How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (& Why You Should!)

Looking for a low-carb, nutrient-dense food source? The spaghetti squash is it! Learn how to cook spaghetti squash correctly and unique ways to enjoy it!

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (& Why You Should!)

Spaghetti squash recipes have been trending lately - and for a good reason. If you’re wondering how to eat spaghetti squash or how to cook spaghetti squash, there are many ways this versatile “vegetable spaghetti” can be used. 

Everything you need to know is in this article, from spaghetti squash nutrients to how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven. Keep reading for 15 ways to cook spaghetti squash, and find out if spaghetti squash is good for you! 

Is Spaghetti Squash Good For You?

The short answer is yes. Spaghetti squash can be an integral part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, like any food, you don’t want to become too fixated on it or replace every carbohydrate you eat with spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti squash can be a great, low-carb alternative for those working towards weight loss or healthy weight maintenance. It can also be a naturally gluten-free alternative for those wanting to replace pasta in a dish with something celiac-friendly. 

Spaghetti Squash Nutrients

You may have already guessed from its beautiful yellow flesh, but spaghetti squash is host to many antioxidants and nutrients. It is considered a winter squash, and the vitamins and minerals it contains can certainly help keep you healthy during the colder months. 

Among its most prevalent nutrients are: 

• Fiber
• Potassium
• Omega-3 fatty acids
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin B6
• Vitamin C

It may be worth buying organic since winter squashes are reported as having a relatively high pesticide load. Or, simply washing the squash thoroughly before cooking can help reduce exposure risk.

How to Eat Spaghetti Squash

Interestingly enough, spaghetti squash gets its name from one of its most popular uses. Once cooked or roasted, the flesh of a spaghetti squash can be raked to create spaghetti-like strands of vegetable pasta. This is one of the most popular ways to consume spaghetti squash, since it can easily be substituted in pasta dishes. 

While it is named for its ability to replace spaghetti, don’t limit this squash to just pasta dishes. It can also be chopped into chunks and pureed into soup or even sliced into a stir-fry. The possibilities are nearly endless! 

Spaghetti Squash Recipes

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with these 15 ways to enjoy spaghetti squash today. 

1. Spaghetti Squash In the Oven

Many people start cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave by poking holes in it (like you would a raw potato) then cooking it for 3-5 minutes. This allows it to soften somewhat before baking spaghetti squash in the oven.

If starting in the oven, simply cut the squash in half (lengthwise), and then scoop out the seeds. Drizzle some oil on top and sprinkle with seasonings before placing both halves (skin side down) onto a baking sheet. Love & Lemons has a great step-by-step tutorial for walking you through this process. 

The spaghetti squash can be enjoyed with a simple marinara sauce or drizzle of olive oil. If looking for new flavor twists, the spaghetti squash recipes and ideas below are sure to satisfy!

2. Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Stuffed dishes are great because you can stuff them with, well, just about anything! Ditch the typical stuffed-crust pizza delivery by making a more nutrient-rich alternative. Pizza-stuffed spaghetti squash will be the stuff of your dreams! 

Into other flavors? Try lasagna or buffalo chicken-stuffed spaghetti squash instead. 

3. Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

It may be odd to hear the words “spaghetti” and “burrito” in the same sentence. But with this recipe, everything makes sense! 

In spaghetti squash burrito bowls, the spaghetti squash acts as a base bowl for you to pile on protein-packed, fiber-fueled ingredients. It’s also vegan-friendly and would be great for a party because it allows your guests to customize toppings while keeping things healthy. 

4. Spaghetti Squash Soup

The method for most spaghetti squash soups is to simply start by boiling chunks until they are cooked. Then, puree them into soup (think butternut squash soup). 

Alternatively, you can make traditionally noodle-based soups with spaghetti squash as well. For example, spaghetti squash orecchiette mushroom soup packs a nutritional punch while keeping all your favorite textures intact.

5. Spaghetti Squash Risotto

Risotto is not often seen as a breakfast dish, but spaghetti squash is here to change that. Chicken broth helps to elevate the flavor of spaghetti squash breakfast risotto, while a simple combination of spices and cheese keeps this dish down-to-earth. 

6. Spaghetti Squash Curry

Is there anything better than a good curry? Packed with protein from chickpeas and full of flavor from classic curry spices, spaghetti squash curry is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. 

7. Spaghetti Squash Stir-Fry 

Get all your stir-fry flavors with spaghetti squash peanut stir fry. It may as well be a comfort food dish since it is packed with welcoming flavors and plenty of nourishing veggies.

8. Spaghetti Squash Au Gratin 

Perhaps one of the most approachable dishes on this list, spaghetti squash au gratin is perfect if you are preparing dinner in under an hour. The secret to this appetizing dish is in the spices, with flavorful additions like smoked paprika and chili powder.

Plus, it can easily be made vegetarian or vegan with tofu and tempeh instead of chicken or shrimp. 

9. Roasted Spaghetti Squash

You can roast spaghetti squash whole, or simply roast the seeds. The best part? Roasted spaghetti squash requires two ingredients and can be eaten on its own or as a side dish. 

10. Spaghetti Squash Salad

Similar to cold pasta salads, spaghetti squash salad can be a cooler dish in the transition time from fall to winter. It’s a lighter, fresher take on pasta salad, with plenty of vegetables to provide fuel for the day.

Pack spaghetti squash salad for lunch or enjoy it as a side to your dinner’s main course.

11. Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Delicious, Italian-inspired dishes like Cacio e Pepe get a more nutritious makeover when spaghetti squash is used. Traditionally, these dishes are loaded with carbohydrates and fats when accounting for all the pasta, cheese, and butter. 

When substituting with spaghetti squash, you'll keep the carb count lower and can still enjoy your favorite foods. 

12. Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai

For the tastiest take-out vibes, try homemade spaghetti squash Pad Thai! The stringy noodles in this dish make it ideal for incorporating into this traditional Thai dish. Is your mouth watering yet? 

13. Chicken Pot Pie Spaghetti Squash

Chicken pot pie is prime comfort food, but it can also be followed by unpleasant bloating or involve overconsumption of carbs. Low-carb chicken pot pie made with spaghetti squash introduces a healthy twist to this classic dish. 

14. Spaghetti Squash Fritters

Fritters are maybe the most unlikely way to make use of spaghetti squash, but it surprisingly works. Spaghetti squash fritters can be easily created with just a handful of ingredients likely already stocked in the pantry or fridge. 

The best thing about fritters? They can be eaten any time of day, as a breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner dish.

15. Enchilada Spaghetti Squash 

Want the taste of enchiladas while keeping them low-carb? Enchilada spaghetti squash is the answer. This recipe will also earn you points among your plant-based friends since it is also vegetarian. 

Recapping Cooking with Spaghetti Squash 

Spaghetti squash isn’t just good for making vegetable-based noodles. This winter squash is so versatile that it can be made into dishes for any time of day. Try a new method for cooking this talented squash today! 

Reference:

Winter Squash. FoodPrint. https://foodprint.org/real-food/real-food-encyclopedia-winter-squash/.

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