Learning how to bake spaghetti squash in the oven is so easy that you will wonder how you ever missed putting this right in the oven for a baked side dish that is complimentary to almost every meal you make.
Baked Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is both a Pinterest and dinner favorite – it looks beautiful outside and is incredibly unique inside.
Independent to eat on its own or stuffed in a casserole or lasagna, there really is no going wrong with a perfectly seasoned and oven baked squash.
The delicate strands of spaghetti squash are the perfect compliment to nearly any main dish, and unlike other types of squash that might need hours long roasting sessions to get to the table, you can even whip up spaghetti squash right in the microwave!
If you’ve read about meal planning, you might notice one little squash getting a lot of love.
Lately, I just see spaghetti squash everywhere. As with lots of things, this is for a good reason.
This simple recipe is a great way to learn how to bake spaghetti squash right in your oven. It’s as simple as cutting, seasoning and baking! I promise you cannot mess this one up.
Scroll to the bottom for a printable version of this post, including all measurements and instructions, so you can follow along in your kitchen without being on your phone.
Here is what you need to gather to get started:
- 1 large fresh spaghetti squash
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
RELATED RECIPES: Spinach and Cream Cheese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash, Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, Roasted Butternut Squash
How to Microwave Spaghetti Squash
While I love the microwave for fast spaghetti squash cooking, it just doesn’t give the squash the same flavor as other techniques. When time isn’t as much of a factor (or an intense urgency), my preference is to bake or roast the squash, which is how our recipe is prepped below. These slower/higher heat options allow the natural sugars in the squash to caramelize, which adds a nutty, warm flavor you just can’t get in the microwave.
But if you do need to cook spaghetti squash fast so you can enjoy your dinner, as a pre-curser to another recipe like Cream Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Spaghetti Squash or for a quick side, the microwave is your best option.
To begin, most recommend scoring the outside of the squash and then microwaving it for 2 – 3 minutes to soften it up enough for easy cutting.
Once you get the squash cut in half, scoop out all the seeds and discard them.
Then take a glass or microwavable safe dish and add about an inch of water to the bottom.
How long to microwave spaghetti squash?
Add your squash, flesh side down and microwave until it’s as soft as you’d like – somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes.
If you have room, you can microwave both sides at the same time, or alternate if you need to.
How to make spaghetti squash in the oven!
Preheat oven to 375 and add parchment paper to a baking sheet.
Spray cooking spray on the parchment paper. Set aside.
Slice the squash, lengthwise (from top to bottom) with a sharp knife so you have two halves.
If the squash is too difficult to cut at the first stage, you can fork it all over and then place in microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until it becomes soft enough to slice.
Once cut, use a spoon to scrap away the seeds and discard.
Drizzle the squash with olive oil and use a pastry brush to spread it on the squash.
Season with salt and pepper.
Repeat with the other half.
Place each half, face down, prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until squash is fully tender.
Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before using a fork to scrape the squash out of the cavity.
Discard the shell.
Serve with butter, salt and pepper, or use it in your favorite recipe.
Health benefits of spaghetti squash
The health benefits spaghetti squash offers you are similar to other kinds of squash, but they are so remarkable there is every reason to incorporate squash into your weekly menu.
First, spaghetti squash is low in calories but full of fiber and complex carbohydrates. The fiber both helps regulate your blood sugar, reducing the effect of the carbohydrates, but it also helps you feel fuller while eating less. Fiber is also, as we all know, important for overall digestive health.
The other vitamins and minerals it boasts read something like, well the side of a vitamin bottle – Vitamin A, B, C, E and K. Not to mention potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorous, sodium, zinc, selenium, and those vital Omega 3’s and 6’s.
This laundry list works to support cardiovascular health, improve eye health, prevent birth defects, fight inflammation-related diseases like arthritis, and prevent cancer.
Variation of Spaghetti Squash Recipes
While a little oil and salt and a roast in the oven are perfect for me, don’t stop your experimentation there!
Pair your squash with your other roasted veggie favorites, sautéed mushrooms or even top it with an egg for breakfast.
I love it with olives, fresh mozzarella and a spritz of lemon.
No matter how you do it, a spaghetti squash is certainly a side you should experiment with for your weekly menu!