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How to Bake Spaghetti Squash

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If you have never cooked a spaghetti squash in the oven before this post will help you learn how to bake spaghetti squash. It’s a simple process!

Spaghetti squash is a delicious option for sides, main dishes, and more. It is low in calories and carbs but high in nutrients and it has a mild flavor you can pair with almost anything.

There’s nothing better in the summer then fresh spaghetti squash from the farmers market or your own garden. Learn how to cook them perfectly so you can use the spaghetti like flesh for your favorite recipes all year long.

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pin showing the finished recipe for how to bake spaghetti squash ready to serve with title across the middle.

If you have never made a spaghetti squash before you probably have some questions and hopefully we will answer all of them below!

Spaghetti squash is a type of summer squash that is popular for replacing pasta, like spaghetti, in recipes where you are trying to lower the carbs and calories. Spaghetti squash gets its name from the stringy way the flesh separates when it is done cooking. The strands resemble spaghetti noodles!

A cup full of the finished squash after following the process for how to bake spaghetti squash.

Is spaghetti squash a healthy vegetable?

Like most varieties of squash, spaghetti squash is considered nutrient dense because it is low in calories and high in nutrients.

You get a large dose of vitamins like C, B6, betacarotene, and fiber when eating spaghetti squash. It also has a lot of antioxidants which is always a great benefit in whole foods!

Typically you can expect to have about 42 calories per cup of cooked spaghetti squash which means that while it is high in fiber and vitamins it is not adding a lot of calories or fat to your daily intake!

There are about 10 grams of carbs in a cup of cooked spaghetti squash which is why it is a great alternative to pasta in a lot of recipes.

A look into a bowl of the finished product after you learn how to bake spaghetti squash.

What do I need to bake a spaghetti squash?

For this recipe you will need a spaghetti squash that has been washed, cut in half, and cleaned (meaning had the seeds removed from the middles of the halves.

Ideally you will need cutting board and a pretty large and sharp knife to cut the squash in half safely. It’s a more stiff squash with a harder outer skin which makes cutting it a bit tricky, use a cutting board and a firm grip to cut and clean it safely.

To season the spaghetti squash you might want to have on hand some butter, salt, pepper, or any type of seasonings you like!

Washed, halved, and cleaned, spaghetti squash ready to bake

Kitchen essentials for tasty recipes and meal prep:

When you head into the kitchen to make some of these great recipes you’ll want to have the best tools on hand.

I like half sheet baking pans that are quality (hello no noisy pops or sloshed cookie dough from twisting), I line my cookie sheets with silicone baking mats. These are great for all kinds of baking and not just cookies! My husband loves them for making biscuits, pizzas, and more!

Of course mixing bowls, a mixerspatula, and some whisks should be on your list if you don’t have ones that you love. I also like to have a set of cooling racks so that my recipes can properly cool before they’re scarfed down by my family!

A forkful of the finished baked spaghetti squash.

How to bake a spaghetti squash:

Preheat the oven to 350

Using a spoon, remove the inner seeds and strands by scraping them out in a downwards motion. It’s not absolutely necessary to remove every strand from the seeds as they are edible, but you want to be sure all seeds are removed. 

Washed, halved, and cleaned, spaghetti squash ready to bake

Place CUT SIDE UP on a baking pan (or casserole dish is fine as well). 

cooked spaghetti squash ready to shred

Roast, uncovered for 35 – 40 minutes. **See notes below

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Carefully (using an oven mitt) hold the bottom of the squash and with a fork, begin to scrap the sides with a fork to remove the cooked, spaghetti-like strands. 

shredding the flesh of the spaghetti squash after baking it

Toss with butter, salt and pepper in a bowl and serve.

another look at the flesh of the spaghetti squash being shredded.

Notes on cooking the perfect spaghetti squash:

Cooking the squash cut side up helps evaporate a lot of the vegetable water that is usually a large complaint when cooking spaghetti squash. Many people don’t like how it leaves water on the plate, diluting the sauce put on top of it. Cooking the squash cut side up help negate that issue. 

An even easier way to roast the squash is to leave the seeds and everything intact and then scrap the seeds after roasting. They are MUCH easier to remove at this point but keeping the seeds in the squash while roasting will help keep some of those juices from evaporating. 

The roasting time on the squash is an approximate as it will depend on the size of the squash you’re roasting, as well as how ‘juicy’ the squash is. A newer squash will have more inner liquid and be more hydrated than an older squash. Both will be very tasty though. 

If you wanted an quicker way to cook the squash and didn’t care about the amount of liquid that remains from the squash, then place them face down in a glass baking dish. Add a small amount of water (1/4 cup) to the pan and then cover with plastic wrap. Bake on high for 20 minutes. After the cooking time is up, leave them sit in the microwave, covered for a few minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and scrape the insides. This will result in a very tender, moist squash. 

Cutting the squash in half (horizontally), and cooking the halves in the same way as the above directions will result in very  long strands of “spaghetti” squash. The cooking time should be increased by about 10 minutes. 

Lastly, another way, is to cut the squash horizontally, but instead of in half, cut it rounds or medallions. It’s more work to remove the seeds and such, but will take 20 – 25 minutes to roast, and can be served with the skin intact for a pretty presentation. 

featured image showing the finished cooked spaghetti squash.

Looking for more squash recipes and guides?

Here we have some other squash recipes, guides, and tips for preparing all the best summer squash, zucchini, and more. Try them out and check out the guides for more tips and tricks on cooking, cleaning, and using up those delicious fresh veggies!

Printable Guide For How To Bake Spaghetti Squash:

Yield: 1 Squash

How To Bake Spaghetti Squash

featured image showing the finished cooked spaghetti squash.

If you have never cooked a spaghetti squash in the oven before this post will help you learn how to bake spaghetti squash. It's a simple process!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • Cutting Board
  • Large, Sharp Knife
  • Baking Sheet

Tools

  • 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Using a spoon, remove the inner seeds and strands by scraping them out in a downwards motion. It’s not absolutely necessary to remove every strand from the seeds as they are edible, but you want to be sure all seeds are removed.
  3. Place CUT SIDE UP on a baking pan (or casserole dish is fine as well).
  4. Roast, uncovered for 35 – 40 minutes. **See notes below
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Carefully (using an oven mitt) hold the bottom of the squash and with a fork, begin to scrap the sides with a fork to remove the cooked, spaghetti-like strands.
  6. Toss with butter, salt and pepper in a bowl and serve.

Notes

Cooking the squash cut side up helps evaporate a lot of the vegetable water that is usually a large complaint when cooking spaghetti squash. Many people don’t like how it leaves water on the plate, diluting the sauce put on top of it. Cooking the squash cut side up help negate that issue.


An even easier way to roast the squash is to leave the seeds and everything intact and then scrap the seeds after roasting. They are MUCH easier to remove at this point but keeping the seeds in the squash while roasting will help keep some of those juices from evaporating.


The roasting time on the squash is an approximate as it will depend on the size of the squash you’re roasting, as well as how ‘juicy’ the squash is. A newer squash will have more inner liquid and be more hydrated than an older squash. Both will be very tasty though.


If you wanted a quicker way to cook the squash and didn’t care about the amount of liquid that remains from the squash, then place them face down in a glass baking dish. Add a small amount of water (1/4 cup) to the pan and then cover with plastic wrap. Bake on high for 20 minutes. After the cooking time is up, leave them sit in the microwave, covered for a few minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and scrape the insides. This will result in a very tender, moist squash.


Cutting the squash in half (horizontally), and cooking the halves in the same way as the above directions will result in very long strands of “spaghetti” squash. The cooking time should be increased by about 10 minutes.


Lastly, another way (like #5) is to cut the squash horizontally, but instead of in half, cut it rounds or medallions. It’s more work to remove the seeds and such, but will take 20 – 25 minutes to roast, and can be served with the skin intact for a pretty presentation.

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