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Culinary Arts

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Three Ways: Oven, Crock Pot, and Microwave

Written by MasterClass

Feb 1, 2019 • 1 min read

The past few years may be defined by turning vegetables into noodle doppelgangers, but spaghetti squash was on that beat long before zoodles became a thing. Where the other members of the cucurbita family—like acorn squash, butternut squash, and other winter squashes—contain firm, nutty flesh that require loads of time in the oven, the lighter spaghetti squash is a quick and easy option.

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What Is Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti squash is an early autumn squash featuring a light, stringy interior with a subtle flavor that acts as a neutral base for a number of healthy, gluten-free dishes.

What Is Spaghetti Squash Used For?

When cooked, spaghetti squash takes on the appearance of a thin noodle like angel hair pasta, hence the name. Thanks to that unique texture, spaghetti squash is often used as a low-carb alternative to actual noodles, whether paired with a pat of butter and garlic, or a rich tomato sauce. For a sweeter preparation with a kick, try it with hot honey.

a spaghetti squash with olive oil before being roasted

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

To roast spaghetti squash in the oven, preheat to 400℉. With a chef’s knife, slice squash lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and place squash cut-side down on a baking sheet. Cook spaghetti squash for 30-45 minutes, until both squash halves are tender when pierced with a knife. Cool, then scrape the inside of the squash with a fork to separate the flesh into long, spaghetti-like strands. Season with salt and black pepper, and top with Parmesan cheese (optional).

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in a Crock-Pot

Instant Pots or Crock-Pots cook spaghetti squash faster than actual spaghetti. Simply slice the squash lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. Place a steamer basket or a trivet into the bottom of the pot, and add 1 cup of water. Set for 7 minutes on high-pressure. Remove and let cool. Use a fork to scrape out the insides, and season to taste.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in a Microwave

Slice squash lengthwise, and remove seeds. Place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe baking dish, add a splash of water, and cook for about 12 minutes, or until you can easily poke holes with a fork. Total times may vary depending on the size of the squash and your microwave, so keep an eye on it every few minutes!

a plate of finished spaghetti squash

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How Do You Make Spaghetti Squash Noodles?

Spaghetti squash “noodles” are made by gently scraping out the flesh of the cooked squash with a fork. The resulting spaghetti-like strands serve as a wonderful substitute in recipes that call for noodles.