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Ready to switch up your pasta night? Try spaghetti squash! This amazing vegetable turns into tender, noodle-like strands after baking and makes a great low-carb alternative to traditional spaghetti. It’s easy to prepare and very versatile. I’ll show you how to bake spaghetti squash perfectly every time and then mix it with a simple, delicious blend of butter, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. This dish is comforting and light, with a subtle, earthy sweetness that pairs perfectly with the rich flavors of the added ingredients.

Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta in dishes like Pasta al Limone, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Spaghetti, and Caprese Pasta.

Why You’ll Love This Spaghetti Squash Recipe

  • Simplicity: This dish is foolproof with just a few basic ingredients and easy steps.
  • Versatility: Enjoy it as a main course or a side dish—spaghetti squash fits any meal.
  • Health Benefits: Spaghetti squash is a nutritious pasta alternative, packed with vitamins.
  • Flavorful: Butter, garlic, and Parmesan make every bite of this spaghetti squash recipe delicious.
  • Leftovers: The recipe makes enough for more than one serving, so you can enjoy it again later.

Ingredients

This section lists the ingredients for baking spaghetti squash and our spaghetti squash recipe. For full measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

For The Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • Spaghetti Squash: Look for a squash that is firm to the touch, without any soft spots, and feels heavy for its size. The stem should be dry and intact. Keep your uncooked squash in a cool, dry place, and it should stay fresh for about a month.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is preferred due to its rich flavor and high nutrient content, as it undergoes minimal processing. It adds a distinct, authentic olive taste to the dish. However, for a milder flavor, feel free to use light olive oil.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: These classic seasonings are key for enhancing the natural taste of the squash.

For The Spaghetti Squash Recipe

  • Butter: Salted butter is used to enrich the dish with its creamy flavor.
  • Garlic: Use thinly sliced garlic to infuse the squash with a warm, aromatic quality.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Whenever possible, opt for freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add a sharp, salty finish to the dish.

RELATED: 8 Healthy & Delicious Single Serving Meals

How To Cut Spaghetti Squash

For prepping your spaghetti squash, here’s what you’ll need:

  • A sturdy chef’s knife
  • A towel for drying and stabilizing the squash
  • A cutting board
  1. Prep the Squash:
    • Select an oval-shaped spaghetti squash, which is easier to slice into.
    • Wash and dry the squash completely to ensure a safe, slip-free cutting process.
    • Position the squash on a sturdy cutting board.
    • With a sharp chef’s knife, trim off the stem and the bottom ends of the squash to create stable, flat cutting surfaces.
  2. Cutting and Cleaning:
    • Stand the squash upright on one of the flat ends and slice it down the middle lengthwise.
    • Use a spoon to remove the seeds from each half, leaving a clean cavity ready for cooking.
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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

  1. Preheat and Prepare: Set your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Take the spaghetti squash halves and place them on a baking sheet with a heavy base. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each half. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Rub the oil and seasoning over the inside and outside skins of the squash for even flavor.
  3. Bake: Turn the squash halves cut side down on the baking sheet. Cover the sheet with aluminum foil to create a steamy environment for even cooking. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake until the outer shell feels soft to the touch, which should take about 45-50 minutes, but this may vary if your squash is particularly large or small.
  4. Cool and Shred: Once baked, remove the squash from the oven and let it cool enough to be handled safely. Use a fork to gently scrape out the squash flesh into strands that look like noodles. Enjoy your spaghetti squash as a delicious, low-carb alternative to pasta.
six steps showing the process of cooking spaghetti squash.

Expert Tips

  • Sharp Knife for Cutting: Employ a large, sharp knife for slicing through the spaghetti squash. Position the squash on a stable cutting board, trim off both ends, then cut down the middle. Should the knife become lodged, start again from the initial cut and slice from the opposite direction for ease.
  • Additional Cooking Time: Should the spaghetti squash still be firm after the initial baking time, don’t hesitate to place it back in the oven. Continue to bake until it reaches the desired tenderness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if spaghetti squash is fully cooked?

To check if your spaghetti squash is fully cooked, press the skin with your finger—it should be soft and give way under pressure. Be cautious; the squash will be very hot. If the skin doesn’t dent and feels hard, continue to bake it for a few more minutes.

How should I store leftover spaghetti squash?

Once cooked, spaghetti squash should be stored in a sealed container in the fridge, where it will keep for up to one week. For longer storage, it can be frozen for up to three months.

Can I cook spaghetti squash in a slow cooker?

While baking is my preferred method for a crispier texture, cooking spaghetti squash in a slow cooker is possible. Here’s how to do it:
Clean the squash thoroughly and dry it. Make several small punctures in the squash with a fork to allow steam to escape.
Place the squash in a large slow cooker. For a 3-pound squash, cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 5-6 hours. Add one additional hour of cooking time for each pound over 3 pounds.
After cooking, carefully remove the squash from the slow cooker. Let it cool until it’s manageable, then cut it open, remove the seeds, and use a fork to shred the flesh into strands, as shown in the guide images.

RELATED: Recipes For Empty Nesters

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Cool: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Learn to cook spaghetti squash with ease, and enjoy our special recipe of delicious spaghetti squash tossed with butter, garlic, and Parmesan for a delightful meal.

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

For the Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic -thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
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Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  • Wash the spaghetti squash under cool running water and then dry it thoroughly with a towel.
  • Cut off the stem and base of the squash to create flat surfaces.
  • Stand the squash upright on one of its flat ends and slice it down the middle horizontally to create two halves.
  • Use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds from each half.
  • Lightly drizzle the olive oil over the cut surface of each squash half, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Lightly coat the outer skin of the squash with oil as well.
  • Place the squash halves cut-side down in a baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the skin gives easily under pressure and the inside is tender.
  • Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh with a fork to create spaghetti-like strands.

Prepare the Garlic Parmesan Mixture

  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 ½ minutes. Add the spaghetti squash strands, tossing for about 2 minutes until well-heated. Mix in the Parmesan cheese and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Notes

    • Sharp Knife for Cutting: Employ a large, sharp knife for slicing through the spaghetti squash. Position the squash on a stable cutting board, trim off both ends, then cut down the middle. Should the knife become lodged, start again from the initial cut and slice from the opposite direction for ease.
    • Additional Cooking Time: Should the spaghetti squash still be firm after the initial baking time, don’t hesitate to place it back in the oven. Continue to bake until it reaches the desired tenderness.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 201kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 481mg, Potassium: 268mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 377IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. Margaret says:

    This was so easy and the spaghetti squash was very tasty. Thank you for the wonderful recipes, this is a delightful place to find new and interesting cooking challenges.

  2. Denise says:

    First time making spaghetti squash. Easy recipe, used Cabot 5 cheese Italian shredded cheese. Very tasty. Thanks for sharing 😊

  3. Caitlyn says:

    Hi this will be my first time trying the recipe, I can’t wait! A bit of clairfication, please Your description says heat the oven to 400f but the actual recipe say 375? What do you suggest?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      Thanks for catching that! It’s 400 degrees.

  4. Melissa says:

    Have you tried baking the squash whole and just poking it like you would a baked potato? I baked my spaghetti squash like that at 350 for about 45-50 min and turning over half way through.
    After I let it rest, I cut it in half then scooped out the seeds and stuff. Then I was able to get almost all of the squash out, down to the skin. And it was still that crunchy, nutty flavor that is spaghetti squash and not over cooked, baby food!

  5. Emely says:

    It’s my first time baking spaghetti squash and I’m so glad you mentioned consistency in a previous comment. I searched everywhere looking for it and no one bothers to mention it. I popped my spaghetti squash back in the oven after realizing it was probably under cooked. Thank you for your comments!!!!

    1. Joanie says:

      I’m so glad you found the comment helpful. Thanks for letting me know 🙂

  6. Lauren @ Wicked Spatula says:

    I’m making spaghetti squash chow mein today but I’ve never worked with it so I was thrilled to stumble across your post. So helpful!!

    1. Joanie says:

      I’m glad you found the post, Lauren. Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein sounds absolutely delicious 🙂

  7. Violet says:

    Thanks for the recipe it was very easy to fellow.

  8. lesa says:

    Mine came out…crunchy. I baked it goes 45 mins. Any ideas or suggestions?

    1. Joanie says:

      Lesa,
      The texture of spaghetti squash will not be as soft as regular pasta. There will always be a slight crunch to the spaghetti squash. You will know that the squash is completely cooked if there is a little “give” to the rind of the squash when you press on it and when the strands pull away from the rind easily. If your squash isn’t completely cooked after 45 minutes, I would recommend leaving the squash in the oven, covered for an additional 10 minutes to cook. Hope this helps.

  9. Andrea says:

    I am the only one who eats spaghetti squash in my house. They are too large to eat the whole squash. Can I save half uncooked and covered in the fridge? If so, how long do you think it will last?

    1. Joanie says:

      Hi Andrea, you can save the other half of the spaghetti squash by wrapping it in plastic wrap and storing it in the fridge. It’ll stay good for a few days. What I have done in the past is cooked up the entire spaghetti squash and stored the remaining portion in the freezer. To do this, portion the spaghetti squash into smaller containers and when you want to eat it, defrost the squash and then heat it in a skillet with a little olive oil and flavor it with herbs and parmesan cheese. You will find that the squash will be watery when defrosted but by warming it in the skillet, the water will evaporate.

  10. Susan says:

    Your recipe for spaghetti squash sounds so easy, I am looking forward to cooking it. This will be my first attempt with this squash. So thank you for your help.

    1. Joanie says:

      Thanks, Susan. It’s such an easy vegetable to cook, the hardest part is cutting it down the middle. I’d love to know how you prepared your spaghetti squash.