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.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

First thing’s first: use a sharp knife to cut it in half lengthwise.

Recipe Tip

If your squash is too hard to cut, soften it slightly in the oven or microwave before slicing it in half.

  • Option 1: Roast the squash whole. Prick it all over with a fork and bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, or until it’s soft enough to slice in two.
  • Option 2: Microwave the squash. Prick it all over with a fork and microwave in 1-minute bursts until it’s soft enough to cut.

Then, cut the squash in half and proceed with the recipe!

Hands scooping seeds from halved Spaghetti Squash

After you slice the squash in half, use a spoon to 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.

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 dish.

More Spaghetti Squash Recipes

You can also use the cooked squash in your favorite spaghetti squash recipes. Here are two of mine (pictured below):

  1. Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale
  2. Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash


5.0 from 431 reviews

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
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.
Author:
Serves: 2 to 4
Ingredients
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  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 little 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.

600 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Timothy
    11.19.2023

    Followed the instructions as you described and it turned out beautifully. Will definitely make again. Thank you for a great recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.23.2023

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  2. Evelyn
    11.14.2023

    This recipe is such a pleasant surprise. The high rating is what steered me to it. For a while my husband and I were doing Green Chef. This is as good as the recipes found there. We loved it and it was easy to make.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2023

      I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes!

  3. Devan
    11.12.2023

    I am so happy to have found this post! I have read dozens of spaghetti squash recipes–and they have been universally mushy. This was excellent, and the strands stood up perfectly to the follow-up sauté! I toss them with some melted Boursin thinned with half-and-half. Not vegan, but really delicious.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2023

      I’m so glad your spaghetti squash was not mushy!

  4. Tee Shelby
    11.11.2023

    I absolutely LOVE Spaghetti Squash, made it for the 1st time last night – following your directions, only difference is I Roasted it in an Air Fryer on 400 – THANK YOU!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2023

      I’m so glad you loved it! I’ll have to try it in the air fryer!

    • Sheila
      11.28.2023

      how long in the air fryer Tee?

  5. Cindy
    11.09.2023

    Great advice on the shorter cooking time. Thank you!!

  6. Kathy
    11.05.2023

    Delicious! I cooked mine for 30 minutes in the toaster oven and put pesto over it.

  7. Marcelle
    11.01.2023

    Delicious and the tips were awesome for this being my first time cooking spaghetti squash. I added cream cheese, fresh parm and salt/pepper. Thank you again.

  8. Karin
    10.30.2023

    Perfectly cooked spaghetti squash! Thanks for your tips…I used to cook mine for too long too, and they ended up mushy. These were perfect last night when I made them. And the tip of not adding too much oil and salt before baking was also spot on. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.31.2023

      I’m so glad it was perfect!

  9. Gloria
    10.28.2023

    I always put my squash in the oven whole and take the seeds out after the fact. Seems easier. Maybe I am just lazy.

  10. Kevyn
    10.23.2023

    Thank you so much for the advice on spaghetti, squash, recipes, turned out great

  11. Bonnie
    10.21.2023

    Thank you for not gatekeeping this with a subscription… we shouldn’t have to pay for literally every recipe, so just thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.23.2023

      Hi Bonnie, you’re welcome, I hope you’re enjoying the recipes!

  12. Carm
    10.14.2023

    Hi,
    I just followed your recipe and wow, this is so good!!! This is the first time that I have made spaghetti squash and I love it.
    Thank, Carm

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.15.2023

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  13. Heather
    09.23.2023

    Easy. It came out perfect and is delicious! Thank you!

  14. Wendy
    09.19.2023

    I have to thank you for your guidance. So easy to follow your directions. My spaghetti squash is so so good.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.20.2023

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the spaghetti squash!

  15. Astrid Greenberry
    09.19.2023

    Absolutely spot on! Helped me cook spaghetti squash to perfection 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.20.2023

      I’m so happy to hear that!

  16. meghan
    09.18.2023

    Thanks for the recipe! I picked up a spaghetti from a farmers market and coking per your instructions right now!!

  17. EDDIE DAVID
    09.18.2023

    I USE AN ELECTRIC KNIFE WITH A BLADE FOR FROZEN FOOD TO CUT SQUASH

  18. waste not, want not
    08.31.2023

    Easy recipe. But don’t toss the seeds! Lots of recipes online for how to roast these nutritious morsels. Composting’s ok, but much better to eat our food, no?

    • Cindy
      10.13.2023

      Absolutely! Always roast the seeds from every fall squash. Good & good for you!

      By the way, the 40 minutes was a bit too al dante for me, but otherwise, good starting point. Thank you!

  19. Robert
    08.23.2023

    40 minutes did okay in my Breville oven on convection , but it actually could have gone for 30-35 minutes at 400. Or maybe do 40 minutes at 375. All ovens are different. Just an fyi for anyone that has one of the smaller countertop ovens.
    Thanks

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      08.25.2023

      Hi Robert, thanks for sharing your timing!

  20. Lynda
    07.31.2023

    I have a brand new range and I am trying new recipes often.
    I never cooked a spaghetti squash before so I tried your recipe because it sounded easy.

    I cooked it for the 40 minutes and it came out really good.
    A really good change of a veggie.
    Really liked it and your recipe.
    Thanks.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.01.2023

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

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.