How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Different Ways

Easy Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash with garlic and herb
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You've heard spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta, and you've lugged one home from the store. Now what do you do?

Just about any way you can think of to apply heat can be used to cook spaghetti squash. One big question is whether to cut it up or not to cut it before cooking. Contrary to what some will tell you, you can do it either way. Here are the pros and cons of each. (Cooking times will vary with the size of the squash/pieces of squash.)

Cutting Up Spaghetti Squash Before Cooking

Advantages: It cooks faster.

Disadvantages: Like any winter squash, hacking it up takes muscle and a sharp knife or cleaver. It's also a bit more work to scrape out the seeds and pulp when they are raw.

Method: Just get in there and cut it in half (lengthwise) or quarters. You don't want to cut it up too small unless you want short strands of "spaghetti". Scrape out the seeds and pulp as you would with any squash or pumpkin.

Bake rind side up (cut side down) for about 30 to 40 minutes at 375 F.  You'll know when it's done when you can slip a sharp knife in easily (this is true for any cooking method).

Microwave for 6 to 8 minutes (let stand for a few minutes afterwards)

Boil for 20 minutes or so.

Separate strands by running a fork through in the "from stem to stern" direction.

Cooking Spaghetti Squash Whole

Advantages: It's easier, in fact, it's very easy!

You just throw the whole thing in the oven or microwave, and the seeds and pulp are easy to remove.

Disadvantages: 1) It takes longer to cook, and 2) Since it's hot, it's important to be careful of the steam when removing the pulp and seeds.

Method: Pierce the squash several times with a sharp knife.

(Do this especially if you're microwaving it, or you may end up with a "Squash Explosion.")

Bake for about an hour in the oven at 375 F.

Microwave for 10 to 12 minutes, then let stand for 5 minutes or so afterward to finish steaming.

Boil for half an hour or so.

Slow Cooker/Crock Pot: Put it in with a cup of water and let it go on low all day (8 to 10 hours).

When done, cut open "at the equator" (not lengthwise), remove seeds and pulp (I use tongs and an oven mitt -- it is HOT) and separate strands with a fork.  Now you are ready to toss it with a pasta sauce such as pesto, or layer it to make an easy Lasagna in a Bowl.

Did You Know? Any squash seeds, including spaghetti squash, can be roasted just like pumpkin seeds (pumpkin is a kind of squash). They are low-carb, nutritious, and delicious: How To Roast Pumpkin or Squash Seeds

Spaghetti Squash Storage Tip

Like pumpkin and other winter squashes, whole uncooked spaghetti squash is best stored between 50 to 60 degrees, and will last up to six months this way.

If you have a room in your home that isn't well-heated, maybe you can use some space in it as a "root cellar" to store onions, squash, apples, and the like. Our guest room often has vegetables on the bed in the cooler months of the year. On the other hand, spaghetti squash will keep several weeks at room temperature.

Carbs in Spaghetti Squash, plus Health Information, and Recipes

More Low-Carb Pasta Substitutes and Alternatives

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