Spaghetti squash is more than just another trendy vegetable! This fun food works well as a substitute for pasta in your favorite recipes. Unlike other squash types, the flesh of cooked spaghetti squash shreds easily with a fork into thin strands suggestive of spaghetti or vermicelli. Try it with or without sauces, or perhaps in a casserole. Served with just a bit of butter and salt, spaghetti squash makes a fine substitute for rice or potatoes.
This multi-purpose vegetable has great storage potential. Buy today, then prepare and serve when it fits into your menu plans. Stored in your kitchen, this winter squash keeps for a month, but a cool, dry basement or root cellar will keep it fresh even longer.
Many people find spaghetti squash a great choice nutritionally. Fat and cholesterol-free, it’s much lower in carbohydrates than conventional spaghetti. It’s also a good source of vitamins and minerals, and a good pasta substitute for people on wheat-free diets.
Don’t hesitate to bring home and serve spaghetti squash because you think it will be difficult to cook. Baking the squash in the oven is easy, and if you don’t want to face cutting the hard outer shell, you’ll be pleased to learn that this step is completely optional! Just skip down to Method Two below for instructions on baking the squash whole.
Method One: Cut Spaghetti Squash in Half First, Then Bake
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Wash the squash, then dry thoroughly for safer handling. Cut in half lengthwise using a large, sharp knife. Use a scoop or spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy pulp.
3. Place the two halves cut-side down in a shallow tray or baking pan to which you have added an inch or so of water.
4. Bake the squash for 30 to 45 minutes. When the squash is fully cooked, the skin will give easily to the touch, and the flesh will be tender. You can use a fork to confirm that it’s done.
5. Remove squash from oven. Turn the two halves over and let cool until comfortable to handle. Use a fork to scrape out the flesh. Scrape lengthwise for best results. The squash should come out easily in long strands.
6. Add to the recipe you’re preparing, or place in a serving dish to use as a side dish.
Method Two: Bake Spaghetti Squash without Cutting First
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Wash the squash, then dry thoroughly for safer handling. Use a sharp knife, skewer, or ice pick to pierce the squash in several places to allow venting of steam.
3. Place the whole squash in a shallow tray or baking pan.
4. Bake the squash for about an hour, turning once. When the squash is fully cooked, the skin will give easily to the touch, and the flesh will be tender. You can use a fork to confirm that it’s done.
5. Remove squash from oven. Let cool until comfortable to handle—about 15 or 20 minutes. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and use a scoop or spoon to remove the seeds and stringy pulp from the center of the squash. Use a fork to scrape out the flesh. Scrape lengthwise for best results. The squash should come out easily in long strands.
After baking with either method, serve in your preferred dish. Expect an average-sized spaghetti squash—around four pounds—to provide about five cups of cooked “spaghetti.” Freeze any leftovers in a freezer bag or box.