What Is Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti squash is a type of squash that has a delicate, bright yellow interior and when you cook it, the flesh becomes stringy and noodle-like. Spaghetti squash is most often used as a pasta substitute in a dish of the same name.

cut spaghetti squash with a fork

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How Do You Make Spaghetti Squash?

Making spaghetti squash is simple and straightforward, and the only ingredient you really need is one medium spaghetti squash.

Here's what you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Slice the squash in half lengthwise, from tip to base
  • Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and bits of flesh that are already stringy. Be careful to not dig into the meat of the squash.
  • Place the halves of the squash in a baking pan, cut side facing down
  • Cook for 30-45 minutes or until tender. You can tell the squash is done when you can easily stick a fork through the meat to the peel.
  • With a fork, gently scrape out the inside of the squash. This process will separate the meat into strands and begin resembling noodles.

Before you serve, throw in spices to give this naturally mild squash more flavor. Spaghetti squash is very mild in flavor and in order to be enjoyed properly, you need to add some flavor -- even just a bit of butter and salt will go a long way. Garlic and olive oil are also popular options for flavoring. You can even top the spaghetti squash with pasta sauce or toss some vegetables in with the noodles.

spaghetti squash with sauce in a bowl

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Does It Taste Like Regular Spaghetti?

Spaghetti squash looks like pasta and feels like pasta, but it doesn't exactly taste like pasta. Though you can top it with your favorite spaghetti sauce and twirl it with your fork, it isn't a perfect substitute.

The thin strands feel like you're eating angel hair pasta, but with no real taste on its own. Because spaghetti squash is so mild, it lacks the taste of both pasta and squash. Therefore, spaghetti squash is arguably best when served as a base for a thick, flavorful sauce.

spaghetti squash with heavy sauce on a plate

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Why Choose Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti squash is often turned to as a healthy and gluten-free pasta alternative. The squash is packed with Vitamin C, fiber and has only 42 calories and about 10 grams of carbohydrates per cup. Compared to 75 calories and 14 grams of carbs in a typical cup of pasta, spaghetti squash is a healthier alternative.

fork shredding spaghetti squash in a baking pan

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