I get lots of questions about how to cook spaghetti squash, so today we’re sharing our favorite roasting method, a quick microwave method, nutrition insight and a few of my favorite spaghetti squash recipes here at Clean Cuisine.
Mother Nature’s spaghetti —the noodle-like strands of spaghetti squash are every bit as nutritious as they are delicious.
Like other hard-shelled winter squash, spaghetti squash is harvested in the early fall. But how do you cook spaghetti squash?
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
I love how simple it is to roast spaghetti squash in the oven. If I’m making a recipe with spaghetti squash, I start the oven first, add the spaghetti squash and let it roast while I’m cooking the rest of our dinner.
First you’ll want to cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop the seeds out.
Yes, it will feel like your scooping out a pumpkin at halloween.
Next, we love to season ours with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place face down on a baking sheet and bake for about 40-50 minutes.Print
Cooking spaghetti squash is so easy and full of nutrition. You can roast, bake or microwave to add to any recipe.
- 1 Spaghetti Squash (yellow to light orange in color and firm – about 8 inches to 12 inches long)
- Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil or
- Unrefined sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and pulp (just like cleaning out the inside of a pumpkin at Halloween.)
- Place on the baking sheet cut side down. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Outer skin will be soft when done and flesh will be very tender.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Pull a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate it into long strands. It comes out easily and looks like thin spaghetti.
How to Buy Spaghetti Squash
You want to look for spaghetti squash that is hard and rather heavy for its size. Pay attention to color too. Avoid spaghetti squash with soft spots and green color as this is a sign of immaturity – instead, look for a constant yellow or orange color.
Though at peak season in the fall, spaghetti squash is available year round in most parts of the United States and found all over the world. Do note spaghetti squash is sometimes called different things in different parts of the country such as vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, spaghetti marrow or spaghetti.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in Microwave
If you’re short on time or just want to use the microwave, you can add your spaghetti squash to a casserole dish.
Follow the instructions above by cutting the squash lengthwise and again, scooping the seeds out.
Then, add the spaghetti squash to a casserole dish with about 4-6 tablespoons of water to help steam the squash. Cover with a casserole dish cover and microwave for 6-8 minutes. Remove carefully — be mindful of the stream and let rest for about 10 minutes before moving the squash.
Use a form to gentle pull the strands of squash. We love to season ours with a little salt and pepper.
Spaghetti Squash Nutrition
Like all vegetables, spaghetti squash is filled to the brim with nutrition. From phytonutrients to antioxidants (including vitamin C), it is a particularly good source of super anti-aging and cardio-protective carotenoids.
A review of six studies looking at the connection between carotenoid-rich diets and prevention of heart disease found a positive correlation; in one of these studies, those who consumed at least one daily serving of carrots or squash had a 60 percent decrease in heart attack risk compared to those eating fewer than one serving.
Believe it or not, spaghetti squash also contains anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA.)
Did you know one cup of spaghetti squash contains around 350 mg of ALA omega-3 fats? Omega-3 essential fats are the fats we must obtain from food because your body can’t manufacture them. Omega-3’s are also the fats people eating a modern diet are most deficient in. These super good for you fats are highly anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective and even slimming.
One way omega-3 fats help with weight management is by improving sensitivity to insulin. The fact spaghetti squash is a high-volume, fiber-rich and low calorie food (1 cup cooked contains only about 40 calories!) also contributes to its slimming properties.
Spaghetti Squash Recipes
We have several spaghetti squash favorites — but these are our top 3 spaghetti squash recipes that circulate our monthly calendar. Hope you can find some inspiration for your menu!
Spaghetti Squash Recipe #1: Spaghetti Pie Recipe
Our Spaghetti Pie with Spaghetti Squash recipe is absolutely delicious and a new family favorite. It’s great to make ahead and then eat as leftovers on busy evenings.
Spaghetti Squash Recipe #2: Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns
Due to it’s mild, neutral flavor, spaghetti squash can easily be used in both savory, and sweet dishes. These delicious and savory hash browns are perfect for breakfast or dinner!
Spaghetti Squash Recipe #3: Spaghetti Squash and Zucchini
Made with zucchini and spaghetti squash, this vegetable pasta recipe was inspired by an incredibly simple yet surprisingly delicious entree I had recently at Chez l’Epicier, a farm to fork French Canadian restaurant on Palm Beach island.