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How to cut and cook spaghetti squash

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways – and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

I've tested multiple ways to cut and cook a spaghetti squash and today I'm sharing all the secrets.

Usually I prefer to buy squash like butternut pre-cut when possible, but spaghetti squash is a different beast. When I used to buy spaghetti squash it would tend to sit on the counter for a long while because I was intimidated about cutting it.

If you're anything like me (i.e. someone without much upper body strength and wary of big knives) then maybe you can relate.

Luckily I figured out that you can cook a spaghetti squash without cutting them first, which makes life a lot easier. I also discovered a neat trick for how to get the longest strands possible that might actually look more like spaghetti!

If you do prefer to cut the squash ahead of time, I also list cooking times for that method. It does take a little longer to cook when it's whole.

Cooking option 1: Microwave

Whole squash: Prick outside of squash with fork or an ice pick many times, all the way around the squash. This will allow air to get out and prevent the squash from exploding. I do not know the “magic number” but I probably did it 20 times.

Cook time: approximately 10-12 minutes, or until you can insert a fork in the skin very easily. Since microwave's vary greatly, I would recommend to start at 7 minutes and work your way up from there to find your microwave's perfect time. (If cooking after slicing, start at 5 minutes and work your way up to 7-8 minutes.)

Using a microwave to cook your squash will result in a faster cook time, but many of you do not like to use a microwave to cook your food. See below for oven instructions.

Cooking option 2: Oven

Whole squash: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Prick squash with fork many times all the way around the squash to release air, same as you would for the microwave option. I do not know the “magic number” but I probably did it 20 times.

Cook time: About 1 hour, or until you can insert a fork in the skin very easily. Start checking around 45 minutes as oven times vary greatly. (If cooking after slicing, start checking around 30 minutes and work your way up to 40-45 minutes. You may also want to drizzle slices with olive oil before baking with the pre-cut method.)

See the bubbles escaping from the holes in the squash after cooking?

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

Now, the cutting. No matter which cooking method you use, be sure to let the squash cool for at least 10 minutes so you do not burn yourself.

Cutting option #1:

Most of the time I see a squash cut this way: Cut end to end. This is what that looks like:

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

Scoop out the seeds and rest of the stringy insides so that you just have the squash.

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

Advantages of this method are that you can eat the spaghetti squash right out of the shell. Add sauce, spinach, olive oil, whatever toppings you desire.

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

Cutting option #2:

Here's the fun part! I learned this trick from Beth over at Eat Within Your Means. This method of cutting will get you longer strands of squash that look more like spaghetti. This method is to cut into rings.

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

Alternatively you can make two halves by cutting down the middle of the squash if you get tired of that much cutting.
How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

You'll still need to clean out the seeds and other stringy-ness inside.How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

Do you notice anything different about the squash strands below?
How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

Hint: The strands are not cut short and are in a complete circle.
How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti! How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti! How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti! How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

To see the difference, refer back to the picture in cutting method #1. You see how the strands are “cut short” when cut this way? Use method #2 to get longer spaghetti squash strands (and help to trick yourself that you're eating actual spaghetti).

Recipes for using spaghetti squash:

Yield: 1 squash

How to cut and cook spaghetti squash

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, optional, for cooking when pre-cut

Instructions

Cooking option #1: Microwave

  1. Whole squash: Prick outside of squash with fork or ice pick many times, all the way around the squash. This will allow air to get out and prevent the squash from exploding. (I do not know the "magic number" but I do it about 20 times.)
  2. Cook time: approximately 10-12 minutes, or until you can insert a fork in the skin very easily. Since microwave's vary greatly, I would recommend to start at 7 minutes and work your way up from there to find your microwave's perfect time. (If cooking after slicing, start at 5 minutes and work your way up to 7-8 minutes.)
  3. Using a microwave to cook your squash will result in a faster cook time, but many of you do not like to use a microwave to cook your food. See below for oven instructions.

Cooking option #2: Oven

  1. Whole squash: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Prick squash with fork or ice pick many times all the way around the squash to release air, same as you would for the microwave option. I do not know the "magic number" but I do about 20 times.
  2. Cook time: About 1 hour for the whole squash, or until you can insert a fork in the skin very easily. Start checking around 45 minutes as oven times vary greatly. If slicing before cooking, start checking around 30 minutes and work your way up to 40-45 minutes. You may also want to drizzle slices with olive oil before baking with the pre-cut method.

Cooking option #3: Slow cooker

  1. Prick squash with fork or ice pick many times all the way around the squash to release air, same as you would for the microwave option. I do not know the "magic number" but I do about 20 times. Cook on 'high' for 3-4 hours or until you can insert a fork in the skin very easily. Cooking times vary for each slow cooker.

Cutting option #1:

  1. Cut in half, end to end. This will give you "boats" you can eat the spaghetti squash out of if you choose.

Cutting option #2: longer strands!

  1. Cut into rings, or in in half in the middle. This method of cutting will get you longer strands of squash that look more like spaghetti.

Notes

See step by step pictures in post for clearer instructions.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 497Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 13gSugar: 24gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically by an online tool at Nutritionix. It is not always accurate. Please use your own tools to check if you rely on this information.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see! Tag @trialandeater on Instagram and hashtag it #trialandeater .

How to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in multiple ways - and a trick to get longer strands that might actually resemble spaghetti!

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