Spaghetti squash is pretty much my favorite of all winter squashes, and cooking spaghetti squash couldn’t be easier – bonus!
Spaghetti squash is versatile, delicious, healthy, and easy – quadruple win. And today, I’m sharing how to cook spaghetti squash two different ways – either in the microwave, or in the oven.
I’m a fan of both methods, but for different reasons.
The main benefit of cooking 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 spaghetti squash in the oven takes longer, but the flavors of the squash develop a bit more than when cooked in the microwave. In the oven, 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!
Here’s How to Prep & Cook Spaghetti Squash – Two Ways!
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 seeds and guts.
And now, to bake your spaghetti squash in the oven … (scroll down for microwave directions)
Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
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.
Here’s a quick video with the low-down, or scroll on down for the printable recipe!
More spaghetti squash goodness
From Kitchen Treaty:
- BBQ Pulled Spaghetti Squash Sandwiches
- Baked Spaghetti & Spaghetti Squash Casserole
- White Pizza Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- Chili Cheese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- My Meatless Spaghetti Squash recipes board on Pinterest
Around the web:
- 50 Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash from Aggie’s Kitchen
If you try this recipe, please leave a rating! And, if you find it share-worthy – which I hope you do – please share. Tag #kitchentreaty on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, and don’t forget to check out my other recipes!
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Two Different Ways - in the Microwave or in the Oven
- 1 whole medium spaghetti squash
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (for baked version)
- Pinch kosher salt
- Sharp, heavy chef's knife
- Rimmed baking sheet (for cooking in the oven)
- Large microwave-safe baking dish (for the microwave method)
- 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.
- Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds.
To Bake in the Oven:
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Brush the inside of each half with about 1 teaspoon olive oil each and sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Note that nutrition information is for spaghetti squash only and NOT for additional ingredients.)
- Place cut sides down on a rimmed baking sheet and put sheet into the oven.
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or 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.
To Cook 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.
Pingback: Baked Spaghetti & Spaghetti Squash with Optional Ground Beef | Kitchen Treaty
Pingback: Barbecue Pulled Spaghetti Squash Sandwiches (with Bonus Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork Recipe) | Kitchen Treaty
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.
I like this. It is the best job I ve seen.
This is just amazing. I wish I could do the same.
Pingback: The Case of the Disappearing Spaghetti Squash | Daily Musings on Life Together
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!
My pleasure! I’m so glad to meet another “mixed diet” family.
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!
Pingback: Spaghetti Squash with a Chickpea Tomato Sauce |
Pingback: Breakfast Faux Quiche | sewlucky
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.
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
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.
Pingback: Recipe: Beef and Mushrooms in Rosemary Sauce Over Spaghetti Squash - Mother Rimmy's Cooking Light Done Right
Pingback: Make Real Food | Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Brussels Sprouts [Vegan/Gluten Free]
Pingback: 7 Items for Domesticated Caveman Survival | The Environmentalist Digest
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!
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!
yes, she said “more than when cooked in the microwave”. that means there is more flavor when cooking it in the oven
This is actually one of the better techniques I’ve tried when cooking spaghetti squash. Everything was flavorful and cooked to perfection.
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!
Why do you add water to the microwave version, but not the oven version? If you have tried microwaving without the water, what happens?
The water helps to steam the spaghetti squash in the microwave. It would dry out otherwise because the microwave cooks at such high temps.
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.
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.
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
Yes! I have not roasted spaghetti squash seeds myself but I have seen it done. Enjoy!
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!
You can just put the seeds in a bowl after you watch them in a couple of days later you can eat them just like pumpkin seeds you don’t even have to roast them they get hard They are awesome
I didn’t know that! Love it, thanks!
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!
Thanks! The photos are great, the blog theme is fun, and I’ll be eating some yummy squash soon 🙂
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 !!
I’ve never prepared Spaghetti squash in my life, and this gave me the confidence to try it. I appreciate the images so that I know exactly what mine should look like. It came out perfectly. I was a little concerned because I favor cooking in a small convection oven, and I don’t have a glass baking dish. I used a cast iron skillet and put a small amount of water in the bottom of the skillet. OMG. This was so delicious that I couldn’t stop sampling it as I was pulling the “spaghetti” from the squash. The squash is part of a dish I’m trying — the rest of it is roasted endive and radicchio, and the squash will act as the “bed.” Absolutely delish, thanks so much!!
I just made spaghetti squash for the very first time using your directions for the oven method. Oh my gosh! Sooooo delicious!! And really, so easy.After cooking, I added a bit of butter and a tiny bit more salt and pepper and it was so very scrumptious!! A very light but satisfying meal. Next time I might try it with some Parmesan cheese as well. Thanks for a super simple and super delicious recipe for spaghetti squash. 🙂
I am so glad you liked it! Isn’t good spaghetti squash a revelation? It took me a few tries; I wanted it to be like pasta. It’s not, but it’s incredible in its own right! 🙂
We love this recipe. I only make it in the microwave now. I finally had to print the recipe since every time I wanted to make it I would have to search it on google.
Thanks so much!
I just cooked spaghetti squash for the first time using your microwave directions. I have never prepared any squash dish before but I am a big fan. I walked in and just bought. My husband asked how was I planning on preparing it – I am not from the cooks – so I just googled “spaghetti squash” and found your wonderful recipe. After it was cooked in the microwave and I removed the spaghetti, I put some butter, chopped garlic and a pinch or two of fresh chopped garlic. All I can say is HEAVEN. My husband wouldn’t even try it – he does not like veges. Thank you so much for your wonderful receipt. I will be back looking for others. Have a great new year to you and yours.
Correction – at the end of my message after chopped garlic I put it again. I meant fresh grown – my friend = oregano. Gives it a great flavor.
Thank you for sharing this. I had only ever steamed spaghetti squash for dinner. This was the best!!!
been wanting to try this for years my daughter terrie made it said it was good thought I would try it thanks for easy recipe sure we will likeit
Thanks for clear cooking instructions to prepare this squash two ways. Very helpful with times and temps.
BUT you need to learn the safe way to cut one of these monsters or you (or a reader) may get some unintended protein in the meal. I watched a great YouTube vid that showed how to start with a little knife and make small slits. The big knife come out later. Magic. Showed how to hold it too, so you can’t cut yourself.
I enjoyed your article on cooking spaghetti squash…..it is awesome just about any way you want to eat it…..Yay.
Anyway, my comment concerns cutting the squash. Using a knife is dangerous because you have to work real hard at pushing the knife. So, I found the best way to cut a squash in half…..use your or your husbands saw zaw. It works great and is much safer. Just clean the blade you are using (never know where they’ve been) and the saw cuts through everything safely and quickly. I wouldn’t cut the squash any other way.
Ha, brilliant idea! 🙂
Hi I’m going to try and cook a spaghetti squash tonight for the very first time; probably going to use the microwave because it’s 90+ degrees here and really don’t want to cut my oven on lol. However, I wanted to ask … I recently purchased an air fryer and was wondering if it’s possible to cook it using that. If so, you’re supposed to use no oil, so how would I go about doing that way regarding oil, salt and pepper?
Hi Karen! Always love your recipes. Thought I would pass this little trick on regarding Spaghetti Squash.
Instead of cutting the squash lengthwise, cut it width wise…right in the widest part. That way you are cutting with the strands instead of against them. By doing this, you will have much longer strands because you haven’t cut the “spaghetti” in half.
I have often made winter squash in the microwave by keeping in whole making sure to poke it with a metal skewer generously. I turn and rotate it during cooking. When soft I tKe it out and let it cool enough to handle it and then cut it in half and scoop the seeds and enjoy. Is there any reason this would not work with spaghetti squash?
Hello, due to my current health issues. I have decided to try a plant based diet and I was so pleased to find your recipes. Your steps were easy to read and easy to follow and really appreciated the pictures. Squash was delicious!
I’ll be trying more.
Hi Mary, luckily, plant-based can be really delicious! I hope it helps with your health issues. All my best.
I am diabetic and have been struggling with no rice no pasta. SS was God sent miracle. I used shrimp, tomato pure’ with seasoning appropriate for shrimp oh my. This was the first real hot meal I enjoyed since doing diabetic diet. This opens up all types of dishes to experiment with. Great discovery.
These recipes are useless unless you can cut the spaghetti squash. How about providing the solution to that!
I do address that; you want a sharp, heavy knife. When you’re cutting it in half, sometimes it works to rock the knife back and forth. Some people poke a few holes (so it doesn’t explode) and then microwave it for awhile first for easier cutting but I’ve never done that.
I’m glad I found this article! I had eaten spaghetti squash before, but never cooked it. They were pretty cheap at my local grocer so I thought I might give it a try. They actually had a sticker on the squash with instructions on how to cook. They suggested that you put the entire thing whole in the microwave or oven (just score the skin). I had a heck of a time trying to cut the squash. So I put the entire squash in the microwave for about 4 minutes. Let it cool then took it out. MUCH easier to cut. I then seasoned it up and put it in the oven. Not bad at all! Thank you 🙂
I have tried cooking spaghetti squash 3 different times……I have followed instructions to the letter….
Each time it has a little crunch about it….People say you cannot tell the difference from noodles, but noodles don’t have a crunch when they are done…..What am I doing wrong?….or is there suppose to be a crunch?…Please help….
Hi Betty, yes, spaghetti squash actually has a little crunch to it! I think it is completely different than pasta. It’s its own thing. 🙂
I live alone and would like for you to address leftovers of this squash. Is it better to cook one half only and wrap the other half for baking later OR to cook the whole squash and save the leftover “spaghetti” to be nuked, steamed, or sauteed with butter/veggies later?
I find it better to cut the squash in half around rather than length ways as you get more spaghetti like strands this way. 🙂
I cooked with spaghetti squash last evening for the first time. All went well except for the moisture content. it was so wet and mushy . the taste was fine. I baked it cut in half. It came out of the shell nice and stringy but not fluffed at all as in the photos, just more gloppy. Any help would be appreciated. thank you
Pingback: 5 Jaw-Droppingly Awesome Low Carb Dinners (Recipes) - Seen Lean
OMG, your photo above looks SO delicious! I’m going to try it too, except I’ll do 100% spaghetti squash. I’m sure it’ll still be really good. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂