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

top down view of spaghetti squash.

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

You may think stringy squash sounds gross, but in fact it’s quite delicious. Its texture is al dente and flavor mellow.

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 few of my favorite recipes to use it in:

Without further ado, let’s get started!

top down view showing the process of removing the seeds from spaghetti squash before cooking in the oven.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or 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 showing the process of how to cook spaghetti squash two ways on a baking sheet.

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 cut side side down traps the steam and is just a simple way to cook spaghetti squash.

I’ve tried both of these methods and there doesn’t seem to be any difference in texture. You would tend to 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 just comes down to a matter of preference as both methods were delicious!

top down view showing freshly made spaghetti squash cooked 2 ways on a baking sheet.

  • Bake. Bake the spaghetti squash for 40 – 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • ‘Rack’ the spaghetti squash. Now that the spaghetti squash is cooked and ready to be scrapped. Using a fork, scrape or ‘rack’ the squash from side to side widthwise creating healthy spaghetti squash.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up 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 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.

top down view showing the process of scraping spaghetti squash from side to side using a fork.

Serving Suggestions

Spaghetti squash is super versatile and can be kept simple with salt & pepper 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:

side angle view of spaghetti squash picked up with a fork to show its strinyness.

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.



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 squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds with a spoon.

Cook your squash in one of two ways:

  1. Cook cut side down: Place squash cut side up on rimmed baking dish. 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.
  2. Cook cut side up: Place cut squash cut side up on rimmed baking dish. Bake on the middle rack for 35 -40 minutes.

Let cool a few minutes. Using a fork, rack or scrape the flesh in a top to bottom motion across the width of the squash.

Serve as is or with an assortment of toppings. Unused portions store great covered in the fridge.

1 spaghetti squash serves 2

Keywords: how to cook spaghetti squash

Updated: How To Cook Spaghetti Squash tutorial was originally published in October 2015. It has been updated with new photos and helpful tips in January 2020.

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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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