Spaghetti squash is one of the easiest and healthiest vegan meals to prepare. So today, I’ll teach you everything you need to know how to cook spaghetti squash. Pair it with your signature marinara sauce and you have the perfect dinner for the family!
We’ll discuss everything from choosing the squash to preparing, down to the different ways to cook spaghetti squash. Yes! There’s more than one way to do it.
My favorite hack: Make your sauce extra thicker and a chunkier. This blog post here will teach you how to make spaghetti sauce thick like a PRO. 😉
How To Tell If Spaghetti Squash Is Ripe?
There are a lot of various ways to do this, so I developed a 3-step process to get the perfect spaghetti squash. These are ones that I found to be the easiest yet most accurate way to check the ripeness of spaghetti squash:
Inspect The Condition Of The Skin.
You want the spaghetti squash to be clear of any blemishes or bruises. Also, check for black marks or any indication that insects have feasted on it. These are the signs that will tell you if the squash has overstayed on the vines or if they’re damaged.
Check The Color.
What you’re looking for is a squash that has a bright yolk-ish color or a golden yellow color. This means that the squash is perfectly ripe to be picked. The ones with the green tint in them still need a few days in the vine. However, if they are yellow-orange in color, that means you waited a little too long and they are overripe.
I do this as the final test. The color looks right and vibrant, and it has a clear, smooth skin – no blemishes or dark spots. You know, when you almost asked a spaghetti squash for its skincare routine. But if you’re like me and have trust issues, do the fingernail method.
Lightly push your fingernail into the skin of the squash. It should not leave a mark or a scratch on the surface. Ripe spaghetti squash has thick, hard skin that should be hard to puncture. If it’s still easily bruised or damaged, leave it for a couple more days to grow then do the skin test again.
What’s The Best Way To Cut Spaghetti Squash?
The First Step Is To Set Up Your Cutting Station.
- Put a damp, clean dishcloth or towel under your cutting board to keep it in place. Then use another towel to hold the spaghetti squash with. Put half of the towel under the squash so it doesn’t roll around while you cut it and the other half to hold it down.
Now Take Out A Hefty Chef’s Knife.
- You want it to be sharp and heavy. A flimsy knife will only bend on the squash’s thick skin and can also be a safety risk.
Let’s Saw Through The Squash.
- Place it down horizontally on the cutting board. Using your chef’s knife, pierce the squash in the middle. Work your knife towards the stem and the other way around to the bottom end.
- It’s okay if your knife can’t cut all the way through the other side of the squash. What you want to do is wiggle your knife in the cut that you made to loosen it up. Then pull the halves apart with your hands.
Now you can use a spoon and scoop out the seeds and membranes from the halves to ready it for cooking. 😉
How Do I Cook Spaghetti Squash?
Here comes the fun part – cooking it! You have 4 options to do this:
Roast It In The Oven.
- Brush the insides of the spaghetti squash halves with olive oil or melted butter. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. You can also season it with different spices like cayenne pepper or smoked paprika.
- Then transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet with the insides faced down. Using a fork, poke the skin of the squash a few times. Place it in the oven that’s preheated to 400°F for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Get a microwave-safe baking dish. Place the squash with the cut side faced down. Then fill the dish with water until the squash is about an inch deep.
- Pop it in the microwave for 5 minutes and check for doneness. Repeat this until the insides of the squash are soft enough to be shredded by a fork.
Use A Pressure Cooker.
- Prick the skin of the squash halves several times with a fork. Then pour 1 cup of water in the pressure cooker. Transfer the squash to the steam rack and set to cook on High for 10 minutes.
- If both halves of the squash don’t fit in the tray, steam them one at a time. Do not stack on top of each other as they won’t cook evenly.
Put It In The Slow Cooker.
- If you want to skip the cutting part, go with this option. Rinse the squash thoroughly, no need to cut it. Using a fork, pierce the skin of the squash repeatedly so it doesn’t explode in the slow cooker.
- Put it in the slow cooker with a little water and leave it on High for about 3 hours. Check for doneness and if it’s still too hard to shred with a fork then cook for a little more.
*Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the spaghetti squash
- Once it’s done cooking, use the fork to shred the insides into spaghetti strands. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper before serving.
- You can serve it with homemade pasta sauce, pesto, or simply drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top.
This is one of the healthy meals I have no problem feeding my kids with. They love it and it’s extremely healthy too! Have you tried making your own spaghetti squash at home? I would love to hear your stories so feel free to leave a comment below! 😉