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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

Learning how to cook spaghetti squash is super simple and you’ll be an expert in no time with this easy, fail-proof method of cooking spaghetti squash cut in half in the oven!

top down view of 2 spaghetti squash on a marble slab.

The spaghetti squash is yellow and oblong. Once cooked, it turns into something pretty magical. Its flesh becomes stringy when pulled with a fork, hence the name.

You may think stringy squash sounds gross, but in fact, it’s quite delicious. The texture is al dente, and it has a mellow flavor, similar to yellow squash. It’s a great low-carb, flourless, and grain-free alternative to regular pasta.

Considered a winter squash, it can be found year-round in certain parts of the world. Here in California, we’re lucky to have it available all year long. I’ve come to eat it often, especially in the cooler months when the oven is welcome.

Once you’ve cooked your spaghetti squash, here are a few of my favorite recipes to use it in:

Without further ado, let’s get started!

top down view of halved spaghetti squash with insides scooped out with spoon on a wooden cutting board.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Scoop out the seeds. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds using a sharp-edged spoon, as shown above.

Tip: Don’t throw those precious seeds away. You can roast them using this Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe. It works the same for most winter squashes. They’ll cook up light and crunchy, making for a delicious snack.

top down view of a group of halved spaghetti squash on metal baking sheet and ready for the oven.

Cooking Techniques

Cut side up: This method allows you to add a little olive oil, dried seasonings, salt, and pepper while cooking, adding a bit more flavor. If you’re watching your fat intake, omit the oil.

Cut side down: Cooking with the cut side down traps the steam to cook the squash, making it a simple oil-free way to cook spaghetti squash.

I’ve tried both of these methods and there doesn’t seem to be any difference in texture. You might think cooking spaghetti squash cut side up would make the texture drier, but it’s just the same as cooking it cut side down. It simply comes down to a matter of preference as both methods were delicious!

top down view of group of spaghetti squash halves freshly cooked in the oven on a metal sheet pan.

Bake. Bake the for 40 – 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

‘Rack’ the squash. Use a fork to scrape or ‘rack’ the squash widthwise from side to side, creating healthy spaghetti squash ‘noodles.’ Discard the hard inedible outer skin.

And that’s it – now you are ready to enjoy your squash!

Serving Suggestions

Spaghetti squash is super versatile and can be kept simple or served with a variety of flavors and textures for a hearty and delicious meal! Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve this winter squash:

top down view of halved and baked spaghetti squash with fork on metal sheet pan.

How To Store & Reheat

Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 – 6 days, in a covered container.

Freezer: Spaghetti squash is freezer-friendly and will last for up to 2 months if stored properly. To freeze, let cool completely and store scraped squash in freezer-safe containers or ziplock bags (removing as much air as possible). Let thaw before reheating.

Reheat: Warm it on the stovetop in a small pan with a little water to add moisture. Alternatively, heat in the microwave using 30 – 60 intervals, stirring between each interval until warmed through.

side angle view of scraped spaghetti squash flesh on a white plate with fork holding the squash to show stringiness.

More Easy How-To Recipes!

If you try this spaghetti squash recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.



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Spaghetti squash is a wonderful squash that resembles ‘noodles’ and is so easy to make. Keep it simple with salt & pepper, or top with various ingredients.

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2
  • Category: Side, How To
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Vegan


  • 1 spaghetti squash


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, oregano, basil, etc.
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut: I like to start by slicing off the very top of the squash with the hard stem (which is hard to cut through when slicing in half). Cut squash in half lengthwise.

Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

Cook your squash in one of two ways:

  1. Cook cut side down: Place squash cut side down on a rimmed baking dish. Bake on the middle rack for 35 – 40 minutes.
  2. Cook cut side up: Place cut squash cut side up on a rimmed baking dish. Optionally, brush each spaghetti squash half with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and herbs of choice. Bake on the middle rack for 35 – 40 minutes.

Scrape: Let cool for a few minutes. Using a fork, rack or scrape the flesh in a top to bottom motion across the width of the squash. Discard the inedible outer skin.

Serve as is or with an assortment of toppings as seen in the notes below.

Store: Unused portions can be stored covered in the fridge for 2 – 3 days.

1 spaghetti squash serves 2


Oil-free: Both cooking methods are terrific without any oil.

Serving Suggestions:

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  1. Heather McClees says:

    Oh, this look so good! I just love spaghetti squash. It’s one of my favorite ways to show others how simple it is to eat healthy, and it’s also one of the funnest veggies to cook with.

  2. I stumbled on your site about a year ago and it’s a major bookmark in my recipe library. We are not vegans but that doesn’t matter, the food is just too good not to eat. In fact the photos are yummy looking too!

    I also like spaghetti squash, but I cook it in a pressure cooker. It takes only 8 min. to cook and you can do it on a hot day because there’s no need for an oven.

    Cut off the stem end of the squash, cut the squash in half (across the middle, not lengthwise!) and remove the seeds with a spoon. Add 1 cup water to the pressure cooker pot. Place the spaghetti squash on a steamer basket or rack in the pot. Cook 8 minutes on high pressure. Use a quick pressure release.
    When squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape the strands of “spaghetti” from the skin.

    The reason I cut across and not lengthwise is because the “spaghetti” grows in a circular direction inside the squash. You get longer strands this way!!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback and the how-to! I love the idea of cooking them in a pressure cooker. Cheers :)

  3. I love spaghetti squash and it looks amazing with the sausage and peppers. I will be trying this soon.

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