How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

How to perfectly cook spaghetti squash in the oven or in the microwave.

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We all know that spaghetti squash isn’t the same as carby pasta, but why not try some spaghetti squash instead of pasta one night – it’s gluten-free, healthier, and tastes like dessert when you put butter and cinnamon brown sugar on it! Plus, it looks like spaghetti, so it’s totally fun for kids and adults alike.

For more tasty squash recipes, why not try my acorn squashHoney & Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash or this recipe for Butternut Squash, Lentil & Coconut Curry Soup?

Spaghetti Squash

This is a great recipe to introduce your family to spaghetti sqaush. Spaghetti squash might sound like a particularly long and straight type of spaghetti, but it is actually a really interesting variety of squash with one weird, special feature; when cooked, its flesh flakes into ribbons.

Instead of the potato-like mush that most squashes break apart into, the spaghetti squash’s flesh actually peels away into ribbons that have basically the same texture and appearance as spaghetti.

For the gluten-intolerant or the dieters among us, spaghetti squash is versatile, delicious, and the perfect substitute for any kind of pasta.

Here’s how to prepare and cook spaghetti squash, as well as a great, easy recipe to get you started with seasoning it.

Spaghetti Squash Ingredients

  • Salted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

  • Cut your spaghetti squash into two halves lengthwise
  • Scoop out the seeds and strings using a spoon
  • Season the interior with salt and pepper
  • Poke holes in the back with a knife and then place it cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet
  • Pour in ½ cup of water on the baking sheet
  • Bake the spaghetti squash for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 Fahrenheit
  • Remove and cool, and then fluff the insides using a fork so that it separates into strands
  • Melt the butter and mix with the sugar and cinnamon, then drizzle it all over the top of the squash and enjoy

How to Clean Spaghetti Squash

One of the biggest impediments to enjoying spaghetti squash at home is the difficulty in trying to clean the squash.

To clean your spaghetti squash, you just need to cut open the squash and remove the seeds and stringy parts with a spoon.

While you should remove any obvious signs of dirt or debris on the exterior, the main thing to prepare your spaghetti squash is to get out all of the gross parts of the inside.

The surface skin of the squash won’t get eaten, so don’t worry about making it immaculate.

Don’t throw away the seeds, though – you can coat them in some olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them for 10 minutes in the oven at 350 Fahrenheit alongside the squash and end up with a tasty snack!

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave

While the best way to cook most things is in the oven rather than the microwave, sometimes you just can’t be bothered to have to wait for your squash to cook.

To cook your spaghetti squash in the microwave, you really only need to make sure that you provide it with plenty of water and to make sure to poke it full of holes.

To make removing the center parts a bit easier, you can microwave the whole squash on medium for about 3 minutes first. Just make sure to really heavily poke it with a fork!

After 3 minutes, remove and slice in half, then remove all the seeds and pulp.

Pour about 1 cup of water into the bottom of a casserole dish, add the squash cut side down.

Microwave for about 7 minutes, or until a fork can pierce through it easily. Serve just as you would the oven version.

Seasoning Suggestions for Spaghetti Squash

This recipe uses a really basic butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon seasoning blend for making spaghetti squash and will make a really sweet, almost dessert-like meal. If your family already likes squash, you can try some of the suggestions below, but I find for that first intro that going sweet and cinnamon really converts people into squash lovers!

However, you don’t have just to stop there – why not play around with the seasonings?

  • For a spicier, Mexican themed spaghetti squash, combine ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, one teaspoon of smoked paprika, and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne with your butter, and it will become something entirely different and still super delicious.
  • Heck, you could even make a Doritos Cool Ranch flavored spaghetti squash by combining that same recipe with one teaspoon of nutritional yeast, ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder, and a little bit of salt, pepper.
  • You could also serve your spaghetti squash; however, you would normally serve pasta, like with a nice pasta sauce.
  • It is gluten-free, vegan, and surprisingly healthy, so play around with it!

Looking for more tasty Squash recipes? Try these out:

Happy cooking!



How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

How to perfectly cook spaghetti squash in the oven or in the microwave.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Side Dish
1 squash
Karlynn Johnston


  • one large spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 cup water

Sweet Butter Cinnamon Topping

  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Spicy TexMex Topping

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and get out a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Take your spaghetti squash and using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise.
  • Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the seeds and strings, leaving the tender inside flesh whole, with only the hollow left in the middle.
  • Sprinkle the interior of the squash with salt and pepper.
  • Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Poke holes in the back of the squash.
  • Pour 1/2 cup of water on the baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender, but not mushy.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and cool the squash.
  • When the squash has cooled enough to touch, use a fork to fluff up the inside strands of the squash so that it looks like “spaghetti”.
  • Melt the butter in the microwave and mix in the brown sugar and cinnamon, Drizzle over top of the squash.
  • Eat and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 499kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 46g, Saturated Fat: 29g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 122mg, Sodium: 418mg, Potassium: 48mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 23g, Vitamin A: 1420IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 42mg, Iron: 1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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