How To: Cook Spaghetti Squash
If you’ve ordered from us in the past then you know that one of our meals is spaghetti squash and homemade meatballs. Spaghetti squash is a much healthier alternative for people who are gluten sensitive or are watching their carb intake. As the name suggests, spaghetti squash is actually a vegetable but when cooked correctly it is very similar in taste and texture to spaghetti.
There are many ways to cook and prepare spaghetti squash. As previously mentioned, here at Fork & Spoon we pair it with flavorful meatballs and red marinara sauce. However, you can use it in an alfredo or a stir fry. The possibilities are endless.
Here’s how to cook your squash:
IN THE OVEN
This is the way I cook the squash. It is just a personal preference but both ways work well.
First you need to cut your spaghetti squash in half. Depending on the size squash you get this can be a difficult task. Here are some hacks to help you out.
Use a sharp knife. Pick the sharpest (and preferably long) knife to cut your squash. A dull knife is going to make matters a lot harder.
Before using your squash leave it on the counter. Squash does not need to be refrigerated and it seems as if a room temperature squash is easier to cut than a cold squash.
Cut off the ends. I personally cut off both ends of the squash before doing anything. I only slice off enough to make it a flat bottom to rest on. This helps with leverage and slicing the knife through the center without the squash rolling around on the counter or cutting board.
You can also use a fork or knife to poke holes around the middle of the squash (the spots where you will eventually cut through). Then you can place your squash on a microwave safe plate and put it in the microwave for several minutes. Depending on the size of your squash it’ll be between 4-6 minutes. Let cool. You can then cut along the dotted line
Either way you’re going to need to cut your squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds (like you would a pumpkin). Be sure you aren’t scooping out too much of the “meat.” You only need to get rid of the seeds.
Place your squash either face down or face up (see below) on a foil covered cookie sheet or in a baking pan. Bake at 450 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Again, this may vary slightly depending on the size of your squash. If you see the outside starting to blacken or burn you need to take it out.
Some people like to drizzle olive oil onto the squash before sticking it in the oven. I personally do not because I don’t want the extra oil. You can also sprinkle some salt and pepper depending on what kind of sauce you are planning to use once it is cooked.
As stated above you can either choose to place your squash face down or face up on your cookie sheet. Placing it face down will make it a bit softer. Placing it face up makes it a bit more crunchy. This is based on preference. Try it both ways and see which you like better. It’s just like having your pasta al-dente or cooked all the way through - totally a personal choice.
You will need to allow the squash to cool before scraping out the spaghetti. Once the squash is cool enough to touch you will want to use a fork to gently scrape the squash. Scrape from the edges to the center. Be sure to get the ends as well.The only part you don’t eat is the skin.
IN THE MICROWAVE
This is an alternative, and slightly faster, method. Start by using a fork or knife to perforate the skin lengthwise. Then place the squash in the microwave and put it in for 5 minutes on full power. Rotate the squash 180 degrees and put it back in for 5 more minutes. Allow the squash to sit for at least 5 minutes so it can continue to cook the inside. Once it is cool enough to touch, and it has been at least 5 minutes you can cut it in half.
Once it is halved you will need to use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Discard the seeds and then use a fork to scrape the inside of the squash. This is the part that you will eat.
Once you have cooked your squash you have three options. You can either transfer it to a bowl or plate and add your sauce etc. It can be enjoyed from a separate dish. A second option is to put all the scrapings back into the skin of the squash and add your sauce directly to the skin of the squash. It can essentially be its own bowl and save you from doing dishes.
Spaghetti squash is great for freezing so it can also be frozen and enjoyed later.