The Best Way To Cook Spaghetti Squash

Here’s how to cook spaghetti squash if you want long pasta-like strands and spaghetti squash that isn’t watery! Just cut the squash widthwise, into rings and roast it.

As I plan content for the year ahead, I really want Eating Bird Food to be a resource for you! Wondering how to prepare a certain ingredient? Have questions about why certain foods are considered healthy and others aren’t? Want to learn more about meal prepping? I want to be your go-to girl for all things healthy eating.

So in light of that, let’s talk all about spaghetti squash! You’ve probably seen it at the grocery store or pinned recipes with spaghetti squash on Pinterest, but have you ever made it? If not, get excited because I’m diving into all the nitty gritty details for you!

WATCH HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH:

What is Spaghetti Squash?

Let’s back wayyy up… what the heck is spaghetti squash? It’s a yellow, oval shaped squash that is in season in the fall and winter months. When cooked, you can shred the insides into long, noodle-like strands. Hence the name: spaghetti squash. The texture is a tiny bit more fibrous than pasta, but makes a great substitute for regular spaghetti noodles.

What Does Spaghetti Squash Taste Like?

Don’t hate me for this answer, but it doesn’t really have a ton of flavor. Although, I do think it has a little bit of sweetness to it. It is amazing as a sub for pasta because it lets whatever sauce you’re using shine. You can get crazy with your sauce flavorings and know that the spaghetti squash will truly be a base and not impart too much flavor.

Fork twirling a forkful of roasted spaghetti squash.

How Do You Cut Spaghetti Squash?

First thing first, before you even get to the cooking part, you have to cut it. I’ll be honest and say I don’t love cutting spaghetti squash, but it’s so much easier if you have a large, sharp knife. We have a Shun chef’s knife that I love. Another option is to poke a couple small holes in the squash using a fork and then microwave the entire squash for about 5 minutes to soften the squash a bit and make the process a little easier. Go slow and be extra careful!

When it comes to which way to cut spaghetti squash there are two main ways — widthwise and lengthwise. I used to cut my squash lengthwise all the time until I realized that the squash’s strands run horizontally in circles around the inside of the squash and if you cut it widthwise into rings you get longer spaghetti strands. And the rings help reduce moisture as well so the spaghetti squash isn’t watery after it’s done roasting.

Of course, there are certain spaghetti squash recipes (like these lasagna bowls and these tuna noodle casserole bowls) that require cutting spaghetti squash lengthwise, but I prefer cutting it widthwise if I’m not making spaghetti squash bowls!

After cutting, spaghetti squash is really simple to cook! There are a few different methods you can use.

Rings of sliced spaghetti squash on a roasting pan, topped with olive oil, salt and pepper.

How to cook spaghetti squash

1. Bake/Roast

  • Whole: Preheat your oven to 375°F degrees. Use a knife to prick a few holes in the squash. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes (flipping half way through). You’ll know the squash is done when it feels tender when pierced with a knife. Let squash cool before cutting it open, scooping out seeds and separating the strands.
  • Cut widthwise: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Slice ends off the squash, then cut widthwise into halves or rings. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. (I love using a grapefruit spoon for this.) Place squash on rimmed baking sheet. Use hands to coat each piece with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then peel the skin away and separate the strands into long “spaghetti noodles”.
  • Cut lengthwise: Preheat your oven to 400°F. Slice your spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Flip your halves over so the cut side is on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes. You know your squash is done when you can press in the skin fairly easily. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes and then use a fork to scrape out/shred the inner part, making “spaghetti noodles”.

2. Microwave

Slice your spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise or widthwise. Scoop out the seeds and place the cut side down in a microwave-safe dish. Fill the dish with about 1 inch of water. Microwave on high for 10-12 minutes or until you can press into the skin fairly easily. Remove and let cool for about 15 minutes and then use a fork to scrape out/shred the inner part, making “spaghetti noodles”.

3. Instant Pot

Slice your spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise or widthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place the steamer basket in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water. Place the squash halves on top of the basket and secure the lid. Make sure the vent is turned to “sealed” and set the pressure cooker to 7 minutes on high pressure. Use the quick release when finished. Remove and let cool for about 15 minutes and then use a fork to scrape out/shred the inner part, making “spaghetti noodles”.

How to freeze spaghetti squash:

Let the cooked squash cool completely before transferring the noodles to freezer-safe bags. To prevent the squash from freezer burn, you’ll want to squeeze as much air as possible out of the bags. The squash should keep for up to 7-8 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to use your squash you can transfer from the freezer to the fridge to thaw until you’re ready to reheat, but if you don’t have time to thaw the squash, that’s okay — frozen spaghetti squash can be reheated quickly in the microwave, a steamer basket or even sautéed on the stovetop.

Is spaghetti squash healthy?

Spaghetti squash is low in calories, containing only 42 calories in one cup cooked. It also contains a small amount of carbohydrates, 10 grams, and a good amount of fiber, 2.2 grams or 9 percent of your daily needs. When substituting spaghetti squash for pasta you can save about 170 calories and 30 grams of carbs in a one cup serving!

I love using spaghetti squash in so many recipes. It’s a great spaghetti substitute when you’re looking for a grain-free option, but I also love batch cooking spaghetti squash to have on hand for weekly salads and bowls.

Sliced and roasted spaghetti squash.

Are you ready to tackle spaghetti squash? Do you have any other spaghetti squash questions I can answer? If not, let’s get cooking! See below for my go-to recipe.

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Fork twirling a forkful of roasted spaghetti squash.

The BEST Way To Cook Spaghetti Squash


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 cups

Description

A simple recipe for cooking spaghetti squash if you want long pasta-like strands and spaghetti squash that isn’t watery! Just cut the squash widthwise, into rings and roast it.


Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 12 teaspoons olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Slice ends off the squash, then cut widthwise into halves or rings. If you cut the squash into rings, try to make the rings about the same size, around 1-1/2 inches.
  2. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. (I love using a grapefruit spoon for this.)
  3. Place squash on rimmed baking sheet. Use hands to coat each ring with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping rings once about 15 minutes in.
  5. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes, then peel the skin away and separate the strands into long spaghetti noodles using a fork.
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 114
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 56mg
  • Fat: 4g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: roasted spaghetti squash, spaghetti squash, how to cook spaghetti squash

Check out some of my favorite spaghetti squash recipes and get cooking!

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    87 comments
    1. Michelle
      December 16, 2020 AT 7:07 pm

      Genius!! This turned out so deliciously! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

    2. Candace
      December 9, 2020 AT 6:27 pm

      I made this last night. Soooo easy and sooooo good. We have gone gluten free and I have never been a fan of spaghetti squash. But I now have a love for this new recipe. Soo good

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 10, 2020 AT 12:15 am

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Candace. I’m so glad you tried this method!!

    3. Suzie
      November 30, 2020 AT 1:59 pm

      THANK YOU VERY MUCH for this recipe!!! My mom just shared it with me and I can’t wait to try it! I am always looking for an easier way to cut and cook spaghetti squash😃

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 30, 2020 AT 11:41 pm

        Yay!! Definitely come back and let me know how this method works for you once you try it. 🙂

    4. Richard Fisher
      November 19, 2020 AT 4:30 pm

      Spaghetti squash recipe was genius. I call it the Pineapple ring method. My wife thoroughly enjoyed my cooking experience. I’m so impressed I’m going to check out your other recipes.

    5. Hannah
      November 18, 2020 AT 8:06 pm

      I love this recipe. So easy and the “noodles” come out perfectly. I love zucchini noodles, but now that I’ve learned this method for preparing spaghetti squash, I think I may like these even better.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 20, 2020 AT 3:22 pm

        Ahh yay! So glad this method turned out for you!!

    6. Simone
      November 1, 2020 AT 7:58 pm

      Great recipe! Spaghetti came out perfect. Was tough to cut the squash so I did put in microwave for a couple of minutes after putting fork holes. That did help to cut a bit better. Watching the video was also very helpful. Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 2, 2020 AT 12:01 am

        I’m glad you found the video helpful, Simone! And so glad this recipe turned out for you!

    7. Kim Tornberg
      November 1, 2020 AT 6:23 pm

      Roasted in rings. This recipe is a game changer! Absolute perfection!

    8. Emily
      October 22, 2020 AT 12:57 pm

      This was so easy! I had no idea spaghetti squash could be less effort. I love eating it but hesitate to buy it because of the pain of cooking, shredding, getting the water out, etc. This method was easy and the majority of the time was spent waiting for it to cook. Thanks EBF!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 24, 2020 AT 4:18 pm

        Ahh yay, isn’t this method a game-changer?! So glad you tried this way of cutting spaghetti squash and noticed a difference! 🙂

    9. Amy
      October 11, 2020 AT 8:57 pm

      This has completely changed my opinion on spaghetti squash. I’ve always seen recipes that have you cut it long ways and hated how watery it was. This is fantastic! Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 12, 2020 AT 11:00 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad you tried this method, Amy. Isn’t it such a game changer?!

        1. Janell
          October 14, 2020 AT 12:30 am

          Yep…pretty sure I will never do spaghetti squash any other way again.

    10. Sera
      October 10, 2020 AT 10:31 pm

      hmmm seems so tasty

    11. Kristin
      October 1, 2020 AT 5:23 pm

      Tried this method for the first time last month & it definitely works! It’s definitely tough to slice multiple rings as spaghetti squash is hard enough to slice in general, but so worth it- the strands of spaghetti squash are not moist and are removed so easily!

    12. Kim
      September 30, 2020 AT 12:54 am

      I followed the recipe exactly and mine still did not come out like that 🙁 Everything was still clumped together. Help please.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 30, 2020 AT 1:12 am

        Oh no! Sorry to hear that, Kim. What do you mean clumped together? Did you use a fork to The squash didn’t turn into long strands once you let cool and separated with a fork?

    13. Sherry
      September 27, 2020 AT 9:31 pm

      This is my new go to method for spaghetti squash! Love the reduced cook time most of all 🙂 Thank you!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 28, 2020 AT 2:44 pm

        Yay!! Isn’t it the best?! So glad you tried this method, Sherry. 🙂

    14. Kim B
      September 27, 2020 AT 4:54 pm

      LOVE this technique!! Microwaving it didn’t make it THAT much easier for me (and I had a good, sharp knife!) but then I remembered I didn’t have to cut all the way through, just to the seeds. if you showed that in your video, sorry I didn’t watch it. Oops! LOL I think I’m going to break out my electric carving knife next time and see if that works.

    15. Elaine Gellings
      September 3, 2020 AT 4:15 pm

      So much easier than what I was taught

    16. Sarah
      August 17, 2020 AT 9:10 pm

      This recipe is a game changer! It makes the whole process easier, from prep to shredding. Will never go back to cutting it length-wise. It also cooks faster and eliminates the wateriness you usually get. Thank you for sharing!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 18, 2020 AT 4:13 pm

        I’m so pumped you tried this method, Sarah! Thanks so much for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it.

    17. Barbara
      August 4, 2020 AT 7:41 pm

      I had never cooked a spaghetti squash before but this was very easy. Well, I say easy, it was actually like trying to cut a coconut, so I think I need a sharper knife, but after the cutting it was a breeze. Thank you

      1. Jc
        August 6, 2020 AT 7:19 pm

        Barbara, if you microwave the spaghetti squash for a few minutes (3-4 minutes) before you try to cut it, it is so much easier to slice it up.

    18. Laura
      July 17, 2020 AT 12:17 pm

      I cooked this last night and my mind was officially blown! I have never cooked spaghetti squash before, but it will be my go-to for spaghetti from now on!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 17, 2020 AT 6:31 pm

        Ahh yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Laura! I’m glad you tried this method of cooking spaghetti squash. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    19. Lori
      July 13, 2020 AT 4:38 pm

      I baked it using your ring method and now have the perfect “spaghetti” for my chicken parmesan dinner. Thank you for sharing this method and posting the video which was very easy to follow.

    20. Rochelle
      July 12, 2020 AT 2:35 pm

      Spaghetti squash turned out great! Now I’m going to make your pad thai with it!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 13, 2020 AT 1:17 pm

        Ahh yay!! Can’t wait to hear what you think, Rochelle. 🙂

    21. Rena
      July 10, 2020 AT 6:09 pm

      Game changer!!! Soooo delicious. I make this with plain tomato sauce or a meat tomato sauce and it’s delicious.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 10, 2020 AT 8:09 pm

        Yay!! So glad you enjoy cooking spaghetti squash this way. Thanks for trying it and for taking the time to leave a comment + star rating. I appreciate it. <3

    22. Lauren Ann Rabinovitz
      May 27, 2020 AT 3:58 pm

      I have had a love affair with spaghetti squash for a long time, but this cooking method has made it SO much more intense! Wow, can’t believe how delicious this was!

      I still struggle with freezing- any suggestions? Also, any tips for knowing when to remove from the oven? Mine was a TINY bit overcooked closer to the peel.

    23. carly
      May 21, 2020 AT 9:07 pm

      I could not believe how easy this was!! I microwaved my squash for 2 min before cutting it and it just took a little muscle! I have never made spaghetti squash before and this was SO TASTY i don’t think ill go back to regular spaghetti!! thank you 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 22, 2020 AT 8:01 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Carly!! I’m so glad this method worked for you and that you enjoyed the spaghetti squash. 🙂

    24. Adrienne
      May 13, 2020 AT 12:37 pm

      Thank you! It is true this is the best way to do it! I’ve tried all the “easiest ever” roasting and prepping and it’s always soupy and a pain to get all the seeds out after roasting.

    25. Steven @ The Kitchyn
      April 24, 2020 AT 5:48 pm

      Wow! My first time ever making spaghetti squash and it was delicious!! I could have eaten half of it right after baking lol.

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