How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Step by step pictures and instructions on how to cut and cook a spaghetti squash in the oven and in the Instant Pot. Easy to make ahead for quick dinners. It’s the perfect gluten-free low-carb solution to enjoying pasta dishes.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

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I remember the first time I tried a spaghetti squash I was perplexed at how hard it was and really didn’t know how to cut it open. So I pulled out my big butcher knife and called my husband into the kitchen and asked him to take care of it. He did and then I baked it up and we had the first of many wonderful meals featuring spaghetti squash.

As time went on I realized I needed to be able to cut that hard spaghetti squash myself and so I searched for the best way to cut one and this method is now my go to way to cut it open. It’s actually super easy and we never really needed that big ole’ knife after all.

Supplies needed:

A small paring knife (I love and use this one daily)
Cutting board
Large spoon and bowl for the seeds
Cooking spray (I use these spray bottles to spray my oil)
Baking pan for baking in the oven or use an Instant Pot

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Hold onto one end of the spaghetti squash, keeping your fingers far from the cutting area.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Take the paring knife and insert just the tip. Do not push the knife in very far as it will get stuck from the pressure of the shell. So put just the tip in and then pull up and make another little cut.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Make your way all the way around the spaghetti squash until you connect with your first cut.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

You may need to go around the squash with your paring knife one more time making the cut just a little bit deeper. This will not take hardly any time at all to do.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Then pull it apart.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

There it is all cut and ready to go.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. I also use my knife to clean up the stringy seeded area a little more thorough.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Ready to cook.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

When I bake them I like to spritz the squash with some avocado or olive oil, you could also use a coconut cooking spray. It’s not necessary to spritz them if you will be cooking them in the Instant Pot.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Give a good sprinkle of salt.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Place open cut side down in baking pan.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

I often make two or three spaghetti squash at a time and keep the cooked spaghetti strands in my refrigerator for a quick meal. It also freezes well, so I may put half of it in a freezer bag and freeze for another day.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

I bake it in the oven at 350° for 60 to 70 minutes until nice and fork tender. I like to have my spaghetti squash soft so if you would prefer to have a crunchy bite just bake it for a little less.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Let it cool and then using a fork pull out the long strands of spaghetti.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Keep pulling out the spaghetti strands.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

This part amazes me everytime! All these strands of squash come right out looking like spaghetti.

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

Two spaghetti squash will make about 8 cups of cooked squash.

I use spaghetti squash in any recipe that calls for pasta. It’s the perfect gluten-free low-carb solution to enjoying pasta dishes.

Nutrtional value: 1 cup has 42 calories, 0 fat, 10 grams of carbs, 2 grams dietary fiber, 1 gram protein.

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How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash

How to Cut and Cook a Spaghetti Squash
  • Author:
  • Category: THM FP

Ingredients

  • spaghetti squash

Instructions

  1. Using a paring knife, cut around the middle of the squash making very small cuts with a paring knife. Continue cutting around the middle until you reach your original cut. Go back over the cutting line with your paring knife making your cuts a little deeper. Go all the way around again. The squash should come apart. Scoop out seeds.

Baking in oven for one or more spaghetti squash

  1. Spritz the cut side of the spaghetti squash with avocado, olive, or coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and place cut side down in baking pan.
  2. Bake at 350° for 60-75 minutes until fork tender.
  3. Allow the squash to cool before removing the strands of spaghetti with a fork.

Cooking in Instant Pot for one spaghetti squash

  1. Place the rack in the bottom of the pot and add 1 cup water. Place the two halves of the squash in the pot. You may need to place on up and one down to fit. Close lid and make sure steam vent is closed.
  2. Press Manual mode and set at 10 minutes for pressure.
  3. When pressure is finished and it switches to warm mode (with the L for low in front of the numbers) turn it off and carefully open the steam vent.
  4. When all the pressure is released you can open the pot and remove the squash.
  5. Allow the squash to cool before removing the strands of spaghetti with a fork.

 

For more recipes with spaghetti squash see my Chicken Broccoli Alfredo and my Spicy Bacon Chicken Casserole both are gluten and dairy free!

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11 Comments
  1. Jo-N

    Wonderful! I have been wondering how to do this ever since we had this at your house! Thanks!

  2. Marleigh Cowgill

    We alway’s cut the squash horizontally and not diagonally. Does this make them cook longer?
    Thank you for the recipes and ideas for snacks!

    • MamaShire (Author)

      It may take a little longer to cook, but cutting it this way does make the strands longer like spaghetti.

  3. Cindy

    Do you freeze after cookin and before or after pulling into spaghetti strands?

    • MamaShire (Author)

      I cook the spaghetti squash and pull it out of the shell before I freeze it. 🙂

  4. Melissa

    I never knew you could freeze spaghetti squash. Game changer! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I am going to have to try this! I did not know you could freeze it. Thank you for the terrific step by step instructions!

    • MamaShire (Author)

      You are so welcome!

  6. Sue Small

    Thank you so much for this! I tried it for the first time today. So now I have a question … what is the best way to re-heat this? I do not have a microwave by choice. 🙂

    • MamaShire (Author)

      Hi Sue,
      I don’t have a microwave either, so what I normally do is just heat it up in a skillet with just a bit of water to keep it from sticking. A pot would work too. It doesn’t take long at all to heat up. And you’re welcome I’m glad that you tried it!

  7. This was my first time making spaghetti squash in the instant pot. I was amazed as how easily it removes from rind. The reason I am writing is to say Thanks for the tip using a paring knife to cut it in half and seed. I don’t know why, I always attempted to cut lengthwise. I’ll be eating more spaghetti squash, and I will freeze it too. Thank you.

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