How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (My Favorite Way)

How to Cook Spaghetti SquashIs spaghetti squash not the best?! The fact that a vegetable can so effortlessly mimic and replace pasta must be proof that Mother Nature wants us to be nourished without feeling deprived. (Not that pasta is necessarily bad, but you get what I mean…)

There are tons of ways to prepare spaghetti squash—in the microwave, in the oven, cutting it in half before cooking, cutting it afterwards—there are countless variations and tricks. I wanted to share my favorite way to prepare it—it’s not the quickest, but has been my go-to for years.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

STEP 1 | Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise.

If you have a large squash, this can be a challenge, but just think of it as your upper-body workout for the day. 🙂 I typically start by inserting a large knife in the center of the squash, pushing down and working outwards to the ends. Don’t worry if your halves come out a little uneven—the squash will naturally want to split a little to one side of the stem.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

STEP 2 | Remove the guts with a spoon.

Scrape out all the seeds and strings.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

STEP 3 | Olive oil, salt and pepper.

Brush the insides of the spaghetti squash with a little oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you don’t have a kitchen brush, just drizzle the olive oil and smooth over with the backside of a spoon.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

STEP 4 | Place the seasoned squash halves facedown in a glass pan.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

STEP 5 | Roast it in the oven for 40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your spaghetti squash is large, keep it in the oven for an additional 10-20 minutes (really big squashes will need a full hour).

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

STEP 6 | Flip halves face-up and let cool for 5 minutes.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

STEP 7 | Use a fork to remove the “spaghetti” strands.

Gently scrape a fork along the inside of the squash halves to remove the meat—it’ll easily come away in spaghetti strands. I hold the back of the squash up with an oven mitt or dishtowel (it’s usually still hot!) and position the bottom up against the pan side so that it stays in place while I scrape out the spaghetti.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Top with your favorite pasta sauce or mix in some cooked veggies and you’ve got yourself a delicious spaghetti squash meal! I love stirring in some pesto and sprinkling with shaved parmesan cheese. Leftovers will keep well in the refrigerator for several days—just reheat in the microwave before eating (I will even eat spaghetti squash cold sometimes).

How do you cook spaghetti squash? And what’s your favorite sauce or topping with it?

And because I’m a slave to my Pinterest addiction, here are the instructions condensed into one pictorial:

How to Cook Spaghetti SquashAaand I’ll stop now.



  1. I cook mine on a sheet of aluminum foil so I don’t have any dishes to do! My fave is turning it over about 35 minutes through and filling it with a mix of spinach, garlic, ground turkey, spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese, then cooking it until the cheese browns. You can eat it right out of the shell!

  2. This is great! I have a few spaghetti squash recipes that I want to try, but wasn’t exactly sure the best way to go about cooking it. I’m trying to cut down on the pasta, so I’m happy to hear that this is a good substitute! Love the pesto idea, too! Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is awesome!! One of the things that I want to try this year is spaghetti squash (I’ve never had it!) and I was worried about how to even get started – you made it look easy!!

  4. I am a spaghetti squash addict.. A quick and cheap way I like to eat them is with salsa! After the squash cools and I take out the “meat” let it cool, add a few scoops of salsa and black beans and you’re good to go! Sounds weird but tastes delish…

  5. This is so weird. I was just out running errands and I started thinking about dinner and became dead set on having spaghetti squash and making a delicious chicken sausage sauce to top it with. I made a pit stop at the grocery store just to pick up a squash and then I got home to check my facebook and low and behold you had posted this tutorial. So bizarre. Anyway, this just makes me more excited for my dinner.

  6. I do it exactly the way you described and cannot get over how good it is. I may even like it better than pasta!

  7. Thank you so much for posting this. I think sometimes it may be overwhelming to come up with new material, but I’m all for getting back to the basics! (uhhh…how do you cook a sweet potato?) haha! Thank you so much! I’m printing this and putting it on my cupboard!

  8. Spaghetti squash is the best! It’s actually become one of my favorite post workout snacks. Cooked similar to this without the salt and pepper then top with a scoop of sunbutter and enjoy! So good and a great source of carbs to refuel 🙂

  9. This looks so great. It’s such a shame I can’t find it anywhere in the UK. Does anyone know if/where in the UK you can get spaghetti squash?

  10. I love to cook spaghetti squash in the oven. It gets that great roasted flavor! I like to eat it with a little tomato sauce, spinach and crumbled feta

  11. Love spaghetti squash! And your blog. I hope you dont throw out the pulp and seeds tho, its the most nutritious part!!

  12. Helen Baskin says:

    I have been making my spaghetti squash in the microwave. Large squash takes about twenty minutes, smaller ones around fifteen. I do turn them upside down on a plate to cook. It helps make the prep time shorter for those of us working long hours to have just a bit more family time.

  13. Omg this is awesome!! Thanks for this amazing recipe and pictorial! Just had it for dinner….loooooooved it!

  14. I completely agree with all of this, except for the direction you cut your squash. If you cut it the opposite way (crosswise) then the strands of spaghetti squash are longer and are easier to remove. You will be able to see that this is the way the spaghetti grows inside the squash!

  15. I salt the squash and let it sit for 30 minutes (like you do for eggplant!). It pulls the water from the pulp and keeps your sauce or filling from getting all watery. When the bowl of the squash is full of water just pour it out and wipe off the remaining salt, then seasoning and cook!

  16. Can i freeze cooked squash?

  17. This looks amazing !! Healthy and nutritious.
    I have to try.

  18. I use to bake mine like that in the oven, but if you’re in a hurry…place in a dish, upside down and cover with plastic wrap. It only takes about 10 minutes and it’s done. But like everything else, your microwave time may vary

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