Spaghetti squash is a nutritious substitute in place of pasta or rice noodles. Learn the best way to cook spaghetti squash whole or in squash halves in the oven, Instant Pot or microwave.
Table of Contents
WHAT IS SPAGHETTI SQUASH?
It is a medium-sized winter squash with an oblong shape, yellow skin, and a fairly mild flavor. When cooked the inside of the squash separates into spaghetti-like strands, which is a great substitute for low carb spaghetti noodles.
It’s in the same group as winter squashes such as zucchini, acorn squash, and butternut squash. The outside of the squash is very hard to cut into, so I recommend using a very sharp knife and cutting board that doesn’t slide around.
The main difference of roasted spaghetti squash as oppose to other kinds, is it’s ability to create long strands of noodles. This makes it a perfect pasta substitute with meat sauce, Alfredo sauce, or simply extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese.
For a few spaghetti squash recipes you should try out my Jalapeno Popper Spaghetti Stuffed Squash Recipe or my Easy Low Carb Spaghetti Squash Recipe With Meat Sauce.
Now let’s talk about cooking spaghetti squash. There are many different ways I see people suggesting cooking a whole spaghetti squash.
A few of the suggested methods:
- Halved lengthwise and baked cut-side up or down
- Cooking in the Instant Pot or slow cooker
- Microwaved whole
- Steamed in a pan of water in the oven
- Baked when they are sliced into rings
HOW TO CUT A WHOLE SQUASH
The outer shell of a spaghetti squash has tough skin, which can be hard to cut through. For best results you need a good cutting board and a very sharp large knife.
I’m going to share a few tips with you because every time I cut one of these things I say a little prayer before I start. It is no easy task so I figured I’d share with you the easiest method I’ve found.
To avoid the cutting board from slipping I use damp paper towels underneath to keep it from moving. Keep in mind, this is the hard part, and once the squash is cut everything else is quite easy.
To start, put the uncooked squash on the cutting board and hold it firmly. The easiest way to cut the squash in half is by cutting off the top and bottom first.
Then you want to turn the squash upright with the wide end at the base on the cutting board. Slice downward with your hands above the sharp chef’s knife at all times.
The size of the squash will make this more of less difficult. The bigger the squash the harder this will be.
HOW TO COOK RAW SQUASH
There are a few different ways to cook spaghetti squash. This is the most difficult and tedious part of the recipe, so once you have this figured out you’re in the clear.
I prefer the baking method as it’s always been the way I cook spaghetti squash, however you can use the Instant Pot for a quicker method!
ROASTING IT IN THE OVEN
This method is my favorite way. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and use a fork to poke holes. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside, fork tender, but still a litte bit firm.
The time will vary depending on the size of your squash. I also find that the timing can vary from squash to squash.
Remove from the oven and flip the squash so that it’s cut side up. When cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape and fluff the strands from the sides of the squash.
COOKING IT IN THE INSTANT POT
Another great way is in the Instant Pot. This will take about half the amount of time, so for some this will probably be the more desirable method.
Cut the spaghetti squash the same way as the oven method and place in Instant Pot. Use the pressure cook or manual button to set the pressure cooker to cook at high pressure for 7 minutes.
When the timer goes off, carefully turn the steam release valve to Venting, to quickly release any remaining steam pressure.
To serve the squash, once again use a fork to separate the cooked strands into spaghetti-like pieces and remove them from the hard shell.
COOKING IT IN THE MICROWAVE
This may be the preferred method to some as it’s less risky when cutting, however there is a larger chance it could explode.
You’re going to want to poke the squash all over with a fork to make holes, this is an easy way to prevent the explosion from happening.
Add the squash to a microwave safe dish, and cook for 9-12 minutes. When you can easily poke more holes in the skin of the squash with a paring knife, you know it’s done.
Let it cool, then remove the seeds and pulp. You can then shred with a fork into spaghetti strands and enjoy the amount of cooking time you saved.
Other Delicious Savoury Meals You May Want To Try!
- KFC Style Popcorn Chicken (Vegan)
- Taco Bell Crunch Wrap Supreme
- Low Carb Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe (Better Than Quiznos)
- Viral TikTok Salmon Rice Bowl With Seaweed
- The Best Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Wings (Gluten Free, Healthy)
- 1 spaghetti squash
ROASTING IN THE OVEN
- This method is my favorite way. Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and use a fork to poke holes. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside, fork tender, but still a little firm.
- The time will vary depending on the size of your squash. Remove from oven and flip the squash so that it's cut side up. Once it's cooled, use a fork to scrape and fluff the strands from the inside of the squash.
COOKING IN THE INSTANT POT
- Cut the spaghetti squash the same way as the oven method and place in an Instant Pot. Use the manual button or pressure cook to set the pressure cooker to cook at high pressure for 7 minutes.
- Once the time is up, turn the steam release valve to release any of the remaining steam pressure (careful because this can be very hot).
- Once again, use a fork to separate the cooked strands into spaghetti-like pieces and remove them from the outer shell.
COOKING IT IN THE MICROWAVE
- Start by poking holes all over the squash with a fork. This will prevent the squash from exploding in your microwave.
- Add the squash to a microwave safe dish, and cook for 9-12 minutes. When you can easily poke through the skin with a knife, you know it's done.
- Shred the inside of the squash with a fork and serve with favorite pasta sauce.
Serving Size:1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 43mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
The nutrition information provided is calculated based on industry-standard software and should be used as a general guide only. The information may vary depending on ingredient substitutions, cooking techniques, and individual serving sizes. It is the responsibility of the reader to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of the nutritional information provided. Always consult a qualified healthcare provider for personalized medical or nutritional advice.
I love to bake, cook, exercise, and document all of the above. Nutrition is not low fat. It is not low calorie. It’s not feeling deprived or being hungry all the time. It’s nourishing your body with real, whole foods so that you are consistently satisfied and energized to live your life to the fullest! Read more…