I know. Squash. Whatever, Sara. People, stick with me here. I’ve even done my fair share of spaghetti squash bashing here on Our Best Bites, but to my defense- only in the context of defending the fact that it doesn’t taste like actual noodles. However if you cook it well, it also doesn’t taste like stringy pumpkin. Spaghetti squash naturally pieces into thin segments, making it a great stand-in for a lot of traditionally carbohydrate-rich meals involving things like rice and pasta. I’m not anti-rice or pasta either; those things can (and should) be part of healthy diet, but when you want to lighten things up, this is a great way to do it. Compared to other winter squashes, spaghetti squash has one of the lowest caloric amounts, at just about 40 calories per cup. It’s also lower in carbs than most of the others, at just 10 grams, and it provides every essential vitamin in at least trace amounts, and significant amounts of vitamin C and B-6. So it’s a great way to fill up your tummy without a lot of calories.
Spaghetti squash has a mildy sweet flavor on it’s own, but it also kind of takes on flavors of things you pair with it. I use as a base to a lot of things when cooking family meals. For example, the other day I made BBQ Pork sliders. My kiddos ate their sandwiches, and my husband and I tossed our pork on top of the roasted squash. I’ve done the same thing with fajitas (in place of the tortilla), and obviously pasta sauces, etc. It’s a nice way to lighten up your own meal without having to make totally separate things for different people in your family.
Start by washing the outside of the squash. Then take a sharp knife (like, really sharp). You’ll have to be careful and work patiently because they’re a little tough to cut through. Once it’s cut in half, use a spoon to scoop out the centers.
Drizzle each half with a little olive oil. Using flavored olive oil here will make SO much difference. I’m using garlic on this one, but I really love it with both Rosemary and Bacon olive oils.
After you rub the oil around with your fingers to coat all the surfaces, sprinkle it with some kosher salt and black pepper.
Make sure you rubbed the cut edge well with the oil and then flip them cut-side down onto a foil-lined baking sheet.
Pop them in a 375 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes. When you touch the outside skin of the cooked squash, it should be really soft and tender.
I usually grab a clean kitchen towel to help hold the hot squash, and then use a fork to gently scrape out the insides. You’ll see it naturally forms into these little stringy noodle-like pieces.
Serve it as a side dish by tossing it in flavored olive oil and more salt and pepper.
Or one of my favorites is tossing it in pesto with grilled chicken or steak on the side. I’ve also mixed it in along with spaghetti noodles for my kids with no complaints, and chopped it more finely after cooking and combined it with rice. It’s an easy way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, or lighten up meals you already love! One of you commented that you loved eating this with our Italian Braised Chicken Thighs– That’s one of my favorites, too!
Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Tutorial by Our Best Bites
1 spaghetti squash
2 teaspoons flavored olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut squash in half length-wise and use spoon to remove centers. Drizzle each half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes or until soft to the touch. Let cool slightly and then use fork to remove squash.
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If you cut spaghetti squash across the middle, instead of from end to end, you get longer “noodles”.
id heard so many good and bad reviews of spaghetti squash I’d never attempted it. Thanks for posting this one …. Roasted with your basil olive oil and served on the side of spaghetti and everyone went back for seconds … Of the squash 🙂 great new roasted veggie to add to our garden planning. Thanks for sharing!!
Last year I had 30 spaghetti squash from my garden, needless to say I are it a lot and LOOOVE it! Delicious roasted but for a quick lunch, I just poke a couple holes in it and pop the whole thing into microwave. SO fast! Then a dab of butter and sprinkle of parm. Yum. If you have a good pasta sauce, or as you mentioned pulled pork etc, it’s a perfect fill you upper veggie accompaniment!
this is so perfect! I just got two of these in our “Bountiful Baskets” this week – I’m will be trying this in a couple of days. Thank you!
This is another one of those things I know I should try, but I’m just not a squash lover. However, I thought your zucchini linguine was delicious, so I think I can trust you on this one, especially if I mix it with regular noodles. Size-wise would it go best with thin spaghetti or angel hair if I’m trying to blend it in so my family doesn’t notice?
Really either one. With spaghetti it’s a little less noticeable since it’s slightly smaller than those noodles. With angel hair, it would probably be about equal. Hope that helps!
So, I have always wanted to try this but have put it off because I HATE normal squash and how mushy it gets. I can handle zucchini if cooked just right but have major texture problems. How would you describe the texture of spaghetti squash? In my head it will feel like overcooked, mushy noodles…. please tell me my head is wrong!
It’s not mushy. I think it has a slightly crisp texture. I always sauté some tomatoes with basil and oregano, olive oil and parmesan cheese and put it on top of the spaghetti squash.
Yep, definitely a firmer texture than zucchini. It’s not a mushy squash; even when cooked it still has a “bite” to it. Hope that helps!
YUM. I’ve been meaning to try this, thanks for the inspiration!
I love spaghetti squash and use it frequently in recipes. However, had never thought about using flavored olive oil! Mmmm, mmm, good! I had always just cooked it in the microwave til soft, then scraped into noodles, Your way sounds so much more flavorful! Thank you!
I was just thinking how the butter-salt-and-pepper spaghetti squash I made last night was a bit boring, and wondering what to do with the other one on my counter. Thanks for the ideas!
I JUST bought a spaghetti squash and am trying to figure out a way to get my husband to try it!
I am going to try this, hopefully it will come out nice.
I have always wanted to try this. So it’s on the menu for this week.
I love to put the veggie packed marinara sauce with meatballs on top of it. Also, when you grow it in your garden it lasts forever. We pick ours at the end of the season and then put it in the basement where it is cool, and we are still eating squash from our garden. I have no idea why it lasts so long, but it does. We live in Utah.
Yes! We found that out last year. You can save squash literally for months!
If you microwave it for only 1 or 2 minutes, it makes it a little bit easier to cut inhalf! 🙂
ooh, good tip. Thanks!
Oh hey, mind reader! I just bought a spaghetti squash the other day to use in place of noodles with spaghetti and meatballs, only I wasn’t sure how to cook it. Thanks!
It looks amazzzingggggg! So delicious! Need to try this recipe.
So excited to try this:)
Love the idea of tossing it with some pesto! Thank you!
Love spaghetti squash! I have one more to use from my garden this year-I’ll have these on the side and f thai chicken thighs tonight with this method.
I love spaghetti squash! I use it in everything. Most of the time I’ll add 1/2 cup noodles/pasta/potato (depending on what we’re eating) and 1 cup squash. You get the bulk without breaking the calorie/carb bank. Thanks for showing me how to cook it the right way. 🙂 If you are looking for fillers, I’ve been using lentils the same way with meaty dishes.
This squash looks wonderful. We love growing it in the garden but will have to buy from the grocery store right now since we have live in Buffalo. Thanks
I love it with your Italian Braised Chicken thighs. Delicious!
Yes, me too!
Love this! I havent had spaghetti squash in such a long time. Going to make it soon now for sure!! 🙂