How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

5 from 2 votes

Learn how to make cut spaghetti squash into halves or rings, then grab easy tutorials for cooking squash in the microwave, stovetop or oven!

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Learn how to cook spaghetti squash three ways. Make it on the stovetop, in the oven, or use the microwave. Cut the spaghetti squash in half or slice it into rings. This adaptable veggie’s mild taste goes well with traditional pasta sauces, butter, and herbs. Or, serve cold in a salad.

How to cook spaghetti squash - 4 ways

Low in calories and carbs but packed with fiber, spaghetti squash can be a great, gluten-free swap for traditional pasta.

How to cut spaghetti squash

Cutting spaghetti squash lengthwise

  1. Use a heavy, sharp knife and cut off the stem end.
  2. Take a small slice off bottom end, as well.
  3. Place the spaghetti squash on the cutting board with the wide cut side down. Slice the squash lengthwise from top to bottom.
  4. You will see a hollow full of seeds.
  5. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds, being careful not to scoop too deeply into the edible flesh.
  6. Now you’re ready to cook the squash.
6 image collage to show how to cut spaghetti squash into boats

Cutting spaghetti squash widthwise

Cutting the squash widthwise and removing the seeds will give you much longer strands as the squash strands grow in a spiral from the bottom to the top. 

  1. Use a heavy, sharp knife and cut off the stem end.
  2. Take a small slice off bottom end, as well.
  3. Hold the spaghetti squash longwise down. Start at one end and slice 1″ to 2″ rings.
  4. Keep the rings as even as possible.
  5. You’ll notice the rings will each have seeds in them.
  6. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from the rings’ middles and then cook the rings.
6 image collage to show how to cut squash into rings

how to cook spaghetti squash

cooking squash in microwave

  • Find a microwave safe dish, preferably one with a cover, that will hold the squash. Add about 1/2″ of water into the dish, then place the squash in top side town. (If you have a large squash or are using squash rings, work in batches.)
  • Cover and cook until very tender and soft. Test by piercing with a knife. Rake up the squash strands and use as desired.
2 image collage to show the microwave instructions

cooking SPAGHETTI SQUASH On THE stovetop

  • Place the squash in a pot large enough to hold it, cover with water, add about two tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil. (This can work with squash halves or rings.)
  • Simmer and cook until tender. Then strain and drain well. Allow to cool a bit before removing the squash from the rind.
2 image collage to show the stovetop instructions

Roasting Spaghetti squash halves in oven

  • Brush olive oil on the squash, sprinkle with salt and place the squash cut side down on the pan.
  • Roast in the oven until tender. Carefully pressing the skin of the squash to test for doneness.
  • Let stand until cool enough to handle. Then flip over and shred the inside with two forks.
3 image collage to show the oven instructions for squash boats

cooking squash rings in oven

  • While you can cook rings in the microwave or on the stovetop, baking in the oven is the most popular. Brush olive oil on both sides of the rings, and place in the pan with space between each.
  • Roast in the oven until tender.
  • Finally, pull the squash strands apart with a fork.
3 image collage to show the oven instructions for squash rings

Recipes with spaghetti squash

Frequently asked questions

Can you freeze spaghetti squash?

Spaghetti squash is best enjoyed shortly after cooking unless you want to take an extra step: Put the strands in a colander with a bowl beneath it and drain overnight in the refrigerator. Package drained squash in an airtight container and freeze.

What do you serve with spaghetti squash?

Thanks to its mild flavor, you can sub spaghetti squash for regular pasta. Try it with all types of marinara or pesto. Or simply toss with butter, herbs – like oregano or sage – and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

How do you use spaghetti squash in a salad?

Let the spaghetti sauce cool (or cool and drain as in directions for freezing.) And then, toss with any vinaigrette or add to a favorite salad. Again, its mild flavor makes it ideal with almost any flavor profile you want to make with it!

Large bowl with spaghetti squash and fork for pulling strands

Spaghetti squash offers a delicious and unprocessed substitute for pasta, and small kitchen helpers love the magic of turning a gourd into long strands. Yields will vary by squash but expect around one cup of “spaghetti” per pound of squash.

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Learn how to make cut spaghetti squash into halves or rings, then grab easy tutorials for cooking squash in the microwave, stovetop or oven!
5 from 2 votes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Instructions

Cut the Spaghetti Squash

  • Use a large sharp knife to cut off the stem and bottom edges of the spaghetti squash.
  • To cut lengthwise: Place the spaghetti squash on a cutting board with the wide cut side down. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise from the top to the bottom.
  • To cut widthwise: Place the spaghetti squash on a cutting board and slice 1-2 inch rings all the way across the spaghetti squash, keeping the rings as even as possible.
  • Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and discard.
  • Cook the Spaghetti Squash

Microwave Instructions

  • In a microwave safe dish that will hold the squash (you may need to do one at a time), place about a ½ inch of water followed by the squash, cut side down.
  • Cover and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes. Pull the squash strands apart with a fork. Serve with olive oil and salt.

Stovetop Instructions

  • Place the squash in a pot large enough to hold it, cover with water, add about two tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, cook for 15-18 minutes, strain and let drain well and steam out before removing the squash from the rind. Serve with olive oil and salt.

Oven Instructions for Squash Boats

  • Preheat oven to 400°F with a baking pan inside.
  • Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Brush the olive oil on the squash and sprinkle with salt. Place the squash cut side down on the pan.
  • Roast in the oven until tender, about 35-45 minutes. Carefully press the skin of the squash to test for doneness.
  • Let stand until able to handle, about 10 minutes. Then flip the squash over and shred the inside with two forks.

Oven Instructions for Squash Rings

  • Preheat oven to 400°F with a baking pan inside.
  • Carefully place the squash rings on the baking pan with space between each. Brush the tops of squash with olive oil and sprinkle salt.
  • Roast in the oven until tender, about 30-40 minutes. Pull the squash strands apart with a fork.

Notes

Storage: Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use. 
Photo Credit: Erin Jensen

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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How to cook spaghetti squash - 4 ways

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Comments

  1. Thanks for a great tutorial, Yumna. I didn’t know that spaghetti squash grew in a spiral, how wonderful is that! A few questions: Can the rind be eaten? Can the rind be used in broth, stock, soup?