How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

updated Nov 13, 2023

Transform squash into tender tangles of spaghetti — no spiralizers or any special gadgets required. You just need an oven and a half hour of your time.

Serves2 to 4

Prep10 minutes

Cook30 minutes to 45 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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So you took a gamble on a spaghetti squash. It does have a pretty clever sales hook, after all. But now you’re staring at this canary-yellow winter squash wondering how on earth it could ever be transformed into anything resembling beloved classic spaghetti. You’re full of doubts and hopes and perhaps a dash of healthy skepticism. I get that.

Well, buckle up, because today we’re pulling some culinary alchemy and transforming squash into tender tangles of spaghetti — no spiralizer tools or any special gadgets required. You just need an oven and 30 minutes of your time to cook spaghetti squash.

Quick Overview

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

To cook tender spaghetti squash, cut the gourd in half, scoop the seeds, and place in a 9×13 baking dish with a bit of water covering the bottom. Roast the spaghetti squash in a 400°F oven for 30–45 minutes.

What Is Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti squash is a large yellow, oval shaped gourd with a mild flavor. The flesh, once cooked, shreds into pieces that resemble spaghetti noodles. The squash is usually about the size of an American football but can run slightly smaller.

The flavor is very neutral (you might even call it bland) with none of that sweet, earthy, squash-like flavor we associate with butternut and acorn squash. This makes spaghetti squash the perfect companion for something like a hearty ragu, marinara, pesto or curry — the squash’s flavor won’t compete with the main attraction on the plate — but you still get all that great spaghetti-like texture.

Keep in mind, even though a miracle of Mother Nature has given this squash some spaghetti-like attributes, it is still a squash. It looks like pasta and has a texture similar to angel hair pasta, but it’s still probably not going to fool anyone.

It’s a great lower carb option to traditional pasta or for anyone wanting to get more vegetables into their meals without trying too hard.

How to Cut Spaghetti Squash

Like all winter squash, spaghetti squash requires some time in the oven before it becomes tender enough to eat.

  1. Cut the squash in half.
  2. Place it cut side-down in a baking dish.
  3. Add a little water to the pan or cover it with foil. Steam keeps the surface of the squash from drying out making the squash incredibly tender.
  4. If chopping the squash in half proves troublesome (it is a seriously hard squash), you can also roast the squash whole and then cut it in half once it is tender. This takes about an hour.

Spaghetti Squash Recipes

As I mentioned before, spaghetti squash has a very mild flavor. But it’s fantastic when paired with sauces and other richly seasoned main dishes. I also love it layered in cheesy casseroles.

If I’m serving the squash as a side dish, I usually toss the noodles with a little butter or olive oil to keep them from sticking, and season them with a little salt. Below are a few more of our favorite recipes here at Kitchn.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

Transform squash into tender tangles of spaghetti — no spiralizers or any special gadgets required. You just need an oven and a half hour of your time.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes to 45 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    medium spaghetti squash (2 to 3 pounds)



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  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, prep the squash.

  2. Slice the squash in half. Use a chef's knife to cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise from stem to tail. Spaghetti squash are really tough and hard, so be cautious and work slowly. You can cradle the squash in a balled-up dish cloth to keep it steady as you cut.

  3. Scoop out the seeds. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy bits of flesh from inside the squash. Be careful of actually digging into the flesh, though — we want that! The inside should look clean and fairly smooth. Discard the seeds (or save them and roast them for a snack!).

  4. Place the squash in a roasting pan or baking dish. Place the squash halves cut-side down in a roasting pan or 9x13-inch baking dish.

  5. Pour in a little water (optional). Pour a little water in the pan, enough to cover the bottom. Your squash will roast just fine without it, but I find that the water helps the squash steam and become more tender. You can also cover the pan with aluminum foil, if you prefer.

  6. Roast the squash for 30 to 45 minutes. Transfer the squash to the oven and roast for 30 to 45 minutes. Smaller squash will cook more quickly than larger squash. Check the squash after 30 minutes to gauge cooking.

  7. The squash is done when tender. The squash is ready when you can easily pierce a fork through the flesh all the way to the peel. The flesh will also separate easily into spaghetti-like strands. You can also taste it right now — if the noodles are still a bit crunchy for your taste, put the squash back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes more.

  8. Scrape out the squash. Flip the squash to be cut-side up. Use a fork to gently pull the squash flesh from the peel and to separate the flesh into strands. The strands wrap around the squash horizontally — rake your fork in the same direction as the strands to make the longest "noodles."

  9. Serve the squash. Serve the squash immediately, tossed with a little butter or olive oil if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Cooked spaghetti squash can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Roasting the squash whole: Instead of cutting the squash in half, you can also roast it whole. Roast until a fork can easily pierce through the outer peel and all the way to the interior of the squash, about 1 hour. Slice in half and carefully remove the seeds and stringy flesh, then scrape the flesh as directed above.

Roasting the seeds: Yes, you can roast spaghetti squash seeds just like pumpkin seeds! Follow this tutorial: How To Roast Pumpkin and Squash Seeds.