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The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash

by
author image Ellen Douglas
Ellen Douglas has written on food, gardening, education and the arts since 1992. Douglas has worked as a staff reporter for the Lakeville Journal newspaper group. Previously, she served as a communication specialist in the nonprofit field. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Connecticut.
The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Admired as a high-fiber, low-carbohydrate alternative to traditional pasta, spaghetti squash separates into noodle-like strands when cooked and scooped from its shell. For people avoiding gluten or high-carb foods, this unusual winter squash may prove a satisfying alternative to wheat-based spaghetti. Methods such as baking and stuffing the spaghetti squash also exist, but the classic preparation involves separating the cooked thread-like flesh from the shell and topping it as you would your favorite pasta dish. One average size squash provides four servings.

Step 1

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Wash and dry the exterior of the squash.

Step 2

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Prick the shell of the squash in several places with a fork.

Step 4

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Place squash on a baking sheet and put the baking sheet in the oven.

Step 5

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Bake for at least one hour. Remove the squash from the oven when the shell pierces easily with a knife or fork. Do not turn off the oven after removing the squash.

Step 6

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Leave the squash to cool at least 15 minutes.

Step 7

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Slice the squash lengthwise into two halves.

Step 8

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Remove the seeds from the interior of the spaghetti squash.

Step 9

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Run a fork over the inner flesh of squash in order to loosen the thread-like pieces. While spaghetti squash doesn't appear to contain much flesh when first opened, separating it from its shell releases enough "spaghetti" to fill a pasta serving platter.

Step 10

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Scoop the loose flesh into a casserole dish and continue to scrape the inner shell until all of the flesh has been loosened and removed to the casserole dish.

Step 11

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Pour your pasta sauce over the squash flesh and toss to coat the "noodles." Reserve some of the sauce.

Step 12

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Cover the sauce-topped squash with a casserole lid or aluminum foil and place in oven for at least 20 minutes.

Step 13

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Cook any planned additions to the spaghetti squash, such as cubed chicken, meatballs, mushrooms or peppers.

Step 14

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Remove the squash from the oven and pour into a serving platter. Toss it with any additions, if you are using them.

Step 15

The Best Way to Cook a Spaghetti Squash
Photo Credit Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Add additional sauce, if desired, as well as cheese, herbs and other toppings.

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