Learning how to cook Spaghetti squash is easier than you might think. The transformation that happens in the oven is something to behold, and you'll be using it in all sorts of recipes.
Put away your Spiralizer, my friends! This variety of winter squash is naturally spiralized.
When spaghetti squash cooks, the flesh loosens and has a texture and appearance like that of spaghetti.
Cooking spaghetti squash is easy, and it's really interesting to see how the texture completely transforms in the oven.
What is spaghetti squash?
- It's simply squash that's shaped like spaghetti when it's cooked. Sometimes called Vegetable Spaghetti, you can certainly serve roasted or baked Spaghetti Squash as a fantastic gluten-free spaghetti substitute -- but, please do not think it's at all the same thing.
- In season from fall to early spring, spaghetti squash is a low-carb winter squash variety that's in the same family with pumpkins, zucchini, and gourds.
What does it taste like?
While nothing like a glutenous noodle, its texture is quite lovely -- soft with a slight crunch. It has a very subtle nut-like, buttery flavor, but it's fairly bland otherwise.
Baked and roasted spaghetti squash becomes caramelized in the oven, which brings out a natural subtle sweet flavor.
What to serve with it?
Since its flavor is fairly mild, spaghetti squash can take on a lot of other flavors.
- I think it's great with dark leafy greens, robust vegetables, like brussels sprouts, and meaty and cheesy sauces.
- You can treat it like pasta and add your favorite spaghetti sauce and meatballs.
- Like butternut squash and pumpkin, it would be amazing drizzled with Brown Sage Butter.
- It's typically served warm, but could also offer a lovely, unique crunch to a salad.
Now let's learn how to cut spaghetti squash, remove the seeds and bake it . . .
How to Cut Spaghetti Squash
- On a clean, dry cutting board, use a Chef's knife to cut about an inch off of the stem end of the squash.
- Place the squash on the base you’ve just made and slice down the center, vertically.
How to Clean Spaghetti Squash (Remove the Seeds)
- Use a large spoon to gently scrape out the seeds from both halves. (Don't worry about the stringy insides left from the seeds.)
How to Bake the Squash
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and place both halves of the squash on top, round sides up.
- Roast in a 400°F oven until they’re very soft, about 45 minutes. Carefully turn the squash halves over to let them cool for a few minutes.
- Use a fork to very gently pull the flesh away from the skin.
- The squash will naturally pull away from the sides in strings. You will know the squash is ready when the fork effortlessly forms spaghetti-like strands. They should still have a slightly firm texture. (Be careful not to let it cook too long or it will become mushy.)
How to Store Spaghetti Squash
- Whole. A whole raw squash should be stored in a cool, dark place. Usually these spaces are in lower kitchen cabinets or on a low shelf in the pantry. If the temperature isn't higher than 60°F, it can keep for about 2 months. Up to about 68°F it should keep for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Cut. Once the squash is cut, it should be refrigerated, in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. It should keep this way for about a week.
- Cooked. After the squash is cooked, it should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep this way for a few days. I can also be frozen once it's cooked -- again in an airtight container. It can be frozen for about 3 months.
Spaghetti squash recipes:
Spinach-Sausage Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
This recipe delivers a ton of delicious flavor from fresh, simple, ingredients, and it's always a huge hit.
Tomato-Spinach Pesto Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Pesto Spaghetti Squash is made with wine, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Packed with flavor, it’s an ideal vegetarian and gluten-free dish that everyone will love.
Spaghetti squash is one of those foods, like a pear cactus or a cherimoya, that might be daunting to deal with if you haven't ever eaten one, or cooked one before. You'll see though, that it's actually quite easy. And fun!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash
- 1 approximately (4-pound) spaghetti squash
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, and adjust a rack to the center and cut about an inch off of the stem end of the squash.
- Place the squash on the base you’ve just made and use a large Chef’s knife to slice down the center, vertically.
- Use a large metal spoon to gently scrape out the seeds from both halves. (Don't worry about the stringy insides left from the seeds.)
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil on a baking sheet and place both halves of the squash on top, round side up.
- Roast in the preheated 400°F oven until they’re very soft, about 45minutes. Use kitchen tongs to carefully turn the squash over to let them cool for a few minutes.
- Use a fork to very gently pull the flesh away from the skin. It will naturally come off in strings.
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