How to Roast a Spaghetti Squash

Squash was not a vegetable (or is it a fruit because of the seeds?) that ever graced the dinner table when I was a kid. I never had zucchini or yellow squash, butternut or spaghetti or even acorn squash until well into my twenties.

The first time I tried zucchini I had it in a stir fry and realized that it basically has very little flavor and a very high water content. I only tried butternut squash in the last two years or so, never sure of what to do it with and highly concerned about cutting through it.

And then spaghetti squash. I had no idea what to expect from that pretty, yellow oblong squash. I finally decided to try it last year and realized I had been missing out. Spaghetti squash is named as such for how the squash pulls apart like strands of spaghetti. It’s very mild in flavor and you can easily substitute it for angel hair, spaghetti, even fettuccine and linguine! If you’re trying to eat healthier, it’s the perfect choice, seeing as 1 cup is only 42 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates.

Confession: I still haven’t tried an acorn squash, but it’s on my list for the fall.

There are lots of different ways you can cook spaghetti squash but I prefer to roast it. So let’s get started.

You’ll want to buy a squash that’s at least a medium shade of yellow. (Mine is a little on the pale side.) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mine take 14 minutes to heat up and it takes me about that long to get the squash ready to be roasted.

Cutting through a squash is not easy. I let the squash roll around until it finds its natural resting place where it’s a bit flatter, then I stab it in the center with my sharpest knife and rock it back and forth until I can start cutting through that outer skin. Cut through lengthwise, pulling it apart with your hands if you need to. (I don’t advise doing this after a workout focused on your arms, like I did.)

Now you need to remove all of the seeds and the center portion. I go around the edges of it with a knife and then switch to a spoon to scoop out the insides. You can save the seeds and roast them like pumpkin seeds if you’d like.

Drizzle both halves of the squash with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. You can also season it with salt and pepper, but I prefer to skip this step and season it after I have it added in as part of a recipe. Line a baking sheet with foil (I skipped this, but you’ll appreciate the easier clean up) and place the squash on it. You can do open end up or down, it doesn’t really make a different.

Roast the squash for 40-45 minutes. Now is a great time to catch up on a DVR’d show that you missed. (I emptied litter boxes, swept and mopped floors, cleaned out my purse, cut up some strawberries and enjoyed a post workout smoothie. You wish you were this exciting.)

Remove the squash from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes or until you can easily handle it. Grab a big bowl and a fork and start pulling the fork through the flesh of the squash, pulling away the strands. Repeat until you have nothing but the outer flesh left.

Now you can add the squash to a recipe or stick it in the fridge to be used later in the week over meatballs and sauce, veggies, whatever you want!

How to Roast a Spaghetti Squash
Source: Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings:about 3 cups
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    • 2 ½ – 3 lb. bright yellow spaghetti squash

    • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil

    • salt and pepper, if desired

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Place the squash on a cutting board and cut into it lengthwise, halving it.
3.Use a knife to cut away the seeds and flesh from the inside of each half and then scoop out with a spoon. (Seeds can be saved to be roasted.)
4. Drizzle olive oil over both halves of the squash and place it on the prepared baking sheet.
5.Bake for 40-45 minutes or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork.
6. Let cool for 10 minutes or until you can comfortably handle touching the squash. Have a bowl on standby and drag a fork through the flesh, pulling away the strands. Transfer them to the bowl and repeat on both halves of the squash until just the outer skin remains.

Now what? Come back tomorrow and check out the recipe I made using this squash. 

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