Servings: 6 Prep: 10 min Cook: 45 min Total: 55 min
Spaghetti Squash is not, contrary to popular opinion, a racquet sport played in a four-walled court with a small rubber ball and a bowl of pasta.
IT IS, however, a delicious winter vegetable, also known as Squaghetti. This oblong squash tends to be fairly large and is usually yellow. Within it is a firm flesh and seeds, similar to that of a pumpkin. Where a Spaghetti Squash suddenly becomes a little extra interesting is in what happens to the flesh, when it is cooked. It becomes … Pasketti!
Yep, this interesting vegetable separates into easy strands of pasta-like goodness, when steamed, roasted, baked, nuked, etc. It’s a fantastic low-carb, totally “real foods” and paleo style pasta substitute. It’s a twinge on the sweet side, with a texture similar to a lightly grainy al dente pasta with a twinge of “crunch”. It’s difficult to describe, but I find it to be absolutely delicious!
One of my favorite things to do is roast it, then sauté the strands with a little bit of garlic, butter, salt and pepper. That’s it!
For the most part, use it in any fashion in which you’d use a pasta noodle, which includes side dishes, main courses and even Asian applications and stir fries.
Photo Note: The third photo is taken with Marinara Sauce and Parmesan-Mayo Baked Chicken Butterfly
Nutrition Note: I had a heck of a time finding accurate and trustworthy nutrition for this recipe. It is unclear to me what the USDA is using in their analysis. A standard spaghetti squash weighs between 4 and 6 lbs. and would make about 6 cups worth of spaghetti squash, after the rind, seeds and some water are removed during the cooking process. The USDA doesn’t bother listing the fiber content of a raw spaghetti squash, but states it’s got 7 grams of carbs per 100 grams (about 4 ounces). The USDA DOES have 10 carbs per cup of cooked spaghetti squash, with 2 grams of fiber, resulting in 8 grams of “net” carbs per 1-cup serving. This isn’t super low, but it’s reasonable (and tasty!). The challenge is that my recipes are based off of gram weights to do their calculations. As a result, I need to set the value of the spaghetti squash to 930 grams (about 2 lbs.). This isn’t an accurate number, but is the only way to get the recipe’s math to add up to the USDA’s numbers. WHEE!!
Roasted Spaghetti SquashPrint Rate
- 1 roughly 5-lb. spaghetti squash
- 1/4 cup fresh whole butter softened
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
- Cut your spaghetti squash into two even halves, with a large sharp knife. Be VERY careful when doing this, as it's got a thick firm flesh and it likes to roll around.
- Once it's been cut into half, scrape the seeds out with a spoon. You can save the seeds and dry them out, if you'd like. They're like pepitas (pumpkin seeds). I usually just throw them out though (I'm lazy).
- Rub 2 tbsp of the softened butter on the exposed fleshy bits of each squash half. Get a nice even layer on both halves.
- Season the flesh with a good bit of salt and pepper.
- Place the two halves, flesh-side-down, into a casserole pan or a cookie tray with a rim.
- Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until soft (larger ones can take over an hour). Stick a knife into the rind and see if it enters easily. When it does, it's done. Remove from the oven!
- Here, you can scrape the strands out with a fork and serve them, as is, or with some kind of sauce. Alternately, you can also cut the halves into individual pieces and let people scrape their own threads from their portion. In all cases, be careful ... they're hot, heavy and a little bit awkward.
STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note, I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with my ideals and I believe would be of value to my readers.
* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition …
15 thoughts on “Roasted Spaghetti Squash”
Thanks, Lori! Yep, cutting them isn’t easy and maybe even a little dangerous. A lot of people poke lots of holes in them, then just toss them in the oven "as is". They’re A LOT easier to cut, when they’re soft. I think you loose an opportunity to bake in some extra flavor. For me, it’s worth cutting it, but … I understand why people are hestiant to cut the big oblong bowling ball. Glad you liked it!
Hey DJ, not to criticize, but for cook tome you have 45 hours. I know you mean minutes. Gave me a good chuckle when after viewing this several times I just noticed it.
Tamara, thank you! I believe my "notes on my recipes" section explains that I’m just one guy. No editors or fact checkers. I do my best, but … I’m blonde and a bit of a space cadet. I do make boo boos! Thank you for pointing it out. If you see others, please let me know. I’ll get right on it! FIXED!
2 quick things. A slightly safer way to cut the squash is to first cut off the stem part of the end.
Much easier to cut then. Also recipe sounds great and I will try it but so far my go to is a past sauce with smal chunks of broccoli and cauliflower, and melted mozzerella.
I have learned , if you put in microwave for about a min or so, makes it easier to cut in half.
You and I are on the same page tonight!!! Making Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole!
We had spaghetti squash one night with marinara sauce loading with summer veggies….and the next day I sautéed it in o.o. and some butter and then added fresh tomatoes, garlic and parmeasan cheese…both ways are delicious
Hi DJ..love all your recipes here.I usually get a smaller size squash (since rind is not that thick yet) plus easier to cut for hubby and I. Each half is enough for one person, I top mine with spicy "Filipino style" meat sauce to balance out the sweetness of the younger squash, I also noticed that smaller squash have more flesh(rind is almost paper thin), or maybe its just me..
Thanks for the kind words, Maryann! I usually go for larger ones, simply because I tend to make things in bulk … and then eat it for a few days. So one squash will usually keep me happy for about 6 days … with some portion of it usually being frozen. I’ve never really tinkered with the smaller ones, but your logic is quite sound. Thank you for the thoughts!
What I do is nuke it (whole ) a few minutes in the microwave, then it’s much easier to cut in half before roasting. We make this all the time. Our favorite use for it is in shrimp scampi.
—Reply posted by DJ on 1/17/2015
Yep, this is a relatively common approach. Many, in fact, go even further and simply nuke the thing until it’s all soft and ready to eat. Then, they split it, scrape out the seeds and eat! It’s quicker and easier, but I’m a fan of roasting, so that you can slather it with fat, salt and pepper, to get the salt deeper into the flesh, as it roasted. This will have FAR better flavor than simply nuking it, without seasonings. It sounds like you’ve combined the best of both worlds! Just be careful trying to chase a hot oblong bowling ball around with a knife! 😉
I’ve recently started roasting the halves “cut side up” in the oven. It takes more of the water and sweetness out, making it more suitable for savory meat and veggie sauces.
—Reply posted by DJ on 3/31/2015
In truth, it probably doesn’t much matter which direction it’s facing when you roast it. If you’ve got the cavity facing down, then steam will collect in the cavity which will help with a slower more even roasting of the inside. My fear is that my flipping it, you’ll have a tougher skin and maybe some of the liquid, in more watery squash, will pool in the bottom of the cavity creating inconsistent textures. That said … maybe it makes a nice golden crust and the steam evaporates before it pools and it’s lovely! Ultimately … it’s really “season and apply heat”. You’re going to wind up with something tasty, no matter what you do. Thanks for the thought! 🙂
I just made this last night and also cooked shrimp in butter and garlic in the oven, when everything was done I served it with the shrimp on top of it, sprinkled it with crushed red peppers and a side of garlic bread…..so so yummy!!
—Reply posted by DJ on 4/23/2015
I have to assume you don’t know the primary thrust behind this website is that hamburger and hot dog buns are what’s wrong with the planet. That’s why I made my comment before … I have no doubt they’re delicious, as they’re specifically engineered to be … cheap, void of anything your body can use and absolutely wonderfully tasty. In any event, thank you for your comment. Sorry for the snide bun remarks, but … this really is a website that goes against the grain … :/
—Reply posted by barbara on 4/23/2015
you aren’t going to believe how I do the garlic bread…I like to use hot dog buns…. open them up, spread them with butter, then sprinkle garlic on them and maybe a little cheese and bake until crispy….yum yum yum…I do the same thing with left over hamburger buns too.
—Reply posted by DJ on 3/31/2015
NOM! How’d you do the garlic bread, or … should I overlook that? 😉
I find it very difficult to cut spaghetti squash in half the rind is soooo hard. I put it in microwave to soften, but this cooks it a bit.
Several people are throwing some great comments onto this page. Thanks, everyone! One point which was kind of made by KennyK … A trick from the restaurant world. Always create a flat surface. So, what I would do is cut the top and bottom off of the spaghetti squash, so it creates a flat surface on both the top and bottom. Then, I’d stand it up and put a large knife into the top, in the center, and just push down on both sides, alternating force, as the knife saws through the squash. I’ve personally never had a problem with this, but … I suppose I’m used to it. To me, putting it in the microwave is something a lot of people seem to do, but … then you’ve got a HOT squash and the potential for explosions in the nuker. Ultimately, do whatever feels right to all y’all! 🙂
This was AWESOME!!! The hardest part of the whole darned thing was getting the squash cut in half. Positively total yumminess on a plate. I cooked for my Mum tonight, and she thought at first that it was real-deal pasta… until she asked why the strands were so short… LOL