How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

Want to learn how to cook spaghetti squash? Try it three ways: in the microwave, the oven or the crockpot!

spaghetti squash cut

Hi Friends!

Way back in December 2012, I wrote a post sharing 3 ways to cook spaghetti squash. It’s become one of my most popular posts and earlier this week I updated the pictures so I thought it’d be a good time to give it a second look.

spaghetti squash whole

Spaghetti squash has become wildly popular lately as a low-carb option to replace spaghetti noodles. It’s paleo-friendly, naturally gluten-free and fairly inexpensive.

Want to learn how to cook spaghetti squash? Here are 3 different ways to try it, plus recipe ideas!

Some people may be hesitant to try it because they’re not sure how to cook spaghetti squash.  Have no fear! I’m here to help.

First let’s talk about how to cut it:

Learn how to cut a spaghetti squash, plus a quick tip for making it easier before you start!

Step 1: Cut the ends off the spaghetti squash.

Step 2: Stand the squash on end and cut in half length-wise.

Step 3: Option 1: Scoop out the seeds and pulp and discard. Option 2: Leave the seeds in and eat them once the squash is cooked. Option 3: Scoop out the seeds and roast them separately.

**Bonus Tip** Spaghetti Squash can be difficult to cut. To make it easier, put the whole squash in the microwave for 2 minutes before trying to cut it!

make spaghetti squash easier to cut

There are several ways you can cook spaghetti squash and I think they all have their merits.

3 Ways To Cook Spaghetti Squash

Want to learn how to cook spaghetti squash? Here are three different methods!

I personally like it prepared all three ways but your preparation method of choice may depend on how much time you have. The crockpot method is fix it and forget it. Oven roasted gives it the most flavor. The microwave method is the fastest if you’re pressed for time.

So let’s get started.

Oven Roasted

Oven roasted spaghetti squash

Put the two halves face down on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Check doneness by pulling a few strands out and taste them. If you want them softer, cook a little longer.

Another oven possibility- try cutting it into rings and baking it!

 In the Crockpot

Poke holes with a knife, put the whole squash in a crockpot with two cups of water. Cook on low 4-6 hours on low depending on size. Mine was about 7-8 inches long, medium sized I’d say. I cooked it 4 hours and it was perfect for me, but I still like it a bit crunchy. If you want the strands softer, cook it another hour or two.

Once it’s done, slice in half, scoop out seeds and pull strands with a fork.

In the Microwave

How to cook spaghetti squash? In the microwave!

You have two options for the microwave method. You can either cook it whole or cut in the microwave. If you want to cut it, follow the directions above, then put it on a plate or in a glass dish with a little water and microwave 10-12 minutes.

microwave spaghetti squash

To check to see if it’s done, turn it over and pull at the sides with a fork to separate the strings and taste a few. As you can see, I like to leave the seeds in mine!

If you want to cook it whole, stab it all over with a knife, put it on a plate and microwave for 10-12 minutes, rotating every few minutes until it gets squishy. Then cut and separate strings. Remove the seeds if desired.

So it’s cooked, now what?

oven roasted spaghetti squash

Use a fork to pull the strands away from the sides of the cooked squash. Scoop them out or eat straight from the squash!

Want to know how to cook spaghetti squash? Here are 3 ways!

So there you have it! Now that we’ve learned 3 different ways to cook spaghetti squash, you’re probably looking for some recipes ideas to try, right?

Learn how to cook spaghetti squash and then try one of these six delicious recipes!

Spaghetti Squash with Vegan Tomato Basil Cream Sauce via Hummusapien

The Non-Pizza Pizza via Jennifer Vagios

Paleo Spaghetti Squash Casserole via Slim Sanity

Black Bean & Veggie Stuffed Spaghetti Squash via Nutritious Eats

Lemon Garlic Spaghetti Squash with Hemp & Salmon via Sarah Kay Hoffman

Eggplant Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Boats via The Foodie Dietitian


PS. I’m thinking about making a Squish with vegetables calendar. Best-seller for sure, right? He looks really cute with the squash but don’t let him fool you. That lasted about 5 minutes. The remainder of the hour was more like the middle picture- me trying to take pictures and him laying on the floor screaming :)

squish with squash

About Lindsay

Lindsay Livingston is a Registered Dietitian and new mom from Columbus, Ohio. On her blog, she shares simple, healthy recipes, nutrition tips, workouts and snapshots of her life. Follow her on Twitter @LeanGrnBeanBlog and Instagram @TheLeanGreenBean and be sure to subscribe via RSS or email so you never miss a post!


  1. i’ve only made spaghetti squash in the oven – i like the idea of the crockpot option though!
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted..Affordable Jeans + $50 Kmart Gift Card Giveaway

  2. Spaghetti Squash is a daily staple for me! I roast a ton to have for the week, but sometimes I just microwave a whole one if I am short on time! Microwaves are crazy powerful tools!
    GiGi Eats recently posted..Notsa Carbonara

  3. I’m not a huge fan of spaghetti squash (eat pasta!), but I’m super impressed that you got your work done with Squish being uncooperative! :)
    Laura @FitMamaLove recently posted..This Week in Workouts: Fitting It In However I Can

  4. The first time I made spaghetti squash, I overcooked it and it burst in my kitchen lol!

    …This reminds me of your recent insta picture of squish in the background faceplanting. Best. Ever.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted..Healthy No Bake Triple Chocolate Protein Cookies

  5. I love using the crockpot for mine – easy and I don’t have to tend to it!! But I also love the crispier flavor from the oven!

    Um – I’d totally buy that calendar!
    Sarah@creatingbettertomorrow recently posted..Friday Facts March 20, 2015

  6. I’ve never made it in the crock pot before, mostly the oven. I’ll have to try it!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..High Five Friday {Giveaway}

  7. I tried the crockpot a couple times, but my squash is always too big to fit in it! Maybe it’s time for a new crockpot?
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted..Spinach Sweet Potato Cakes

  8. Love it! I usually boil mine but I may try oven roasting. Thanks!

  9. You totally stole my idea! I was going to do a how to about cooking ss in the microwave–that is how I do mine every time, ahaha. Then again, your post is way better than mine ever could have been!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted..Friday Favorites: Springtime in the South

  10. Aww, a Squish calendar with vegetables would be the BEST thing!! You should totally do it. Have a great weekend :)
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl recently posted..The Best Veggie Sandwich {Everything But the Kitchen Sink}

  11. This sounds so good. To be honest, I’ve never heard of this spaghetti squash! I wonder if we have it in the Netherlands as well, but I will definitely look for it!

  12. Squish with the squash!! Those pics are so adorable. Totally worth the hour of protest ;). Thanks so much for including my spaghetti squash eggplant parm boats!
    Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian recently posted..Friday Foodie Dietitian Favorites 3.20.15

  13. sassygirl says:

    after watching the roast spaghetti squash prep by hungry hungry
    hippie (thanks a million, Elise!) I realize I had been CUTTING the
    s. squash wrong all. this. time. it really should be chopped WIDTH
    wise, NOT length wise. the strands of ‘spaghetti’ forked out of the squash
    are perfect: longer and cooked al dente..not mushy because they’re short.
    I love her technique! :)

  14. I’ve never heard of cooking it in a crockpot. I don’t buy spaghetti squash often although its yummy. I am a hardcore fan of the butternut squash though.
    Jen @ pretty little grub recently posted..FYI Friday – Nutrient Requirements for Active People – Carbohydrates

  15. I microwave mine a bit, cut, then microwave again!

  16. I love oven-roasted spaghetti squash, but it can be time consuming. I would have never thought about using the microwave or even the crockpot! Great tips! And yes, squish looks adorable with the squash! Love the pictures you share of him. :)
    Dana | fresh simple five recently posted..Friday Five

  17. The microwave can be such a lifesaver. Thanks for linking up my recipe! Xo
    Melanie @ Nutritious Eats recently posted..Italian-Style Turkey Burgers

  18. such a good tip to microwave the squash before cutting it. i had no idea!
    kristin | W [H] A T C H recently posted..LONG RUN: RISING FROM ASHES

  19. I haven’t made spaghetti squash in awhile so it may be time to break it out again. I didn’t think about cooking it in the microwave but that’s so great bc I can be super lazy! I usually cook my sweet potatoes that way too.
    Erin @ Erin’s Inside Job recently posted..Five Things Friday #35

  20. I don’t make spaghetti squash very often, but when I do it’s delicious. I’m going to have to try putting it in the crockpot. I never thought of that before.
    Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona recently posted..Goat Cheese Spinach Pasta Recipe

  21. I use the oven method though I have used the microwave at times too. I like a nice tomato/lentil sauce on top– spaghetti squash is so low-cal that I feel it needs something hearty on top.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..2015 Pacific Coast Adult Sectionals Part I

  22. Confession: I’ve never cooked a spaghetti squash. I will have to give it a try! I do enjoy ordering it in restaurants, though :)

  23. You mean I can actually microwave spaghetti squash? This just saved me so much time! I don’t know why I never thought about that. I also love the tip about microwaving before you cut it, when they are large they are so dang hard to cut through! Thanks Lindsay!
    Heather Mason @NuttyNutrition recently posted..Sneaky Ingredient Carrot Cake Muffins

  24. Thank you for these tips. Your post has given way to what’s quickly become a weekend fave! We top the oven-roasted squash with sauteed vegetables. Any left-over squash becomes part of a scrambled eggs/veggies we normally put over brown rice. Thanks again!
    Mike recently posted..Hear It In Their Face

  25. Oh I’m going to have to try the crock pot method!! I’ve always microwaved it, but just yesterday I roasted it in the oven whole and it turned out great (poked holes and just baked at 375 for about 45 min, till it got soft). Great informational post!
    Aggie | Aggie’s Kitchen recently posted..Orzo with Goat Cheese and Arugula

  26. I love the microwave tip! I would have been scared to try that, but now that you say so, I’ll give it a try.
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes recently posted..chicken coconut curry


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