How I Cook Spaghetti Squash

by Lara on October 30, 2011

My love for autumn extends well past an adoration of fuzzy sweaters, blazing fires, and crisp notebook paper.  It brings me back to designing my own Halloween costumes (“No Mom, Cinderella wore glass slippers…these are white!”), raking leaves in my grandparents’ front yard (at $1 per bag…I think I was underselling myself), and the smell of vegetables roasting in my mom’s oven.  Specifically, the smell of squash.

My latest favorite is spaghetti squash.  When I first “discovered” this glorious gourd, I read up on various cooking methods.  While there is nothing quite like the taste of a roast squash, it can take well over an hour to do so and I don’t always have that kind of time.  For a quick fix, this is how I cook spaghetti squash without even turning on the oven.

Start by rinsing the squash and cutting it length-wise in half.  If you are superwoman, you can try cutting it yourself, but I usually delegate this task to someone else because we have crappy knives and I would prefer to keep both of my hands.

Note:  I have taken to only cooking half of the squash at a time.  This if for three reasons: 1) It cooks faster this way; 2)  Half of a squash is my ideal serving size anyway; 3) I have found that raw spaghetti squash keeps longer than cooked so it all works out.

Place half of the squash in a shallow glass dish in about two inches of water.

Nuke (uncovered) for 15 minutes.

Cool slightly before scooping out the seeds (Note: Length of cooling will depend on hunger level.)

Using a fork, pull the “spaghetti” strands away from the skin.

Voila!  It really is that easy.  I am still hooked on red sauces with this squash, the latest bowl being dished up with a serving of Ellie Krieger’s Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta and zucchini (yes, more squash).

 Happy Halloween!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrea@WellnessNotes October 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite squashes, too. And I almost always microwave it. But I have never attempted to cut it in half… I’ll attempt it when I feel particularly strong one day… 😉

Happy Halloween!


Lara October 31, 2011 at 9:02 am

Does that mean you microwave it whole?!
Happy Halloween to you too!


Andrea@WellnessNotes October 31, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Yes, I microwave it whole after poking it a few times with a knife (I tried a fork, but the skin, especially of bigger squashes, can be quite tough). It usually takes about 18 to 20 minutes to cook. Once it’s cooked, I cut it in half, etc.


Sarah October 31, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I just poke holes all over the squash, put it in a bowl with like an inch of water and microwave for a bit. Or poke holes and put it in the oven. Makes cutting it way easier if you wait till its already cooked.


niki October 31, 2011 at 6:00 pm

I’ve been meaning to try spaghetti squash for some time now so I’m so glad you posted this!


Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel October 31, 2011 at 6:55 pm



glidingcalm October 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm

how about the next time you make this ………….. I crash the party?! Yeah? Deal? good. Zukes and shrimp! Two of my most favorite foods! 😀

p.s. you are an amazing writer!! been loving having you black in the blog world!



julie November 2, 2011 at 1:27 pm

i love cooking spag squash in the micro! it’s so easy that way. although when i have the time i am pretty fond of the oven method where all the strands get all caramalized, etc!


Jen@FoodFamilyFitness November 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Looks delicious! I have yet to try this type of squash, but that will have to change 🙂


Rene November 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm

I am SO excited to try this recipe! I LOVE Squash! But yeah, the cooking time can be long. Thanks for this! 🙂


Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) November 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

You might even cut it across rather than lengthwise for ease. And if you turn it upside down in the dish, it steams itself and you might be able to shave off some time in the micro. Not sure, just suggesting it for your next experiment.

And I’m intrigued by Julie’s assertion that it CARMELIZES when roasted??!?!!! MmmmMMMmmm!


Lara November 13, 2011 at 10:38 am

Oooh, good ideas! I’ll try it next time and let you know how it goes!
I think I know what Julie means…when it gets nicely browned and roasted. Anything “caramelized” is enough to make me ditch the microwave, so maybe I’ll give it a shot!


Kelsey August 12, 2015 at 11:08 am

As much as I love the red sauce with spaghetti squash I have to heavily advise using an alfredo sauce with it and stirring in chicken and broccoli. It is incredible!


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