How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is an oval-shaped, hard winter squash. When cooked the flesh turns into spaghetti-like strands that make a wonderful paleo substitute for pasta. The catch? Once you bring that golden gourd home, you’re left wondering how to cook spaghetti squash. Thankfully, it’s easy.

No Fancy Gadgets Needed!

When you make spaghetti squash noodles you don’t need a spiralizer or any other fancy kitchen gadgets. There are several simple ways to cook spaghetti squash. It can be cut into sections and steamed on the stove, or you can learn how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Safely and Easily

Cooking a whole, uncut spaghetti squash in the oven avoids the process of wielding a huge knife and stabbing at a giant hard squash. After it’s cooked, you can cut through the tender flesh easily and safely. The other benefit of this cooking method? When the flesh is sealed inside the squash it retains flavor and moisture. Looking for healthy paleo noodles? Look no further. Your pasta dreams are about to come true!

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Print Pin Recipe
Servings 4


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds


  • Place whole (uncut) spaghetti squash on a parchment paper lined baking sheet
  • Using a fork, poke the squash twice
  • Bake at 350°F for 60-80 minutes
  • Allow spaghetti squash to cool for 20-30 minutes
  • Cut squash open with a knife
  • Using a spoon scoop out seeds
  • Scrape the flesh out of the squash into stringy noodles
  • Serve
Prep Time 10 mins
Resting Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
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spaghetti squash

After the spaghetti squash is cooked, allow it to cool and then slice it in half.


Scoop the seeds out of the spaghetti squash.


After the seeds are out, scoop the spaghetti squash noodles into a dish.

Low-Carb Noodles for the Keto Diet

I make spaghetti squash noodles for myself whenever the rest of the family is eating packaged gluten-free noodles. If you like healthy spaghetti squash noodles, you’ll love my post called, Paleo Pasta: Healthy Low-Carb Swaps for Noodles, which features other healthy vegetable noodles along with their carb counts. Vegetable noodles are wonderful pasta substitute for those following a Ketogenic Diet.

Easy Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash Recipes

I often serve spaghetti squash with coconut oil and cinnamon, or with Bolognese. I also have a fabulous recipe in my latest book Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry for a Paleo Pad Thai that uses spaghetti squash noodles! And you’ll definitely want to try my low-carb, keto Mac n Cheese Skillet Casserole recipe, made from spaghetti squash!


100 responses to “How to Cook Spaghetti Squash”

  1. Hi Elana,
    How do I know when the spaghetti squash is perfectly cooked? I see there’s a 60-80 minute time range. What will tell me it’s done?

    • L, the time range is due to squash size which creates cook time variability. When the squash is fork tender your good to go :-)

  2. This is brilliant! I just had spaghetti squash at a restaurant last night – and I couldn’t think of how they cooked it so well! This must be how! So glad to have read this – perfect timing!

  3. My 7yo really likes spaghetti squash this way! Maybe even more than Tinkyada or Capello’s GF pastas. Thank you! (She also prefers cauli-rice to real rice. My husband and I enjoy it too!

  4. Elena-I have made 1 spaghetti squash in my life. I baked it. Scooped out the seeds. Took a fork and did the noodles part. Added my sauce. Took a bite and threw it all away. All I could taste was squash! I was told that the squash will take on the sauce taste. What did I do wrong? I am thinking I may not have scooped far enough down into the squash before doing the noodle part? Help!

    • Robin, I love spaghetti squash, but it does have a somewhat squash-like flavor. It’s amazing with pesto and other sauces, but it just might not be your thing :-)

  5. Is their any way you can cook noodles and make them crunchy. When I was younger my mother forced me to eat alot of vegetables so I usually eat fresh or crunchy ( stir fry texture).Do you have any suggestions to you blessings

    • My suggestion is to set the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half lenthwide and remove seeds. Salt and pepper the cut sides then flip over and place face down on parchment lined cookie sheet. The squash takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes and if you like it crunchy as I do, test after 20 minutes with a fork..if the fork goes in fairly hard take it out of the oven. If it is really hard for the fork to go in keep testing after 5 minutes. What you DON’T want is the fork to slide in super easy for then it will be too soft.
      Once out of the oven, place cut side UP, and when you can handle it, shred with a fork..easy peezy!

  6. I tried another method I saw. Cut it in half and put it in a baking dish with about an inch of water. I think you could bake it, but it also said you could microwave it for about 12 minutes. It worked pretty well, but the next time I think I may try baking it or microwaving it a little longer as it was a little “crunchy” as my spaghetti pasta. Still pretty good, ‘tho.

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