook spaghetti squash noodles

How to cook spaghetti squash: in an Instant Pot

Got an Instant Pot or other type of pressure cooker? Spaghetti squash is the perfect place to use it. Why? It shaves the total time down to 25 minutes. This is key because it takes spaghetti squash into the easy weeknight meal category. Here’s how to cook spaghetti squash in a pressure cooker:

  1. Place the cut squash in the Instant Pot with water. Add a cup of water and seal the lid.
  2. Pressure cook on High for 8 minutes. Remember that it takes about 5 minutes for the Instant Pot to preheat.
  3. Quick release. Quick release the Instant Pot to diffuse the pressure.
  4. Scrape the squash into noodles with a fork. Use a fork to unravel the squash noodles.
  5. Drain for 10 minutes. Same as above! Let the squash noodles sit in a drainer for 10 minutes to steam off extra moisture.
How to cook spaghetti squash in an Instant Pot

4 ways to eat spaghetti squash

Got those beautiful noodle-like strands? Good: let’s make a recipe! Once you learn how to cook spaghetti squash, it’s the canvas for your culinary genius! Dress it up like Italian pasta, or make it into pad Thai (one of our fan favorites!). Here are our top favorite spaghetti squash recipes:

Spaghetti squash nutrition info

Spaghetti squash is a nutrient dense food, meaning it’s low in calories and high in vitamins (source). Compare it to pasta, and you get less nutrients for more calories. Though pasta isn’t bad for you…in fact, in moderation it’s actually part of a healthy diet! Here’s a quick breakdown of spaghetti squash nutrition info and facts:

  • Low in calories: 1 cup has 42 calories.
  • Full of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C: 1 cup has about 10% of your daily value.
  • Good source of fiber, which can help with digestive health and may also promote weight loss.

How to store spaghetti squash

The biggest benefit to winter squash: you can store it for months! Here’s what to know about keeping it fresh:

  • Store spaghetti squash in a cool dry place for up to 3 months!
  • Do not refrigerate spaghetti squash! It only lasts 1 to 2 weeks.
Spaghetti squash in pan

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Roasted spaghetti squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to cook spaghetti squash: the two best ways! Roast it in the oven until tender, or use a pressure cooker to make it fast and easy. Go to Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (23 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Using a small sharp paring knife, cut the spaghetti squash around the middle width-wise (not lengthwise!). To cut, pierce the knife into the squash and swing down, making small slices around the squash until it breaks in half. Use the knife to cut around the seeds, and then scoop them out with a spoon.
  3. Rub inside with the olive oil. Place the halves on baking sheet cut side up, and roast 40 to 55 minutes (depending on the size and freshness of the squash), until tender all the way through when pierced with a fork.
  4. Allow the squash to cool slightly, then use a fork to scrape out the squash into “spaghetti” strands. Place the noodles in a colander or strainer and rest for 10 minutes to remove any extra moisture.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, or use in our Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti or Pesto Spaghetti Squash.
  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Plant based

Keywords: How to cook spaghetti squash

More squash recipes

There are lots of tasty ways to eat squashes of all types! Here are a few squash recipes you might enjoy:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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