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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (VIDEO)

Learn how to cook spaghetti squash for the perfect low-carb side dish or substitute for pasta. Baked spaghetti squash creates perfectly tender spaghetti squash strands and this recipe is so easy with just 4 ingredients.

January is all about healthy and mindful eating. That’s why our Best Salad Recipes roundup went viral as soon as I put it up. Recipes like Overnight Oats and of course spaghetti squash are quite popular right now as we are all recovering from all that holiday joy.

Cooked spaghetti squash halves fluffed with a fork

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Spaghetti Squash Video Tutorial

Watch this quick video and learn how to cook spaghetti squash. The hardest part is cutting the spaghetti squash in half because it has a firm skin so take your time with that but otherwise, this recipe is easy.

What is Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti squash is pale yellow winter squash. It gets its name from its unusual appearance and stringy texture. Spaghetti squash looks like Spaghetti pasta once it’s cooked and scraped out of its shell.

Fluffing spaghetti squash strands with a fork

Ingredients

Sometimes the simplest recipes are truly the best. All you need for a Roasted Spaghetti Squash is:

  • Spaghetti Squash (1 1/2 to 3 lbs) – get whatever size is available and roast according to the chart below.
  • Olive oil – use extra virgin for depth of flavor. I drizzle with extra virgin olive oil before roasting and add more to serve.
  • Salt and pepper – we use fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for max flavor. Add the salt to taste and depending on how you plan to serve the squash.
Ingredients for making roasted spaghetti squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Carefully cut squash it in half lengthwise. Safety Tip: The skin is quite firm so cut carefully and take your time and placing a towel underneath will help prevent rolling.
  2. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and strings and discard those.
  3. Brush the inside of the squash with 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil for each half and sprinkle the inside lightly with salt and black pepper.
  4. Place on the prepared baking sheet cut-side-down and bake at 400˚F for 30-55 minutes or until fork tender, depending on the size of the squash (see baking time chart below).
  5. Remove squash from the oven and flip over. Once cool enough to handle, use a fork to fluff the center, scraping it away from the skin.
Step by step how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven

Spaghetti Squash Baking Chart

Every grocery store seems to carry a different size of spaghetti squash and there is a huge size range. Get whatever is available, weigh with a kitchen scale, and bake at 400˚F according to this chart. Always check for tenderness to determine doneness. You can always continue baking if you want it more tender.

  • 1 1/2 lb squash: 35 to 40 minutes
  • 2 lb squash: 40 to 45 minutes
  • 2 1/2 lbs squash: 45 to 50 minutes
  • 3 lb squash: 50 to 55 minutes.

How to Serve Spaghetti Squash

You can use this squash in any recipe that calls for spaghetti squash, but if you want to enjoy it as is, here is our favorite way to enjoy a freshly roasted spaghetti squash right out of the shell.

  1. Fluff the spaghetti squash with a fork.
  2. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
  3. Season with salt and black pepper to taste then grab your fork and enjoy it right out of the skin.
Spaghetti squash served as a side dish

Common Questions

What does spaghetti squash taste like?

It has a pretty neutral flavor and is milder than other winter squash with a slightly sweet flavor. Because it’s pretty mild, it takes on flavorings and sauces nicely.

Is spaghetti squash healthy?

Spaghetti squash is full of fiber and vitamins but is also a low-calorie food. If you’re looking for an alternative to pasta, spaghetti squash is it.

Is spaghetti squash supposed to be crunchy or soft?

You can cook it to your desired doneness, but if you want to use it in recipes, it should be crisp-tender or ‘al dente.’ I like it softer and just slightly past al-dente, but be careful not to overcook or the squash strands can get mushy.

What is the best size spaghetti squash?

Every grocery store seems to carry a different size of spaghetti squash and there is a huge size range. Get whatever is available and bake according to the chart in this post.

Medium sized spaghetti squash

Make-Ahead

Refrigerator Storage: You can roast your spaghetti squash ahead. Fluff the squash and cool to room temperature then cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheat before serving.

To Freeze: If freezing spaghetti squash, it’s better to cook them just to ‘al-dente’. Let cooked and fluffed squash cool to room temperature then transfer to a freezer-safe zip bag. Remove as much excess air as you can for max freshness and to prevent freezer burn. Store in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. Thaw and reheat before serving.

Cooked spaghetti squash ready to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer

More Easy Side Dish Recipes

P.S. Do you love spaghetti squash? Let me know if you’re interested in more spaghetti squash recipes.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (VIDEO)

5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Baked spaghetti squash on a serving platter with fork

Learn how to cook spaghetti squash for the perfect low-carb side dish or healthy substitute for pasta. Baked spaghetti squash is so easy to make and serve with just 4 ingredients.

Author: Natasha Kravchuk
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $3-$6
Keyword: baked spaghetti squash, how to cook spaghetti squash, spaghetti squash
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
Calories: 213
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash, (1.5 to 3 lbs)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided, or added to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided, added to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse and dry your spaghetti squash and carefully cut it in half lengthwise. The skin is tough so cut carefully and take your time. (Note: placing the squash over a towel will help prevent rolling.

  2. Use a spoon to scrape out and discard the seeds.

  3. Brush the inside of each squash half with 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle the inside lightly with salt and black pepper (I use about 1/4 tsp each).

  4. Place on the lined baking sheet cut-side-down and bake at 400˚F until fork tender. A smaller squash will take less time and a larger squash will take longer (see *baking chart below).
  5. Remove squash from the oven and flip over. Once cool enough to handle, use a fork to fluff the center, scraping it away from the skin.
  6. To serve as a vegetable side, drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

*Spaghetti Squash Baking Chart:

  • 1 1/2 lb squash: 35-40 minutes
  • 2 lb squash: 40-45 minutes
  • 2 1/2 lb squash: 45-50 minutes
  • 3 lb squash: 50-55 minutes
Nutrition Facts
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (VIDEO)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 213 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Sodium 664mg29%
Potassium 528mg15%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 582IU12%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 114mg11%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Julia Wilson
    November 16, 2022

    I have a great tip for cutting squash of all kinds.
    Put the whole squash in the microwave oven and cook for a bit. I put a 5 lb butternut in for 4”, spaghetti in for about the same, acorn in for 2-3” depending upon size. Let cool for a couple of minutes, then cut and clean. This has made my life so much easier!
    Love your recipes!!!! You are giving me my favorite and most fool-proof recipes EVER! Thank you 😊

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      November 16, 2022

      Thanks a lot for this tip!

      Reply

  • sam
    March 22, 2022

    Love your recipes! What protein pairs well with spaghetti squash made according to this recipe?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 22, 2022

      Hi Sam! I’m happy you enjoy my recipes. Honestly, this squash is so versatile. It works great with chicken, beef, fish, etc.

      Reply

  • Deb
    January 8, 2022

    Does this have a flavor similar to butternut or acorn squash? I want to try for my diet for something new to add making my healthy meals. I love squash but kind of afraid I won’t like this but very willing to try it. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      January 11, 2022

      It’s similar but the texture is very different. It has a slight sweetness. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should definitely give it a go. It’s healthy and tasty!

      Reply

      • anita
        August 24, 2022

        I have to get my husband to eat this……….. what can I do with it??

        Reply

        • NatashasKitchen.com
          August 24, 2022

          Hi Anita! We like to use this in place of pasta in our Italian dishes. It goes great with marinara sauce and freshly grated parmesan. It also goes great sautéed with some garlic, basil, and butter. 🙂

          Reply

  • Veronica
    January 8, 2022

    Thank you for this easy recipe. I love spaghetti squash, but have such a hard time cutting it. Do you have any tips for easier cutting?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 8, 2022

      Hi Veronica, The hardest part is cutting the spaghetti squash in half because the skin is quite firm, so cut carefully and take your time, and placing a towel underneath will help prevent rolling. I recommend having a very sturdy and sharp knife. The skin is quite firm, so cut carefully, take your time, and placing a towel underneath will help prevent rolling.

      Reply

    • Cristina
      January 8, 2022

      To make things simple for you, you can always ask your produce department/people to cut it for you. I’m sure they would help you, then you don’t have to worry about it.

      Reply

  • Rachel
    January 7, 2022

    Thank you so much for sharing! I have been in search for a low-carb substitute of spaghetti noodles to help me stick to my “healthier choices” diet this year!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 7, 2022

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy this is what you were looking for! I hope you love it!

      Reply

  • Samantha
    January 7, 2022

    I always thought that spaghetti squash would be difficult to prepare, so thank you for showing me otherwise! The step-by-step directions and photos were so helpful, and the final result was delicious! You’ve helped me add a new veggie to our dinner rotation. 🙂

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 7, 2022

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad to hear the step-by-step is helpful, Samantha! I hope you make this again soon!

      Reply

  • jess
    January 7, 2022

    thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I love some spaghetti squash and always forget how easy it can really be to make!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      January 7, 2022

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Jess!

      Reply

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