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.

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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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Louise

    I am trying this tonight with my home made turkey kielbasa pasta sauce. Can’t wait!

  2. J B

    It came out perfect! Easy quick. Best recipe for roasting spaghetti squash.
    I made spaghetti squash primavera with it.
    Sautéed carrots red and green peppers in olive oil with garlic salt and pepper then once tender I added the squash and a little more salt and pepper
    So yummy
    Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Liz Wyatt

    Going to try your recipe today for dinner ,looks very delicious and easy instructions also ! Thank you

  4. William

    Thanks for the info, looks easy will let you know how it turned out.

  5. Barbara

    I have never tried poking holes in the skin but I am baking it today so I am trying it. I usually have it with some ground turkey and Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil sauce, so delicious, I have also used Rao’s marinara sauce.

  6. Amanda

    Perfect instructions! Thank you so very much!!

  7. Frank

    A different approach. First sprinkle generously with salt and let sit for about 1/2 hour. That draws out a lot of the moisture. Wipe with a paper towel (do not rinse). Oil the cut side and place in the oven (I often use the gas grill) cut side up. We usually eat it as a “boat” so I don’t poke holes in the skin (your sauce will leak through). Been doing it this way for many years.

    • Yolanda

      Sounds like a good approach. Will try this. I imagine how nice it would look, presentation-wise.

  8. Ernest

    try slicing the squash at the waist instead of lengthwise. Not only is it easier but it produces longer “noodles”

  9. Kendra

    I have tried to make Spaghetti squash multiple times before and it never got soft enough to just run a fork through it. I just made this recipe and it was the best Spaghetti squash I have ever had! Thank you!

  10. Julie

    I tried 3 methods for cooking and found one winner! Delicious!

  11. Nancy

    Absolutely delicious! Roasted spaghetti squash as you said & it was perfect. Thank you!!!

  12. Charles

    Love the way it came out

  13. Trina Michele

    I cooked the squash like you said, and it was my best cook on one yet! Thank you for explaining the el dente cook, it was my goal and although I was skeptical, it turned out to be perfect! I made a Bolognese and topped with a sharp cheddar. Thank you, dinner was amazing.

  14. Trisha

    Im trying to get away from so much meat and more veggie dinners…complete veggie meals…can you please help with this and lunches also for myself and my husband…thanks

  15. Pat Pendleton

    Followed your recipe and it was very good. I then added some home made spaghetti sauce that I had made, sprinkled some parmesan on top and baked for 20 minutes.

  16. Annemarie Russell

    Loved it first time I made it. I have it a couple of times a month now. Season it with salt pepper and butter. Same way I eat spaghetti which is my absolute favorite so this spaghetti squash takes the urge to eat pasta away. Thanks for sharing recipe. It’s perfect every rime

  17. Merry

    Surprisingly yummy! Even my anti-vegee hubby loves this!

  18. Linda

    Thank you , I followed these instructions exactly and produced delicious “spaghetti “ for the first time. In the past I too had cooked the squash for too long (not knowing) ended up with delicious mush but not really what I wanted. Thanks for this revolutionary tip.

  19. Karen Beck

    This is a new set of instructions for cooking spaghetti squash for me, and I’ll never go back to the old way. The squash was cooked to perfection!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you loved it!

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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.