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

5.0 from 290 reviews

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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.


Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Linda

    Really simple and works out great. I agree with your roasting time. I didn’t care for the resulting texture (i.e., too soft and mushy) when I roasted the squash for an hour. When I roasted the squash for about 35 minutes and then let it cool, it was just how I wanted it. The nice thing about it being “al dente” is that one can further cook it if desired.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you enjoyed the al dente squash!

  2. Nancy

    I used your basic recipe to cook the spaghetti squash which was perfect!! I sauteed chopped onions and black beans together which I used to to top the spaghetti squash along with Mexican cheese and Pace chunky salsa!! Our lunch was yummy!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  3. navadonoh

    Can you cook in the air fryer ?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I haven’t tried so i’m not sure of the timing. I think it would be fine.

  4. Johanna

    I made this and found it quite bland. This is my first time eating spaghetti squash but wanted to try something new:. I’m sure the recipe is good maybe I’m just accustomed to eating yellow squash.

  5. Kathleen

    I just made this and it came out so good!! Cooked it 40 minutes, it was perfect & so delicious! Thank you!

  6. Jeni

    Can you freeze the roasted spaghetti squash?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jeni, yep, you can freeze it.

  7. Rona Evartt

    I like to prepare healthy, fresh food, but cooking for one, it must be simple. I’ve been craving squash and had two spaghetti squash given to me. Your recipe was simple, but more importantly, IT WAS SO GOOD! Thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad your squash turned out well!

  8. Tiffa

    I followed every step of your recipe and the results were absolutely delicious. It was also my first time cooking spaghetti squash. Thank you so much!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  9. Judith Steinbeck

    Can you cook in the air fryer ?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Judith, I haven’t tried so I’m not sure.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
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.