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How to Bake Spaghetti Squash

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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!



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Aggie's Kitchen on 2.19.2010

I’m a huge fan of spaghetti squash! Love love love it! I make it all the time with a good hearty ragu style sauce, or even Thai style! So good!! I have a few recipes on my blog.

I think people find cooking it intimidating so great post!!

Renee R on 2.19.2010

OMG. I have never heard of such a thing! I’ve never seen it in my neck of the world, but I’m officially fascinated

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SuzyB on 2.19.2010

Will give this whole roasting method a try–I haven’t had too much trouble cutting mine in half, but it always makes me a bit nervous! My family loves it with crumbled turkey italian sausage, sauteed spinach and tomatoes and lots of parm. Yum!

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sduffy on 2.19.2010

We love spaghetti squash in our house. I always cut it in half and scoop the seeds before baking – though I need hubby to do the cutting for me.

It’s also tasty with tomato sauce and meatballs!

Magsie on 2.19.2010

I’ve always wanted to make spaghetti squash, but I had NO idea how. So thank you so much!

Connie in Alaska on 2.19.2010

Yummy! I’d love to be able to print this in a recipe-ish format (vs. blog pages). Does anyone know if that’s possible?

Terri on 2.19.2010

It is the only vegetable that I can get my daughter to eat. We add tomato sauce, cottage cheese and Parm cheese, mix it up, sprinkle a little Mozza on top and bake. YUMMY!!

Linda M. on 2.19.2010

Thank you for the perfectly wonderful….oh dear,is that correct…….oh dear, do I care??? It’s what I mean……..idea! I can not wait to serve this to my 37 yr.old son………for his birthday…today! He’ll love it, he may not know he does……..yet…but he’ll love it!

Amy on 2.19.2010

Since I cook this for myself, I buy small ones, cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and loose strands, lay cut side down on a microwave safe plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave for about seven minutes. Butter, salt, pepper and parmesan are easy and delicious. Sometimes I’ll saute some mushrooms with chopped garlic in a TB of butter and top the squash with the mixture.

For anyone who’s nervous about cutting the squash, ask someone in your grocery’s produce department to cut it for you.

Cathy on 2.19.2010

I usually cut mine first but this looks much easier. Thanks for the tips

Mischa on 2.19.2010

I have always been intimidated by spaegetti squash. this gives me motivation to try it again. with butter and garlic sounds yummy!

Niteowl Nancy on 2.19.2010

Spaghetti squash is fun and yummy! My BIL is building a half wall and cabinets in our basement right now. Wonder if he’d mind if I used one of his big scary saws to cut a squash in half for dinner tonight? ;-D

Cam on 2.19.2010

I always wanted to try and make this, but I was too intimidated by the big squash. Thanks for the post, it helped me summon up the bravery to make it. Tonight. Thanks Jaden!

Jenny in TX on 2.19.2010

I have never had spaghetti squash. I just printed this out and will be making this next week for my husband and I. It sounds delicious!

danita on 2.19.2010

I’ve never tried spaghetti squash, but wow! It looks too fun to live without!

dandy on 2.19.2010

This is going to sound really stupid but every recipe I had for that said you had to cut it first. I tried it once, thought I might lose a limb. But now that i know I can bake the whole thing I’ll be making it this weekend!!

Esther Posey on 2.19.2010

Yummy…I was already planning on cooking spaghetti squash tonight, now I have a new way of cooking it. I usually microwave it for about 6 minutes first so that I can soften it enough to cut it in half, then bake it while it’s cut with olive oil and a bit of salt.

In the past, I’ve made lemon-pepper chicken and used the juices leftover to add to the squash. Really delicious and yummy and healthy if you just stick to the olive oil, maybe a touch of REAL butter. Believe it or not, real butter is better for you than the fake stuff.

cindy in destin florida on 2.19.2010

I’ve been on a spaghetti squash kick for a while. Glad to see it get the praise it deserves. Can’t wait to try the sauted onion and olive oil recipe.

Samantha D. on 2.19.2010

I’ve always heard that spaghetti squash was good and that you could use it in place of spaghetti in most dishes but was afraid to try it. My husband and I are trying to eat healthier now, and with all these great reviews, I think I’m finally ready to try it. Thanks!

Emily Hill on 2.19.2010

I am not a big squash fan but this is making me rethink my thoughts on squash. Next time I’m in the produce section I just might pick up a spaghetti squash, bake it and yes, maybe even eat it!

Pat Boo on 2.19.2010

Thanks for the cooking tips. I usually try to hack it in half and cook in oven in a pan with a little water. It will be sooooo much easier to not try to cut into it until it has cooked in the oven and become soft. I just love it. Makes me think I’m eating a big bowl of pasta but this has just a few good calories.

Shari on 2.19.2010

oh my – it looks so easy & yummy…can’t wait to try it!

Connie on 2.19.2010

Thanks Shawna!

I think I’ll grow some in the garden and bake a bunch at once to freeze for future meals.

Reenie on 2.19.2010

I’ve put it in the microwave whole and cook it ~ sooo much easier to cut open too=)

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Carolyn on 2.19.2010

I almost grabbed one of these bad boys last week while grocery shopping. I’ll definitely grab one today though!!! Thank you for the info! I’m excited to play around with it. YUM!

wendy on 2.19.2010

Yum! I saute some onions and garlic in olive oil, toss it with this most fabulous squash along with lots of pepper and parmesan, and my teenaged boys love it. They will eat a mountain of it. Spaghetti squash is a wonderful, wonderful invention.

Tonya on 2.19.2010

Do not know if the family will eat it but my father is waiting for a new heart and has been losing weight and trying to eat healthier. I, of course, have been dieting and think I will try this very soon.

Katie on 2.19.2010

Oh i’ve been meaning to try out something with spaghetti squash! Thanks for the tips Jaden!

saramariesue on 2.19.2010

Oh that looks so yum! Spaghetti squash is going on the grocery list this weekend! And I like Andrea H’s idea of adding tomatoes.

Annie Houchin on 2.19.2010

I absolutely LOVE Rancho La Puerta. It is such an amazing place. My mom and I are going in April. This will be my 4th time and her 16th!!

Shawna Zimmerman on 2.19.2010

I’ve never had a problem splitting spaghetti squash….I take a knife with a sharp point, press the point against the squash and give it a tap with my hand and it goes right through to the center. You then just go around the squash cutting with an up-and-down motion and literally saw it from the inside. Opens like a charm every time.

And for the Connie…spaghetti squash freezes wonderfully. Bake as usual and separate the strands before putting into your containers.

Andrea H on 2.19.2010

Never baked it whole before- always struggled to cut it in two before placing in the oven! So glad to find out this is not necessary! I also like to toss it with diced tomatoes. So yummy!

Tiffany on 2.19.2010

I LOVE spaghetti squash. I grow it my garden so I can have it more often.

For me, just butter and salt is heavenly!

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steamykitchen on 2.19.2010

@Caitlin – it’s super easy once it comes out of the oven!

@Margo – ah great microwave tip. I’ll give it a go next time.

@Kristen- we *tried* to cut it before oven and massive fail. I even got out my Martin Yan cleaver and “hhhhaaaaaiiiyyyyyaaaah!” no luck.

@Krystle- Haven’t had any trouble w/ putting it whole in oven.

@Deb- I do that with butternut squash. yum.

Sally on 2.19.2010

Can the bake whole method be used for all squash???

A friend in Taiwan once stir fried pumpkin with soy sauce and it was great. But I’ve never tried to duplicate it because the cutting of the pumpkin was just too time consuming. But maybe I could try it with the already cooked spaghetti squash?

Krystle on 2.19.2010

If you are going to bake it whole, I would also suggest piercing it a few times beforehand. I had one explode in my oven once (big, big mess) and now I do cut it in half before baking.

I also use it as a pasta substitute in spaghetti and other noodle dishes. My husband still gets surprised how much he likes it everytime I make it!

Deb da Amazon on 2.19.2010

I’m totally jumping on the “I love spaghetti squash” bandwagon too. I love any squash! My favorite preparation isn’t exactly the healthiest, but it’s soooo yummy. I cut the squash in half, remove the seeds (but don’t toss them because they ROCK when roasted!), put a TB or two of butter in each hollow, lightly sprinkle seasoned sea salt all over, sprinkle a couple TB of brown sugar in the hollow, and liberally shake Aleppo Pepper (a tart, slightly spicy Turkish chili pepper) all over. I roast it until the flesh is fork tender, scoop out all the flesh, and stir to combine.

Kristin on 2.19.2010

I’m a huge fan of microwaving the spaghetti squash to cook it…just use a fork to poke holes in the side and make sure you turn it every few minutes! I LOVE to eat mine just like spaghetti…with spaghetti sauce on top!

annie56 on 2.19.2010

i have been meatless since november 14, 2009 – and i never felt better. spaghetti squash is a staple for me.

i use a little smart balance light margarine, add some lemon juice, honey and fresh parsley

does a body better than good ! ♫♪♬♩♪♩

Connie on 2.19.2010

I agree with the above comments—cutting it half is dangerous. This way looks wonderful!

How well does spaghetti squash freeze?

Sara on 2.19.2010

My entire family hates squash but we are eating healthier now. I think I may try to sneak this in the menu soon! Thanks for sharing.

Stephanie Moore on 2.19.2010

ditto here, you way is easier as I aways cut upen first and then cooked. But I nearly cut off my arm or hand as its soooo tough to cut before had. WHew I like your way better!

Kristen on 2.19.2010

Ihave always cut them in half before cooking them. Your way is much easier! I mix it with olive oil, sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and feta cheese.

Margo/MS Hospitality on 2.19.2010

OOPs..typing on my DIL laptop and I do know the difference between feels and fills….LOL…I know…It’s a poor workman who blames her tools! LOL!!!

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carolinagirl on 2.19.2010

I had the most incredible spaghetti squash years ago at a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant in Atlanta–it was the first time I had ever eaten it. I’ve made it a couple of time and it just wasn’t the same as I remembered it! I will definitely give it another go! Thanks for the post!

Margo/MS Hospitality on 2.19.2010

I walk on the wild side and pierce the squash, wrap it in wax paper and microwave it for 10 minutes, give it a turn and 10 minutes more. If the squash still fills firm, I go for another 10 minutes… the time varies with the size of the squash. My oven was on the fritz and I tried this microwave technique out of desperation. It works and has the same taste as the baked version without the heat in the kitchen (It’s HOT most of the time in Houston.) Make sure you pierce it well… I have had a few explosions in the microwave but the wax paper saves the day! LOL!

Thanks for the tips on this squash. It’s one of my absolute favorite veggies! I often use it like pasta with traditional sauces and meats.

Kelly on 2.19.2010

We use spaghetti squash in place of noodles for a lot of dishes (I’m on a doctor order low carb eating plan). Even my 4 year old and 1 year old like spaghetti squash!

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Caitlin on 2.19.2010

Thank you for this! I’ve been dying to try spaghetti squash for so long, but I was unsure of how to tackle it. It looks great!

Laurie Sawyer on 2.19.2010

I absolutely love spaghetti squash! I will have to make it this weekend. :)

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maryloves2cook on 2.19.2010

I absolutely LOVE spaghetti squash! Yum!