How to prepare Spaghetti Squash

Author: kim

How to prepare Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti or vegetable squash is an oblong winter squash with pulp and seeds in the middle, a little like a pumpkin, albeit a different shape. When raw, the flesh of is solid and similar to other raw squashes, when cooked, the flesh falls away from the fruit in ribbons or strands like spaghetti! It is often used as a spaghetti or noodle substitute for dishes or it can be served with butter as a simple tasty side dish.

It has a sweet taste and pairs well with most sauces, picking up their flavours well. It is vegan and paleo-friendly, along with being naturally gluten free and a great way to introduce more vegetables into your diet.

Buy fresh, organic spaghetti squash here in our webshopReal-Foods-Organic-Spaghetti-Squash

How do you cook Spaghetti Squash?

The easiest method is probably to roast the whole squash. It depends on the size of the squash how long it will take precisely, but a smaller squash will take around 40 minutes, a medium one around an hour, a large one up to an hour and a half. Check after 20-30 minutes to see how far along it is.

You can also halve the squash and roast (with or without the seeds).

You can boil the squash whole, you'll need a large pan and around 40 minutes to cook it right through. Check after 30 minutes.

You can also microwave squash. You do not want to fully cook a whole squash in a microwave, however (think of it like a particularly large egg and consider what that might do if it explodes!). Prick the skin to allow steam to escape and cook for 5 minutes to get it tender enough to cut in half.

You can cook spaghetti squash in a slow cooker whole. Prick it so that moisture can escape and cook for 4-6 hours

 

How do you cut Spaghetti Squash?

1. You don't have to, you can roast it whole and it's a lot easier to cut when cooked

2. If you do decide to cut it, do so carefully! The skin is tough, so you'll need a sharp knife

3. Prick it with a knife and create a dotted line to cut across

4. Cut it horizontally or width-wise*

5. If it's still too tough, pop it in a microwave for 5 minutes to soften the skin and try again (pierce it a few times first, you don't want steam building up in a microwave with  a whole squash!)

5. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits with a spoon (you can do this after roasting if you prefer)

6. If you're cooking it in slices, also slice each end of the squash off and discard, then slice into equal sized rounds of about 1 and a 1/2 inch thickness

*Based on our entirely unscientific survey of folk who cook it, the spaghetti squash should not be sliced vertically. The squash fibres actually run in bands around the centre, so if you cut it lengthwise you'll shorten the strands considerably (still tasty, but not very reminiscent of spaghetti).

 

How do you roast Spaghetti Squash halved?

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F, 200 C or as Mark 4

2. Halve the squash (carefully!) and place shell side up on the baking tray

2. To keep your squash moist in the oven, add a little water to the dish, and create a dome with aluminium foil to protect the squash

3. It should take around 40 minutes to roast - it does depend on the size of your squash so check regularly

 

How do you roast Spaghetti Squash sliced?

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F, 200 C or as Mark 4

2. Slice each end of the squash off and discard, then slice into equal sized rounds of about 1  and a  1/2 inch thickness (a small squash will get around 4 cuts or 5 rounds)

3. Put on a baking tray with unbleached baking parchment to make the clean-up easy

4. Roast for 50-60 minutes. Around 40 minutes if you like the texture to remain firm. You're looking for it to be tender but not mushy

5. Use a fork to pull the strands into the centre and create spaghetti like squash

 

How do you cook Spaghetti Squash in the microwave?

1. Pop it in whole for 5 minutes to soften the skin

2. Cut in widthways in half and scoop out the seeds

3. Place it  face down in a microwaveable dish with a little water to keep it moist

4. Cook for around 15 minutes and check regularly

 

What should I do with the spaghetti squash seeds?

Eat them! Roast them like pumpkin seeds and they're a tasty snack.

1. Rinse them well, remove any stringy bits or squash remaining

2. Pat them dry, the drier they are the better they'll roast

3. Pop in an oven at a low heat - around 275 degrees Fahrenheit, 140 celsius, Gas Mark 1

4. Toss the dry seeds with your preferred oil and seasoning. We like coconut oil and cinnamon,   or olive oil, salt and paprika.

5. Spread them out on a baking tray (use parchment or foil). Try to spread them widely so they don't touch each other.

6. Cook for around 15-20 minutes or until toasted golden brown

7. Enjoy!

Organic-Spaghetti-Squash-for-plant-based-diets

The lovely Jamila modelling the latest small squashes (September 2017)