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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash: 3 Delicious Ways

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With its noodle-like strands, spaghetti squash is a popular pasta substitute. It doesn’t taste exactly like pasta, but it is a delicious alternative when paired with sauces!

Spaghetti squash originates in Central America and is now easily accessible worldwide. It has a slightly sweet flavor, and when cooked, its flesh becomes long thin strands resembling spaghetti. The texture is firm and similar to al dente pasta; some describe it as nutty and buttery. Its neutral flavor makes it an excellent base for many sauces.

Spaghetti squash has numerous health benefits. It contains vitamin A for eye and skin health, vitamin C for immune system support, and potassium for strong muscles. The high fiber content in spaghetti squash also promotes a healthy digestive system and makes you feel fuller for longer. Additionally, it’s low in calories and carbohydrates, making it a healthy meal option.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Spaghetti squash is an excellent choice for those who avoid gluten as it is gluten-free. By substituting regular pasta with spaghetti squash, you can make your meals healthier and add more vegetables to your diet. So, next time you enjoy spaghetti squash, remember it tastes great and promotes a strong and happy body.

Discover three simple ways to cook spaghetti squash.

Simple Tips for Choosing The Best Spaghetti Squash

  • Look for a squash that is firm and without any blemishes.
  • Choose a squash with a bright yellow color. The lighter yellow may indicate that it needs to be riper.
  • Choose a heavy squash in relation to its size; there’s more flesh.
  • Ensure the stem is intact so that the inside of the squash isn’t dried out.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash – 3 Methods

Ingredients Needed:

  • Medium-size Spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
  • Two tablespoons of avocado oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

1. Oven Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Cooking spaghetti squash through oven-roasting is the easiest and most commonly used method. Roasting vegetables intensifies their natural flavor, making them even more delicious.

Additionally, roasted vegetables are easier to clean up after cooking. You might also enjoy Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, another tasty roasted vegetable dish.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Step 2

Use a sharp knife to cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

Step 3

Drizzle both halves of the spaghetti squash with avocado oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on the prepared sheet pan and roast for 35-45 minutes, until tender. Use a fork to shred the squash.

2. Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Spaghetti Squash

You’ll need a 6-quart Instant Pot to cook spaghetti squash. You may need the 8- quart if your spaghetti squash is larger.

Step 1

Use a sharp knife to cut the squash in half crosswise. Cutting it this way instead of lengthwise fits better in the instant pot. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

Step 2

Drizzle both halves of the spaghetti squash with avocado oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Put 1 cup of water into the instant pot. Place the metal trivet in the pot.

Step 4

Fit both halves of the squash, cut side up, into the pot on top of the trivet.

Step 5

Set the instant pot to manual mode for 8 minutes for al dente squash and 10 minutes for soft squash.

Step 6

Turn the steam release to release the pressure quickly. Use a fork to shred the squash.

3. Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash

Another easy and delicious air fryer recipe you may like is Air Fyer Artichokes with Garlic Aioli.

Step 1

Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees.

Step 2

Use a sharp knife to cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

Step 3

Drizzle both halves of the spaghetti squash with avocado oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

Step 4

Place the squash cut side up in the air fryer. Cook for 25-30 minutes until it is tender. Use a fork to shred the squash.

Serving Suggestions

Now that you’ve found your perfect method for cooking spaghetti squash, it’s time to top it off. Here are a few ideas to get you started, but the possibilities are endless. Get creative!

  • Butter – Spaghetti squash and salted butter are simplistic, but don’t underestimate how delicious this can be! I like to use grass-fed butter for its rich flavor.
  • Olive oil – Keep it simple with a drizzle of high-quality extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt or your favorite seasoning.
  • Marinara sauce – Pair with your favorite jarred or homemade marinara for a delicious spaghetti meal. Try this simple meat sauce for extra protein!
  • Alfredo sauce – Jarred or homemade; this is my favorite way to enjoy spaghetti squash. Be sure to try this Shrimp Alfredo Spaghetti Squash recipe.
  • Make spaghetti squash casserole – Convert any of your favorite recipes that generally use spaghetti by alternating it with spaghetti squash for delicious comfort food.
  • Spaghetti squash stir-fry – Saute the spaghetti squash with your favorite stir-fry veggies and protein such as lemon pepper shrimp, chicken, or pork for an Asian-inspired meal.

Storage Instructions

Cooled spaghetti squash can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Spaghetti squash can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight when you’re ready to use it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Eat The Seeds of Spaghetti Squash?

Yes! You can clean and roast spaghetti squash seeds, like pumpkin seeds, for a crunchy snack.

How Do I Prevent Spaghetti Squash From Becoming Mushy?

Ensure that your squash is not overcooked, and check its tenderness by testing if it shreds easily with a fork. Occasionally, it may be a little watery, so it’s best to drain it before adding any sauces.

What Other Types of Squash Can Be Used as a Pasta Alternative?

Butternut squash and zucchini can be spiralized or sliced into noodle-like shapes and used as pasta substitutes.

Now that you’ve mastered cooking spaghetti squash by the simple steps outlined in this article, you can transform this humble vegetable into a fantastic pasta substitute that will surely please the whole family!

This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks

Post Written by Natasha Newton

Natasha’s Southern Flavor

Natasha is the founder of Natasha’s Southern Flavor. She has a passion for sharing delicious family friendly low-carb recipes that are easy to make and use readily accessible ingredients.  Natasha has published three bestselling cookbooks. Her books and recipes have been featured by CNET, Delish, Mindbodygreen, Parade and Women’s Health.  She enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, two adult children, and three furbabies.

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