How To Cook Spaghetti Squash – 5 Methods & Complete Guide – with VIDEO

Learning how to cook spaghetti squash can be a daunting task initially, but with these five easy methods, you’ll be an expert in no time at all! 

Learning how to cook spaghetti squash can be a daunting task initially, but with these three easy methods, you'll be an expert in no time at all! Get the low-down on RachelCooks.com!

After the huge success of my guide on how to cook acorn squash, I knew I had to bring you this guide for spaghetti squash. It can be a little more daunting since it’s not like all other squash varieties, so we’re going to go through it step-by-step!

I cover five different methods of how to cook spaghetti squash. You can do it three different ways in the oven, you can cook it in the slow cooker, or you can cook it in your pressure cooker.

My favorite way is also the most labor intensive, which is why I cover all of these different ways. You can make the decision based on what’s best for you today – do you need it to be hands-off and cook slowly in the slow cooker while you work or run errands? The slow cooker method is for you. Do you need it done fast? Use your Instant Pot. If you have a little more time, try the oven methods!

Also in this post are serving suggestions and storing recommendations. Once you learn how to cook spaghetti squash, you’re going to be making it all the time! As always, if you have any questions, leave them in the comments (I always reply!) or send me an email.

If you try one of these methods, make sure to leave a comment with which one you tried and how it turned out! I’d love to hear how you served it, too. (PS: A star rating is always appreciated!)

Learning how to cook spaghetti squash can be a daunting task initially, but with these three easy methods, you'll be an expert in no time at all! Get the low-down on RachelCooks.com!

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Five Ways

Each of these ways is completely effective and has its own pros and cons. My personal favorite is cutting it into rings and baking it. That method prevents the squash from steaming and becoming watery. It yields the pretty, spaghetti-like strands that you see in these photos. This method also allows you to season the squash, which is always a good thing!

As always, the printable instructions can be found if you scroll down to the recipe card!

Learning how to cook spaghetti squash can be a daunting task initially, but with these three easy methods, you'll be an expert in no time at all! Get the low-down on RachelCooks.com!

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven (3 ways):

There are three ways you can do this: in rings, whole, or cut in half. Baking spaghetti squash in rings is my preferred method (as shown in the photos), but it is slightly more hands-on than any of the other methods.  However, baking time is slightly shorter than baking it whole since it is cut in smaller pieces.

Baking Spaghetti Squash Rings (MY PREFERRED METHOD):

  • First, you’ll want to scrub the squash clean. Next, carefully cut it into rings. BE CAREFUL. This is the most difficult part of this method. If you want, you can cut a thin slice off the side so that you have a flat surface to prevent the squash from rolling around.
  • Next up, remove the seeds. I like to use a grapefruit spoon to do this. I use grapefruit spoons for squash more than I use them for actual grapefruit.
  • Place the rings on a baking sheet (I line mine with parchment for easy clean-up) and brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake at 400°F until fork tender and then let it cool slightly so you can handle it. Then, use a fork or your hands to pull the strands of squash away from the peel. They turn out so beautifully this way!

Learning how to cook spaghetti squash can be a daunting task initially, but with these three easy methods, you'll be an expert in no time at all! Get the low-down on RachelCooks.com!

Baking Whole Spaghetti Squash:

This method is quite straightforward and arguably the most well-known method of cooking squash. The downside to this method is that the squash steams on the inside and leaves you with a softer, more watery spaghetti squash. The upside? It doesn’t get much easier than this.

  • As always, scrub the squash clean. Next, use a knife to prick holes all over the squash.
  • Place on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F until tender (poke with a knife to test) — about an hour, depending on the size of your squash. Turn the squash over halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking.
  • When tender, let cool enough to handle. Cut in half – if you cut it lengthwise (from stem to end), you’ll have shorter spaghetti strands. If you cut it crosswise, you’ll have longer strands. Remove seeds. Use a fork to separate the squash into strands.

Baking Spaghetti Squash Halves:

  • Scrub that baby clean first!
  • Cut in half – if you cut the squash in half lengthwise (from stem to end), you’ll have shorter spaghetti strands. If you cut it crosswise, you’ll have longer strands. Scoop out the seeds.
  • Drizzle inside lightly with olive oil (use a brush or your hands to evenly coat) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place the squash cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast at 400°F until tender (poke with a knife to test) — about an hour, depending on how large your squash is.
  • When tender, let cool enough to handle. Use a fork to separate the squash into strands. Add more olive oil, salt, and pepper if desired! 

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot:

A note about this method – I have a 6 quart pressure cooker and my squash was between 3.5 and 4 pounds (if we’re being exact, it was 3.75 pounds on my cute little blue kitchen scale). The squash pretty much filled my Instant Pot to capacity, so if you have a 6 quart Instant pot, make sure to keep this in mind when selecting a squash – I wouldn’t go any larger than 3.75 pounds for this cooking method. If you choose a smaller squash, you can decrease cooking time slightly.

  • Scrub squash clean and carefully pierce all over with knife (10-15 cuts, 1/2-inch to 1-inch in size).
  • Place steamer basket in the bottom of the pressure cooker and add 1 cup water. Place squash in/on steamer basket.
  • Secure lid, turn valve to seal, and set for 20 minutes on high pressure. When timer goes off, quick release pressure.
  • Carefully remove squash and let cool enough to handle. Cut in half – if you cut it lengthwise (from stem to end), you’ll have shorter spaghetti strands. If you cut it crosswise, you’ll have longer strands. Remove seeds. Use a fork to separate the squash into strands.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Slow Cooker:

This method is very similar to using an Instant Pot, but it’s slower…hence the name, slow cooker. You can also cook butternut squash in the slow cooker.

  • Scrub squash clean and carefully pierce all over with a knife (10-15 cuts, 1/2-inch to 1-inch in size).
  • Place squash in slow cooker and place the cover on.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours or until easily pierced with a knife.
  • Carefully remove squash and let cool slightly. Cut in half – if you cut it lengthwise (from stem to end), you’ll have shorter spaghetti strands. If you cut it crosswise, you’ll have longer strands. Remove seeds.
  • Use a fork to separate the squash into strands.

Learning how to cook spaghetti squash can be a daunting task initially, but with these three easy methods, you'll be an expert in no time at all! Get the low-down on RachelCooks.com!

Spaghetti Squash Serving Suggestions:

Spaghetti squash is a blank slate, just like normal spaghetti! You can try it with an easy turkey bolognese to start, but here are some other fun options:

Learning how to cook spaghetti squash can be a daunting task initially, but with these three easy methods, you'll be an expert in no time at all! Get the low-down on RachelCooks.com!

Storing spaghetti squash: Cooked spaghetti squash will keep for about a week stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

Yield: 1 spaghetti squash
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Learning how to cook spaghetti squash can be a daunting task initially, but with these five easy methods, you'll be an expert in no time at all!

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (for oven roasting methods)
  • salt and pepper (for oven roasting methods)

Instructions

To Cook in Rings in Oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Scrub squash clean and CAREFULLY cut into 1-inch rings.
  3. Scrape out seeds
  4. Spray or rub squash rings with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in a single layer on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until tender. Let cool slightly before using a fork or your hands to form spaghetti squash strands.

To Cook Whole In Oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub the squash clean. Next, use a knife to prick holes all over the squash.
  2. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 400°F until tender (poke with a knife to test) — about an hour, depending on how large of a squash you have. Turn the squash over halfway through cooking to ensure even cooking.
  3. When tender, let cool enough to handle. Cut in half – if you cut it lengthwise (from stem to end), you’ll have shorter spaghetti strands. If you cut it crosswise, you'll have longer strands.
  4. Remove seeds. Use a fork to separate the squash into strands.

To Cook Cut in Half In Oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub the squash clean.
  2. Cut in half – if you cut it lengthwise (from stem to end), you’ll have shorter spaghetti strands. If you cut it crosswise, you’ll have longer strands. Scoop out the seeds.
  3. Drizzle inside lightly with olive oil (use a brush or your hands to evenly coat) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the squash cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Roast at 400°F until tender (poke with a knife to test) — about an hour, depending on how large of a squash you have.
  5. When tender, let cool enough to handle. Use a fork to separate the squash into strands.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot

  1. Scrub squash clean and carefully pierce all over with knife (10-15 cuts, 1/2-inch to 1-inch in size).
  2. Place steamer basket in the bottom of the pressure cooker and add 1 cup water. Place squash in/on steamer basket.
  3. Secure lid, turn valve to seal, and set for 20 minutes on high pressure. When timer goes off, quick release pressure by turning the valve to "vent."
  4. Carefully remove squash and let cool enough to handle. Cut in half – if you cut it lengthwise (from stem to end), you’ll have shorter spaghetti strands. If you cut it crosswise, you’ll have longer strands. Remove seeds. Use a fork to separate the squash into strands.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Slow Cooker

  1. Scrub squash clean and carefully pierce all over with a knife (10-15 cuts, 1/2-inch to 1-inch in size).
  2. Place squash in slow cooker and place the cover on.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours or until easily pierced with a knife.
  3. Carefully remove squash and let cool slightly. Cut in half – if you cut it lengthwise (from stem to end), you’ll have shorter spaghetti strands. If you cut it crosswise, you’ll have longer strands. Remove seeds.
  4. Use a fork to separate the squash into strands.

Notes

  • Cooking and prep times will vary depending on which cooking method is used.
  • Cooked spaghetti squash will keep for about a week stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Serving Size: Approximately 1 cup of spaghetti squash. Nutrition details calculated without olive oil.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 59mg Carbohydrates: 8g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 3g Protein: 1g
RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.
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60 comments

  1. Tried the cutting in rings and baking in oven…was very good, but did not know bout microwaving before cutting, so some of my rings were uneven, but it did turn out good. Added some SF spaghetti sauce with ground turkey and loved it.

    Rating: 4
  2. For those of you who have cooked them in rings, and precooked in the microwaveem… Did you microwave them in rings or did you microwave the squash whole?

    • I think most people are microwaving whole to soften the skin before cutting into rings – that’s what I’d suggest.

      • I love using the rings idea I’ve now tried it four times my husband and I are completely keto diet and it works amazingly taste better than real pasta LOL what I do with mine is baste it with bacon grease on both sides salt and pepper cook it for 20 minutes flip over add more salt and pepper well that is going I just dumped in a pot half a pack of bacon that I previously cooked with half a pack of already cooked diced rotisserie chicken and to that I add a jar of bertolli carbonara sauce or alfredo sauce then once my spaghetti squash pasta is done I simply pour on my bacon chicken carbonara sauce amazing family dinner so healthy so good for you and ready in under 45 minutes !!!

        Rating: 5
    • The squash baked in rings turned out so lovely that I put the two rings on a plate and topped with sauce snd parm. My husband thanked me twice. The tip about taking a slice from the side in order to keep ones fingers was huge. Will be a favorite from now on. Saved some seeds and plan to grow it this winter in Florida. Page is cutting off sides and may not be able to select stars or complete info.

      • I’m so happy to hear that you liked this recipe! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! Sorry the site was cutting off on the sides…would you be willing to share what type of device you were viewing on? Thanks in advance!

  3. We enjoyed a great meal with our friends in Pittsburgh who served spaghetti squash.  The cooking was done with rings after having microwaved the squash for 4 minutes.  We’ve done the same and it is easy and wonderful.  Now our preferred way of cooking spaghetti squash.    We serve it with butter, salt & pepper – Delicious!!!

  4. Cooking the squash in the rounds was hands down the best way I have ever cooked it. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  5. I used the your preferred method of cutting squash in rings. Yes, mine were uneven and I used avacado oil instead. I did not microwave, nor did I time it. Roasted in oven on parchment paper. Love the results. Thank you so much for this creative idea. I do not care for the steamed squash.

    Rating: 5
  6. I want to cut in half and bake in oven. Do I really need to use parchment paper? Is there something else that could be done instead?

  7. Tried your prefered method and love it. My slices weren’t very uniform but but it worked. I microwaved it first like you recommended to another poster which helped going to get me that saw for better results lol. I only cooked spaghetti squash once before didn’t like the texture! But my son and I went on the keto diet and we missed my spaghetti. I’m so glad I found your preferred way I’ll never go back to pasta again!!! Thank you.

    Rating: 5
  8. Went searching once again for a way to cook spaghetti squash and finally found the answer!   The rings were perfect!   This is the real deal, the one I’ve been searching for, the holy grail of spaghetti squash!   Thank you so much.  Oh, and I’m so getting my own Sheetrock saw.  Lol

    Rating: 5
  9. Has anyone tried to freeze the some of the cooked spaghetti squash? Just curious how long or how did it turned out after it was reheated. I meal prep and its too many to keep in the refrigerator, especially since i make more then one item… This is my second time making this spaghetti and i love the ring idea.

  10. I have made the rings several times now.  This is absolutely fantastic.  I simply use a large butcher knife and chop into the squash, two or three more pushes on both sides and voila!  Quick, easy, super delicious.  

  11. I cooked it by cutting it into rings. Seems like the smaller squashes are easier to do this with. It came out great. After it was fully cooked turned the broiler on and browned it a bit. Topped with some mozzarella cheese and garlic and it was delicious! The only thing I was wondering about was why to scrub the squash clean if we aren’t eating the skin anyway? 

    Rating: 5
    • Yum! Love the idea of topping with cheese and garlic! I scrub the squash because when you cut it, the knife goes through the outside (dirty) and into the inside (clean). It’s my personal preference to clean the outside so that dirt doesn’t get brought into the inside.

      But that’s just me! If you feel like skipping that step, I won’t judge. ;)

    • Hi. Bacteria and germs from the outside of the squash can get on the flesh of the squash if you don’t wash it first. My mom always scrubbed potatoes for the same reason, so I just scrub everything. Pesticides and fertilizers are also an issue these days, unless you buy organic. That being said – I tried your variation, broiling it an adding cheese and garlic…YUM! Served it with shrimp and everyone kept talking about the gourmet meal I served.

      • I’m glad I’m not the only one that scrubs everything! Broiling with cheese and garlic and topping with shrimp sounds SO good! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! Means a lot to me. :)

  12. I made the baked rings for myself exactly as stated sans pepper. I let it cook for roughly 20 mins and it was fantastic! I stored half for another day. The pasta-esque texture and taste were the best veggie pasta I’ve ever made. This is now my top recipe for spaghetti squash. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  13. I got about a 10-12 pound spaghetti squash. Has anyone cooked one this big and how did they do it?

    • I’d prepare it the same way (whichever of the five that you prefer – probably oven methods are best since it may not fit in the pressure cooker or slow cooker) but just increase cooking time as needed to get it to be fork tender.

  14. Cut it into quarters ( much easier than rings) and roasted. Served with toasted with roasted garlic, tomatoes and Brussels sprouts and olive oil. Delicious!  Will definitely make again!

    Rating: 5
  15. The ring method makes wonderfully dry ‘spaghetti ‘ that soaks up the flavor of your favorite sauce. Cutting the squash used to be quite daunting until I headed out to the shop, commandeered a new Sheetrock saw to add to my kitchen tools. A little messy with the squash ‘shavings’ but amazingly easy!

    Rating: 4.5
  16. I made the rings and they turned out great!!

    Rating: 5
  17. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I used the cut in half oven-cooked method. It turned great! The only improvement I would make is the texture. I tried to do the ring method, unfortunately I was not physically able to cut the squash this way. I baked the halves for an hour, then raked out the halves to get the spaghetti strands. Next, I spread the strands out on the baking sheet, sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese and baked for an additional 20 minutes. I have also spread out the strands, sprinkled with shredded parmesan cheese and put under the broiler for several minutes. Do you know of anything else I can try to help with the ‘spaghetti’ texture? Either way, I will definitely keep using this recipe. Thanks again!

    • Yeah, it can be super difficult to cut into rings…sorry it didn’t work for you to do it that way! Did you cut it in half right down the middle (the short way) vs end to end? That helps with getting the longer strands because of the way they grow around the squash. That’s the best tip I have, naturally it’s just a little more mushy when it’s baked that way. I bet it was tasty the way you did it, did it get a little crispy? I want to give that a try!

  18. I cooked this using the rings in the oven method. I used spray oil, garlic salt and pepper. I also flipped them over half way through the cooking time, sprayed and seasoned and then let them finish cooking. I used some noodles with a meat marinara sauce and put the rest in the fridge for alfredo in a few days. However, the noodles were so good and the texture just right, that my daughter and I had just the noodles with no sauce.

    Rating: 5
  19. Thank you for the recipe! I have cooked spaghetti squash many times with other methods, but I definitely liked this the best.

    Rating: 5
  20. I really like the recipe. It looks really delicious and easy to make.

    Rating: 5
  21. I tried the circle cut idea and baked it in my toaster oven. I used Hojibianca olive oil. I needed to warm my sauce but after tasting, I didn’t want to wait. Much nicer texture then cooking half or whole. Thanks Rachel.

    Rating: 5
  22. Made it in rings for the first time today, served with meat sauce. Delicious! Thanks for your helpful tips!

    Rating: 5
  23. One of my favorite diet meals. Always a winner. Now I know how to cook it & not just order it. Have to try the rings. Maybe convert family.

    Rating: 5
  24. This looks absolutely delicious.. have to try it!

  25. the “ring” method is something I’ve never thought of

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