How to Cook Spaghetti Squash 3 Ways

Unsure how to cook spaghetti squash? This post breaks down how to bake spaghetti squash, how to microwave spaghetti squash, and how to cook spaghetti squash in a slow cooker.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash - 3 Ways

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The Best Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash — what the heck do you do with this stuff? And does it even taste like spaghetti?

Spoiler: cooking spaghetti squash is actually really easy. You don’t have to do much, but spaghetti squash can be a beast to prepare for cooking. I’m going to share with you three ways that you can cook this tasty squash as well as what to do with spaghetti squash once you’ve cooked it.

Does it taste like spaghetti? I think both yes and no. After cooking, you can separate the flesh into thin, spaghetti-like strands of squash that resemble spaghetti. It doesn’t have a super strong taste (such as butternut squash) so it can be easily substituted in place of spaghetti noodles for a healthier, gluten-free “pasta.”

How to Prepare Spaghetti Squash for Cooking

Before I jump into how to cook spaghetti squash, it’s important that I first explain how to prepare spaghetti squash for the various cooking methods. No matter if you’re baking spaghetti squash, microwaving spaghetti squash, or cooking it in a slow cooker, there are a few preparatory steps you need to take first:

  1. Make sure your work surface and the knife are both dry so you don’t end up slipping and cutting yourself.
  2. Spaghetti squash is hard when it is uncooked. Before cooking it, you’re going to want to cut the squash very slowly and very carefully.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and discard the seeds (or roast them for a snack!). Don’t go overboard and scoop too much of the flesh out because you want to keep as much of that as you can.
  4. Brush the cut insides with olive oil.

Once you’ve brushed the inside of the spaghetti squash with olive oil, you’re ready to move onto the specific instructions I’ve shared below for the three cooking methods.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash 3 Ways

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

Learning how to bake spaghetti squash is arguably the easiest method mentioned in this post. Once the squash is in the oven, you can set a timer and walk away.

Here’s how to bake spaghetti squash:

  1. Wash the outside of your squash thoroughly.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Cut the spaghetti squash in half from stem to end.
  4. Brush the inside of the squash with olive oil.
  5. Place oiled side down in an oven-safe roasting or baking dish.
  6. Add 1/4 cup of water to the dish, optional, and cover with foil.
  7. Bake until done. (You’ll know the squash is done when it is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.)

How Long to Bake Spaghetti Squash

When roasting spaghetti squash, it’ll need to bake for roughly 30-45 minutes. When you flake through the flesh (like you would with fish), the squash will separate into thin, spaghetti-like strands (hence the name!)

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash -- 3 Ways

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How to Microwave Spaghetti Squash 

I was a bit skeptical of this method. When I first started hearing about it, I had visions of spaghetti squash exploding all over my microwave, looking like something out of a horror movie. I promise you, this is not at all what happens.

Here’s how to microwave spaghetti squash:

  1. Wash the spaghetti squash and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds.
  2. Brush the inside of the squash with olive oil.
  3. Place cut side down in an oven-safe roasting or baking dish and add 1/4 cup water to the dish.
  4. Pierce the outer side with a knife a few times. I don’t know if this is really necessary, but it makes me feel better that I’m not going to have a microwave explosion.
  5. Then, cook at full power anywhere from 5 – 15 minutes.

The spaghetti squash cook time using this method will depend on a couple things, like how big your squash is and the wattage of your microwave.

How to Make Spaghetti Squash in a Slow Cooker

  1. Wash the squash, then cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds.
  2. Brush the inside with olive oil.
  3. Then, place the squash oiled side down in a slow cooker.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of water.
  5. Cover and cook  for 1 – 2 hours on high or on low for 3 – 4 hours.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash - 3 Ways

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Can You Freeze Spaghetti Squash?

Yes, cooked spaghetti squash can be frozen for up to 8 months. Once cooked, let it cool completely and then packed into freezer bags. You can reheat the frozen squash without thawing it, if desired.

How Long Is Spaghetti Squash Good For?

Cooked spaghetti squash should be eaten within 5 days of making it.

What to Do with Spaghetti Squash

Now that you’ve cooked the spaghetti squash using one of the three techniques mentioned above, you might be wondering: what do I do with it now? 

What to do with spaghetti squash is an easy answer: drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with Parmesan, and season (to taste) with salt and pepper. That is the easiest way to serve it. Serving it this way is SUPER delicious and takes pretty much ZERO time and is an excellent side dish.

But, if you want to get a little more creative, here are 10 great spaghetti squash recipes that I’ve got my eye on to try. 

How do you like to cook spaghetti squash?

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash 3 Ways

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash 3 Ways

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Unsure how to cook spaghetti squash? This post breaks down how to bake spaghetti squash, microwave spaghetti squash, and how to cook spaghetti squash in a slow cooker.

Ingredients

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Olive oil

Instructions

How to bake spaghetti squash:

  1. Wash the outside of your squash thoroughly.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Cut the spaghetti squash in half from stem to end. Scoop out the seeds.
  4. Brush the inside of the squash with olive oil.
  5. Place oiled side down in an oven-safe roasting or baking dish.
  6. Add 1/4 cup of water to the dish, optional, and cover with foil.
  7. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. (You’ll know the squash is done when it is tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.)

How to microwave spaghetti squash:

  1. Wash the spaghetti squash and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds.
  2. Brush the inside of the squash with olive oil.
  3. Place cut side down in an oven-safe roasting or baking dish and add 1/4 cup water to the dish.
  4. Pierce the outer side with a knife a few times.
  5. Then, cook at full power anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. (Cook times will vary depending on how large your squash is).

How to make slow cooker spaghetti squash:

  1. Wash the squash, then cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds,
    Brush the inside with olive oil.
  2. Place the squash oiled side down in a slow cooker.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of water.
  4. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 hours on high or on low for 3 to 4 hours.

Notes

Cooked spaghetti squash should be eaten within 5 days. Alternately, it can be frozen for up to 8 months.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 95 Total Fat 4g Saturated Fat 1g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 3g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 43mg Carbohydrates 15g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 3g Sugar 6g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 2g
GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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