Spaghetti squash is also called as “vegetable spaghetti ” . It is a very tasty and healthy alternative to traditional pasta. If you are curious about how to cook spaghetti squash then my friend you have come to the right place.
Follow this simple guide to learn from choosing the right squash to cook it and serve as a tasty dish. So, let’s start our preparation for spaghetti squash recipe?
Table of Contents
What is Spaghetti Squash?
Spaghetti squash is a healthy vegetable that looks like a yellow football. When you cook it’s flesh transforms into long stringy noodle-like strands.
That’s why it often used as a healthy substitute for pasta. You can also enjoy it in various dishes from salads to stir-fries.
What is the origin of Spaghetti Squash?
Many people believe that Spaghetti squash first originated in America. Especially in North and Central America.
Native American tribes like the Hopi and Navajo have grown it for centuries. European explorers later introduced it to Europe where its popularity grew.
But today, it is famous worldwide for its unique qualities in the kitchen.
What does spaghetti squash taste like?
Spaghetti squash has a mild, slightly sweet flavour. It is not as strong as regular pasta, but it tastes good with different seasonings and sauces.
How to choose the best Spaghetti Squash?
To choose the best spaghetti squash at the store you have to check the below characteristics.
Look for the squash that feels firm and heavy for its size and has a bright yellow color. Avoid squash with soft spots or blemishes as they might not be ripe. Remember don’t forget to check out the stem it should be dry, brown and intact.
How to prepare Spaghetti Squash?
To prepare spaghetti squash for your meal, you need to do three main steps. First, wash the squash. Then, cut it and third one scoops out the seeds
Washing spaghetti squash: To wash spaghetti squash rinse it under cold water to remove dirt and debris.
Cutting spaghetti squash: Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. If it is too tough to cut, you can pierce it with a fork. Otherwise, you can microwave it for a couple of minutes to soften it.
Scoop Out the Seeds
Inside the Spaghetti squash, you will find seeds and stringy bits. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds gently. This creates space for the spaghetti-like strands.
How to cook Spaghetti Squash?
Now that your spaghetti squash is ready, it’s time to cook it. There are a few methods to choose from:
How to bake Spaghetti Squash
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. To prevent sticking if you don’t have parchment, coat the baking sheet with cooking spray or oil.
Drizzle With Oil
You can use any regular cooking oil to bake your spaghetti squash. Just don’t use fancy finishing oils like walnut or pistachio oil. Because these mild taste oils taste is best for salads and drizzling but not for roasting.
Baking Spaghetti Squash
Place your spaghetti squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake them in a preheated oven at 400°F for about 35 to 40 minutes.
Check for Doneness
The squash is ready when you can easily pierce the skin with a fork.
Scrape and Serve
Carefully remove the squash from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Using a fork, gently scrape the flesh to transform it into spaghetti-like strands.
Season and Enjoy
You can put your favourite things on the spaghetti squash such as butter, herbs or parmesan cheese. It’s ready to enjoy as a healthy and delicious side dish or even as a pasta substitute.
You May Like
How to cook Spaghetti Squash in the microwave
Place one of the squash halves cut side down on a microwave-safe dish. Microwave it on high for 8 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it to avoid overcooking.
Check for Doneness
After microwaving carefully remove the hot squash with a kitchen towel. Now, using a fork check if it’s tender or not. If the fork goes through the flesh easily it is ready to turn into spaghetti-like strands.
Scrape and Season
Now, that your spaghetti squash is cooked in the microwave, use a fork to scrape the flesh. Now add butter, herbs, or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese to your squash for extra flavour.
How to cook spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot
Prepare Instant Pot
To cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot place a trivet or a steamer basket inside your Instant Pot. After that add a cup of water to create steam. Then, put one of the squash halves on the trivet cut side up.
Set the Time
You have to pressure cook squash on high. For this, you can follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook food. Adjust the timer to 7-10 minutes depending on the size of your squash. Smaller ones need less time.
Quick Release and Check Doneness
Once the cooking time is up perform a quick pressure release. Carefully open the Instant Pot. Now with a fork check if the squash is tender or not. If it is easily pierceable then it is cooked perfectly.
Scrape and Season
With a fork gently scrape the cooked squash to see the delightful strands forming. Add your favourite seasonings to the squash, like butter, herbs, or a little Parmesan cheese.
Expert Tips and Tricks for Perfect Spaghetti Squash
Cooking spaghetti squash can be a breeze with a few expert tips and tricks up your sleeve. Here are the top 5 pointers to help you cook the best spaghetti squash:
Choosing the Right Squash
When picking your spaghetti squash go for one with a bright golden-yellow color. A squash that feels heavy for its size is a sign of ripeness and better flavour.
When cutting your squash be cautious. Always ask an adult for help, as spaghetti squash can be tough to slice. A sharp knife and steady hands make the process safer.
Overcooking can lead to watery squash. To avoid this, stick to the recommended cooking times mentioned for each method. You will know it is done when the flesh easily separates into spaghetti-like strands with a fork.
Fluff Up the Strands
After cooking, use a fork to gently fluff up the squash strands. This helps them separate easily and gives you that perfect spaghetti-like texture.
Spaghetti squash has a mild flavour that pairs well with various seasonings. Try using herbs such as basil and oregano. You can also add a bit of olive oil and salt for a tasty flavour.
What to serve with Spaghetti Squash?
You can serve it as a healthy side dish with grilled chicken or fish. It also makes a good base for savoury sauces such as marinara or pesto.
Otherwise, you can serve it with sauteed veggies, toss in salads or as a pasta substitute. You can also enjoy it with your favourite toppings, herbs or cheeses.
How to season and enhance flavours of Spaghetti Squash?
To enhance the flavor of your spaghetti squash try these easy tricks.
You can season it with herbs like basil and oregano or a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
You can also enhance the flavours with garlic, parmesan cheese or a dash of red pepper flakes for some zing. Get creative with your own favourite seasonings and toppings.
How to store Spaghetti Squash
If you have leftovers or need to store uncooked spaghetti squash:
Storing uncooked spaghetti squash: If you keep it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight then it can last for up to a month.
Storing cooked spaghetti squash: For cooked squash keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days.
How long to cook Spaghetti Squash
The cooking time for spaghetti squash varies depending on the method you choose.
Baking time for Spaghetti Squash:
It takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes to bake spaghetti squash.
Microwaving time for Spaghetti Squash:
It takes approximately 12 to 15 minutes to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave.
Instant Pot time for Spaghetti Squash:
It takes approximately 8 to 10 minutes to cook spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot.
FAQs About Cooking Spaghetti Squash
How To Tell If Spaghetti Squash Is Cooked?
The flesh should be tender and easily shred into spaghetti-like strands with a fork.
Why is My Spaghetti Squash Watery
Overcooking or undercooking can lead to excess moisture. Cook until it’s just tender.
Should I Peel Spaghetti Squash Before Cooking?
No need to peel. Cook it with the skin on, and you can easily remove it afterward.
Should Spaghetti Squash Be Crunchy?
It should be tender, not crunchy. Adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Does Spaghetti Squash Taste Like Pasta?
It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a texture reminiscent of pasta, making it a great pasta substitute.
What Is the Best Oven Temperature for Baking Spaghetti Squash?
375°F (190°C) is ideal for baking.
Cooking spaghetti squash is a simple and healthy way to add variety to your meals. With the tips and recipes provided in this guide, you’re well on your way to enjoying this delightful vegetable.
So, grab a spaghetti squash, follow these steps, and savor the delicious results.