The Ultimate Guide on Cooking Spaghetti Squash: For Beginners (And 10 Best Spaghetti Squash Recipes)

How to cook spaghetti squash

Find here the complete guide on how to cook spaghetti squash, tips on how to properly prepare them and some help from experts to try different popular recipes!

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Ultimate Guide on Cooking Spaghetti Squash

Introduction

Super Simple Spaghetti Squash Recipe Via superhealthykids

It is good news that when it comes to diet, people have awakened to the idea of eating healthy. So it is not surprising that when it comes to menus, recipes and food advertisement, conversion to a healthy food substitute is trending.

Shall we miss it, or join and enjoy the ride?

You do not need a long time to decide. Health is wealth!

Do you want a new healthy living? Let us start by adding spaghetti squash to your favorite dish!

Overview of Spaghetti Squash

What Is Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti squash Via steamykitchen

Spaghetti squash is a nutritious vegetable that belongs to the cultivar category under the family Cucurbita where cucumbers also come from. This is a winter squash or vegetable squash that are commonly called acorn squash or “Spaghetti Squash"

Since it is easy to grow and has a high value of nutrients, Spaghetti Squash growing is a popular gardening competition activity. Its harvest time is during late summer or early autumn. However, you do not need to worry since you can find it anywhere in the market or grocery stores anytime of the year.

Did curiosity raise about the spaghetti? Stay with me and you will know why!

What Does Spaghetti Squash Look Like?

Spaghetti Squash Via jovinacooksitalian

From all the squash variety we can find, this round or oblong spaghetti squash differs from others because its flesh resembles ribbons or thin strands of spaghetti when cooked. That is why it is called, “spaghetti” squash.

Its color also varies from a range of yellow to an orange shade. It has been said that the orange ones are rich in carotene and its seed found inside are larger than others. The flesh is a range of bright yellow or orange when ripe.

A monoecious kind of plant, it contains both the male and the female flower. You will observe that the male flowers have long stems that extend to the vines and the female ones with small round shape parts found under its petals.

What Does Spaghetti Squash Taste Like?

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Via kraftrecipes

Take note: No matter what color the spaghetti squash brings, it really does not matter since it all tastes the same

Once your spaghetti squash is already cooked, its flesh will separate in strands and this yellow flesh will look like spaghetti!​

But, does it really taste like spaghetti?​

The texture of the strands resembles angel pasta, that is tender and chewy but more breakable. It indeed does not taste like spaghetti. It tastes like a normal stringy and flavorful squash. The strands give you a crunchy sweet taste that is enough to please your longing to eat pasta.​

However, if you mix a little bit of marinara sauce or any sauce you fancy, it acts like magic, it would be delightfully tasty. Let us stop saying that it takes like spaghetti since it really is not. It has its own unique sweet, light, and nutty good taste that can turn out super delish when made.​

Spaghetti Squash Comparison To Other Food

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Via chowhound

Now, if we are really into comparing spaghetti squash to other food, the nearest I can think of is the comparison between this and other variety of squash. A comparison also with the ever-popular spaghetti pasta will do.

Shall we start?

I have always thought that substituting spaghetti squash to a real pasta is smart because the veggie is more nutritious than pasta. As I found out, both of them has its own good nutrients to offer. It is just a matter of choice, which one you will choose.

And in the comparison between spaghetti squash and butternut squash, our spaghetti squash has fewer nutrients to offer than the butternut. However, we can’t cook butternut like spaghetti, right?

Spaghetti Squash VS Pasta

Spaghetti Squash

Pasta

Physical attributes

Its flesh separates into thin strands when cooked

These thin spaghetti strands are made of egg, flour, oil, and salt

Taste

Crunchy, sweet, tender and chewy

Soft, crunchy, soggy and no taste

Nutrition

  • Low fat and salt
  • 27 calories
  • 7-grams of carbohydrates
  • Contains Fiber
  • Vitamin A, C
  • Loaded with antioxidants
  • 8% of Vitamin B-6
  • Provides riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin
  • 2% folate
  • 2.5% potassium
  • iron, phosphorus, and zinc
  • Low fat and salt
  • 158 calories
  • 31 grams of carbohydrates
  • Contains fiber
  • Rich in protein
  • 4% of Vitamin B-6
  • Delivers twice the amount of riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin
  • 30% Great source of folate
  • 1 % potassium
  • Twice the amount of iron, phosphorus, and zinc

Spaghetti Squash VS Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

Spaghetti Squash

Physical attributes

  • Shape: Bell shape
  • Weight: 2-4 pounds
  • Length: 1 foot
  • Rind: yellow to tan
  • Inner flesh: orange and softens when cooked
  • Shape: oval
  • Weight: 2-3 pounds
  • Length: less than 1 foot
  • Rind: vibrant yellow color
  • Inner flesh: pale yellow and separates to thin strands when cooked

Nutrition per 1 cup serving

  • 82 calories
  • Less than 1 gram of fat
  • No cholesterol
  • 6.6 grams of fiber
  • Zero protein
  • 457% of vitamin A and 52% of C
  • Small amounts of calcium and iron
  • 42 calories
  • 2.2 grams of fiber
  • Zero fat and protein
  • 3% of vitamin A and 9% of Vitamin C
  • Small amounts of calcium and iron

Nutrition Facts of Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash Broccoli Casserole Via mangiapaleo

Carbohydrates

There is a huge reason why we opt for spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta. It is a low-calorie (42 calories) and a low- carbohydrate (10 grams) veggie. It simply is an irresistible offer for someone who has implemented a strict diet.

You see, when you eat spaghetti squash rather than the pasta, you saved yourself from taking in additional 170 calories and 30 grams of carbohydrates per serving! Fewer carbs mean less blood sugar.

Paleo

Well, Paleo, as we all know, is a low-carb diet. Of course, spaghetti squash should be a strong contender when it comes to their recipes. The only thing you need is the perfect sauce and you can now dig in for a tasty meal.

Spaghetti squash is not limited to just a substitute for spaghetti pasta. It works great as in some ways for Paleo recipes.

  • A great binder for Paleo recipes like a casserole.
  • A pair for unlimited Paleo sauces and stews
  • A vegetable for any Paleo salads, stir-fries and so much more!

I will share with you a favorite Paleo spaghetti recipe later, at the bottom part of the article.

So, stick with me!

Benefits of Spaghetti Squash

I have already mentioned some of the nutritional benefits of spaghetti squash. In this part, let us focus on the all over the contribution of this vegetable to our health.

How useful do you think this winter squash is?

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash Via allrecipes

Aids weight loss

If you want to shed some fat in order to reduce weight, this spaghetti squash is the best candidate for diet

  • Spaghetti squash is low in calories, carbohydrates but high in dietary fiber. This dietary fiber helps makes you full and satisfies your hunger, but it helps you shed off weight.
  • Spaghetti squash slower down the rate of the ability of your body to absorb sugar and glucose. With this, the blood sugar levels in our body are stabilized and discourage the release of insulin responsible in storing fat.
  • Important: Simply eating this squash does not make you lose weight alone. A strict dietary discipline and plenty of exercises would greatly help to do the trick.

Your Kid's Spaghetti Via zliving

Antioxidants

  • We already know that spaghetti squash is more nutritious compared to pasta. This useful squash contains vitamin A and vitamin C which can aid in avoiding free radical damage to cells.
  • Spaghetti squash has a high-level content of Vitamin B riboflavin, niacin, and thiamin which encourages finest cellular function.
  • It also contains Beta-carotene that lessens the risk of atherosclerosis by dropping the cholesterol level and is important to people with insulin resistance

Eye Health

Aside from those antioxidants that I have mentioned, this winter squash also boasts with lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants are related to healthy vision and optimal eye health.

Helps Prevent Birth Defects

Surprised that Folate is also found in this spaghetti squash? Folate supports the creation and growth of new cells and aids prevention of birth deficiencies. So, this bright colored squash is ideal for pregnant women.

28 Weeks Pregnant – Size of a Spaghetti Squash Via colorfulfoodie

Promotes Cardiovascular Health

  • It is a fact that spaghetti squash is packed with potassium and so it is an ideal diet for people suffering from high blood pressure. It would surprisingly lower the blood pressure if eaten over time.
  • Potassium is a mineral that preserves proper muscles and nerve function thus making it beneficial for people with high blood pressure
  • The folate found in this squash helps toughens the walls of the blood vessels besides enhancing blood circulation

Anti-inflammatory to Fight Cancer and Arthritis

  • This winter squash can offer a large amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to stop heart diseases, infection, arthritis and different type of cancers.
  • The Omega-6 fatty acids are also ideal for stimulating proper brain function and are also vital for proper functioning of the body

Other Health Benefits

  • The most updated studies found out that this squash is good for prostate health and is also useful in treating benign prostate enlargement.
  • Another mineral found in this squash is manganese. Manganese helps in bone and tissue health, metabolism, calcium absorption and nerve function

Different Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash

After all the benefits that you can get out of a simple spaghetti squash, who would not want to eat it?

If you have been cooking spaghetti squash for a long time, probably, you have tried cooking them in so many ways. You see, there are recipes that call for it and surprisingly, they all end up yummy too!

Quick and Easy: Microwave Baked

Do you want to cook your spaghetti squash the speedy way? Of course with all those hectic schedules we have in our daily routines, we need to find a way to cook in a snap!

Cooking it in the microwave would only take a few minutes. Quick and easy, making it ready to go for any meal you planned for.

The Best Way: Traditional Oven Baked

Cooking spaghetti squash in a microwave is fast and easy. Anyhow it is still a delicious meal after all. However, the best way to cook it is the traditional oven way. Sure it takes a lengthy time matched to microwave but the tastes of the squash develop further in the oven.

Optional Way: Grilling Spaghetti Squash

The baking way is the most popular in cooking spaghetti squash. But do you know that there are other ways to do it too? Yes, you are not just limited to baking, but you can grill, boil, steam or cook it in an instant pot too!

You do not need to worry, there are just slight changes in the steps of trying other methods. You will be able to do it like a breeze!

Smoky Grilled Spaghetti Squash with Grilled Marinara Sauce Via gloriagoodtaste

How to do it?

STEP 1

Heat the grill to medium-high. Prepare the squash like what you did in baking

STEP 2

Put the spaghetti squash on the grill, this time, the cut side facing up

STEP 3

Grill for 20-25 minutes or until it is soft enough to pierce with the fork

STEP 4

Serve it hot, drizzled with your favorite cheese

For you to be able to see how is done, here is a video showing how to grill a spaghetti squash

How to Grill a Spaghetti Squash Via Halle Cottis

4th Way to Cooking Spaghetti Squash: In an Instant Pot

7-MINUTE SPAGHETTI SQUASH Via melskitchencafe

How to do it?

STEP 1

Prepare your squash in the same way you prepared using the ovens and the grill

STEP 2

Get your 2 halves of spaghetti squash and place it in the instant pot or rice cooker

STEP 3

Pour in one cup of water before closing the lid

STEP 4

Set timer for 7 minutes

STEP 5

When time is up, release the lid and let it cool down

STEP 6

Prepare it as needed in your recipe, and serve!

For you to be able to see how is done, here is a video showing how to cook a spaghetti squash using an instant pot or rice cooker

Squash Recipes - How to Make Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash Via Allrecipes

Tricks

How to cut a spaghetti squash?

What you will need:

Spaghetti squash

Spoon

Steps on how to cut:

  • STep 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • step 4

Get your sharp knife and cut off one end of the spaghetti squash so that you can let it stand flat on the cutting board

For you to see how cutting a spaghetti squash is being done, here is a video for your convenience. Enjoy!

How To Cut a Spaghetti Squash Via Melissa Joulwan

How to Boil your Spaghetti Squash?

Boiling Spaghetti Squash

How to do it?

STEP 1

Get a stock pot that is huge enough to hold the spaghetti squash and put water in it, cover and let it boil

STEP 2

When the water is boiling, drop the spaghetti squash gently inside

STEP 3

Cover the pot and lower the heat. This will prevent the water from rising and spilling from the pot

STEP 4

Cook for 30 minutes

STEP 5

Turn off the heat, put the spaghetti squash in a colander and let it cool

STEP 6

Do the same steps in cutting and preparation of the squash

Here is a video to show you in detail how to boil a spaghetti squash

HOW TO PREPARE SPAGHETTI SQUASH Via YourProduceGuy

How to Bake Spaghetti Squash?

Using the Microwave Oven:

You can also call this microwave baking process as steaming

What you will need:

Brush

Olive Oil

Salt

Ground pepper

Fork

  • STep 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • STEP 4
  • STEP 5
  • STEP 6

With your well-prepared spaghetti squash, coat each half with oil. Dip the brush into the oil and start coating the inside of the squash

Here is a short video showing you how to bake spaghetti squash in the microwave oven!

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in Microwave Via HowToCreatorss

Using the Traditional Oven:​

In baking or roasting spaghetti squash in the oven, you can use the same steps like what you did with the microwave, except two (2) changes.

  • You need to pre-heat oven to 375 deg. F before starting step 1
  • Instead of 12 minutes cooking time in the microwave, you need 40 minutes in the oven

All other steps stay the same

Here is a video showing you how to bake or roast a spaghetti squash using the microwave oven:​

How To Roast Spaghetti Squash Via Clean & Delicious

How to Stuff Spaghetti Squash?

CHEESY CHICKEN ENCHILADA STUFFED SQUASH Via peasandcrayons

Stuffing a Spaghetti squash is just simple. For a quick tutorial, here are the steps on how to do it:

STEP 1

When you are done scraping the spaghetti squash strands, place it all in a bowl

STEP 2

Set aside the shells for future use

STEP 3

Meanwhile, prepare the recipe you plan to stuff the squash. If you are planning to stuff it with “chicken enchilada”, prepare the mixture.

STEP 4

When you are done with the chicken enchilada mixture, you blend it with the spaghetti squash carefully

STEP 5

Get the two spaghetti squash shells and put the enchilada-spaghettisquash blend evenly to both shells.

STEP 6

Garnish it with sauce on top

STEP 7

Put it back to the oven for a quick bake

STEP 8

Enjoy your stuffed spaghetti squash!

You will enjoy videos of spaghetti squash recipe at the bottom of this article that will show how to stuff them well

What to serve with?

Actually, you can serve anything with spaghetti squash. However, I’m going to share with you some of my own favorites so that you will have an idea. I made it a point that you will have dietary advantages for those who have special diets, reactions, and intolerances. So, pick one that you like.

CHEESY PESTO CHICKEN AND VEGGIE STUFFED SPAGHETTI SQUASH Via peasandcrayons

Cheese and Vegetables

Meat Sauce

Roasted Lamb

Chicken stir-fry

Meat Balls

Salad

Grilled tuna

Expert’s Advice

Well, collecting all these helpful tips and information would not be possible with the help of the experts. They are the guide in making every recipe to perfection. We owe to their experiences and expertise what we know now. Let me share with you some of their techniques that they freely give for people like us who are interested in the passion of cooking.

Top 10 Chefs Of Europe Via ifood

The Kitchn

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven Via thekitchn

The Kitchn- concentrating on the kitchen, this website parts all that happens around the kitchen like guidelines, cooking lessons and making the cooking place spic and span. The people behind this blog have made it all very convenient and helpful for the readers.

  • Emma Christensen said that “Spaghetti squash has a very mild flavor. It's not something you'd necessarily serve all on its own, but it's fantastic when paired with sauces and other richly seasoned main dishes.”

Eat Within Your Means

HOW TO COOK SPAGHETTI SQUASH Via eatwithinyourmeans

Eat Within Your Means- this blog shares cooking tips and best original recipes. It is good to know that there are new discoveries that this website can give us that is surprisingly helpful.

  • Beth shared that she discovered, “Salting the squash first draws out a ton of moisture, which really helps reduce the mushy/wet texture. Take the extra 15 minutes and salt the squash first.”

Chocolate Covered Katie

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash Via chocolatecoveredkatie

Chocolate Covered Katie- voted as the #1 blog for healthy comfort recipes, needless to say, this website offers a long list of hearty meals for you and the family. They also have a question and answer page for readers who needs some answers. Quite useful!

  • Katie wants to tell us that “Roasting spaghetti squash is higher than any other recipe I’ve ever seen and works beautifully to caramelize the natural sugars in the squash and zap away extra moisture, leaving it perfectly cooked.”

Recipes Mercola

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Via recipes.mercola

Recipes Mercola- this website not only talks about recipes but all about health. Healthy recipes, fitness and even about pets.

  • Dr. Mercola says, “If possible do the traditional way of cooking the spaghetti squash. Cooking it in the microwave may alter their nutritional composition. It is good to choose organic too.”

Inspired Taste

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven or Microwave Via inspiredtaste

Inspired Taste - if you are looking for quick and easy recipes to recipes that are made from scratch, this blog is the right one for you. This website is flooded with recipes and videos to guide you in the kitchen.

  • Adam and Joanne advised, “When it comes to cutting spaghetti squash, you will need a heavy chef’s knife, a towel to keep it steady and some muscle power. This vegetable is a little tricky!”

Craftsy

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Via craftsy

Craftsy - do you like crafts? This blog offers a lot of interesting ideas for crafty minds. Ranges from recipes to sewing, crochets, and arts, it has it all.

  • Jessie Oleson Moore wrote “It is nice to let you know that you can season a spaghetti squash ahead of time. As a suggestion, oil, salt, and pepper will do fine. You see, it saves time!”

The Spruce

The Best Way to Cook Spaghetti Squash Via thespruce

The Spruce- Looking for vegetarian recipes? This blog has a lot to offer. It gives you effective guides on how to cook veggies the delicious way.

  • Molly Watson commented, “In my opinion, cooking spaghetti squash with tomato sauce is not the greatest combination. I prefer this Spicy Spaghetti Squash with Asian flavors or this Spaghetti Squash In Jalapeño Cream—both are over-the-moon delicious!”

She Knows

What to do with those soggy noodles you just overcooked Via sheknows

She Knows - Sarah focuses on food and entertainment. In her blog, you will find a lot of recipes and advises that is useful for the readers.

  • Sarah Brooks said, “Overcooking spaghetti squash changes their glycemic index, which can increase your blood sugar. So not only are you altering their taste and texture but their nutritional value as well.”

Correcting Common Problems

Helpful Advice for the Modern Woman Via theidealinthehousewife

Too short spaghetti strands

Too watery outcome

Does not taste like real pasta

Too much pasta sauce

Mushy spaghetti squash

Tastes Bitter

Soggy Overcooked Noodles

Best Spaghetti Squash Recipes

It is time to share with you the best recipes that are popular for spaghetti squash. You will be surprised to know that this vegetable is easy, economical and versatile to cook.

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash Bowls

This roasted spaghetti squash is mixed with grated chicken and is oozing with melted mozzarella cheese. The taste is so creamy thanks to the yogurt ingredient. Garnished with green onions and diced jalapeno peppers, the added hot sauce gave this recipe a kick!

Buffalo Chicken Spaghetti Squash | 5 Second Rule with Julie Via Tastemade

Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

Age doesn’t matter when it comes to spaghetti squash. This cheesy recipe is a great opportunity to blend in more veggies for those who are so picky when it comes to food. Packed with cream and cheese, it tastes so good you wouldn’t notice the artichoke and spinach in it. Really a healthy meal!

How To Roast Spaghetti Squash Via Clean & Delicious

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

Have you ever enjoyed spaghetti carbonara with zero carbohydrates? Yeah, there is a little bit of bacon in it, and eggs, and lots of cheeses. This oven baked recipe is something that you mustn’t miss!

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara Via Squash Blossom Kitchens

Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

I have no better idea for a delicious and nutritious meal ever! The broccoli mixed with Italian herbs are being bombarded with lots of parmesan and oozing mozzarella cheese. I couldn’t ask for more!

Stuffed Baked Spaghetti Squash Via Foodie Photography

Lemon and Herb Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Shrimp

What is so great with lemon and shrimps? It really boosts up my appetite. Can’t wait to eat this stuff! Not only that, the white wine adds up to its yummy and creamy taste so this oven-baked recipe is truly a hit!

15-MINUTE SKINNY SHRIMP SCAMPI Via gimmesomeoven

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Meat Sauce

Sounds like the familiar pasta recipe? Yeah, eat your heart out with this meal without even feeling guilty. No, it does not taste the regular pasta. It is even more! This nutritious spaghetti strand goes well with the ground beef and the sprinkled cheeses on top. Dig in!

Paleo Recipes - How to Make Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce Via Allrecipes

Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spinach Spaghetti Squash

No need to keep in troubling yourself thinking of a load of cheese and garlic you’re going to devour in this delish recipe. Try to focus on the bag of spinach mixed with it. Want more of this super creamy meal?

CHEESY BUFFALO CHICKEN SPAGHETTI SQUASH BOWLS Via purewow

Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns

This is a superb alternative with the hash browns that you usually love. It will give you a healthy and energetic start to conquer your day. The recipe is enriched with eggs and cheese for a more flavorful taste.

Easy Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns Via Paleo Kitchen TV

Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes

If it comes to herbal Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes, anything goes. You’ll never go wrong. Just add up a little bit of lemon and you’ve got yourself a fresh, wholesome meal. If you prefer, serve this cheesy dish with more roasted vegetables!

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Tomatoes Via LEAF

Marinara Spaghetti Squash

The flavorful marinara sauce is great mixed with this nutritious spaghetti squash. The crunchy texture of the squash strands is unique that a pasta can never give. Just sprinkle parmesan cheese and some favorite herbs and you are ready to go!

Spaghetti Squash Marinara - My Healthy Dish Via MyHealthyDish

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

Have you been to Chipotle? This Tex-Mex spaghetti squash recipe is layered with fajita veggies, black beans, and salsa. Eat it together with chips and guacamole and it will really feel like you are there!

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl Via JewelzMauro

Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Parmesan

Herbs, mushrooms and spaghetti squash gives an appealing scent and earthly essence. This creamy and healthy dish will always be classic!

Spaghetti Squash With Mushrooms And Parmesan Via Pickled Plum Cooking Recipes

Chicken Alfredo Spaghetti Squash

Let’s go Italian this time! This creamy and satisfying comfort food would always be a hit for family dinner and special occasions. This is a low-carb food so it is totally safe for your diet and you won’t be craving for that pasta again.

Quick Easy Chicken Alfredo Recipe!! (with Spaghetti Squash) Via Yum Yumz

Resources and Further Reading

Lita Watson
 

Hi there! I’m Lita, and I’m absolutely in love with cooking blogs. I’m a beginner in cooking and i try my best to make it quick and easy. Even though, it’s not always quick and easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so i keep learning and blogging about quick and easy ways to create delicious and yummy foods for my two kids and a wonderful husband.

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