5 Smart Tips for Preparing Spaghetti Squash

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Unlike other dense winter squashes, spaghetti squash is in a league all its own. This oblong yellow squash is essentially nature’s answer to noodles. Thin and mildly flavored, once baked the squash’s interior can be shredded to resemble strands of spaghetti.

Armed with these five smart tips, you’ll have everything you need to know about preparing this stand-out winter squash.

1. If it’s too tough to cut open, cook it whole.

This is a hard squash, so if cutting it in half proves too troublesome, don’t do it. Cook it whole instead. It will take a little longer to cook (about an hour total), but after it’s cooked, the squash will be tender and easier to cut.

2. Cut crosswise for even longer strands.

Spaghetti squash strands are arranged in a circular formation around the interior. Cutting the squash across the waist keeps the whole strand intact, as opposed to slicing from end to end, which halves the strands.

3. There are 3 different ways to cook it in the oven.

There are three easy methods for cooking spaghetti squash in the oven. Whether you roast it whole, halve it and steam, or halve it and roast, they all yield the same delicious results. Choose the method that works best for you.

4. You can even microwave it in a matter of minutes.

Don’t have the time to roast your squash, or just don’t feel like turning on the oven? Well once you halve it and remove the seeds, you can cook it in the microwave in about 10 minutes.

5. Spaghetti squash can be used as a substitute for any type of noodles or pasta.

Spaghetti squash is not the same as actual spaghetti, but it can be used in nearly any recipe where you might otherwise use pasta or noodles. Since they are thin and rather delicate, spaghetti squash strands make an especially ideal substitute for rice vermicelli and glass noodles.