How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is such a fun, underrated vegetable! Here is my favorite way to cook it, along with a few tips and recipes.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

I get so many questions about how to cook spaghetti squash, so I thought I’d share my go-to method for roasting it, a few tips, and a couple of my favorite spaghetti squash recipes.

First things first: cut it in half lengthwise. Then, scoop out the seeds.

Hands scooping seeds from halved Spaghetti Squash

Next, drizzle the insides lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I find that adding too much oil and too much salt at this stage makes the squash a bit watery, so a light drizzle and a light sprinkle will do.

Spaghetti Squash on baking sheet with olive oil

Then, poke a few holes in the skin of the squash with a fork and place it cut side down on a baking sheet. Pop it in a pre-heated 400°F oven.

Hands poking holes in Spaghetti Squash with a fork

A mistake I used to make was roasting my squash too long. I used to roast it for an hour or longer, but now I roast it for 30 to 40 minutes. I initially thought the squash needed to be super soft and fork tender in order for the strands to “spaghetti,” but over the years I’ve learned that I prefer my strands to be more al dente (and less mushy), and that the 1 hour mark was too long. Of course, the timing will entirely depend on the size of your squash and the heat of your particular oven. It can also vary from squash to squash, so adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash halves on baking sheet

Once it’s roasted and cool enough to touch, use a fork to scrape the strands. I like to start from the outside and work my way in, fluffing them up as I go.

Hands fluffing Spaghetti Squash strands with fork

That’s it! Season it with more salt and pepper and serve it as a simple veggie side. Or incorporate it into your favorite spaghetti squash recipes. Here are two of mine (pictured below): Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas and Kale and Lemon Pesto Spaghetti Squash.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

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This is my go-to method for creating perfect al dente spaghetti squash strands to use in vegetable sides and main dishes. The exact timing will vary depending on the heat of your oven and the size of your squash.
Serves: 2 to 4
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and ribbing. Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the spaghetti squash cut side down on the baking sheet and use a fork to poke holes. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned on the outside, fork tender, but still a litte bit firm. The time will vary depending on the size of your squash. I also find that the timing can vary from squash to squash.
  4. Remove from the oven and flip the squash so that it’s cut side up. When cool to the touch, use a fork to scrape and fluff the strands from the sides of the squash.


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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. JJ

    Followed instructions to the letter, roasted for 35 minutes, and it turned out perfectly. So easy. Thanks so much.

  2. Kaye

    Can you freeze the leftover squash?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Kaye, yep! I’d let it thaw in the fridge before reheating.

  3. KellyO

    Before cutting with a knife, poke holes with a fork along the cut line. Its so much easier than just cutting

  4. Pat Lane

    My biggest problem is getting the darn thing cut in two. Somebody told me to microwave it for 2 minutes whole. That helped, but still… Any suggestins? More time in tbe micro? A better knife? Thanks.

    • Tricia

      Hi! I ended up using a rubber mallet on my knife…probably a silly thing to do but it worked! Probably don’t recommend it.

      • Rebecca Restivo

        Haha I just did that before reading this. It worked but don’t recommend!

    • Jan

      I followed your suggestion and put it in my microwave for 2 minutes. I found it was fairly easy to cut then. If it’s still a little hard for you to cut after 2 minutes, I would then try just a little bit longer next time.

    • Jonathan Moore

      I use a cleaver. While not common in most western kitchens, they’re surprising cheap from your local Asian grocery store. Choose something heavy that’s all metal (including the handle), it’s a great tool for tougher kitchen tasks like this, along with handling bone in meats and frozen meals

  5. Jennifer

    So easy and so thankful to have it not be mushy! Yay! Delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  6. Michele from

    I don’t normally comment on recipes because I usually have to make some adjustments. This was perfectly on point. It was the first time I have tried this spaghetti squash and it is delicious. Kudos to you I made zero changes. And it was awesome by itself. I topped it with some protein mixed with onions and peppers like I would with regular spaghetti and yup it was still delicious! Thank you for your time and effort to make it easy for us! Kudos again!!!

  7. Mike L.

    I made this on a gas grill and it was surprisingly good. I used aluminum foil instead of parchment paper and placed it directly on the lower rack with the burners on low (that’s pretty close to 400F with the lid closed).

    The “spaghetti” flaked off amazingly uniform. I tossed in some butter while it was still hot along with a dash more salt and pepper. After initially saying “yuck!” my 13 year old son ate a second helping. That’s a strong endorsement.

    Half a squash yielded three good-sized servings.

  8. Mandi

    Delicious, never made before! Baked for 45 minutes. Thanks!

  9. Howie Hall

    I have found that the best way to cut the squash is in horizontal rings rather than cut in half from top to bottom. The “strings” of spaghetti go around the width of the squash and this way gets you longer strands.

    • Kristie

      Great tip! Thank you for sharing.

    • Brandi

      Do you still roast the same length of time for this technique?

    • Neetz

      Great idea, I tried & they’re not all broken-up! 👌🏽

  10. Chipper Food

    As a lover of Italian cuisine, I am very wary of dishes that overturn the use of spaghetti, but at the same time I am curious to try alternatives if they respect the ingredient.

  11. MS

    Turns out beautifully every time. Quite delicious!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi, so glad you love it!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.