I get so many questions about how to cook spaghetti squash, so I thought I’d share my go-to method for roasting it, a few tips, and a couple of my favorite spaghetti squash recipes.
First things first: cut it in half lengthwise. Then, scoop out the seeds.
Next, drizzle the insides lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I find that adding too much oil and too much salt at this stage makes the squash a bit watery, so a light drizzle and a light sprinkle will do.
Then, poke a few holes in the skin of the squash with a fork and place it cut side down on a baking sheet. Pop it in a pre-heated 400°F oven.
A mistake I used to make was roasting my squash too long. I used to roast it for an hour or longer, but now I roast it for 30 to 40 minutes. I initially thought the squash needed to be super soft and fork tender in order for the strands to “spaghetti,” but over the years I’ve learned that I prefer my strands to be more al dente (and less mushy), and that the 1 hour mark was too long. Of course, the timing will entirely depend on the size of your squash and the heat of your particular oven. It can also vary from squash to squash, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Once it’s roasted and cool enough to touch, use a fork to scrape the strands. I like to start from the outside and work my way in, fluffing them up as I go.
That’s it! Season it with more salt and pepper and serve it as a simple veggie side. Or incorporate it into your favorite spaghetti squash recipes. Here are two of mine (pictured below): Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale and Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash
- extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and ribbing. Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet and use a fork to poke holes. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside, fork tender, but still a litte bit firm. The time will vary depending on the size of your squash. I also find that the timing can vary from squash to squash.
- Remove from the oven and flip the squash so that it’s cut side up. When cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape and fluff the strands from the sides of the squash.
I have been roasting spaghetti squash for years and have to thank you for the tip about cutting down the time for roasting. No more mushy squash and I can actually twirl it like spaghetti. I enjoy it even more.
I love your recipes. The husband and I made this. It turned out good. We just had traditional sauce. This was our first attempt. We had no idea, lol, but it worked out very well. Thank you!
I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Looks easy enough. My issue has always been cutting it in half! My knives are sharp and I’m skilled but I always pay special attention.
Hi Kathy, if you want to soften the squash a little before cutting it, you can pierce the skin several times with a fork and microwave in 1-minute bursts or bake it whole for several minutes until it’s soft enough to cut.
Cut at an angle so that your knife passes to the side of the stem, not through it. 8-10 in chef knife, if sharp, will do it. My wife uses a meat mallet on the knife to force it and that makes me cringe.
I am so grateful for loveandlemons.com. No joke! It has saved my series of unfortunate meals many times. Thank you!
I just made spaghetti squash for the first time, and it is amazing! I tried it with cooked tomatoes and feta cheese. It makes for awesome leftovers. Thanks for teaching me how to cook the squash!
I’m so glad you loved it!
Many thanks for the recipe. I poke hole in the squash first and soften in the microwave for 5 min so it is easier to cut in half! This method is foolproof yet delicious ! I served it w/ spaghetti sauce and marinated and grilled portobella mushrooms. YUM !
Hi Jan, so glad you loved it!
Thanks for the recipe.. cooked mine for forty minutes came out so good. I just added some butter and parmesan cheese
I always found it easier to cook if it’s sliced in rings, lightly oiled and salt/pepper. If you do 1 1/4 – 2 inch rings it’s a nice portion size also. Easier to get nice sets of strings in the rings than a longer half section. Halfway through the cooking you might want to filp the rings for even cooking.. Cook or cover with parchment paper to control browning if needed.
I recall reading before to cut the squash the opposite way for better “spaghetti “. Thanks for the reminder 😀
If you’re not opposed to the microwave try placing the whole clean squash in for 60 seconds then cut and scrape the seeds. Much easier! Likewise placing cut halves upside down a dish with 1-2 TBL water,cover with plastic wrap and cook for 5-6”. Quick & ready to use!
Amazing and delicious. Simple. Cooked it for myself and my 1 year old for the first time. He loved it! Thanks!
Awww so glad you both loved it!
I’ve never been happy with spaghetti squash when I cooked it in the past, but I decided to give it one more try. Some great tips were provided and I think that’s what made it turn out perfect this time (I’m guessing I always overlooked it). Super easy, great results!