Posted by on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 in Foundations

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.

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.

Slice the squash in half lengthwise.

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

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.

Place cut-sides down on a baking sheet.

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

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.

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.

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.