How to Turn Squash Into Spaghetti

Here's how you prepare spaghetti squash to turn it into golden noodle-like strands, step by step.

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Relax, It's Just Spaghetti Squash

For those who are looking to lighten up on the carbs, or for those who eat gluten-free, spaghetti squash can be quite a discovery. It has a lovely and naturally buttery flavor, provides great nutrition, and is just plain fun to make. While it becomes spaghetti-like in shape, it doesn't really resemble pasta in texture or taste. You’re not the first person to look at the pale-yellow gourd and wonder how exactly to turn it into golden, silken noodle strands. Here's how it's done in five easy steps.

Photography by Laura Agra

Trim the Ends Off

First, cut the ends off the spaghetti squash using a heavy knife, and rocking it back and forth with control. Cutting off the ends helps stabilize the squash so you have more leverage and stability, and therefore it’s safer to cut the squash in half lengthwise.

Cut the Squash in Half

Stand the squash on one end and carefully cut it down the middle.

Scrape Out the Seeds

Scrape out the seeds and any pulpy strings with a spoon. The inside is hollow, similar to most winter squashes, and filled with seeds and some stringy fibers; you can roast the seeds as you do pumpkin seeds if you wish.

Roast the Squash

Place the halves cut-side down in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, add 3/4 cup of water and roast in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until the halves look somewhat wrinkly and slightly collapsed, and the squash itself is tender. Check toward the end of the cooking time to make sure there is still a bit of water in the pan, adding more if necessary. The squash can also be cooked in the microwave, but roasting really helps to bring out the buttery flavor.

Turn the Squash Into Spaghetti

Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool about 15 minutes. Then, using a fork, scrape, scrape, scrape the inside of the squash to release the insides from the skin (you may want to hold the squash with a dishtowel, as it will still be quite hot). You’ll see the squash form spaghetti-like strands as you do this; it’s pretty cool.

The End Result

Transfer all of the squash to a serving bowl (or individual bowls), toss the outside shells, then use the spaghetti-like strands as you wish.

Get Creative

Because the flavor of spaghetti squash is quite neutral, it's up to you to decide how to serve the strands: You can go easy on the seasonings so you can taste the delicate squash, or you can use it as a vehicle for a more fully seasoned sauce or ragu of some sort. It makes an excellent base layer in this Greek-style shrimp dish.

Get the Recipe: Greek-Style Spaghetti Squash with Shrimp

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