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Simple spaghetti squash

December 14, 2011

Squash are finally in season! I’ve been buying them for $0.19/lb at my local produce store, so my simple spaghetti squash recipe has been extremely cheap to make. The most annoying part, though, is waiting for the squash to cook. 10 minutes in the microwave, or an unimaginable 45-60 minutes in the oven, is a lot worse than hot water in ramen for 3 minutes.

Fortunately, these noodles taste a lot better than ramen noodles, and are healthy to boot. A pound of squash has about 30g carbs, 6g fiber, 3g protein, 10% Vitamin A, 30% Vitamin C, 10% calcium, 10% iron, and amazingly 25% Vitamin B6.

The method I like to use most is microwaving the squash for 10 minutes after piercing with a fork numerous times, but baking it at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or boiling it for 30 minutes works fine as well. If the squash is cut in half before cooking, reduce cooking time by 40% (10 minute microwave becomes 6-7 minutes, 60 minute baking time becomes 36 minutes, etc.). Just make sure that the sound of steam emitting from the pierced areas of the squash in the microwave has been occurring for at least a minute or two, and in the oven for at least five minutes.

I’ve found that trying to fork the strands while they are hot is a lot better than waiting the squash to cool all the way down and have to deal with squash mush from overcooking the interior from the wait. To prevent too much finger burn and still have good grip, I like to use a paper towel to wrap around the exterior while stranding.

My simple recipe for spaghetti squash after microwaving these seemingly bland strands of vegetable is a simple saute in garlic and butter topped with parsley. Recipe below.

1 3-4lb spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 bulb of garlic
1 small handful of fresh parsley, about 8 individual sprigs
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper)

(1) Pierce the spaghetti squash 8-10 times on all sides. Place on a plate and microwave for 5 minutes. Turn all the way around so that the part of the squash that was on the bottom of the plate is facing the top of the microwave, and then microwave another 5 minutes, or until you hear it emit steam for at least a minute toward the end of cooking. Alternatively, bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes or boil for 30 minutes, depending on personal preference. Set aside to cool.
(2) Finely mince all the garlic and set aside in a small bowl. Finely chop the parsley and set aside.
(3) Chop the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Using a fork, create strands by running the prongs from the top stem part to the bottom part of each squash half.
(4) Set aside half the total amount of strands in one container and half in another, unless your pan is HUGE enough to contain all of the squash.
(5) Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter on high (2 Tbsp if you can fit all the squash). Saute half the garlic (all if you are doing the entire squash) until lightly browned.
(6) Add one container of the spaghetti squash (or all if you cooking all at once). Saute until parts of the noodles are lightly browned, then add half (or all) the parsley. Saute for another 2-3 minutes, and then add salt and pepper to taste.
(7) If not all of the squash has been cooked, repeat step 5-6 with the other half of the ingredients until everything has been cooked.
(8) Serve warm, which will enhance the buttery taste of the garlic, butter, and naturally nutty flavor of the spaghetti squash.


Dai Dai

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