How to Make Spaghetti Squash 5 Ways

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Learn how to make spaghetti squash 5 different ways. See methods to cook it in an oven, slow cooker, Instant Pot, microwave, or grill! Plus ideas for what to serve it with and spaghetti squash recipes.

Half of a spaghetti squash scraped into noodles with two forks in it

How to make spaghetti squash

As a quick overview, start by washing and drying the outer skin. Depending on the cooking method, you can either leave it whole or cut it in half. To halve, press the tip of a sharp knife into the squash. Use a downward motion to push the rest of the knife through, then scoop out the seeds and prepare as directed. You’ll find all the directions below for the following methods:

  • Oven – you’ll want to make sure you have a good baking sheet (my favorite are from NordicWare) and parchment paper.
  • Slow Cooker – a great way to use your crockpot for a hands-off method that cooks itself all day.
  • Instant Pot – an electric pressure cooker makes it quick.
  • Microwave – super fast and easy.
  • Grill – great when you are grilling a steak or chicken and don’t want to heat up the house.

Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Is spaghetti squash healthy?

This winter vegetable is low in calories and high in several key nutrients. Some of the health benefits are:

  • Rich in antioxidants – these have been shown to help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
  • High in vitamin C – supports a healthy immune system and aids iron absorption
  • Excellent source of fiber – keeps digestive system healthy and helps you feel full longer

Is spaghetti squash gluten free?

Yes, all squash is naturally gluten free. Because this vegetable can be made into noodles, it makes it a great alternative to traditional pasta.

How to make spaghetti squash noodles

  1. Once the squash is cooked, run a fork along the inside to create long strings. 
  2. Removing the noodles as you go will prevent them from being mashed with the fork. 
  3. Continue until all of the flesh is removed from the outer skin.

Serve with your favorite pasta sauce or use the noodles to make my Creamy Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

How to cook spaghetti squash in the oven

This method makes perfectly roasted spaghetti squash that’s tender on the inside with just a hint of caramelization.

How to bake spaghetti squash halved

  1. Cut a clean squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Drizzle the insides with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. 
  4. Place the squash cut side down on the pan and poke holes in the skin with a fork.
  5. Bake for about 40 minutes at 400°F. 

Note: This amount of time is for a medium-sized squash (about 2 pounds). Adjust the time by 5-10 minutes for smaller or larger squash.

How to cook spaghetti squash whole

Baking the squash whole makes it easier to cut later, but it it won’t have that great roasted flavor. 

  1. Place the whole squash on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  2. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 400°F, turning it over halfway through.
  3. When the skin is easily pierced with a fork, remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. Then, slice in half and remove the seeds before scraping out the flesh.

Making squash on the grill

Grilling spaghetti squash is an easy way to make this vegetable without heating up your kitchen. Plus, the texture is a bit crispier and it has a bit of charred flavor.

How to grill spaghetti squash

  1. Preheat the grill to medium indirect heat.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
  3. Brush the inside with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the squash on the grill, skin side down, and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Flip each half over and cook for another 10-15 minutes until tender.
  6. Remove from the grill and cool for 5 minutes.

Instant Pot spaghetti squash

Pressure cooking spaghetti squash is one of the fastest methods to use. Depending on the size of your Instant Pot, you can cook it whole or halved.Either way, start by cleaning the outer skin. Then, place the trivet in the bottom of the pot and add 1 cup of water.

Cooking whole

  1. Pierce the skin all over with a paring knife.
  2. Set the squash on the trivet inside the Instant Pot, then seal the lid.
  3. Set to Manual on High Pressure for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.
  4. Once the time is up, do a Quick Release of pressure.
  5. Carefully remove the squash and let cool for about 10 minutes. Then slice and remove the seeds.

Cooking halved

  1. Slice the squash crosswise and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Place the halves on the trivet inside the Instant Pot, stacking slightly if needed.
  3. Seal the lid and set to Manual on High Pressure for 8 minutes.
  4. When done, do a Quick Release of pressure and carefully remove the halves.

Slow cooker spaghetti squash

This method is hands-off and allows you to work on other things while the squash is cooking. Because crockpot spaghetti squash is steamed, it has a milder flavor and is great for using in other dishes.

  1. Wash the outside and pierce all over with a paring knife.
  2. Set inside the slow cooker and cover with the lid – no water needed!
  3. Cook on High for 3 hours on Low or 5 hours on High. It’s done when the skin easily dents when pressed.
  4. Carefully remove the squash, then slice and remove the seeds.

Note: Add an extra hour for every pound over 3 pounds of squash.

How to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave

Microwave spaghetti squash is a two-step process. First, the squash is cooked whole to make slicing easier. Then, the halves are steamed until tender.

  1. Pierce the skin of the cleaned squash a few times with a fork.
  2. Set in the microwave and cook on High for about 4 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the whole squash, then slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  4. Place the halves into a baking dish, cut-side down. Add about 1 inch of water to the dish.
  5. Microwave on High for 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. It’s done when a fork can easily pierce through the skin.

Make it a meal

Low Carb Pasta Dinner

Keto Ramen Bowl

Taco Tuesday

Spaghetti squash noodles in a halved squash with two forks

Spaghetti Squash Recipes

Healthy Beef Stroganoff Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Lighten up the classic recipe and make it gluten free and low carb too, by using lean beef and Greek yogurt, and serving it in spaghetti squash boats.
Check out this recipe
Beef Stroganoff with Mushrooms inside a spaghetti squash boat
Turkey Sausage & Mushroom Spaghetti Squash Casserole
Take baked ziti up a notch by keeping all the cheesiness, but adding even more flavor and nutrition.
Check out this recipe
Turkey Sausage and Mushroom Spaghetti Squash Casserole #glutenfree #lowcarb
Spaghetti Squash Pastitsio with Greek Yogurt Bechamel
The traditional Greek or Middle Eastern dish reinvented in a lighter, lower carb, gluten free, veggie filled way.
Check out this recipe
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More How to Guides

Spaghetti squash noodles in a halved squash with two forks

How to Make Spaghetti Squash 5 Ways

Learn how to make spaghetti squash in the oven, microwave, crock pot, Instant Pot, or on the grill. Here are instructions for all 5 methods!
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash

Instructions

How to make spaghetti squash

  • Start by washing and drying the outer skin.
  • Depending on the cooking method, you can either leave it whole or cut it in half. To halve, press the tip of a sharp knife into the squash. Use a downward motion to push the rest of the knife through, then scoop out the seeds.
  • Prepare as directed using one of the methods below.
  • Once the squash is cooked, run a fork along the inside to create long strings. Removing the noodles as you go will prevent them from being mashed with the fork. Continue until all of the flesh is removed from the outer skin.

How to cook spaghetti squash in the oven

  • Cut a clean squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Or leave it whole.
  • Drizzle the insides with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper, place on a foil-lined baking sheet, place the squash cut side down on the pan and poke holes in the skin with a fork. Or place the whole squash on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 40-50 minutes at 400°F. If whole, turn it over once, halfway through.
  • When the skin is easily pierced with a fork, remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes. If whole, slice in half and remove the seeds. Then scrape out the flesh as described.

How to grill spaghetti squash

  • Preheat the grill to medium indirect heat.
  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.
  • Brush the inside with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the squash on the grill, skin side down, and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Flip each half over and cook for another 10-15 minutes until tender.
  • Remove from the grill and cool for 5 minutes. Then scrape out the flesh as described.

How to cook spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot

  • Place the trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water.
  • Either pierce the the skin of the whole squash all over with a paring knife or slice the squash crosswise and scoop out the seeds.
  • Set the squash on the trivet inside the Instant Pot, then seal the lid.
  • Set to Manual on High Pressure. Cooks for 15-20 minutes for the whole squash, depending on the size of the squash. Or cook for 8 minutes for the halved squash.
  • Once the time is up, do a Quick Release of pressure.
  • Carefully remove the squash and let cool for about 10 minutes. Then slice and remove the seeds. Then scrape out the flesh as described.

How to cook spaghetti squash in the slow cooker

  • Wash the outside and pierce all over with a paring knife.
  • Set inside the slow cooker and cover with the lid – no water needed!
  • Cook on High for 3 hours on Low or 5 hours on High. It’s done when the skin easily dents when pressed. Note: Add an extra hour for every pound over 3 pounds of squash.
  • Carefully remove the squash, and slice and remove the seeds. Then scrape out the flesh as described.

How to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave

  • Pierce the skin of the cleaned squash a few times with a fork.
  • Set in the microwave and cook on High for about 4 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the whole squash, then slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  • Place the halves into a baking dish, cut-side down. Add about 1 inch of water to the dish.
  • Microwave on High for 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. It’s done when a fork can easily pierce through the skin. Then scrape out the flesh as described.
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Spaghetti Squash 5 Ways
Amount Per Serving (1 serving (about 1/2 cup))
Calories 37 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 21mg1%
Potassium 130mg4%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 145IU3%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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