How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

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It’s so easy to cook spaghetti squash, you’ll wonder why you don’t do it more often. Spaghetti squash is a great, low-carb alternative to pasta or polenta, gluten-free and delicious.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

I love to cook spaghetti squash when I’m going to feed the family pasta. My people could eat noodles until the cows come home, but I like a little variety. Sometimes I make polenta for myself, but often I will cook spaghetti squash as a low-carb alternative to both.

If you’ve never had spaghetti squash, it may seem a little weird at first. I didn’t grow up eating squash, so it’s a relatively new thing for me. I love it! I’ve even won over FishPapa and a few of the kids to enjoying the taste of the squash with a meaty red sauce.

My parents have even taken to growing it in their garden which is great. I’m lobbying my dad to plant more spaghetti squash than zucchini because then I can have this for FREE. 🙂

(I have a brown thumb, so I’m not sure it will work for me. But, I suppose we could try, couldn’t we?)

To cook spaghetti squash is not difficult; it’s a great vegetable to add to your repertoire. Check it out:

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash aren’t super expensive, and your grocery store probably has them in abundance. Choose squash that are hard, smooth, and pale yellow in color.

Wash the outside with vinegar and water to remove any bacteria that might enter the squash when you cut it.

Cut it in half the longway. If the stem end is going to be problematic, you can cut that off crosswise before cutting the squash in half.

Using a metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane. It’s a little reminiscent of carving pumpkins.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

You can cook spaghetti squash in a crockpot or in a steamer or even in the oven, but I’ve always done it in the microwave. There are few things that I cook in the microwave, but this is one of them. Using the microwave makes this easy and quick.

Poke holes in the outer shell of the squash and place it cut-side down in a glass baking dish. Add 1/2 to 1 inch of water and cover with plastic wrap. Cook in the microwave for about 7 minutes.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Once you cook spaghetti squash, the entire piece is very very hot, so you might want to use gloves or oven mits. It looks like that, soft and flossy.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

With a fork gently, scrape the flesh. It falls into strings that resemble spaghetti.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Keep scraping until the shell is scraped clean.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

You can season the squash with butter or oil and salt and pepper. Since we usually top ours with a bolognese, I rarely do much to it. It’s a delicious vehicle for your favorite meat sauces and meatballs.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. Jill says:

    I usually mix our spaghetti pasta and our spaghetti squash together. If I stick with about 2/3 pasta and 1/3 squash, my toddler doesn’t even notice it’s in there!

  2. Rebecca says:

    Just had to say that I love your blog and your cookbooks!
    We’ve been eating spaghetti squash in my family for years and I highly recommend cooking it in the oven. We rub the insides with olive oil and put herbs and garlic in the ‘bowl’ of the squash. I roast it for about an hour, flipping it over halfway. The strands of squash then have a lovely roasted flavour to them.
    It does take longer, but it genuinely tastes delicious. My kids eat noodles while my husband and I eat squash. I’m trying to get them to like it. I will try Jill’s idea above of mixing noodles and squash.

  3. Susan says:

    I know your husband doesn’t like sauerkraut, but we love this recipe:

  4. Timmi says:

    My favorite way to eat this is with alfredo sauce or plain with salt and pepper and some parm cheese with some cooked sausage.

    • I would never have thought alfredo, but now I want to try that. It’s one of my favorites!

  5. Vanessa B says:

    I’ve never tried it in the microwave. It would be so much quicker and not heat up the house. I’m waiting for my dad to bring me a spaghetti squash to try a recipe my husband’s cousin posted last week. (did you follow that silliness) Anyway, it was chicken lo mein and I am chomping at the bit to try it!

    • I just bought a few at the store this week. They were about $3 each, but they were huge.

  6. Janet says:

    What an easy way to cook spaghetti squash! I served it with Bolognese sauce. Now what to do with all the leftover squash? I think I will try to reheat it and use olive oil as a sauce and toss it with some other roasted vegetables. I will say that the cooking time was not enough for my microwave. It took about 14 minutes for me. I have a small, older microwave, which is probably not as powerful as other models.

  7. Terry says:

    I cook whole butternut squash in the microwave. After thoroughly washing the squash (and removing any sticker-label), I place the whole squash on a glass pie plate, pierce the squash all over with a fork or knife (about 8 jabs), then microwave on high until tender all over – about 10-15 minutes. I turn the squash over in the dish after half of the time for even cooking. I think you might be able to use this method with spaghetti squash, as well. There wouldn’t be a need to cut the squash in half or add any water. The squash has enough water in its flesh to cook itself.

    • Thanks for the tip!

    • Chelsea says:

      Another great thing about doing it whole is that you can cut it width-wise instead of length-wise. The threads of the spaghetti squash go around the squash width-wise, so by cutting it length-wise you’re essentially cutting the “noodles” in half. If you want longer, spaghetti-like strings, try cutting the squash the other way. I don’t have a microwave, so I can’t do this, but I always cut my spaghetti squash width-wise when I cook it in the oven, so I can enjoy twirling it around my fork like real pasta.

      I can’t take credit for this though. Here’s where I learned about cutting it this way. Once I did it, I never looked back. =)

      • I just tried this a few weeks ago. My husband had heard about the trick. It was great. He loves long pasta also. 😉

  8. Karen says:

    One thought. Somewhere, I stumbled on the trick of microwaving your squash very briefly, THEN cutting off the end and splitting the squash. Then I season and cook the squash. This really eases the process .

    • Yes! I saw that on the Kitchen awhile ago. I’ve been meaning to update the post. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Pamela says:

    Help! I just cooked spaghetti squash for the first time and the texture is not at all what I expected. Should it be somewhat crunchy? Or should it be soft like a spaghetti noodle?

    • It won’t be like a spaghetti noodle. We prefer it a bit crunchy, but if you cook it longer, it will be soft, like cooked squash.

  10. Connie says:

    Hi, is there other Squash I can use to substitute with? Cause I can’t get spaghetti squash in this part of the world. Thanks for your help

    • Hi Connie! No, there isn’t another squash that acts like spaghetti squash, but I’m sure that you could use any cooked squash as a base to meat sauces or meat and vegetable toppings.

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