As of late, I keep getting asked how to cook spaghetti squash, so I wanted to share my responses with everybody. Spaghetti squash has made a very interesting addition to my culinary repertoire of late, and cooking it is more or less a straightforward process.
The thing I like most about this humble winter squash, and this is something that you’ll hear from a lot of people, is the way in which is absorbs flavors from other foods so well. This makes it ideal as a substitute for noodles and pasta, and makes it quite the versatile addition to your meals.
In fact, I strongly prefer to use spaghetti squash instead of pasta, considering the fact that spaghetti squash contains just shy of 7g of carbs per 100g and you’ve got yourself a perfect occasional substitute for more bland cruciferous veggies.
Spaghetti squash is also a reasonably decent source of potassium and folic acid, and the more orange varieties are rich in beta carotene.
Anyway, without further ado, let’s take a look at how to prepare one of these beasts!
I typically like to begin by cutting my squashes in half lengthwise prior to cooking.
This isn’t always the easiest task, but it does allow you to remove the seeds and stringy pith rather than having to do it after cooking. It also reduces the cooking time considerably, which is always a good thing in my book!
You’re going to need a pretty hardy knife or cleaver to safely and effectively halve your squash, so please, please be very careful because these guys can be pretty tough on your first attempt!
(If you’re finding that cutting your squash lengthwise is too much of a chore then you can cut it along the width, but this will result in far shorter “spaghetti” strands, which I think sort of ruins the effect we’re after.)
Scrape and Bake
Once you have (hopefully) halved your squash, you’ll need to remove all of the seeds and additional pulp. This can easily be achieved with any old spoon so have at it!
Microwave for 5-10 minutes, boil for 15-20 minutes, or bake for 40-45 minutes at 350-375F.
For baking and microwaving, make sure you place the squash rind side up as this will ensure the insides steam nice and thoroughly. I would also recommend keeping a watchful eye throughout cooking to prevent any possible burning.
How to Serve a Spaghetti Squash
As I mentioned above, spaghetti squash is a rather bland (but not entirely unappealing) food by itself, but it does take other flavors very well.
The most obvious way of serving spaghetti squash is with a simple marinara sauce as a substitute for pasta, but it can also be used in a number of different recipes.
Pretty much any recipe that calls for pasta or noodles can utilize spaghetti squash, meaning that you can incorporate it into any number of Italian, Chinese, Thai, or Japanese dishes with relative ease.
You’re obviously not going to get that satisfying starchy consistency that comes with rice noodles or pasta variants, but this yummy winter squash digests very easily and definitely serves to accentuate the existing flavors in even the simplest of recipes.
Use your imagination and see what you can come up with, and be sure to leave some recipe suggestions in the comments below, such as ours with sausage and peppers! What are your favorite spaghetti squash recipes?