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)

Two easy ways to cook spaghetti squash, either in the microwave or in the oven

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.

Two easy ways to cook spaghetti squash, either 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.

Two easy ways to cook spaghetti squash, either in the microwave or in the oven

Slice the squash in half lengthwise.

Two easy ways to cook spaghetti squash, either in the microwave or in the oven

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

Two easy ways to cook spaghetti squash, either 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.

Two easy ways to cook spaghetti squash, either in the microwave or in the oven

Two easy ways to cook spaghetti squash, either 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

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

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

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

4.75 / 5 (8 votes)
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It's easy to cook spaghetti squash. Here's how!

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.

NEW RECIPE RATINGS:

October 3, 2015 - I've just added a star rating system to this recipe so if you have tried it, please be sure to rate it to let others know how you like it - 5 if you love it, 1 if you don't (but hopefully you love it!) Just click on the stars below the "Print Recipe" button above. Thank you!

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Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.

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

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

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

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  7. 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!

  8. 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. 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!

    • 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!

      • 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.

        • 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!)

        • 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. 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

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

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

  20. 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

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

  22. This is my favorite recipe for spaghetti squash. It is so simple and just delicious. I eat SS frequently and I am so glad I found your page. I didn’t enjoy it as much before I found your simple yet delicious recipe. Thank you.

  23. Just tried baking this for the first time today. Started it off at 375 and reduced to 350 and baked for approx 35 mins., then left it out of the oven for about 15 mins. It was delicious with some meatballs, Parmesan and a nice red sauce. I’m not much of a cook, but even my hubby enjoyed it. And it was guilt-free!! Thanks. I will keep your page as a favourite.

  24. Wondering if the seeds can be baked and used in the manner of pumpkin seeds?  I bought a squash at farmers market and will be baking it tonight using your ideas, thank you so much

  25. I tried this last night (oven version).  I am amazed at how easy it was!  I saved the seeds to try and grow it next year.  Thank you very much!

    • So glad it worked out well for you! Our oven is on the fritz and I have been missing my roasted spaghetti squash. :( Great idea on saving the seeds! I tried growing spaghetti squash last year but put out the seeds too late. I got two small squash though and they were both great!

  26. I love spaghetti squash and have never fixed it before. I bought one and used your recipe for 12 minutes in the microwave, adding 30 seconds due to the fact I was using an RV microwave. Turned out perfect! And so easy! just added pepper & a little butter & it was delicious!

  27. Thanks! The photos are great, the blog theme is fun, and I’ll be eating some yummy squash soon :)

  28. Thanks for your post !! Great explanation and pictures . It’s in the oven now ….. I tried it once before , but it’s been awhile . So yummy !! Prefer it in the oven for flavour and texture. Have a great day !! Happy New Years !!

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