Spaghetti Squash Nutrition Facts

Calories and Health Benefits of Spaghetti Squash

Roasted spaghetti squash with herbs
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Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash that is unlike its gourd family members—it is non-starchy and has yellow flesh, as opposed to the orange coloring of acorn, butternut, and other winter squash varieties.

Spaghetti squash is often used as a substitute for pasta. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that is perfect for olive oil and tomato based sauces. When cooked, its flesh gets stringy, resembling the look of "spaghetti" and can be used as a lower carbohydrate, more nutrient dense version of traditional pasta dishes.

It is generally available all year, with peak season in October through March.

Spaghetti Squash Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 cup (155 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 42 
Calories from Fat 4 
Total Fat 0.4g1%
Saturated Fat 0.1g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 28mg1%
Potassium 181.35mg5%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Dietary Fiber 2.2g9%
Sugars 3.9g 
Protein 1g 
Vitamin A 3% · Vitamin C 9%
Calcium 3% · Iron 3%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Spaghetti squash is low in calories, containing only 42 calories in one cup cooked. It also contains a small amount of carbohydrate, 10 grams, and a good amount of fiber, 2.2 grams or 9 percent of your daily needs. When substituting spaghetti squash for pasta you can save about 170 calories and 30 grams of carbohydrate in one cup serving!

Health Benefits of Spaghetti Squash

Unlike other winter squash varieties like butter and acorn, spaghetti squash does contain significantly lower amounts of vitamin A.

However, it is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, B-vitamins, manganese and potassium.

Fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrate that helps to keep you full, helps to regulate bowels and blood sugar, and can help to lower cholesterol. Studies have shown that people who eat fiber rich diets are at decreased risk for heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.

Vitamin C, an important antioxidant and water soluble vitamin, aids in boosting immunity and assists in collagen making, granting it anti-aging properties.

B-vitamins play an important role in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism and manganese is a component of antioxidant enzymes. In addition, potassium can help to lower blood pressure.

Lastly, spaghetti squash also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that protect your eyes from age-related diseases.

Common Questions About Spaghetti Squash

Can I eat spaghetti squash seeds?

Yes, you can. Scoop the seeds out and roast them for a nutritious snack. Squash seeds are rich in protein and magnesium.

Picking and Storing Spaghetti Squash

Choose spaghetti squash that is firm with no soft spots or blemishes. It should feel heavy for its size. 

Store spaghetti squash in a cool, dry place. Wash the skin before cutting. 

Once cooked, place spaghetti squash in the refrigerator in an airtight container to ensure freshness for up to a few days.

Healthy Ways to Prepare Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash must be steamed or baked before being able to pull away the crunchy, stringy flesh. The easiest way to do this is to bake your spaghetti squash face down in some water so that the flesh becomes steamed and soft.You also can bake the squash face up or use the microwave, but baking face down seems to lend the best product. 

Follow these easy steps:

  • Preheat your oven 375°F.
  • While the oven is heating, rinse your spaghetti squash with cold water and cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard seeds from the middle of each half.
  • Place the squash face down in a casserole dish and pour about one-half inch to one inch of water into the dish and bake until just tender, about 30 to 45 minutes (depending on size of squash). 
  • You'll know your squash is done when you can pierce through the skin with a fork or rake a fork back and forth across the squash and the strands remove easily.
  • Once you have your spaghetti, saute it with some garlic, oil, and Parmesan cheese or top it with sauce. It's a delicious, nutritious, low-calorie meal option.

Recipes With Spaghetti Squash  

Sources: 

Labensky, SR, Hause, AM. On Cooking: A textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. 3rd ed. Upper Sadle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003: 626

Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrients for health. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/sites/lpi.oregonstate.edu/files/pdf/mic/micronutrients_for_health.pdf

Moore, Marisa. Winter squash. Food and Nutrition. 2016;16-17. 30-31.

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