How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

I get requests from friends and family for instructions on how to cook spaghetti squash, mostly after I've given them one from our garden. 

spaghetti squash

Here's the process I use:

The first task is to cut the squash in half length wise. Winter squashes are heavy and tough to cut when raw, so I always take extra care when working with them. Here are the things you'll need to cut the squash, and get the job done right without hurting yourself or someone else:

  • Damp towel, folded in quarters to make a thick damp mat.
  • Small sharp knife
  • Large, heavy butcher knife, or meat cleaver
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  1. Place towel on the counter or table and set the squash in the middle of it. Bunch the sides of the towel mat up around the squash. This keeps the squash from moving or slipping around when you are cutting into it.
  2. Take the small knife and start a cut lengthwise down the squash from the root to the bottom end. Make the cut deep enough so you can work the large knife or cleaver into it.
  3. Take the large knife or cleaver and work into the cut, rocking the cutting surface into the squash, moving along until you can cut all the way through. You'll have to use some serious pressure to cut all the way through.

Cooking the squash is much easier.

  1. Once you have the squash cut in half, scoop out the pulp and seeds with a sturdy spoon. Make sure you get all the orange membrane from inside the cavity.
  2. Now, butter two large glass baking dishes and fill them with water one inch deep. (if the squash is small enough to fit both cut sides in one pan, only butter one.)
  3. Set them on the rack in the stove.
  4. Lay each side of the squash cut side down in a baking pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour.
  6. Remove the squash from the oven, and let the squash cool for about an hour. You want the squash to be cool enough to handle.
  7. Move the squash halves to the towel, cut side up.
  8. Using a fork, dig the squash strands away from the shell, and transfer to a bowl.

Now that you how to cook spaghetti squash, you are ready to experiment!

Check out my spaghetti squash recipes or you can simply add butter and Parmesan cheese, or a meaty tomato sauce. A nice creamy Alfredo sauce is also good on this squash.

The Huffington Post has a collection of recipes on various ways to cook spaghetti squash as well.

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