How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways – in the Microwave or in the Oven

It's easy to cook spaghetti squash. Here's how!

Total Time: 1 hour (oven) or 20 minutes (microwave)

Yum

Spaghetti squash is pretty much my favorite of the winter bunch. It’s versatile, delicious, healthy, and easy – quadruple win. I’ve got a few spaghetti squash recipes in the pipeline – stay tuned for those – but today, in the spirit of The Sound of Music, ~let’s start at the very beginning~. (Gosh, I really need to watch that movie again. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve suffered the “So Long, Farewell” earworm.)

Anyway, today I’m sharing two different ways to prepare spaghetti squash – either in the microwave, or in the oven.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

I’m a fan of both methods, but for different reasons. The main benefit of cooking up spaghetti squash in the microwave is, of course, the fact that it’s done in 12 minutes – easy peasy, super quick. And then it’s ready for just about any preparation you’ve dreamed up. Baking it in the oven takes longer, but the flavors of the squash develop a bit more than when cooked in the microwave. The squash caramelizes a bit where it makes contact with the baking sheet (yum) and if you brush with olive oil and sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper before baking, it’s tough to resist just flipping that bad boy over as soon as you remove it from the oven, grabbing a fork, and digging in for dinner (double yum).

Either way you choose to cook it, spaghetti squash rocks, so bake some or nuke some today! And hum a few bars of “Do Re Me” together with me, will you please? I don’t want to be alone in my Sound of Music weirdness.

Prep the spaghetti squash

With a very sharp knife, lop off the top or bottom of the squash so that it will stand flat and secure on your cutting board.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

Slice the squash in half lengthwise.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

Using a spoon, scrape out the seedy innards. (“Seedy innards.” Gross.)

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

And now, to bake your spaghetti squash in the oven … (scroll down for microwave directions)

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Brush the inside of each half with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

Place cut-sides down on a baking sheet.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

Bake for about 40 minutes until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle. With a fork, scrape out the spaghetti-like strands and prepare as desired.

… Or to cook your spaghetti squash in the microwave …

Place squash cut-sides-down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Fill the dish with about 1 inch of water.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

Microwave on high for about 12 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Cooking time depends on the size of the squash and individual microwaves, so if you have a smaller squash and a microwave that cooks fast, check a little earlier. And if you are cooking a larger squash and have a lower-power microwave, it may take a little longer.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle.

With a fork, scrape out the spaghetti-like strands and prepare as desired.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

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Print Recipe

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven

It's easy to cook spaghetti squash. Here's how!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour (oven) or 20 minutes (microwave)

Ingredients:

1 whole spaghetti squash

Directions:

  1. With a very sharp knife, lop off the top or bottom of the squash so that it will stand flat and secure on your cutting board. Slice the squash in half lengthwise.
  2. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds.

To Bake in the Oven:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brush the inside of each half with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Place cut sides down on a rimmed baking sheet and put sheet into the oven.
  4.  Bake for about 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork.
  5. Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle. With a fork, scrape out the spaghetti-like strands and prepare as desired.

To Cook in the Microwave:

  1. Place squash cut-sides-down in a microwave-safe baking dish. Fill the dish with about 1 inch of water.
  2. Microwave on high for about 12 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the squash with a fork. Cooking time depends on the size of the squash and individual microwaves, so if you have a smaller squash and a microwave that cooks fast, check a little earlier. And if you are cooking a larger squash and have a lower-power microwave, it may take a little longer.
  3. Let cool for about 15 minutes, or until squash is cool enough to handle.
  4. With a fork, scrape out the spaghetti-like strands and prepare as desired.

More spaghetti squash goodness

From Kitchen Treaty:
Around the web:

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a portion of the proceeds.

Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian and home cook with a passion for developing delicious and flexible recipes that help multi-faceted families keep the peace in the kitchen.

29 Responses to “How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways – in the Microwave or in the Oven”

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  3. Alyssa B posted on October 29, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks for the how-to! I keep referring back to it because the squash turns out perfect every time. I also followed the instructions for acorn squash and it worked great.

  4. Amee Sommella posted on January 30, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I like this. It is the best job I ve seen.

  5. Rufus Anderon posted on February 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    This is just amazing. I wish I could do the same.

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  7. Margaret posted on April 19, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks for the great tips! I refer to your page every time we eat spaghetti squash and just had to direct others your way when I talked about spaghetti squash on my blog last week. Also, just have to say how much I love reading your blog. I’m also a vegetarian who married a carnivore. I’ve been cooking in stages like you suggest in your “One dish, two ways” posts since we began dating, but am so glad to now have more suggestions for recipes. Thanks, again!

    • Karen Troughton posted on April 23, 2013 at 9:25 am

      My pleasure! I’m so glad to meet another “mixed diet” family.

  8. Anthony Watson posted on September 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for the tips on cooking spaghetti squash. I bought one for dinner tonight, but wasn’t sure how to prepare it. Now I’m ready to go!

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  11. Ada posted on January 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    I tried the microwave version. Worked great!!!! I think I ended uo cooking it for an additional 4 minutes, but the microwave I used was older. Thank you so much for this great how to recipe!

    • Karen Troughton posted on January 7, 2014 at 4:43 am

      Hi Ada, isn’t it nice how fast the microwave version is? The cooking time also can depend on how big your spaghetti squash is as well as your individual microwave – I think I will edit the instructions to clarify this. :) Thanks so much!

      • Chris posted on January 9, 2014 at 6:46 pm

        This squash yields spaghetti-like stands but it’s not spaghetti. I have tried to microwave it and dress it with tomato sauce before and I hated it. Your oven recipe works far better and I have found that the squash is delicious dressed with salt, pepper, butter and parmesan.

        • Karen Troughton posted on January 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm

          That’s how I tried it the first time, and I was like, um, this is nowhere NEAR a substitute for spaghetti. Not even close. But, yes, once you think of it as its own thing, it works (especially with salt/pepper/butter/parm!)

        • Jazz posted on February 12, 2014 at 10:25 am

          I’ve only cooked spaghetti squash once, apart from the texture (probably my fault) but I added it to the meat sauce I was going to use on the regular spaghetti. It did turn out wonderful. I guess if you add it to some sauce it would enhance the flavor but I’m not sure if it would work alone with sauce.

  12. Jazz posted on February 12, 2014 at 10:22 am

    So I was wondering how the texture was supposed to turn out like. I tried baking the squash yesterday for 40+ minutes and I did poke it with a fork, took a little bit of force but the fork went through, yet the texture seemed hard a little when I ate it. I was wondering if I’d have needed to leave it a little bit longer till its really soft

    • Karen Troughton posted on February 18, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Jazz, yes, it sounds like it wasn’t quite cooked enough. The fork should pierce the skin easily, and the squash strands should be fairly soft.

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  16. Cheryl posted on November 1, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I tried the microwave version, but the squash seemed to soak up the water and it was very juicy and I had to literally wring out the water. I’m going to try the oven method today. I think it’ll work better for me. I’m excited to try it this way!

  17. Sarah posted on January 16, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Hi Karen,
    was just wanting some clarification. In the first paragraph or so you had said “Baking it in the oven takes longer, but the flavors of the squash develop a bit more than when cooked in the microwave.” was just wondering if you had meant to say they develop more in the oven or if this was correct. I am going to be trying the oven style tonight and I am excited to see how it comes out. 
    I am enjoying looking through your recipes!
    Sincerely,
    Sarah

  18. nikki posted on January 28, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    yes, she said “more than when cooked in the microwave”. that means there is more flavor when cooking it in the oven

  19. Samantha posted on February 7, 2015 at 10:36 am

    This is actually one of the better techniques I’ve tried when cooking spaghetti squash. Everything was flavorful and cooked to perfection. 

  20. tamiko posted on February 8, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    I don’t know if this is dangerous or not but I micro the entire washed raw squash for one min and let it sit for a few then I slice it in half…its so much easier to cut in half. Then I put both halves in a shallow Pyrex in a half in of water and micro it for 10 – 12 min

    • Karen Raye posted on February 14, 2015 at 7:42 am

      Hmm, interesting! Anything to make it easier to slice squashes – they’re such a pain! Maybe pierce it with a fork first to minimize explosion risk? I’ll have to try this!

  21. Polly posted on March 29, 2015 at 2:39 am

    Why do you add water to the microwave version, but not the oven version? If you have tried microwaving without the water, what happens?

    • Karen Raye posted on March 29, 2015 at 10:47 am

      The water helps to steam the spaghetti squash in the microwave. It would dry out otherwise because the microwave cooks at such high temps.

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