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How to Bake Spaghetti Squash

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
I just came back from a week of blissdom at the famous Rancho La Puerta spa in Tecate, Mexico, where they’re known for their invigorating hikes and healthy, low-calorie, mostly vegetarian gourmet meals. It’s a place where you go to recharge, restore and get back in touch with how wonderful nourishing food tastes and feels.

Don’t get me wrong, I missed my meats like crazy (a few of my co-conspirators and I snuck out for a beer and taco run … twice).

Since I’ve been home, I’ve been trying to keep a little of that Rancho La Puerta experience with me, and I’m specifically talking about enjoying healthy vegetarian dishes.

A spaghetti squash is a pretty intimidating pain. It’s large, heavy and when uncooked, you’d need a hack saw to pierce through its thick skin. But pop that baby in a 375F oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour (until you can easily pierce it with a paring knife) and it will look like this:

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 

Grab knife and cut it all the way around:

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Then open it up:

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Scoop out the seeds:

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Then use two forks to lift the strands out:

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Oops. I must’ve forgotten to take off the sticker on the squash:

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Gently scrape until all the squash is gone:

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
And now you’ve got a mound of golden, tender strands, ready to do whatever you please.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
You can simply toss it with a little bit of butter or olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Or, you can sauté some chopped onions until softened in a bit of olive oil. Then add the spaghetti squash, season with salt, minced parsley, a quick squeeze of lemon and just toss until warmed through.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
 
Add just a sprinkling of grated cheese, and feel good knowing that you’re doing good for your body.

Tasty Kitchen Blog: How To Bake Spaghetti Squash. Guest post by Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen.

 
 
_______________________________________

Jaden Hair is a food writer, television personality, and food photographer based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Find more of her recipes on her blog, Steamy Kitchen, where you can also read more about Jaden’s new book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, and the rave reviews it’s received!

 

100 Comments

Comments are closed for this recipe.

Robin on 4.21.2010

Any ideas on if you can still roast the seeds if you’ve already baked it whole in the oven? I cut mine in half before cooking, because we love love LOVE the roasted seeds. My guess, is probably the baking (or microwaving) whole ruins the seeds for eating later…

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Patricia @ ButterYum on 3.10.2010

Oops, I forgot to say that I added a squeeze of lemon too – wow, what a great flavor combo!

:)
ButterYum

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Patricia @ ButterYum on 3.10.2010

Made this last night – without a doubt, this was the easiest way to prepare spaghetti squash! Btw, we were sure to remove the label too – but we got a dark spot on the bottom, where the squash was resting on the pan.

Thanks for posting this – I’ll never cut a spaghetti squash before cook ever again!

:)
ButterYum

Annabannanna on 3.8.2010

I didn’t read all the comments, but I hope you do get to read this one – you should warn people that when they cut into the squash, it may, um, explode a little! I LOVE this way of doing it – I read about it here and tried it today but when I poked the knife in, ka-BLAM! Okay, big POP!! but my heart thought it was ka-BLAM. Fortunately, it only cracked lengthwise down the one side (I am glad I inserted the knife tip parallel with the length) and it didn’t splatter much, but it sure made me jump! I SHOULD have realized that could happen! Next time I may put a couple of punctures in the skin before baking.

Boni on 2.28.2010

we love spaghetti squash….we cut in half, remove seeds, bake til tender, scoop it out, then add a can of cream of mushroom soup, tub of sour cream, stick of butter, cup or two of shredded cheese, salt & pepper, put that in a 9×13 pan, melt another stick of butter & add a bunch of rice krispies, put those on top of the squash mixture then bake til brown. (This is for an extra large squash, cut down on the soup and sour cream for a smaller one). Mmm this will “melt” in your mouth. And even better left over!

Renee on 2.25.2010

Made it, loved it, have to make again!

Lee Ann Rudd on 2.25.2010

I microwave my squash! After setting for a few min. I scrape it out of the shell and add a traditional Basil Pesto. Another way is incorperate olive oil, lemon, fresh tomatoes and Shrimp!

PatW on 2.24.2010

I just baked me a small one, and had half of it with Ree’s bacon-mushroom sauce. OMG– DELICIOUS!

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sjohnson on 2.24.2010

Is it supposed to be slightly crunchy? I just baked mine for an hour, and the skin pierced easily, but it has a crunch to it. I used to have it as a kid, but I don’t remember it being crunchy…

AmandatheGinger on 2.23.2010

I’m trying this one tonight – but in my crockpot! By the time I get home, I’m always famished, so I thought I’d experiment…it’s on low, but after the exploding in the microwave comments, I’m a little worried that I’ll have a new skylight in my kitchen when I get home! Definitely going to try it with sauteed onions! MMMmmm…my mouth is watering already!

Christine on 2.22.2010

I love spaghetti squash too. I usually microwave for 2 minutes to soften a bit, then cut in half lengthwise & scoop out seeds. Then I put it in a glass pan, cut sides down, with a little water and cover with plastic wrap. Then microwave 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. I usually eat it with a marinara sauce. YUM!

Marcia on 2.22.2010

Allergic to wheat and tomatoes so this is good for me.

I had spaghetti at Bonefish Grill here in ATL with thyme honey and a little butter. It was the fresh vegetable of the day on my birthday and I expected that California mix — was this a shock. I love thyme and now, this is how I fix it. I always do squash in the MW. So much easier and I still have all of my fingers.

Trader Joe’s sell them by the EACH, not the pound. I always get the largest one they have. : )

SandyAboutOne on 2.22.2010

Yumm! Thanks so much for this great tip!

elina on 2.21.2010

Yeah, I definitely bought a spaghetti squash at Trader Joe’s today because I couldn’t get those pictures out of my head.

Anna Kuhn on 2.21.2010

So nice to know I ‘m not the only one who loves spaghetti squash. I grew it in my garden last summer and cherished all five fruits of my labor. So wonderful. Nice low-carb substitute on pasta night with the kids.

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Emily Babb on 2.21.2010

That sounds so good! I need to try this, I’ve rarely eat squash but an attempting to venture into it.

frances mahan on 2.21.2010

spaghetti squash, we raise them in the garden every year. I was afraid of them, they were so dangerous to cut in half.
I decided to do them like baked potatoes in the microwave. I pierced with a fork, put them on baked potato setting and I could cut them open easily, then scaped the seeds and stuff out, then took a fork and shredded the squash and put butter and salt and pepper on it.
We loved it, so much quicker and safer for me.
Frances Mahan

Zee S on 2.21.2010

This was awesome! I had never cooked spaghetti squash before and I made this recipe along with a pork stew (pollo guisado but with pork). It was delicious! My husband said it was phenomenal. I was so amazed at how it retained the spaghetti shape and it was crunchy but in a good way. Yum! Thanks for this. What a great way to cut down on carbs. And cooking it first is the way to go.

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pezchef on 2.21.2010

perfect seasonal dish. thanks for the idea- i have a recipe in mind!

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother on 2.21.2010

I always wondered if you could cook it whole. Normally I hack through it, try not to get my fingers in the process..do everything you listed above but mixed in sauteed tomatoes and onions, so delish! I love that I can cook it in tact, will save me alot on banaids!!

Kiki on 2.21.2010

Dr Weil’s restaurant in Phoenix, AZ is called Tru Food. I just went there for lunch and ordered their spaghetti squash casserole. It was so fantastic. I asked for the recipe. Aside from the SS they added zucchini and Lucini Plum Tomato Sauce. Put it in a casserole dish, top with fresh mozzarella and bake till the cheese is melted. I am making it tonight for my family but using my own homemade chunky tomato sauce.

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Pam P on 2.21.2010

Jaden, I love spaghetti squash, but what I love more is that you went to Rancho La Puerta! My mom and her girlfriends have been going there every other year since the early 70’s. They will be going in the fall this year! I hope you make it a tradition too!

Tara on 2.21.2010

I usually make mine based upon an old Weight Watchers recipe by adding some diced turkey kielbasa or other sausage and giving the whole thing a quick saute in some garlic and grill seasoning. It’s fantastic! The sweetness and saltiness just go together perfectly.

Great post!!

Kelly on 2.20.2010

I too have been intimidated by spaghetti squash. This seemed so easy, though, that I had to try it! But I was underwhelmed, and I’m wondering if I didn’t cook it long enough. I’m going to throw the leftover dressed squash back in the oven in a casserole dish tomorrow and see what happens, but if anyone has any insight in the meantime, I’d appreciate it!

Cindy on 2.20.2010

During the kitchen remodel I learned to use a microwave for the first time in my life. A spaghetti squash cut in half (lenthwise) only takes 11 minutes in the microwave. It was our only source of ‘pasta’ for almost a year. Love it!

Jenn on 2.20.2010

I, too, love spaghetti squash – my favored method is to bake it (as above) and throw some carrots and zucchini, wrapped in foil, in the oven about halfway through the squash’s cooking time. Then I cube them, toss them with the squash in a baking dish, and sprinkle shredded cheddar on top, then under the broiler until melted. I used to serve it as a side with chicken but now it tends to be the main dish!

Rhonda on 2.20.2010

I have tried making this squash several times and I have cooked it for several different lengths of time and it always comes out with a crunchy texture. I like the taste just not the texture. What am I doing wrong?

Anne on 2.20.2010

I’ve always used the microwave also. I cut the squash in half and put in
a microwave safe dish and place cling wrap or wax paper over.
Usually takes around 20 minutes on high.

Another quick receipe for a more sweet version. Add butter and
brown sugar and mix….really good.

Kelly on 2.20.2010

I love this squash, but have never made it myself for fear of cutting half my hand off prepping it for the oven. I will try this method for sure. Thanks!

Mary Eileen on 2.20.2010

Thank you! I had always struggled with the whole “not having a hacksaw around”, and I will definitely try to bake it this way next time!! Your post is much appreciated!

Kara on 2.20.2010

I love spaghetti squash, and now that I’m a newly diagnosed celiac, I will be eating it more often! I like to layer mine in a baking dish with tomato sauce and mozzerella then bake it — sort of like lasagna!

Mandy in OKC on 2.20.2010

Wow…I just bought one out of pure curiosity. Sat down to find a recipe and WA LA!! This is here!! Thank You!!

carjax on 2.20.2010

I just started using spaghetti squash this winter and LOVE it. In addition to using it as a “noodle replacement,” I’ve also substituted it in a recipe that called for shredded potatoes and it worked fabulously.

shelly k on 2.20.2010

I still have nightmares of the time one exploded in the oven….MESS! But they are oh so good.

pati mk on 2.20.2010

This looks so good and easy. I’ve never made spaghetti squash only acorn squash but I’m definitely trying this. Thanks.

Doe in Mich. on 2.20.2010

I was real interested to read this recipe and all the comments.
Haven’t made a spagetti squash in a long time, nobody home to
cook for anymore. But, was surprized that you bake it. I learned
from my Mom (many moons ago) that you put it in a big old pan
and boil it until done. Then treat it the same as when it comes out
of the oven. Love the stuff, guess I’ll have try and find a small one.
We always just used butter, salt, and pepper. But, these are some
great ideas for flavor!

Cici on 2.20.2010

I am actually making butternut squash soup today – LOVE ALL THE SQUASHES!!

Martha Packett on 2.20.2010

I cook butternut squash on a cookie sheet like that in order to cut it. Otherwise, you would need a machete.
I love squashes of all kinds. The little ones I slice up and eat raw in a salad. They are good.

Heather B on 2.20.2010

So easy this way–Thank you!! I top mine with a little butter and a swirl of maple syrup. Yum!

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Lisha on 2.19.2010

I love Spaghetti Squash, we lived in Canada for a few years, it was easy to find. You can’t find it in Australia though. I found some seeds at a plant nursery last year, the plant grew but no female flowers grew and I haven’t been able to find any seeds since.

I have had a hankering for spaghetti squash for the last few years, how do I satiate my spaghetti squash desires??

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whitney on 2.19.2010

ooooo. i’ve always tried to minimize too many steps (i’ve got a newly 2 yr. old and an 11 mth. old – yikes), so i’ve always cut mine in half, deseeded it, then i top each half with salt, ground pepper, thinly sliced (really thin) onions, chopped garlic, and sometimes diced tomatoes, etc., and then i drizzle it all with olive oil to keep it moist.

then, when i pull it out of the oven, i just toss it all together in a large bowl, and VOILA! it’s delicious!

thanks for reminding me i have one in the bottom of my refrigerator i need to bake before it spoils!

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tksinclair on 2.19.2010

This looks WONDERFUL! I wish I could run to the store right now!

Can’t wait to try this! I’ve always avoided it because of the “cutting” but now that I know this I’ll use it often

Angela Williams on 2.19.2010

Just made spaghetti squash this evening after seeing this post. I took the recommendation of others and sauteed some onions and garlic and added some chopped grape tomatoes. We tried it with the parmasean and with feta. The feta won hands down. Delicious!

Teri on 2.19.2010

THIS looks AMAZING! ;0) Can’t wait to try it!

BandTmom on 2.19.2010

I love spaghetti squash even though I don’t like other squashes.

Try tossing it with butter, a little sugar or sweetner, and cinnamon.

It’s also awesome with butter, bacon, and garlic.

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internette on 2.19.2010

ahh so thats how its done. I was intimidated by sqaush, a big ole scardy cat. Mmm now I too can enjoy this. This site and all the related blogs are sure making me a better cook all the time and I wasnt a bad one to start with. Thanks

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nobodysgirl on 2.19.2010

Rock on! I always wondered how to make spaghetti squash. Thanks!

domesticbliss3 on 2.19.2010

I always add some butter, parmesean cheese & pistachio nuts. It is super yummy.

Erin Oscarson on 2.19.2010

I planted 6 squash plants last year and ended up with 39 squash! All pretty good sized!! YIKES!! We prepared them for a long winter in the basement and we’re still enjoying them! All for 2.00 a plant! Yeah!

Janette on 2.19.2010

This looks so easy and yummy too. Thanks!