11 net carbs

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional pasta. It’s easy to prepare and can be cooked in the oven for a quick and simple meal.

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Close up view of oven roasted spaghetti squash.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (That’s Not Mushy or Watery!)

Total Diabetes Wellness
This recipe tutorial will guide you on how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven. This versatile vegetable is a great alternative to traditional pasta. Spaghetti squash is perfect if you’re eating low-carb, Keto, gluten-free, or just looking to eat more vegetables.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Tutorials, Veggies and Sides
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Net Carbs 11 g
*Net carbs are per serving

Ingredients
 

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or olive oil sprayer)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400F/204C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    Close-up view of temperature knob on an oven, preheat oven to cook a meal.
  • With a large sharp knife, hold the spaghetti squash firmly with your non-dominant hand, and slice off the top edge (the side with the stem). This gives the squash a flat surface, making the squash more stable for cutting in half.
    Top view of a woman holding a spaghetti squash with one hand while cutting the top end off using a large sharp knife.
  • Stand the squash upright (flat side down), and carefully cut it in half lengthwise. *The skin of the spaghetti squash is quite firm, and this step will take some muscle. Be careful to keep your fingers out of the path of your knife.
    Top view of a woman cutting a spaghetti squash in half on a wood cutting board.
  • Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop out the inside seeds and strings.
    Top view of spaghetti squash cut in half with a person scooping out the middle seeds and strings.
  • Drizzle olive oil over the squash to coat the inside. *We like to use an olive oil spritzer to make this process quick and easy. Season with salt and pepper.
    Top view of two spaghetti squash halves on a baking sheet seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Place face down on the lined backing sheet.
    Top view of a spaghetti squash cut in half placed flat side down on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes. Bake time will depend on the size of your squash. Spaghetti squash is al dente when you press on the top of the squash, and it is slightly tender. Be careful not to overcook; this will make your squash mushy and watery.
    Two spaghetti squash halves on a baking sheet out of the oven after roasting.
  • Once the squash is cool enough to handle safely, use a fork to scrape the insides and create your ‘spaghetti’ strands. Serve as desired!
    Top view of a woman scraping the strands out of a cooked spaghetti squash.

Video

Nutrition

 

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Keywords baked spaghetti squash, low-carb spaghetti squash, roasted spaghetti squash
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Photos of How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Notes

Having a sharp knife is essential when cutting spaghetti squash. When raw, the squash skin can be difficult to cut. When learning to cut for the first time, go slow and always keep your fingers out of the knife path. If you don’t have a sharp knife, or the skin is too difficult to cut into, you can microwave it for 2-3 minutes to soften it slightly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this spaghetti squash low-carb or Keto?

Yes! Spaghetti squash is an excellent substitution for noodles or rice when cooking low-carb or Keto! One cup of cooked spaghetti squash is about 8 net carbs. Comparatively, one cup of cooked regular spaghetti noodles is about 40 net carbs. Spaghetti squash is a great choice to have ‘noodles’ while keeping your carbohydrate consumption low. *If you’re following a strict Keto diet of 20 net carbs a day, you will likely only be eating spaghetti squash when prepared with another dish to keep the carb count lower. Spaghetti squash is also a great way to get extra vegetables into your diet!

Is this recipe gluten-free?

Yes! Spaghetti squash is naturally gluten-free.

Storage and Reheating Guidelines

  • Make-ahead: You can bake your spaghetti squash 1-2 days in advance. Simply cook as directed, and store in an air-tight container until ready to use.
  • Storing leftovers: Spaghetti squash will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, stored in an air-tight container.
  • Freezing instructions: We don’t recommend freezing cooked spaghetti squash on its own; it often will be mushy and watery when thawed. Spaghetti squash may be ok frozen in some casseroles, depending on the other ingredients.
  • To reheat: Reheat leftover spaghetti squash in the oven or microwave. *The microwave may give the squash a more mushy texture when reheating.

Additional Details

Spaghetti squash is a versatile vegetable that is an excellent alternative to traditional pasta for individuals following a low-carb or diabetic-friendly diet. With its tender, noodle-like texture and subtle flavor, spaghetti squash is a perfect canvas for a variety of delicious creations.

Benefits of Spaghetti Squash for People with Diabetes

Spaghetti squash is a fantastic ingredient for individuals managing diabetes due to its low carbohydrate content and high fiber content. The high fiber content helps slow down digestion and regulate blood sugar levels, preventing spikes in glucose after meals. Additionally, spaghetti squash is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote overall health and well-being, making it a nutritious choice for those with diabetes.

Spaghetti Squash Preparation Tips

  • Choose the Perfect Spaghetti Squash: Look for a squash that feels heavy for its size with a firm and unblemished exterior. This indicates freshness and ensures optimal taste and texture.
  • Proper Storage: Store spaghetti squash in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It can be kept for several weeks, allowing you to enjoy this versatile vegetable whenever you desire.

Cooking Instructions for Spaghetti Squash

  • Step 1: Preheat the Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  • Step 2: Slice the Squash: Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Be cautious when cutting through the tough outer skin, as it can be challenging to cut through.
  • Step 3: Remove the Seeds: Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from each half using a spoon. Discard the seeds or save them for roasting as a nutritious snack. Removing the seeds ensures that the spaghetti squash strands remain intact and ready for the desired toppings or sauces.
  • Step 4: Season and Prepare for Roasting: Drizzle each half with olive oil and season with salt and pepper or your favorite herbs and spices. The olive oil adds flavor and helps prevent the squash from drying out during roasting. Seasoning options are versatile, allowing you to customize the taste to your liking. Consider using herbs like rosemary, thyme, or garlic powder for added aroma and depth of flavor.
  • Step 5: Roast the Spaghetti Squash: Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven and roast for approximately 40-45 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the flesh can be easily pierced with a fork. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the squash and enhances its texture, making it resemble spaghetti strands.
  • Step 6: Scrape Out the Strands: Remove the spaghetti squash from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Using a fork, scrape the flesh of the squash lengthwise, loosening the strands and creating spaghetti-like noodles. The cooked squash should easily separate into thin, noodle-like strands, ready to be enjoyed in various dishes.

Spaghetti Squash Serving Suggestions and Variations

  • Classic Marinara Delight: Top the cooked spaghetti squash with your favorite marinara sauce, fresh basil, and grated Parmesan cheese for a low-carb twist on traditional spaghetti and meatballs. The natural sweetness of the squash pairs perfectly with the tangy tomato sauce and savory toppings, creating a comforting and satisfying meal.
  • Pesto Perfection: Toss the spaghetti squash strands with homemade or store-bought pesto, cherry tomatoes, and pine nuts for a vibrant and flavorful dish. The earthy and herbaceous flavors of the pesto complement the delicate taste of the spaghetti squash, resulting in a refreshing and light option.
  • Creamy Alfredo Indulgence: Combine the spaghetti squash with a rich and creamy Alfredo sauce, cooked chicken, and sautéed mushrooms for a decadent low-carb dinner. The creamy sauce adds a lusciousness to the dish, while the mushrooms and chicken provide added protein and texture.
  • Tex-Mex Fiesta: Mix the spaghetti squash with cooked ground turkey, black beans, diced tomatoes, and Mexican spices for a delicious and satisfying Tex-Mex inspired meal. This variation offers a fusion of flavors and a dose of protein, making it a hearty and nutritious option.

Storage Instructions

If you have leftover cooked spaghetti squash, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat gently in a skillet or microwave before using in your favorite recipes. Leftover spaghetti squash can be incorporated into salads, stir-fries, or used as a base for casseroles, ensuring no food goes to waste.

Cooking spaghetti squash is a simple yet rewarding process that opens up a world of possibilities for low-carb and diabetes-friendly meals. Its versatility allows you to enjoy a variety of flavors and textures while providing a nutritious alternative to traditional pasta. By incorporating this tasty vegetable into your culinary repertoire, you can create wholesome and satisfying dishes that will please your taste buds and support your overall well-being. Embrace the wonders of spaghetti squash and discover a new world of low-carb deliciousness! With its numerous health benefits and endless possibilities for customization, spaghetti squash is a must-try for individuals with diabetes and anyone seeking a healthier lifestyle.

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Recipe Rating




This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Recipe was easy to follow. I’ve always overcooked spaghetti squash which has made the texture gross to eat. This time it turned out really good, much more like actual “noodles”. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback Sandra! Texture is everything for spaghetti squash, once you master how to cook spaghetti squash it makes the world of difference. It took us awhile in the beginning also, mushy spaghetti squash doesn’t have the best texture or taste!