How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is such a fun, underrated vegetable! Here is my favorite way to cook it, along with a few tips and recipes.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

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 and roast it.

Hands scooping seeds from halved Spaghetti Squash

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.

Spaghetti Squash on baking sheet with olive oil

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.

Hands poking holes in Spaghetti Squash with a fork

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.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash halves on baking sheet

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.

Hands fluffing Spaghetti Squash strands with fork

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

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
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This is my go-to method for creating perfect al dente spaghetti squash strands to use in vegetable sides and main dishes. The exact timing will vary depending on the heat of your oven and the size of your squash.
Serves: 2 to 4
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.



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  1. Sabrina from

    great walk through and tips, especially when spaghetti squash gets far less attention these days than zucchini, thank you

  2. Susanna

    Hi! Happy Tuesday! Do you know if this would work with any butternut squash? It’s the softest squash I can find in Spain unfortunately. during autumn and winter I always have a big batch of roasted squash ready in the fridge to add to all sort of dishes, however it has never occured to me to try to make spaghetti with it! Was just curious to know if someone has already made the test!
    I will give it a try this weekened and see what happens. worst that can happen is that I end up making puree with the squash. LOL

      • susanna

        Too bad! I will keep on searching….. Each time I have travelled to the US I have searched for some restaurant that serves spaghetti squash but I have never been able to find it. It’s one of those things that got me really curious. hehe
        I love all your butternut squah recipes, anything that includes pasta is a favourite in our home
        Have a great day!

  3. I agree with roasting rather than steaming if you want to use your spaghetti squash like spaghetti. I don’t use oil–I just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, place it cut-side down and give it a few stabs to make air vents. I don’t worry about salt and pepper because there’s usually enough in the sauce.
    Also it’s good if your sauce isn’t too runny.

  4. Willa

    I will add my favorite use of spagetti squash:
    It is buffalo chicken spahetti squash. There are recipes readily available. Hot sauce, pieces of cooked chicken, green or regular onion, cut small. Some recipes add cheese and/or orcream cheese.

  5. Susan

    I haven’t done much with spaghetti squash in a long time, but one of the things I found early on, was that if I cooked it too long, the flavor turned bitter. I allays roasted it whole, for 1.5 hours, turning it halfway through – for a medium squash (probably 2-3 pounds). My favorite way to serve it has always been as a side, with garlic butter and parmesan.

  6. Perfect timing! I happen to have a spaghetti squash on my counter which has been there forever because I’m never sure what to do with it. Good thing squash keeps a long time.

  7. felicia from

    Awesome post!

    I just had spaghetti squash for lunch today, topped with grilled paneer, dill and greek yogurt 🙂
    I can’t eat chickpea, but I will give it a try with kale as well.

  8. Sarah | Well and Full

    I usually microwave my spaghetti squash but I’ve been wanting to roast it! Thank you for this helpful guide 🙂

  9. Mary Myers

    Good ideas. I would love to try all of these recipes. can the spaghetti squash be steamed in a instant pot?

  10. Elena

    I find that if I cut the squash in the opposite direction than you did (around its “equator”, rather than pole to pole haha), the strands are longer and more spaghetti-like and twirl-able. I never knew you could roast it cut-side down, which is a great tip, stability-wise!

  11. Rita

    Such a nice article… yummy food

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Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.