Learn How to Cook Spaghetti Squash simply in the oven. A really great veggie side dish, or even make it as main dish to enjoy all winter long!
Have you been searching for the perfect way to cook spaghetti squash? Here is the best way to cook spaghetti squash! There are so many recipes online that explain that you poke the squash and even steam it at a lower temperature.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
There really is no need to cook it this way and we find that it will also result in mushy squash, which is fine if you’re trying to make a squash puree. We baked this squash just like we did our Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Dried Cranberries and Pinoli.
Another we we enjoy squash in the winter time is enjoying butternut squash like this Roasted Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Lasagna.
Spaghetti squash is sometimes like cilantro with the people I know: I find they either love it or they hate it. My friends that have said they aren’t a fan only experienced it as a pasta substitute. And truly, if you’re expecting the texture and the flavor of real spaghetti, you will be disappointed. This is squash and it’s got a really great flavor and texture when it’s cooked the right way.
So keeping an open mind that when you come across a recipe for spaghetti squash that says it tastes just like pasta, you may be disappointed. Keeping it real and saying it tastes just like stringy squash, and not a thing like pasta! But what’s great about it is you could enjoy it on its own or use it as a base in so many different ways!
There are methods where they say to poke holes in the whole or halved squash, add water to the pan (or casserole dish), and bake at a low temperature, like 350F. This method usually makes a more watery and mushy squash.
If you like your squash steamed, keep on doing it this way, there’s nothing wrong with that. Roasting the squash cut in half (without using any water) let’s you choose how soft or firm you like your squash by adjusting the baking time. Also, it gets nice and caramelized!! When you use water, you won’t have that lovely caramelized color which gives it added flavor.
Can you Microwave Squash?
I hadn’t intended to talk about this, but my post took another direction. As I am writing this post, I let my mom know I’m writing about how to cook squash. She energetically responded, “In a microwave! That’s how they used to do it in the 90’s. That’s when it become popular and everyone was microwaving. That was in the 90’s, alright!”.
So, there you go! If you happen to have learned how to microwave it, go ahead and do it that way! I just came across a Southern Living cookbook all about mircowaving (at a local thrift store)from the 90’s. I think she may be right! Mom then went on to tell me she knew a midwife in early 70’s that told her they microwaved their whole turkey! I did come across posts that shows how to microwave the whole squash cut in half and it looks nice, but it will not caramelize.
How to Slice Your Spaghetti Squash in Half
Spaghetti squash, like so many of the other squash, has very thick skins. It could be tricky to cut and maybe you won’t buy one because you feel you can’t cut it. It is essential to have a very sharp chef’s knife. I use a knife I typically don’t use for every day cooking to cut my squash because it is that sharp. Also important to make sure you put a tea towel (even paper towel would work) underneath your cutting board so it won’t slip (a chef’s trick learned from my hubs). You’ll need a sharp chef’s knife and a good cutting board that won’t slip. Pro tip: You can rest your cutting board on a wrung-out paper towel or kitchen towel to prevent it from moving around.
To review what you need to begin: very sharp chef’s knife and an extremely flat and non-slip surface that you will cut the squash on.
First step, hold the squash horizontally on the cutting board. Grab a hold of the squash and cut a small portion off the very top (and also bottom). I sometimes don’t cut off the bottom if it seems it’s standing alright without cutting it off. But it truly gives a more balanced way to cut it if you cut off a bit from the bottom edge.
Next step, turn the squash and hold it from the top end (the bottom end should be on the cutting board) Very carefully starting at the top of the squash begin to cut it in half slicing downward. Don’t go too fast and make sure your hand isn’t near the very sharp knife blade. If for any reason the knife gets stuck while you’re slicing it, ask for someone to help. Safety is always most important when using knives. I have read posts where they ask someone at the market to slice the squash in half. If you have that relationship at your market where you could ask for help, that would be the easiest way!
The best way to cook spaghetti squash
Once the squash is cut in half, scoop out the seeds and any stringy part. The next step is rub a little olive oil, salt and pepper on the inside. Place on a parchment lined baking tray cut-side down.
What temperature to cook spaghetti squash?
For a 1.5-2 pound spaghetti squash, these are the approximate times:
- cook at 425°F for 30-45 minutes
- cook at 400°F for 35-50 minutes
- cook at 375°F for 45-60 minutes
- cook at 350°F for 50-70 minutes
We baked ours at 425°F for about 30 minutes. Every oven is different. Just be sure to check your squash and make sure it’s not over baking. We like our strands not too mushy (more al dente).
PIN for later!
Searching for the BEST way to cook spaghetti squash? Look no further! This is the ONLY way you should cook spaghetti squash for the best results (no watery strands!)
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash approximately 2lbs
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking tray (or casserole) with parchment paper.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon (or ice-cream scooper) scrape out seeds and any stringy bits inside (keep the seeds to roast them, if you like).
- Drizzle the olive oil on the inside. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Rub it all in.
- Place squash cut side down on parchment lined trays. This recipe yields one squash (two halves). You could bake 4 halves (2 squash) at a time on a large baking sheet (just up the olive oil, salt and p Bake 30-40 minutes until tender and the sides are nice and caramelized.
- Let cool for a 5 (or more) minutes (it will be very hot to touch!!). Using a spatula, carefully flip over and use a fork to separate the squash into strands.
- Season with additional olive oil, salt and pepper, if desired. Enjoy as is or with a favorite sauce or topping.