How to Prepare Spaghetti Squash

I had no desire to try spaghetti squash.  I’d heard about it from various friends or internet recipes but there was something about it that seemed really disturbing to me.

Let me start off by saying that I like squash.  I really do!  I like it pureed in soups and baked goods.  I like it in chunks or chips and roasted.  But there was something about a squash breaking down into little wormy strings that sounded awful to me.  No thank you.  I was perfectly fine not having spaghetti squash in my life. . . .

Spaghetti Squash

And then my mom planted some in her huge garden.  And it was prolific.  My mom’s a pretty adventurous eater so she planted these things without ever having tried them herself.  I was more than a little surprised when she called me up with rave reviews over it.  I mean, really, who raves about squash?!

Just days after that, I was talking to my uncle who has to watch his carb intake due to diabetes.  He and his family had been eating spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti pasta with their tomato sauce – and he raved about it too!  What?!  Them too?!  Now my interest was piqued.

When my husband made a quick trip back home to Missouri, my mom sent him back with a few boxes of veggie goodness (thank you, Mom!) from her garden – including several spaghetti squash.  So now I had no excuse not to at least try it.  I figured that we’d give it a go just to say we tried it but that no one would really be a big fan.

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I know this doesn’t look good if you’ve got a weird texture problem like me . . . give it a chance – it’s better than it looks!

I have to say . . . we love spaghetti squash!  EVEN THE KIDS!  Everyone looked a little dubious as I passed out plates of squash with spaghetti sauce but before long we were all cleaning our plates, amazed at how good it tasted.  What’s even better is that we were full and satisfied but not heavy feeling.  Cooked spaghetti pasta has 221 calories per cup.  Cooked spaghetti squash has just 31 calories per cup.  Not to mention, it is also low in carbs and fat.  It fills you up without weighing you down!

Its flavor is not as sweet as other winter squashes so it doesn’t stand out distinctly in a dish.  Which makes it perfect for pairing with sauces and other ingredients.  The best part for me is that the texture isn’t at all off-putting (like I thought it’d be).  You do break it up into strings but the strings are firmer, like al dente pasta, and not slimy or wiggly.  They tend to have a bit more ‘crispness’ to them than pasta so it’s not an exact substitute but we’ve realized that we like it just as much.  If you over-cook the squash though, the ‘noodles’ break down into more of a squashy mush.  So . . . don’t over-cook the squash.

Not only have we enjoyed spaghetti squash in a spaghetti dinner but we’ve really loved this recipe from Julia’s Album.  These Bacon, Spaghetti Squash and Parmesan Fritters have tons of delicious flavor.  We’ve made this recipe several times now and it will probably become a family favorite.  If you’re not keen on spaghetti, give these fritters a try!

Courtesy of www.juliasalbum.com
Courtesy of www.juliasalbum.com

Have you been hesitant to try spaghetti squash or are we the very last people to jump on board the ‘spaghetti squash’ bandwagon?  If you haven’t, I recommend that you go ahead and just try it out.  You might be surprised.

How to Prepare Spaghetti Squash – it’s so easy! (makes enough for family of 4)

Preheat the oven to 375˚.

Take one spaghetti squash and cut off one of the ends to give yourself a flat surface to set the squash upright.

Cut it in half lengthwise.

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Scoop out the seeds and guts.

Lightly brush olive oil onto the squash’s flesh.

Spaghetti Squash-3

Place face-down onto a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes.

The squash is done when you can pierce the squash’s flesh easily with a fork.

Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool.  It cools much faster if you flip it over so the flesh is face-up.Spaghetti Squash-5

Use a fork to scrape the inside of each squash lengthwise to remove the squash flesh in strings.

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Enjoy with spaghetti sauce while it’s still hot.  (Or use it in a recipe like the bacon, squash and parmesan fritters!)

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Next spring, I might even plant a few spaghetti squash plants myself!

6 Comments

  1. My sister-in-law used to grow and serve spaghetti squash and I just couldn’t grasp the concept of mixing these two items together but…I will try them in my garden next year and make the dish per your tutorial. After all, I followed your sauerkraut recipe and loved that so because you say so, I’ll try it. I’ll try to remember to let you know how we like it next fall. Love your blog Emily! Thanks!
    ChrisDee

  2. Your initial reaction to spaghetti squash made me laugh because I felt the same way. Now we love it! I’ve been guilty of overcooking it though and, yes, it definitely gets mushy. Great substitute for pasta though – awesome guide!

  3. I am literally cracking up. I was so there! I started eating spaghetti squash last fall. We love it as well! Well, most of us. I have one kiddo who doesn’t like it at all. I don’t like spaghetti bur fro some reason I really like spaghetti sauce on spaghetti squash. Thank s for the recipe for the fritters! I am going to try those this week.

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