How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is a magical vegetable….or at least that’s what we think as not only do the adults love it in our home, but the kids do too! True to its name, when cooked correctly, the squash forms long strands with the texture and look of spaghetti. Serve with pasta sauce and perhaps some meatballs or sausage on the side and presto! Good for you spaghetti dinner!
There are a few different ways you can cook spaghetti squash. Two of which I use most often and find are the easiest and best ways.
The first is the traditional oven method. To begin, cut the squash in half length-wise. Scrape out the seeds (don’t go into the flesh of the squash more than you have to) and then place cut side down on a baking sheet.
Pour about a 1/4 inch of water into your baking dish and then put the whole thing in the oven at 350° degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until fork tender (pierce it with a fork).
By placing the squash cut side down, you create steam which helps to cook the squash all the way through. You also get a nice caramelization to the cut side of the flesh that I think gives the squash a slightly nuttier taste.
Once the squash is cooked, flip over and season generously. The best seasoning I have found for this kind of squash is the “ole stand by” of salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Let it cool slightly, then using an oven glove, hold the squash half and with your other hand scrape the squash out using a fork. By running the fork length-wise down the squash you will get long strings or “spaghetti strands.”
You can use these strands as a spaghetti substitute with pasta sauce and cheese (which is our favorite way – as pictured here), a great squash side dish with butter and herbs or even something a bit more adventurous with butter and cinnamon.
The second method is if you are in a time crunch, like say the weeknight dinner madness. You can follow the same prep steps – cut your squash length-wise and remove the seeds – and then, instead of using the oven, put it in your microwave. You will want to put the squash cut side down in a microwave safe baking dish and add about a 1/4 inch of water. Microwave until fork tender – usually about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the squash and your microwave. After you scrape the squash out using a fork, you will want to season your squash.
And that’s it! Simple, easy, quick and healthy!