Prepare and Cook Spaghetti Squash

Squash your enthusiasm for wheat spaghetti with this great gourd

I spent way too many low-carb years not preparing spaghetti squash because I was certain the difficulty factor was greater than I could bear.

Being both a lazy cook and a skeptic (there were fire extinguishers involved, right?), I was pleasantly surprised to find that spaghetti squash is easy to prepare.

This vegetable is sturdy and pretty failproof, delivering a deluge of delight to plates of pasta lovers everywhere.

And with one cup equalling only 8 net carbs, this is acceptable for Atkins induction as well as those with a gluten intolerance.

Spaghetti Squash
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Very carefully cut spaghetti squash lengthwise. Using a grapefruit spoon (or a spoon), scrape out seeds (spaghetti squash is like a pumpkin inside).

Spray cookie sheet with non-stick oil. Place flat sides face-down on the pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a fork can pierce the outer skin.

While the squash is still hot, and using a potholder, carefully scrape vegetable strands with a fork.
Store, covered, in the refrigerator, or serve as you would spaghetti.

One average spaghetti squash yields 4 cups of product.
Nutritional Information for 1/2 cup spaghetti squash: Calories: 42, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Fiber: 1 g, Net Carbohydrates: 4 g, Protein: .5 g, Fat: 2 g

Trying to wean your kids from regular spaghetti?

Try starting out with 3/4 regular spaghetti to 1/4 portion spaghetti squash. Continue to slowly change the ratios until the spaghetti squash reigns supreme. Don’t fret if this takes some time. It is better to pick battles than to insist on quick changes, especially when kids like what they know.

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Comments

  1. Patricia says:

    My personal recommendation is to use a homemade, sugar free, sauce if you are going the tomato sauce route. I tried spaghetti squash with Prego a couple of years ago (pre low carb) and thought it was the squash I didn't like. It was like there were two warring sweet tastes. Now, following low carb, I tried it with an Alfredo sauce… and it knocked my socks off! Of course, everyone's tastes are different, but now I know I love spaghetti squash!

  2. KansasKate says:

    I cook my Spaghetti squash in the microwave. I wash it and then cut a hole in the top. I make a triangle shape with a paring knife and place it on a microwave safe plate. I cook it for 12 minutes on high or until I'm satisfied it is fully cooked. I test it by stabbing with a fork. Of course it's very hot this way and one has to wait until it cools some.
    Kathleen

  3. I also cook mine in the microwave. I cut in half length wise, scrape the seeds and lay it down with round side up and poke holes in the tough outer skin. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high approximately 7 – 8 minutes. I leave it in the plastic wrap for a few minutes while i do other prep work. I serve this with beef tips and gravy, or spaghetti or I also make a King Ranch Chicken pasta dish which makes a huge amount of sauce. I make regular pasta to take to a pot luck dinner and use the extra sauce on the squash at home. Since there are only 2 of us eating at home most times I put the left over uncooked squash in a baggy until the next time I’m hungry for pasta.

  4. I love spaghetti squash! I never even knew what it was before going low-carb.
    Now, I make it (in the oven) but I leave it in it’s skin until I am ready to use it. Then I just scrape it out as needed. (Hope that’s OK, but it’s been working so far! ) :)
    I heat it in a small fry pan with butter, a few squirts of Frank’s Red Hot, white meat chicken and broccoli florets! Delicious!!! And it’s a quick dinner because everything was pre-cooked!

  5. William says:

    I have Spaghetti squash on my low carb diet all of the time. I split it in half, and use a white plastic ice cream scoop to remove the seeds, and string, really works well. I cook it 10 min, in the MW, split in half, in a zip log bag, with 2 tablespoons of water, and the bag zipped almost all of the way, I put a wooden skewer thru the zipper into the bag, and zip it up almost tight, it leaves a large enough hole for steam to escape on each side of the skewer. I use various toppings depending on my mood. I store it in the same bag, in the skin, until I get almost done then in a container.
    I let it set and steam, A push against the skin with a knife handle will tell you if it is tender.

    Be very careful if you open the zip lock bag, if it is still expanded, steam makes bad burns..
    bill,
    Alb.

    • Hey Bill, That sounds even easier than mine where I just turn upside down in a pie plate, poke a few holes in the back rounded half and cover with plastic wrap. Geez, I always have zip lock baggies.

      Do you season prior to cooking, I’ve never tried that? What types of seasoning have you tried. I usually season mine after cooking in a little olive oil, pepper flakes, garlic, etc for spaghetti. Would love a few more ideas.
      CJ

      • William says:

        I have never pre spiced mine while first cooking it, as I never know until I start dinner what flavor I want. 77 year old bachelors do cook that way….
        So far I have used spaghetti sauces, various Mexican style hot sauces and salsas.. and many of the marinade, and rub spices that are used for BBQ, I just use them dry and use a shaker to cover the squash, (I don’t add any of the oils or juices that they call for on the directions for use on meats).

        DON’T add any extra salt until you have tasted the squash if you use the BBQ flavors…

        On occasion I will just use Sea Salt, and pepper, and have put various cheeses on them, Parmesan is served as is, the others are usually melted. Also I have used various spaghetti sauces poured over the squash. I have put butter in a pan and fry the squash as much as I can, and put two fried eggs on the top and serve that way, with spicy sauces on the side, jalapeno, Pace or the Hot hot sauces and slasas, such as Pineapple salsa, Peach Salsa.. Very good with
        Sometimes I try to get out as much water out of the squash, so I can just fry it like a potato pancake. I use a high heat to try to sear the bottom, usually not too successful turning them over. Just thought about maybe adding some egg white to them?? And then fry them.
        Next time I think I will cook the squash upside down, prick them all over on the inside, and use its own water to steam cook them, in a zip lock bag, To hopefully get them quite a bit less wet.

        • Thanks Bill, These are all great suggestions and not things I’d thought of. I’ve not tried to season them prior to cooking either, but I really like the idea of all the different flavors. I’d never thought of potato pancakes either, but yes an egg white would probably make them easier to flip.

          I don’t put but about 6 or 7 sticks with a large knife, usually the same one I get my husband to cut the squash with. Those darn things are so hard to cut in half. If I’m making spaghetti, then I through it in a pan as described above with the seasoning and some of the sauce to keep warm and flavor while the sauce simmers.

          The picture at the top looks pretty good to. I looked quickly yesterday for the recipe and didn’t find it right away, but will look again when I have more time.

          CJ

          • William says:

            Help!, my experiments on making potato patties, or pancake forms with spaghetti squash did not turn out well, even whe I saturated them with egg whites, then they just got eggy, but still fell apart.
            Tell me how to do it, I can get them to brown (burn) with a lot of grease, in a very hot pan, but they still don’t hold together well, but they do tend to carmalize, and are quite tasty. I would like to serve them to guests but not as scrambled spaghetti squash. Help!

          • Hi Bill, I wish I could. This might be a question for your lighter side. I would have thought the egg white would have helped. Maybe Jamie can chime in on this one for both of us.

            On another note, if you had seen the squash mash I mistakenly made last night and we did not eat, OMGosh can we say you would never ask my advise again. It didn’t actually taste bad, but it was soooo sad to look at. Certainly not worthy of the sauce I had created for it. LOL Last night ended up being a pasta night.

            As usual, I cooked my squash my original 7 minutes, I waited to allow it to steam a couple of minutes and when poked it appeared to still be hard and not cooked. So, instead of leaving it alone, (hello anyone up there with the lights on – obviously not last night). I cooked another minute, still hard and not appearing done. Ding dong doodle me added another minute and 1/2, now we had mashed squash, the most unappetizing bundle of mess after seasoning and trying to dry out the liquid so we could have spaghetti noodles.

            My husband came in while I was trying to get the “noodles” out and asked me, “how do they make the long spaghetti like noodles.” Huh, I’m scooping out mashed squash and he’s asking me how to get it out into long noodles. Obviously, last night was not the time for that question.

            Normally, I get short noodle like strings, but not last night. Oh well, my philosophy is live, learn and laugh. If I can’t laugh at myself, then who else can I justifiably laugh at. I hope I brought at least a grin to your face, we all need to be human and laugh together.

            If anyone out there has any idea how to get longer spaghetti, please chime in.
            CJ

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