How to cook spaghetti squash
October 20, 2019
Cooking spaghetti squash is easy to do in a microwave or an oven and there are so many ways to use it. Before I get to how to cook it, let me share some of the reasons why this non-starch vegetable can be a good addition to your meals:
Like the pasta it’s named after, spaghetti squash easily accepts a range of flavors. I’ve used it in breakfasts, with soups, and paired with Italian, Mexican, Asian, Indian and Mediterranean style dishes. I’ve even used it with maple syrup and love it with rosemary & garlic chicken. It’s one of those vegetables that works with just about anything!
Calorie and carb friendly
Trying to watch or reduce your weight? Need to manage your blood sugars? Instead of reaching for pasta or potatoes or rice, try using one cup of cooked spaghetti squash. When you cook spaghetti squash according to one of the methods below, one cup has only 42 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, 28 grams of sodium and 2.2 grams of fiber.
I’m willing to bet that your life is just as busy as mine and you also need quick options for healthy dinners. If you’ve worked with me on changing eating habits or addressing gut health issues, you know I’m a big fan of having foods on hand that become a meal in just a few minutes. The good news is that cooked spaghetti squash freezes well. Once it has cooked, put it into half cup or cup portions in muffin tins and freeze. Once solid, remove the “squash pucks” and store them in a freezer bag for future use. (Read my post “7 Ways to Use Spaghetti Squash” for some ideas!)
Cooking in a microwave
Cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. There is no need to peel it! Place it cut side down in a glass baking dish. Add enough water so that the squash is sitting in about an inch of water. Lift the squash briefly so some of the water runs under it.
Cook the squash on high for 12 to 18 minutes or until the tough outer skin can be pierced with a fork. The let it sit in the water for about 10 minutes to finish steaming. Being careful not to burn yourself, transfer the squash to a big bowl. Use a fork and scrape the flesh until it comes off in shreds. If this doesn’t easily happen, cook the squash for a few more minutes. Throw out the tough outer shell and then your squash is ready to be used in so many different ways.
Cooking spaghetti squash in the oven
If you have the oven going, or want to cook an entire spaghetti squash at one time, you can easily steam it in the oven. Simply follow the method described above. How long it takes will vary depending on your oven temperature. In a 375 degree oven, cooking spaghetti squash takes about 40 to 45 minutes. In a 425 degree oven, it takes about 30 minutes. The good news is that this is a very forgiving cooking method, so if the phone rings or your child (or spouse!) suddenly has an urgent need for your attention it won’t be ruined if it cooks for a bit longer.
Yes, there are plenty of recipes to be found that use cook spaghetti squash by roasting it or by stuffing it. (I’ve shared some in the past on my Pinterest page. )What I don’t like about those methods, however, is that they tend to add extra calories by adding oils, fats, or sugars to the squash. I’d rather add those with my choice of sauces or with the items I add to the spaghetti squash once it is cooked!
I’ll be sharing more of my recipes and tips in the future on this blog, but the best way to make sure you don’t miss them is to sign up to receive emails from me with tips and recipes.
Having personally struggled with weight and gut health issues, I understand how easy it is to think that food is the enemy especially with the changes our bodies undergo as we age. It doesn’t have to be that way!
I love using my extensive education and coach approach to help people realize it is possible to feel better and be healthier while still enjoying their life and food.