How to Cook Spaghetti Squash 4 Ways (VIDEO)
How long do you cook spaghetti squash? Find out with the three BEST ways to cook spaghetti squash. Roast, boil, microwave, or toss in the crock pot!
This season is all about the autumn squash. I love seeing the piles of pumpkins, acorn squash, delicata squash, and more. One type of fall and winter squash I always pick up is spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash is just so much fun! It’s completely solid when raw, but once cooked the flesh breaks up into spaghetti like strands that can be used in a variety of dishes. There are a few questions that arise when many of us think of spaghetti squash. How do you cook spaghetti squash? How long do you cook spaghetti squash? How the heck do you even open a spaghetti squash?
I have a round-up of spaghetti squash recipes coming your way soon, so I thought I’d put together a comprehensive post all about how to cook spaghetti squash. There are several different methods for cooking spaghetti squash, from the slow cooker crock pot, to the stove, to roasting in the oven. I’ll show you all three ways, and you can choose the method you like best.
How to Open Spaghetti Squash
For many people, myself included, getting into the squash is the hardest part. I wouldn’t be surprised if spaghetti squash was on a Top 10 Most Dangerous Foods list somewhere. Spaghetti squash is round, wobbly, and incredibly hard, making the risk of cutting yourself pretty great. Think of cutting open raw spaghetti squash a little like carving a pumpkin. Go slowly and saw around it either lengthwise or crosswise. I find a serrated knife works best, but use what feels safest for you. For spaghetti squash boats, you’ll need to cut lengthwise. Cutting the squash crosswise is preferable if you’re cooking spaghetti squash rings or simply transferring the cooked squash to a bowl, since you will end up with longer squash noodle strands. The strands run crosswise, so cutting the squash lengthwise does cut into the strands, making them shorter. Once you’ve cut into the squash, simply scoop out the seeds and you’re ready to cook.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven
Roasting spaghetti squash is my go-to method, because I just love serving the squash in it’s own skin boat. It’s the perfect container for chili, lentil Bolognese, lasagna fillings, and so much more. Just pop your prepped spaghetti squash on a baking dish, brush with a little olive oil and bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. You can bake it cut side up or down. I’ve decided I prefer cut side up so that the squash doesn’t get mushy.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave
No time to cook? I hear you! Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and season with a little salt and pepper. Place cut side up in a microwaveable dish. Add about half an inch of water to the dish and cover. Cook for 10 minutes or until cooked. The credit for the microwave spaghetti squash come from Trader Joe’s.
How to Boil Spaghetti Squash
Did you know you can boil whole spaghetti squash on the stove? This is an awesome method if you’re just too scared to cut hard spaghetti squash in half. I prefer most vegetables roasted rather than boiled, but since spaghetti squash doesn’t really get caramelized the way other veggies do, I am all for boiling it! I got perfect results with this method. The only trick is to choose a deep pot and don’t overfill it. The squash will float, and that’s okay. Give it a turn every 10 minutes so that it cooks evenly. Simmer the squash over low heat with the lid slightly off the pot until fork tender, about 30 minutes. Carefully drain in a colander and cut in half crosswise before discarding the seeds and transferring the flesh to a serving bowl.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in a Slow Cooker Crock Pot
It doesn’t get much easier than this, guys. Toss your favorite sauce in the slow cooker and top with spaghetti squash that have been halved crosswise and seeds removed. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 and scoop the spaghetti squash out. You can also cook the WHOLE squash without the sauce by adding an inch of water to the bottom. Just be sure to prick the squash all over, and all the way through, with a knife so your squash doesn’t explode! As the water from the spaghetti squash does cook into the crock pot, I recommend using a nice thick sauce that can handle a little more liquid.
There you have it! Four easy ways to cook spaghetti squash. Once it’s cooked you can keep it simple by adding a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper, and your favorite veggies, legumes, or nuts, or add your favorite rich and hearty sauce. As the temperature is still warm here, my favorite spaghetti squash dish was the one pictured above. This was with the boiled method (notice the long strands) and topped with mini heirloom tomatoes, olive oil, and fresh basil. Some chickpeas or olives would have been a nice addition.
What is your favorite way to cook spaghetti squash? Have you tried all four of these methods?
Update 2019: How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot!
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- prepared marinara sauce (optional)
- To roast the spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut side with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking dish and roast until tender, about 35 minutes. Let cool until safe to work with, then use a fork to scrape up the spaghetti squash strands. Top with your favorite sauce.
- To boil the spaghetti squash, wash the squash and place in a deep pot. Add enough water to simmer the squash without it overflowing. The squash will float and that is okay. Bring to a low simmer and turn the squash every 10 minutes to ensure it's cooking evenly. Cook with the lid partially on until the squash is fork tender, about 20-30 minutes. Drain in a colander. Carefully cut in half crosswise and scoop out the flesh.
- To microwave the spaghetti squash, carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place in a microwaveable dish filled with about 1/2-inch of water. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender.
- To cook the spaghetti squash in a slow cooker, cut in half crosswise. Scoop out the seeds. Add marinara sauce or about 1 inch of water to the slow cooker crock and place the spaghetti squash halves cut-side-down on top. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours until tender. You can also place one or two whole spaghetti squashes into the slow cooker crock with an inch of water. Just be sure to prick the squash all over with a knife first so it doesn't explode.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 222mg Carbohydrates: 12g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 5g Protein: 1g