The best way to eat everyone’s favorite squash? These spaghetti squash spaghetti noodles are sauteed with herbs, then topped with marinara and Parmesan.
What’s better than scooping the inside of a squash out into long noodles? Pretty much nothing. We’re smitten with the spaghetti squash over here! There are so many ways to eat everyone’s favorite squash, from swirled with pesto to pad Thai. But the very best way to eat it? As spaghetti! Of course Italian flavors go well with a squash like this, so we’ve doused it in our very favorite marinara sauce and called it meal. Here’s how to cut spaghetti squash, how to cook it, and how to make it into a healthy dinner idea.
Quick video: How to roast spaghetti squash (1 minute!)
Now, there are two ways to cook the squash for this recipe: in the oven or in the Instant Pot! To demonstrate, we made you a quick video showing how to cut it and roast it. Because the easiest way to learn is to actually watch it, right? Here’s Alex showing how to cut and cook spaghetti squash (above)!
Two ways to cook spaghetti squash
The hardest part of spaghetti squash: figuring out how to cook it! There are pros and cons to each method. But if you have an Instant Pot, we’d recommend you use it for this one! The flavor difference between the two methods is not perceptible, and the pressure cooker method takes only 30 minutes. (Score!)
Method 1: Roast it in the oven.
This method takes a little over 1 hour total. To get the longest noodles, you’ll cut the spaghetti squash width-wise instead of lengthwise. Because the strands of squash run width-wise, this method gives you long, luxurious noodles. Then you’ll roast it for 40 to 55 minutes, depending on the size and freshness of the squash. Go to: Roasted Spaghetti Squash (the Right Way!).
Method 2: Cook it in the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot spaghetti squash takes only 30 minutes total! You’ll cut the spaghetti squash in the same way. Then it’s just a pressure cooker on High for 8 minutes and a quick release! After draining for 10 minutes, it ends up being just under 30 minutes. It’s the fastest way we know to get to spaghetti squash spaghetti! Go to: Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash.
Important notes on this spaghetti squash spaghetti!
Once you’ve cooked the spaghetti squash, you’ve gotten most of the effort out of the way! For this spaghetti squash spaghetti recipe, you’ll also saute the “noodles” with butter, garlic and herbs to infused those Italian flavors! Then top with your favorite marinara. Here are a few notes on this recipe to keep in mind:
- The noodles are heightened with garlic and herbs. To get the best flavor out of spaghetti squash noodles, don’t just eat them plain! Follow our method for sauteing them with garlic and herbs in the recipe below.
- Note the serving size: 2 to 3 servings. This recipe is for 1 spaghetti squash, and because they’re not as filling as normal noodles, we’d say it’s enough for about 2 to 3 servings. You can double the recipe, but if so you’ll have to use the roasting method. Instant Pot spaghetti squash only works for one squash at a time.
- IMPORTANT: Add protein to turn into a healthy dinner! Because squash noodles are not as filling as standard noodles, you’re definitely going to need some protein here. Depending on the protein, you could maybe stretch the servings to 3 to 4. See below for ideas! Or you can serve this as a side dish for 4 or more.
How to make spaghetti squash spaghetti a meal (protein ideas)
If you want to serve this as the main dish for a healthy dinner, you’ll need to add some filling protein! For the marinara, use your favorite jarred sauce or our Easy Marinara Sauce. Then decide how to add more protein to the meal. Here are some ideas for how to serve it:
- Goat cheese. Add dollops of goat cheese, or use our Creamy Goat Cheese Pasta Sauce.
- Meat. (Obvi.) Serve with your favorite bolognese sauce or meatballs.
- Lentils. To keep it vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based, try our Seasoned Brown Lentils: they’d be a perfect plant based protein adder.
- Lentil bolognese sauce. This one looks good.
- Veggie meatballs. This would add a bit of prep, but our Vegan Meatballs would go great here. Use a jarred red sauce to keep it simple.
- Add a filling side dish. Sides with lots of protein work too. Try a hearty salad with nuts and cheese, like our Tossed Salad or Beet Salad.
What people are saying
We had a few recipe testers give this spaghetti squash spaghetti a test run! Here’s what they had to say:
- “I loved sauteing the spaghetti squash with spices and butter and oil before adding sauce! Made it more flavorful! I’ll make spaghetti squash spaghetti like this always!” -Kristi
- “We all thought it was yummy, flavorful and we would love to have it again. I will put it in the Instant Pot rotation!” -Claire
This spaghetti squash spaghetti recipe is…
Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, follow the vegan option in the recipe below.Print
The best way to eat everyone’s favorite squash? Spaghetti squash spaghetti! The noodles are sauteed with herbs, then topped with marinara and Parmesan.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (3 pounds)
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons salted butter (or sub olive oil for vegan)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve (or Vegan Parmesan Cheese)
- Marinara sauce, to serve (use your favorite jarred sauce, or our Easy Marinara Sauce)
- Protein, if serving as a main dish (Since squash isn’t as filling as normal noodles, you may want to serve with meat, lentils or another plant based protein. We served with goat cheese, bread, and a salad)
- Cook the spaghetti squash: Make Roasted Spaghetti Squash or Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash.
- Mince the garlic.
- When the squash is cooked, heat a large skillet to medium low. Add the butter and olive oil and warm until melted. Add the garlic, oregano, basil, onion powder, and garlic powder. Warm, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes until garlic just starts to brown. Remove from heat and add squash noodles, kosher salt and grated Parmesan cheese. Toss until well combined. Taste, and add salt as necessary.
- Serve with your favorite marinara sauce and a bit more grated Parmesan cheese.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Roasted / Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Squash
Keywords: Spaghetti squash spaghetti
Other ways to eat spaghetti squash
Luckily this tasty squash is a veggie that many people seem to love. Here are some of our favorite spaghetti squash recipes:
- Spaghetti Squash with Pesto Here it’s served with pesto as an easy side!
- Spaghetti Squash Casserole Turn it into an Italian style casserole with cheese and pesto!
- Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai Why not turn it into your favorite takeout?
- Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese Even better, let’s go cozy comfort food.
Another great squash to try? Roasted Delicata Squash.
About the Authors
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 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.