How to slow cook spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is a mild tasting squash that separates into tender strands and can be topped with sauce just like pasta. Cooking whole spaghetti squash in the slow cooker is easy. And this healthy, low carb veggie is available year round in most grocery stores.

Cook crockpot spaghetti squash, then use it in recipes like Spaghetti Squash Salad or Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

How to Cook Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash

Most spaghetti squash are fairly large, so make sure to buy one that fits in your slow cooker and allows the lid to fit snugly. If needed, you can cut away a bit of the squash skin to help it fit.

To prevent the squash from exploding, carefully pierce it in several places with a sharp knife. Add the whole squash to the slow cooker with 1½ cups of water. Cook until the squash is tender, about 2-3 hours on HIGH or 4-6 hours on LOW.

Allow the squash to cool so you can handle it. Halve the squash lengthwise. Discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh, place in a bowl, and shred the squash by running a fork through it. Now it can be used in other recipes. Cooked squash will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Baked Spaghetti Squash Casserole

This delicious Spaghetti Squash Casserole recipe can be served as a main course with a salad or as a side dish, sort of like a veggie mac-and-cheese. Cooking the spaghetti squash ahead of time makes assembling the casserole even easier.

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds, cooked (see above)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped (or substitute 2 tablespoons pesto)

4 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated

For the topping, mix together:

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons melted butter

Instructions

To keep the baked dish from being watery, remove excess moisture from the cooked squash: wring it in a cheesecloth or clean dishtowel, or place in a colander and firmly press down.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a 2-quart gratin dish or an 8” baking dish. Heat oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet, and cook the onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the squash. Cook, stirring often, until the squash is a little more tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Beat the eggs well in a large bowl. Add milk and basil. Stir in the squash mixture and Gruyère, combine well. Scrape into your baking dish. (If you need to make ahead, stop here, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a few hours.)

When ready to bake, bring the casserole to room temperature, sprinkle with the topping. Gently press topping into casserole. Bake at 375° for 40-45 minutes until browned. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.

Cooking Notes

Variations. Like a quiche, the dish above is versatile. Try adding a hint of nutmeg. Or mix in roasted red peppers. Before adding the topping, add a layer of fresh sliced tomatoes. Mix in cooked bacon or sausage. More cheese!

Make it a spaghetti squash soufflé. Separate the eggs, mix the yolks in with the squash mixture. Then beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks, stir a third of the whites into the squash mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in remaining whites.

No Gruyère? Try any cheese you prefer. Substitute Emmental, Jarlsberg, Fontina, Swiss, Cheddar, or Feta.

No fresh basil? Substitute 2 teaspoons dried basil, pesto, or different herbs.

Easy Spaghetti Squash Recipes

Simply toss shredded slow cooker spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and top with freshly grated Parmesan or try these other easy recipes:

Spaghetti Squash FAQ

Can you overcook spaghetti squash?

You can’t really overcook spaghetti squash. But if you plan to use the squash in a recipe calling for noodle-like strands, you will want the strands more “al dente” versus mushy. If aiming for al dente, keep a closer eye on the squash and the cooking time — when you can pierce the outer skin with a fork, it’s ready.

If you are using the squash in a baked casserole, a softer texture won’t matter.

Does spaghetti squash taste like spaghetti?

Short answer: no. It doesn’t taste like pasta or really even squash — rather it is quite bland. But a lack of flavor makes it a great option for tossing with other ingredients, cheeses, or sauces for a healthy pasta alternative.

Can spaghetti squash cook whole in a regular oven?

Yes. Preheat your oven to 375°. Pierce the spaghetti squash several times and place the whole squash on a foil lined baking sheet. Cook the squash in the oven, turning every 20 minutes until it is soft and easy to cut into with a knife, about 1 hour.

Watch Mark Bittman cook a spaghetti squash

The Atlantic’s funny and smart James Hamblin joins food author Mark Bittman to learn how to make Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter & Walnuts.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

This isn’t really a recipe but more of a “How To”. The other day I shared a photo on Instagram (you are following me there right?!) with How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in The Slow Cooker.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

I got a ton of email and DM about the timing, if you can add things in like vegetables, meatballs or ground meat and more so I figured I would do a quick post about this super easy, one-pot weeknight gem that will save dinner again and again.

So, a couple of important things:

  • I normally cut my spaghetti squash lengthwise but for this technique, you need to cut it across the middle so both halves will actually fit in your slow cooker.
  • I have a 6.5 Quart oval shaped slow cooker (this one from Cuisinart) and I can usually fit medium and large spaghetti squash with no problem. If you have a smaller model or round slow cooker, you may need to cook one half at a time.
  • You can absolutely add in additional water-rich vegetables like baby spinach leaves, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant and peppers. I do NOT recommend adding in vegetables like cauliflower florets, broccoli florets, potatoes and other vegetables that are bulky as they take up a lot of room and it can be difficult to fit the squash in properly (so that is has a good amount of sauce).
  • You have to scrub the squash exterior really well before you cut it since you submerging it into the sauce.
  • You can add small meatballs (try my Paleo Pesto Meatballs or Grain Free Meatballs) in but you may need additional sauce to cover them properly.
  • Crumbled Italian sausage works well and doesn’t take up as much room as meatballs, plus there is no additional prep time.
  • I did not include serving size info or Weight Watchers Points Plus info as the amount of people this serves will depend on not only the size of the squash you start with but what volume of vegetables and/or meat you decide to add in.
  • To keep this Low Carb and/or Whole30, make sure you use a high-quality sugar-free pasta sauce (or homemade).
  • This is naturally Vegan without the addition of meatballs or sausage.
  • Once cooked and cooled, the spaghetti squash and sauce freeze great!

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!

Food bloggers can show you How to Make CrockPot or Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash, and it’s so versatile for a low-carb vegetable! And see ideas in this post for serving spaghetti squash in interesting ways.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

In this post on we’re spotlighting two bloggers who’ve mastered how to cook Spaghetti Squash in the CrockPot or the Instant Pot! And spaghetti squash is such a versatile vegetable! Check out the methods below for cooking spaghetti squash or recipe ideas for dishes using spaghetti squash and take your pick! And enjoy the spaghetti squash everyone!

What is Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti Squash is an interesting type of winter squash that strings apart into strands resembling spaghetti once it’s cooked! It’s a favorite with vegetable gardeners, and if you’re growing your own spaghetti squash you can even cook unripe spaghetti squash like a summer squash! But for most people it’s a winter squash variety and it’s a favorite low-carb vegetable for many people.

How can Spaghetti Squash be used in recipes?

Please don’t think of spaghetti squash as just being a substitute for pasta! At Kalyn’s Kitchen I love to use it in favorite low-carb dishes like Greek Salad Spaghetti Squash Bowl, Mock Lasagna Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin, and Spaghetti Squash Taco Bowls, and using one of these methods to cook the spaghetti squash would make my favorite spaghetti squash recipes that much easier.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

I bookmarked the post on How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the CrockPot from Family Fresh Meals the minute I saw it a few years ago. And then I started wondering why I had never thought of doing this? Not that spaghetti squash is difficult to cook, but cutting it is kind of a pain, and cooking it in the slow cooker means one less thing to have to watch while it’s cooking. Two thumbs up to Corey for this great idea for CrockPot Spaghetti Squash; I’m definitely trying it! See all about how to make CrockPot Spaghetti Squash from Family Fresh Meals.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

Then I spotted a great post from Aggie’s Kitchen on How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash, and once again I slapped my forehead at what a great idea this was! Now when you don’t have time for the slow cooker method you can cook spaghetti squash in practically no time in the Instant Pot. Check out How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in an Instant Pot from Aggie’s Kitchen.

How to slow cook spaghetti squashHi Hungry Girl,

I love spaghetti squash, but I don’t quite understand how to turn the squash itself into noodle-like strands. Help!

Skeptical About Spaghetti Squash

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

How to slow cook spaghetti squashDear SAGG,

You’ve come to the right place! It’s hard to believe that a big, solid vegetable can turn into a perfect pasta swap, but it’s definitely possible. That’s why it’s a called a spaghetti squash! I love that a cup of the cooked squash strands has just 42 calories and 10g carbs, while the same amount of cooked traditional spaghetti has around 200 calories and 40g carbs. As for how to transform the spaghetti squash into noodles, I’ve got three foolproof methods.

In a Microwave (The Quickest)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
This method is fastest, but it’s also pretty hands-on. To get the squash soft enough to cut, first microwave it for about 6 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, carefully cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place one squash half in an extra-large microwave-safe bowl with 1/4 cup water. Cover and microwave for 7 minutes, or until tender. Repeat with remaining squash half. (If you don’t have a bowl big enough for the halves, quarter the squash and microwave ‘em one at a time.)

In the Oven (The Classic)
Cook Time: 50 minutes
The old standby! Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, microwave the squash for 6 minutes, or until soft enough to cut. Once cool, carefully cut it in half lengthwise, and scoop out those seeds. Fill a large baking pan with half an inch of water, and place squash cut-sides-down in the pan. Bake until tender, about 40 minutes.

In a Slow Cooker (The Easiest and HG Favorite!)
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours
What makes it so easy? You don’t even need to cut through the tough skin of a raw squash. Just put the squash in your slow cooker whole! Add 1/2 cup water, and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, or until soft. Then you can easily slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Pssst. Click for a video to see how it’s done!

After your squash is cooked…
Once it’s cool, just use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti-like strands. You’ll be surprised how simple it is! The spaghetti squash strands will have a lot of excess moisture, though. So place them in a strainer to drain, and then thoroughly blot dry. The drier they are, the more pasta-like they’ll taste!

Ready for recipes? A standard spaghetti squash yields about 5 cups of strands. So cook one up, and use the strands in these recipes!

How to cook spaghetti squash roasted, microwaved, in the slow cooker and grilled easily and effortlessly!

how to cook squash

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Cooked spaghetti squash is one of my FAVORITE vegetables to eat because it is so versatile, easy to make and can be turned into a carb-free pasta dish! I have a major love for carbs and (gluten-free) noodles but am not too big a fan of the extra calories that might end up on my “tushi-cushion” (as my boys like to call it).

The first time I had spaghetti squash pasta was at my sister-in-law’s house a few years ago tossed with a sprinkle of butter, salt and pepper on it. Ever since then I have been hooked! And spaghetti squash pasta is a great way to get the kiddos (and husband) eating a whole dish of vegetables!

Spaghetti squash, butternut squash, delicata, buttercup and acorn squash are really simple to cook – in as little as 35 minutes (depending on the size)! I like roasting (or baked) spaghetti squash best- just seems so simple and quick while I make a salad and sauce to go with it.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty on how to cook spaghetti squash.

You can use/eat the whole inside of spaghetti squash. You can cook it whole in the crockpot and microwave or slice it in half for roasting and grilling. Once the squash is fully cooked and slightly cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds if not already done (meaning if you cooked the squash whole). Using a fork pull and fluff the spaghetti squash to remove the gorgeous yellow “noodles”.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

A big dilemma in the past was not knowing how long to cook foods like squash! So here are few tips and tricks that I have learned that will help you in the kitchen.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

1. ROASTED

Roasting spaghetti squash is my favorite way to cook spaghetti squash, acorn squash and butternut squash because it brings out a natural sweetness from the fruit (crazy it is a fruit, right?!). To roast, preheat the oven 400 degrees F. Slice the squash in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and toss in a bit of olive oil then place on a large baking sheet face down. Pour a dash of water on the baking sheet. Roast for 35-45 minutes until it is soft when poked with a fork. Let the spaghetti squash cool slightly before handling and flip over and with a fork “fluff” and scrape gently out the noodles.

2. MICROWAVE

Place the spaghetti squash on a microwaveable dish whole (poked first with a knife for air) or as halves and cook on high for 9-12 minutes (for halves) and about 12-15 minutes (for a whole squash) until the large center is soft when poked with a knife. Remove and let it cool slightly until it is able to be handled then cut the squash in half (if it is not already) and remove the seeds with a spoon. With a fork “fluff” and scrape (gently) out the noodles.

3. SLOW COOKER

Place the spaghetti squash whole in the slow cooker with about 1-2 inches of water. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Remove and slice in half then gently remove the seeds. Using a fork “fluff” the edges scraping down to break up the noodles.

4. GRILLING TIPS AND TIME

Heat the grill on medium-high. Slice the spaghetti squash in half and toss in a bit of olive oil. Wrap it in foil and heat for about 35 minutes (or until soft) continuously flipping to prevent burning.

Now we know how to cook spaghetti squash but what are some fun ways to eat it?

Ways To Eat Spaghetti Squash:

  • Replace any spaghetti noodles or pasta dish with spaghetti pasta
  • Tossed with marinara sauce and served with chicken parmesan
  • Marinara sauce and turkey meatballs
  • Mixed with cilantro basil pesto
  • Pesto pasta
  • Tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon and mint

spagetthi squash bowls cooked

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One of my favorite ways to eat cooked spaghetti squash is tossed with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and served with a side of avocado and freshly sliced seasonal tomatoes. Yummm!! I eat this all the time for lunch. My mouth is kinda drooling just talking about it:-)

Spaghetti squash is also great to make ahead of time and have the noodles stored in a bowl in the fridge to easily grab and reheat for a quick healthy meal!

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How to cook spaghetti squash roasted, microwaved, in the slow cooker and grilled easily and effortlessly!

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is a delicious substitute for pasta. It’s a fun stringy veggie that children and adults all love! I had to have a friend show me how to make it the first time – it’s not the pulp that becomes the ‘spaghetti’ strands like I originally thought, but actually the flesh breaks into little noodle shaped stands after cooking.

Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot

Cooking hard winter squash in the Instant Pot (buy an Instant Pot here) is my favorite way to prepare it! One of the barriers to cooking winter squash is the cooking time… and with the Instant Pot it just takes minutes. If you’re already using your Instant Pot for another recipe then the oven or slow cooker methods may work better for you.

Want to learn more about Instant Pots? Learn more here

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 Spaghetti Squash 4-5 lbs

Instructions

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

Squash is done when it slightly gives and can be pierced with a fork, but is not mushy. Mushy squash still tastes good, but it won’t have the defined spaghetti strands that are so unique. It will continue to cook a bit as it cools.

Instant Pot:

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

Close the lid, and set the vent to seal. Set the Instant Pot to Manual – 8 minutes* and allow to come to pressure. Naturally let the pressure come down for 5 minutes after it is done cooking, and then use quick release to release the rest of the pressure. Set squash aside to cool until comfortable to touch (15 minutes) before using a fork to scrape out the spaghetti strands.

If necessary, repeat with the other squash half.

* *Instant Pots can take some getting used to. If your spaghetti squash is too soft after the 8 minutes on pressure and 5 minutes natural pressure release, yours might run a little hot. In contrast, if it is still firm, even after the 15 minutes of cooling, it might run a bit low and you’ll want to add a minute or two to the cooking time for most recipes.

Finally, if your squash is barely cooked at all, you probably need to replace the silicone ring around the lid. I replace mine about once a month when I’m using the Instant Pot on a daily basis.

This modern gadget can save oodles of time in the kitchen, but it does take some patience to get it to work how we want it to.[/timer]

Slow cooker:

Open lid and turn off slow cooker and allow squash to cool until comfortable to touch (15 minutes) before using a fork to scrape out the spaghetti strands.

Oven Roasted:

Preheat oven to 400* F.

Optionally, brush squash ends (cut side) with olive oil, melted butter, or coconut oil. Place cut-side down in a casserole dish or baking sheet *with sides* to contain juices. Add 1 cup of water.

Place squash in the oven (it’s okay if it hasn’t completely preheated yet) and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow squash to cool until comfortable to touch (15 minutes) before using a fork to scrape out the spaghetti strands.

Recipe Notes

** If you’re in a time crunch you can put the whole squash in the slow cooker or oven, with the 1 cup of water. as described below in the oven and slow cooker directions The soft warm squash will be slightly more difficult to work with at the end, but it’s really not much harder to remove the pulp gently after cooking. I do this sometimes when I know I need to get dinner started, but I have something else competing for my attention.

All you need is a slow cooker.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

If you’re looking to add more veggies to your diet, spaghetti squash can be a great substitute for pasta.While turning this hard squash into spaghetti-like strands seems intimidating, it’s actually way easier to cook than you might think, thanks to this cooking trick from Hungry Girl. Instead of struggling with cutting a tough, uncooked squash in half to get it ready for roasting, just place the entire vegetable in a slow cooker, and in only five steps you’ll have the perfect dish for busy nights:

1. Place your spaghetti squash in the slow cooker and add a 1/2 cup water.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

2. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, or until soft.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

3. Take out your cooked spaghetti squash and easily slice it in half.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

4. Scrape out the seeds and discard them (or roast them separately as a snack!).

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

5. Use a fork to scrape the flesh into strands. To remove moisture, place them in a strainer.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

Once your spaghetti squash is prepared, add your favorite pasta toppings and get ready to hear some rave reviews from your family.

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

For the full tutorial from Hungry Girl, see the video below:

TELL US: What’s your favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash?

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

Spaghetti squash is such a mild-tasting squash. And that’s a good thing. Because like its namesake pasta, spaghetti squash loves being matched up with flavorful sauces and such. Rather than compete, it takes kindly to other flavors.

We’ll show you how to make spaghetti squash four easy ways, along with top-rated recipes to try.

In these paleo and gluten-free times, spaghetti squash is kind of having a perfect moment. It stands in heroically as a delicious, satisfying substitution for wheat pasta. It’s a sensational substitute because, after cooking spaghetti squash, the fruit softens and easily pulls apart with a fork into thin, spaghetti-like ribbons. Hence, the name.

Even so, you probably won’t confuse the tender strands of squash for the bite of actual pasta. And that’s okay. Spaghetti squash has a tasty, toothy texture all its own. You’ll love it.

How to Cut Your Spaghetti Squash in Half

The only hard part about cooking spaghetti squash is cutting your dense, hard, uncooked squash in half. If you’re microwaving—or even roasting—it helps to cook the squash whole a few minutes first in the microwave.

I know nuking a squash seems like tossing a bomb in the microwave, but it’s only for a few minutes—5 minutes, tops. But first, jab it with a fork a bunch of times like a baked potato to let the steam out—you do not want that steam building up in there. After several minutes in the microwave, the semi-nuked shell will be softer and easier to cut through.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

There are a several ways to make spaghetti squash —roasted in the oven, zapped in the microwave, slow-mo’d in the slow cooker, or boiled on the stovetop.

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

There’s an easy way and there’s a fast way when it comes to roasting spaghetti squash. And they aren’t the same. The easy way is to pop the whole spaghetti squash into the oven and roast it. for about an hour.

The fast way? Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (save and roast them like pumpkin seeds), and bake the squash halves shell-side up in the oven. But be careful cutting your squash; these are hard, dense, sometimes slippery little guys—and they’re tough to slice through. (Scroll down to the microwave section for tips on safely cutting a spaghetti squash in half.)

To keep your squash moist in the oven, add a little water to the dish, and dome the fruit with aluminum foil. Steam will build up under the foil dome and assist with the cooking process.

How long to cook spaghetti squash in the oven: Halved and baked in a 400 degree F oven, the squash is tender and ready in about 40 minutes. (Here’s a whip-smart trick for turning the squash’s cooked fruit into long, thin, noodly strands.)

Radiatore, fusilli, and orecchiette are all pasta shapes. Guanciale is a cured meat made from pork jowl.

Those four ingredients are key ingredients to make fresh pesto. You can also make pesto with a food processor. Cacio e pepe, Aglio e olio, and Spaghetti alla carbonara are very simple pasta dishes, great for quick weeknight meals.

Puttanesca is another classic quick pasta recipe.

Burrata is a creamy Italian cheese. Try these recipes to enjoy soppressatta, guanciale, and prosciutto.

Prosecco and Soave are wines of the Veneto region of Italy, of which Venice is the capital. Risi e bisi and seafood dishes, like seafood risotto, are popular in Venice and the Veneto region.

Take this trivia quiz to find out how much you know about Italian cuisine!

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How to slow cook spaghetti squash

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash and Homemade Meatballs simmer in the crockpot together to keep dinner simple, healthy, and delicious!
How to slow cook spaghetti squash

I simply adore spaghetti squash. It’s so versatile and satisfying, I PROMISE you won’t even notice the pasta is missing. I also completely adore my slow cooker. Who knew you could make “spaghetti” and meatballs in a crockpot?!

This is seriously the most amazing healthy, no-carb, “skinny”, diet-licious dinner you’ve ever had, and it’s totally fancy enough for a Sunday dinner. You could always cook up some spaghetti noodles for the carb lovers. Plus, these homemade meatballs are my whole heart ♥ Serve with a simple green side salad and a big fat glass of wine. Enjoy 🙂How to slow cook spaghetti squash

For more information, and an in-depth guide to spaghetti squash, click here!

How to slow cook spaghetti squash

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, cracked and whisked
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped, plus more for topping
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Splash Of Milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 cups marinara, (about 2 jars worth or homemade*)
  • 1 large or 2 small spaghetti squash
  1. For the meatballs: combine meat, garlic, breadcrumbs, parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of milk in a mixing bowl. Mix together well with hands. Roll into

16 meatballs and place on a baking sheet.

  • To brown the meatballs, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 6 meatballs at a time, turning to brown them on all sides. Remove from the skillet and drain them on a paper towel. Set meatballs aside.
  • Pour one cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 6 qt. slow cooker.
  • Slice the spaghetti squash in half around it’s middle, (not from stem to end). Scoop out the seeds, and place cut-side-down into the slow cooker on the sauce.
  • Arrange the meatballs around the spaghetti squash in the slow cooker, and top the meatballs with one more cup of marinara sauce.
  • Cover, and cook on low heat for 6 hours.
  • When it’s done cooking, remove the spaghetti squash and (carefully, it’s hot!) scoop out the insides with a fork. Pull the spaghetti squash strands apart so they resemble spaghetti.
  • Plate a serving of the spaghetti squash topped with 4 meatballs. Top with more warmed marinara, (don’t use the marinara from the slow cooker- it gets watery) parmesan cheese, and parsley.
  • *Homemade marinara recipe, (it’s way easier than you think!): Sauté 1 diced white onion in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 3 cloves of garlic, and cook one more minute. Pour in half a cup of good, dry red wine, (whatever you would drink) and let simmer down until all the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Stir in a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, 1 Tbsp. of freshly chopped parsley, 1 Tbsp. salt, freshly cracked black pepper, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and a big pinch of red pepper flakes. Cover, and simmer on low for 15 minutes. For an added, creamy bonus, stir in 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. Adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe.

    How to break down a spaghetti squash – plus how to cook it in the oven, microwave and Instant Pot.

    Related To:

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    FNK_HowToCookSpaghettiSquash_Shot_1_Hero

    Food Network Kitchen’s How to Cook Spaghetti Squash, as seen on Food Network.

    Photo by: Renee Comet

    By Derek Laughren for Food Network Kitchen

    Derek is a contributing writer at Food Network.

    While many squash species are indigenous to the Americas, spaghetti squash seems to have originated in China: consumption was first recorded in China in the 1850s. It was not commercially available in the United States until 1936, when a successful strain from Japan was introduced to American markets by Chinese seed distributors. Today, spaghetti squash is a popular low carb alternative to pasta because its flesh can be shredded into spaghetti-like strands that absorb the flavor of classic pasta sauces. It’s no surprise that the vegetable is a popular health food: it owes its vibrant natural hues to beta carotene, is packed with antioxidants, is low in calories and is a good source of fiber. There are many ways to cook it; here, we walk you through the easiest.

    How to Cut Spaghetti Squash

    How to Prep a Spaghetti Squash 00:48

    Like its cousin butternut squash, spaghetti squash has a very tough skin. If you find yourself struggling to cut the squash, you’re not alone. Try microwaving it whole for about 2 minutes to soften the skin for easier slicing.

    1. Slice both ends off to create a stable surface.

    Spaghetti squash, a winter squash, can be served in place of pasta or rice in dishes. Here’s how to prepare and serve spaghetti squash.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Like many families, most of our groceries came from the grocery store when I was a child in the 1980s and 1990s. Farmers markets weren’t a thing in my area, so we weren’t shopping from farmers on weekends like my kids and I do now. We did sometimes shop at farm stands in the summertime for fresh tomatoes and corn but that was a summer thing — not something that carried beyond those special shops. As a result, my view of many fruits and vegetables was limited to what was available on the shelves of the local Waldbaum’s.

    Squash? It was yellow and long and dissolved into mush when cooked. Zucchini was similar. I had no idea that zucchini was a squash or that a whole world of other squashes existed.

    Now in my late 30s, I am wowed by the breadth of produce that exists and relish trying new things.

    I was introduced to spaghetti squash in college by a Jewish friend who invited me to Shabbos dinner. She’d prepared the squash earlier by roasting it and then served it with a fresh tomato sauce inside the spaghetti squash shells. As everyone around me dug in, I was skeptical but tried it.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    When prepared well, spaghetti squash isn’t mushy. It has a texture similar to spaghetti and can be used as a replacement for pasta in dishes. I’ve also used it as a replacement for rice.

    But you should know: Spaghetti squash doesn’t taste like spaghetti — it has a (mild, adaptable) flavor all it’s own. It’s squash, and I love it for what it is. Don’t expect this veggie to transform into a starchy pasta flavor, though. It won’t.

    How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Clean your spaghetti squash. Since this vegetable grows on the ground, it may have dirt on the outside. While you don’t eat the outside, it is better to cook it while clean. Rinse the spaghetti squash under cook water and use your hands — or a vegetable scrub brush — to wipe away dirt while under the running water.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Remove the stem. You can certainly cook the squash with the stem on (I have — many times). But when you leave the stem, it’s harder to cut the squash in half. And why make this process any harder than it needs to be?

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. I always start with a shallow cut around the outside before plunging the knife through the center and cutting the spaghetti squash into two long halves.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Scoop out the seeds and slimy strands. Grab a spoon and go to town! You want to remove the stringy, slimy bits and the seeds from the center. They come out easily by scraping the spoon against the flesh. Continue until all have been removed. Before you toss those seeds though … did you know that they are edible? It’s easy to make roasted squash seeds as a snack!

    • How to slow cook spaghetti squash
    • How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Brush the flesh with olive oil. It doesn’t take much. Lightly brush the spaghetti squash flesh with olive oil all through the cavity.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Season with salt and pepper. A like sprinkling of salt and pepper all over should do the trick.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Bake. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. I prefer to line my baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Lay the spaghetti squash cut-side down on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until tender. When you press a finger into the outside of the squash, it should feel soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

    Other Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash

    Spaghetti squash can be cooked in other ways too. You can cook it whole, which means no challenging cutting steps while it’s still raw and hard. Downside: You will still have to get those seeds out later and they may not be as usable then. Plus, the texture of the squash will be different. I really don’t recommend cooking it whole.

    You can cook spaghetti squash in an Instant Pot — Nom Nom Paleo has a good tutorial on that method. If you love your slow cooker, you can cook spaghetti squash in the slow cooker with this tutorial from Everyday Maven. The Kitchn also has a great tutorial on how to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave.

    How to Separate Spaghetti Squash into Strands

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Alright! You’ve cooked your spaghetti squash. Now what? Grab a fork! Once the spaghetti squash is cooked, you can use a fork grated along the inside to separate it into strands. It’s so incredibly easy. Continue scraping until all the squash has been shredded.

    Now it’s ready to use.

    How to Serve Spaghetti Squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Once forked into strands, spaghetti squash can be used in place of pasta. Top it with sauce, toss it with tomatoes, mix it with creamy alfredo, whatever.

    It’s can also take the place of rice in some dishes.

    By: Jodi / Updated on: December 21, 2021 / 33 Comments

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Learn how to cook spaghetti squash in the crockpot in just a few simple steps. Simply poke holes in the squash and cook it on high or low depending on when you’d like the squash to be done cooking. It’s the easiest way to cook squash. Gluten-free, dairy-free.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Spaghetti squash has been making a big come back in the last few years due to the low carb craze.

    The stringy insides make for a great pasta substitution. But that is not the only reason to enjoy spaghetti squash.

    It is a fun vegetable the kids will love. Spaghetti squash is an oblong yellow winter squash. Once cooked, the flesh is scraped out with a fork into long thin strands that resemble spaghetti noodles. The taste is not as sweet as other winter squash.

    Let’s look at the nutritional difference between pasta and spaghetti squash.

    There are about 220 calories and 43 grams of carbohydrate in 1 cup of pasta, while 1 cup spaghetti squash has only 31 calories and 7 grams of carbohydrate. Spaghetti squash is also packed with vitamin C, vitamin A, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and potassium.

    Squash is actually classified as a fruit. According to botanists (those who study plants), a fruit is the part of the plant that develops from a flower and contains the seeds. Stems, leaves, and roots of plants are considered vegetables. Many parts of the squash can be eaten, including the seeds and blossoms. You can even eat the shoots, leaves, and tendrils as greens – will we be seeing this on a menu soon? 🙂

    How To

    Cooking spaghetti squash in the slow cooker doesn’t get any easier.

    1. Start by washing the squash then poke holes with a fork and place squash in the base of the crockpot.
    2. Pour in water.
    3. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 1-2 hours.
    4. Once cooled enough to touch, remove the squash from the crockpot and carefully slice in half. Scoop seeds from squash and remove the flesh with a fork.

    How to Roast Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

    If you prefer to simply cook your squash in the oven you can easily do that as well.

    • Start by washing the squash. Slice stem off squash with a sharp knife then carefully slice the squash in half and scrape the seeds out.
    • Season with salt and pepper then place the squash cut side down in a large baking pan.
    • Pour enough water into the pan to just cover the bottom of the squash.
    • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
    • Once cooled enough to touch, scrape insides from squash with a fork. It will be stringy and come apart easily.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    No. Slow cooking is a hands off approach to cooking vegetables. They hold up to hours of slow cooking so there is no need to worry about overcooking the squash.

    Yes. When cooking a whole spaghetti squash we recommend not skipping this step. It helps create steam while cooking.

    Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? How do you turn that squash into those cute noodles? It’s easier than you think! Get the tips and tricks you need here.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

    Spaghetti squash is such a fun vegetable! (Actually, it’s technically a fruit… but who’s counting?) But how do you get it from that oval-shaped yellow squash thingy into those cute noodles everyone talks about? It’s not that hard, you just need a little patience! Here are my best tricks for cooking spaghetti squash.

    How Do You Cut Spaghetti Squash?

    Start by washing off the surface of your spaghetti squash. Run it under cold water and give it a gentle scrub with a vegetable brush. Lay it down on a large cutting board, and grab a sharp chef’s knife. Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise (through the stem end). You should have two long, thin ovals of squash (not fat round ends).

    Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and the pulp from the center of the squash. If you scrape too deep, you’ll start to remove some of the stringy flesh. Try to get just the seeds and pulp, but leave as much of the flesh behind.

    Now you’re ready to cook the squash!

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How Do You Cook Spaghetti Squash?

    Line a lipped baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the foil lightly with baking spray. Lay the squash cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake it at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until the squash easily squishes in your hand. Turn the squash over (cut side up) and let it rest until it is cool enough to handle.

    (Scroll down to the recipe card for printable instructions.)

    How Do You Make Noodles from Spaghetti Squash?

    Now the fun part! Grab a fork. Hold one half of the spaghetti squash firmly in your hand. Use the fork to scrape the inside of the squash out into a bowl. The “noodles” form by themselves as you scrape!

    If you want longer noodles, scrape the short way across the squash (like in the photo below).

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    If you want shorter noodles, scrape the long way down the squash (like in the photo below). The squash “fibers” run around the outside of the squash in a circle. If you scrape in the same direction, you’ll pull them out mostly whole. If you scrape across the circle, the squash pieces will break up and you’ll get smaller noodles.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    We like to eat it as a side dish sprinkled with a little salt and pepper. Or use it in place of (or in addition to) pasta in your favorite recipe. Spaghetti squash has a pretty mellow flavor, so top it with your favorite spices or sauce and enjoy!

    Stock up on extra spaghetti squash in the fall, when it’s in season. Spaghetti squash will keep for up to 3 months when stored in a cool, dry place. (We haven’t had much luck with it lasting that long.) If you’re not sure you’ll use it up before then, cook extra spaghetti squash, scrape it into noodles, and freeze the cooked squash in Ziploc freezer bags.

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    This oh-so-yummy squash is more than your just average side dish veggie! The cooked squash flesh shreds into threads like spaghetti— hence the name. The strands make the perfect alternative to pasta, potatoes, or rice and can be served with any sauce.

    Spaghetti squash is available year-round, but the peak season is in the fall. Like any winter squash, it can be hard and cutting it raw can take some muscle and a sharp knife.

    Prepare in the Oven:

    Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to com about 1/2-inch up the sides of the dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a knife. Turn the squash over and cover with foil again and cook for another 15 minutes, until it is very tender. Remove from the over, uncover and let it cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel.

    Prepare in the Slow Cooker:

    Pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a fork. Place the whole squash into a slow cooker with 2 cups of water. Secure the lid and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Once done, remove the squash from the slow cooker and let cool. When it is cool, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Using a fork, pull the strands away from the shell. (It should come out easily.)

    Besides it’s delicious versatility, spaghetti squash is packed with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant. It can prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body and help regulate blood-sugar levels. The potassium in the squash helps lower blood pressure and it has tons of fiber! They come in different shapes, so look for a squash that is firm and heavy for its size. Soft spots and green color are signs that the squash isn’t ripe.

    Slow cooker spaghetti squash shrimp scampi is an one-pot recipe that’s healthy and easy to make. You can also make this low-carb, paleo, whole30 shrimp scampi alternative in the Instant Pot.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Updated 2022 with Instant Pot instructions

    I know when most people think of the slow cooker or Instant Pot, shrimp scampi isn’t may not be the first thing that comes to mind. This healthy alternative also adds spaghetti squash to make it a more complete meal.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Ingredients For Spaghetti Squash & Shrimp

    Like a traditional shrimp scampi, the ingredients for this recipe are simple.

    • Spaghetti Squash: Find a spaghetti squash that will fit a 6-quart slow cooker or Instant Pot when cut cross-wise. For me that means a spaghetti squash that is approximately 2 pounds.
    • Shrimp: One pound of your preferred shrimp whether it’s peeled, shelled, tail-off, tail-on, etc. Just make sure they’re cleaned & deveined first.
    • Onion: 1 small onion. Use more or less if you like.
    • Lemon: 1 medium lemon, juiced.
    • Gheeor Butter: If you want this shrimp scampi to be paleo or whole30 compliant, you will need to use ghee. If you’re not worried about that, feel free to use butter.
    • Garlic: I love garlic so for me, 3 garlic cloves is playing it safe. Use it as a guide and use as little or as much garlic as you want to add.
    • Broth: Only 1 cup of broth is used. Keep in mind that 2 additional cups of liquid will be added later.
    • Coconut Milk/Whipping Cream: Whether you use coconut milk or whipping cream will depends on whether or not you want this recipe to be paleo/whole30 compliant.
    • Seasonings: The seasonings for this scampi recipe are simple: parsley, salt, and pepper.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    before (slow cooker)

    How To Make Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi In The Slow Cooker

    After you prepare the spaghetti squash by cutting it in half and scooping the seeds out, you add it to the slow cooker along with all the other ingredients EXCEPT the shrimp. Like a lot of slow cooker recipes, the shrimp is added later.

    1. Add broth, lemon juice, onion, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, and melted ghee to the slow cooker. Stir to mix well. Add the prepared spaghetti squash the slow cooker, hole side down.
    2. Cook HIGH 2-3 hours or LOW 4-6, or until the spaghetti squash is soft.
    3. Carefully remove the spaghetti squash from the slow cooker, it will be hot.
    4. Stir in the coconut milk or whipping cream. Add shrimp and cook an additional 10-20 minutes or until pink.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    FAQs & Tips

    What Is Spaghetti Squash?

    Spaghetti squash is a cucurbita pepo vegetable. In other words, it’s a squash. The seeds inside spaghetti squash are similar to pumpkin seeds. When cooked, the inside flesh is scraped into spaghetti-like strands. Hence why spaghetti squash exploded on the scene a few years ago as a popular, healthy, alternative to spaghetti. You can cook spaghetti squash several ways, including in the slow cooker; either by itself or as a part of a recipe like you see here.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    What Is Shrimp Scampi?

    Shrimp scampi is a popular Italian-American dish where you sauté shrimp in butter, garlic, onion, and other ingredients. I say other ingredients because shrimp scampi is another recipe where you have leeway to really make it your own. Obviously this isn’t a traditional shrimp scampi. For one, it’s made in the slow cooker or Instant Pot. This slow cooker shrimp scampi is also cooked along with spaghetti squash. Since shrimp scampi is commonly served over pasta, I’m using spaghetti squash as a low-carb, paleo, whole30 alternative.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Paleo/Whole30 vs Low-Carb/Keto

    The real question here is are you going to add full-fat coconut milk or whipping cream and ghee or butter? For the recipe to be paleo and whole30 compliant, you will need to use coconut milk & ghee. For low-carb/keto, you can use coconut milk & ghee as well but you also have the option to use whipping cream (or even heavy whipping cream) and butter. What you see here in the pictures is coconut milk and melted ghee.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Other Spaghetti Squash Recipes

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    You will need a large 6-quart slow cooker or Instant Pot for this recipe.

    Posted on Published: January 2, 2019 – Last updated: December 26, 2020

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    These are 3 best ways to cook spaghetti squash fast! These techniques will help you get spaghetti squash on the table in 30 minutes or less! The three methods are cooking spaghetti squash in the oven, cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave, and cooking spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker (instant pot).

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Spaghetti squash is one of those foods I love to hate! It is great to have around but can take forever to cook and really puts a damper on my 30 minute or less dinner ideas! But don’t fear, these are my tried and true methods to help you get spaghetti squash on the table in about 30 minutes from start to finish!

    I am even sharing my favorite tips on how to cut a spaghetti squash without feeling like you are going to cut off your fingers!

    Ways to cook spaghetti squash:

    A quick google search brought me instructions on lots of ways to make spaghetti squash:

    • Baked whole
    • Microwaved whole
    • Steamed in a pan of water
    • Sliced into rings (my favorite)
    • Halved lengthwise and baked
    • Halved crosswise and baked
    • Baked cut side up
    • Baked cut side down
    • Pressure cooker (Instant Pot)
    • Slow cooker
    • In the air fryer

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    I have to say I have tried most of these methods except steaming in a pan of water and baking or microwaving whole. There is something about a whole cooked spaghetti squash that intimidates me.

    But this post the focus is on how to get spaghetti squash on the table FAST! So methods like baking it cut in half or using the slow cooker were out.

    TIP: However if you have a slow cooker and remember to put the spaghetti squash in there in the morning, it can make for a quick and simple meal at night. You just need to cut the spaghetti squash in half and add about ½ cup of water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Tips on how to cut spaghetti squash easily:

    If you have never cut a spaghetti squash, the skin is almost impenetrable, even with a really good knife. So the key here is to soften up the skin with heat.

    Because I’m all about saving time, I like to use the microwave to help with this. If you don’t like using a microwave, check out the tip below!

    1. First, you want to use a fork or a sharp knife and score the spaghetti squash 3-4 times on the top to let steam release (like you would a potato).
    2. Next, place the spaghetti squash in the microwave for 3-5 minutes (depending on the size). 3 minutes for smaller spaghetti squash and 5 minutes for large ones.

    TIP: If you are not using a microwave, place the spaghetti squash in a preheating oven to soften the skin. Place it in the oven cold and by the time it’s preheated, the skin should have softened enough to allow for easy cutting.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    After microwaving or baking in the oven to soften the skin, the spaghetti squash may be hot so handle carefully. I always use my Ove-Glove for this!

    Using a large chef’s knife, carefully cut the spaghetti squash.

    How to cook spaghetti squash in the oven fast:

    Cooking spaghetti squash by first cutting it into rings and baking it in the oven is faster than the traditional method (which usually takes 45-60 minutes), but it also produces the best texture spaghetti squash. The squash strands aren’t wet or mushy since they didn’t have a chance to steam and collect moisture like they do with other methods of cooking!

    This method of cooking spaghetti squash rings in the oven creates the best texture and taste but it does take a little longer to cut the rings than the other two methods mentioned below.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    • Preheat the oven to 450F. Poke a few holes in the squash and microwave for 3-5 minutes
    • Cut the squash into rings!
      • To cut the spaghetti squash into rings:
        • Lay the squash down lengthwise. Start at one end and slowly cut the squash into rings. If you find the squash is moving around too much, stand the squash up and cut down one of the sides creating a flat spot to rest the squash onto the counter with.
        • When you get close to the end, you can leave a bigger ring if you find it to be too difficult to cut. The squash can get cooked with the end in-tact and you can remove the stem and skin after cooking.
    • Once the spaghetti squash is cut into rings, use a spoon to remove the seeds and discard the seeds.
    • Spray some non-stick spray on a rimmed baking sheet (use parchment or silicone liner if you want quick clean up). Add the spaghetti squash rings and spray the top with non-stick spray and sprinkle with salt.
      • To save more time: put the spaghetti squash rings in a large glass bowl and microwave for 5 minutes while the oven preheats to 450F.
    • Bake in a 450F oven for 30 minutes, flipping the squash rings over at the halfway point.
      • If you microwaved the squash to save time, the squash rings should be done in 20 minutes, no need to flip them over.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    • Once the squash is done baking, remove it from the oven and use a fork to pull apart the strands of squash.

    How to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave fast:

    I cooked spaghetti squash in the microwave until I got a pressure cooker. It’s quick and convenient and it’s really hard to mess up!

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    • Poke a few holes in the squash and microwave for 3-5 minutes (depending on the size).
    • Remove the squash from the microwave and cut it in half.
      • First cut off the top and the bottom of the squash, then stand it up (so the flat part you just cut is on the bottom) and use your knife and cut the squash in half. Don’t saw back and forth but instead put pressure on both the front and back of the knife and cut straight down
    • Once the spaghetti squash is cut in half, remove the seeds with a spoon.
    • Place in a large glass bowl and cook for 10-12 minutes on high (depending on the size)

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    • Carefully remove from the microwave and use a fork to pull apart the strands of the squash.

    How to cook spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker fast:

    The best part of cooking spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker is that you can walk away while the squash cooks and the whole process is done in about 20 minutes (since it takes some time to come up to pressure). This is my favorite method when I’m short on time!

    Let’s talk about spaghetti squash shall we?! It’s one of my favorite squash and this year I’ve been eating more of them than ever. I’ve also been experimenting with different ways to cook them. I’ve pretty much gotten the hang of three different ways so I thought I’d share them with you guys!

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Basically, for me, it boils down to which end result I’m looking for. Do I want it to cook quickly, have the best flavor or do I want it ready for later?

    Option #1: For Best Flavor –> Roast it in the oven

    This method takes a little bit of time, but I really like the flavor that develops in the oven.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Step 1: Cut the ends off the spaghetti squash. This can be difficult to do, so I stick the whole squash in the microwave for 3-4 minutes first. This should make it a little softer so you can cut the ends off.

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

    Step 3: You have a few options here. You can do what most people do and totally scoop out the seeds and pulp and throw it away. Or, if you’re like me and like the seeds, you can scrape the pulp and seeds to loosen them so they’ll be easy to remove, but leave them in the squash until after you’re done roasting.

    Step 4: Whether or not you choose to scoop out the seeds or leave them in, the next step is to put the two halves face down on a baking sheet.

    Step 5: Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes -1 hour depending on the size of your squash. If you want the squash strands totally mushy, cook it closer to an hour or an hour and 15 min. If you like them to still have a bit of crunch, like me, cook it closer to 45 min.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Once your squash is roasted, remove the two halves from the pan and let them cool slightly. Scoop out the seeds if you left them in and set them aside. Then, using a fork, pull the strands of squash away from the sides. Scoop the strands into a container or onto a plate to eat! Separate the seeds from the pulp and eat those too! If you don’t like the idea of leaving them in the squash while it cooks, you can scoop them out at the beginning and roast them like you do with pumpkin seeds!

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Option #2: If you’re feeling lazy and want it ready for dinner later –> Cook it in the crockpot

    This is about as easy as it gets, friends. Poke holes in the squash with a knife and put the whole squash in a crockpot with two cups of water. Cook on low 4-6 hours 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.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Once it’s done, slice the ends off, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and then pull the strands out with a fork! Add the seeds back in if you wish!

    Option #3: If you’re in a hurry –> Cook it in the microwave

    You can either cook it whole or cut in the microwave. If you want to cut it, cook whole for three minutes, slice the ends and scoop out the seeds as described above, then put it on a plate or in a glass dish with a little water and microwave 10-12 minutes.

    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 remove the seeds as described in the crockpot method.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    There you have it, friends! 3 ways to cook this delicious squash. Time to dig in!

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Nutrition Facts (per serving)
    61 Calories
    1g Fat
    13g Carbs
    2g Protein

    ×

    Nutrition Facts
    Servings: 4 to 6
    Amount per serving
    Calories 61
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 1g 1%
    Saturated Fat 0g 1%
    Cholesterol 0mg 0%
    Sodium 128mg 6%
    Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
    Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
    Total Sugars 6g
    Protein 2g
    Vitamin C 10mg 48%
    Calcium 48mg 4%
    Iron 1mg 5%
    Potassium 310mg 7%
    *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    Spaghetti squash is a healthy gluten-free and low-carb alternative to pasta and is super easy to cook in the slow cooker or a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. Preparation is easiest using the slow cooker method, but the Instant Pot has time on its side.

    Using the slow cooker method, all you have to do is poke a few holes in the whole spaghetti squash and put it in the slow cooker with a little water. Set it and forget it. If time isn’t a factor, this is an easy method. There’s no need to cut into the squash until it’s fully cooked and softened. Some spaghetti squashes have a much harder outer peel than others, and they can split and crack as you cut them in half. This method eliminates that mess and hassle.

    Using the Instant Pot, you cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds (or not), and cook the squash for 6 to 8 minutes. If you want your squash in a hurry, this is the way to go. It’s even faster than the microwave method. Make sure to use a spaghetti squash that fits in your slow cooker or pressure cooker.

    Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce and Spaghetti Squash–this spaghetti sauce is so delicious you’ll be licking your plate. The funny part is that it only takes a handful of easy ingredients. Bonus–if you want to cook a spaghetti squash at the same time as the sauce you can!

    Get the Instant Pot version of the recipe here

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce and Spaghetti Squash

    I can’t get over how delicious this spaghetti sauce is! We’ve had it two times in the past week. The first time I served it over spaghetti squash and the second time over regular spaghetti noodles. A friend gave me this recipe and said it was like “pure comfort food.” I was skeptical that it would be that wonderful since it had just 4 basic ingredients. But she was right, it was super tasty.

    Try out this marinara sauce the next time you make spaghetti instead of the jarred stuff from the store. I bet you’ll really love it!

    More recipes you’ll love…

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    What Slow Cooker Did You Use?

    To make Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce and Spaghetti Squash I used my 6 quart oval Kitchenaid slow cooker.* I love this slow cooker. It cooks low and evenly. I love the medium heat choice because most slow cookers that I’ve seen only have the option of cooking on low or high. If you’re going to buy just one slow cooker, this is the one that I recommend.

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    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce and Spaghetti Squash

    • Author: Karen Petersen
    • Prep Time: 10 minutes
    • Cook Time: 4 hours
    • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
    • Yield: 4 – 6 servings 1 x

    Description

    This spaghetti sauce is so delicious you’ll be licking your plate. The funny part is that it only takes a handful of easy ingredients. Bonus–if you want to cook a spaghetti squash at the same time as the sauce you can!

    Ingredients

    • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
    • 4 Tbsp butter
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • Optional: 1 spaghetti squash

    Instructions

    1. Add tomatoes, butter, onion powder, garlic powder and salt to the slow cooker.
    2. If using a spaghetti squash, cut the spaghetti squash in half crosswise. Scoop out the seeds and gunk with a spoon. Place the spaghetti squash halves in the slow cooker on its side.
    3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for about 4 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours (depending on your slow cooker and how hot it cooks).
    4. When the squash reaches your preferred texture remove it with tongs from the slow cooker. Use a fork to shred the flesh into long spaghetti-like strands.
    5. Use an immersion blender to blend the spaghetti sauce to desired consistency.
    6. Serve sauce over squash or spaghetti and top with parmesan cheese.

    Notes

    • Category: Meatless
    • Method: Slow Cooker
    • Cuisine: Italian

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe (just sauce)
    • Calories: 109
    • Sugar: 0 g
    • Sodium: 335 mg
    • Fat: 8 g
    • Carbohydrates: 10 g
    • Protein: 2 g

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    It’s cool, Google — we’ve got this one.

    If you’re maintaining a low-carb diet, there is no food more magical than spaghetti squash. It’s super easy to make and there are so many ways to cook with it.

    1. To start, cut your squash in half lengthwise.

    This is definitely the hardest part of making spaghetti squash, but with a sharp chef’s knife and some determination, you’ll do just fine. If you need a little visual help, before cutting with a chef’s knife, use a sharp paring knife to score an outline around the squash where it will be cut in half.

    2. Remove the seeds.

    (But wait—don’t toss them! Spread ’em on a baking sheet with chili powder and salt and roast for a crunchy snack!) Drizzle the cut sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Flip the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet.

    3. Pop it in a 400°F oven for 40 minutes.

    Depending on the size of your squash, this could take closer to an hour. If 40 minutes have passed, and you’re not sure if the squash is ready, pull it out of the oven and drag the tines of a fork on the cut side. If the spaghetti-like strands easily release from the skin, it’s ready. If not, continue baking and check on it every 5 to 10 minutes.

    Over-roasting can lead to soggier “spaghetti”, so it’s best to keep a close eye on the squash.

    4. Shred it!

    When it’s ready, let cool slightly before creating “spaghetti” with your fork. Though it’s great by itself or topped with a little parm , we’ve got some recipes that will put regular old pasta to shame. Our Burrito Spaghetti Squash Boats are a good place to start.

    How can I keep it from getting mushy?

    After you cut the squash open, sprinkle both halves with a pinch of salt and let them sit for about 10 minutes to draw some of the excess moisture out. Pour off any excess liquid and pat the inside of the squash dry with a paper towel.

    Is it good for you?

    SO good. It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and chock full of vitamins and minerals including manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin B-6. Craving cacio e pepe and some veggies? Try subbing in spaghetti squash instead!

    How long does it keep?

    Uncut and uncooked, spaghetti squash can keep for up to 2 weeks! Once the spaghetti squash has been cooked, you can store it in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. Happy cooking!

    What should I serve it with?

    Spaghetti squash is the perfect side when tossed with butter and seasoned well with salt and pepper, and you can pair it with just about anything. If you’d like to take it the pasta route, heat up some marinara or Alfredo sauce and spoon it right on top! And if you’re looking for a well-rounded dinner, all in a convenient spaghetti squash bowl, give Chicken Primavera Spaghetti Squash Boats a try!

    Made it? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!

    Editor’s Note: This page was updated on June 2, 2022 to include more information about the recipe.

    You’re likely familiar with spaghetti squash in its roasted or baked form. You may even have cooked the squash in your microwave, but if you are the owner of a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot, you may want to know how to make Instant Pot spaghetti squash. After all, roasting the squash can take nearly an hour at which point you may still need to add it to a recipe, like this casserole or these mini pizzas, to cook even more. Well, there’s good news: You can cook spaghetti squash in your pressure cooker. In general, your pressure cooker gets things done much faster. Our Test Kitchen tried a couple different methods to find the one that works best so you can speed up the cooking time and not have to worry about your oven being on for an hour or more.

    How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in an Instant Pot

    Use our tested step-by-step directions to make spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker.

    • Start by washing your spaghetti squash. Note: We tested 3- and 3½-pound squashes, which both worked.
    • Cut squash in half crosswise (this gives longer strands of squash and fits in your cooker better than cutting lengthwise) and scoop out the seeds.
    • Place squash halves, cut side up, in a 6-quart Instant Pot ($155, Target) or other pressure cooker. Add 1 cup water. Lock lid in place.
    • Set electric pressure cooker on high pressure to cook 7 minutes. For stove-top cooker, bring to pressure over medium-high heat according to manufacturer’s directions; reduce heat enough to maintain steady (but not excessive) pressure. Cook 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
    • For both models, let stand 5 minutes to release pressure naturally. Release any remaining pressure. Open lid carefully.
    • Using tongs, remove the squash halves. Cool slightly, then shred the squash with a fork. Serve as desired.

    Can You Pressure Cook Spaghetti Squash Whole?

    In hopes of saving on prep effort, our Test Kitchen tried cooking a whole spaghetti squash in the instant pot by piercing the squash exterior for ventilation and doubling the cook and pressure release times. When the squash was cool enough to handle, we found inconsistent cooking throughout. The edges were cooked but the center was not. And when we tried to start shredding the strands, it was too difficult to remove the seeds. In a nutshell, we do not recommend cooking a whole spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker.

    Now that you can keep your oven free while cooking spaghetti squash, go ahead and bake a dessert or roast some veggies to serve alongside your squash recipe.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

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    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Ever wondered How to Bake Spaghetti Squash, the easy way? This foolproof method results in the best caramelized flavor and texture after being roasted in the oven. Once you know how to cook this winter squash you can use it as a pasta alternative in a variety of low-carb and keto recipes!

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    When I first learned how to bake spaghetti squash someone seriously led me astray.

    They suggested I place the squash halves in a baking dish filled with water and then roast it in the oven.

    That technique resulted in a soggy and watery mess of spaghetti squash!

    Since then a SO much better, and much easier method has become the ONLY way we cook spaghetti squash in our house.

    Roasted in the oven with a bit of oil, salt and pepper. (And absolutely ZERO water!)

    It comes out absolutely perfect every single time.

    While cooking spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot is a little bit quicker, the oven will give you amazing flavor and texture. It will even make it a little bit sweet from the natural caramelization of the squash.

    Trust me, once you’ve learned the best way to bake this delectable Fall gourd, you’re not going to want to go back to your old ways!

    How to Bake Spaghetti Squash

    These are the steps to follow for making roasted spaghetti squash:

    Step 1: Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    It helps if you warm it up in the microwave for a few minutes first to soften the tough skin. Also, the smaller the squash, the easier it is to cut.

    Step 2: Scoop out and remove the seeds.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Use a large spoon with a sharp edge to scrape the center of the squash out.

    Step 3: Drizzle on oil and season.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Sprinkle on some salt and pepper with oil and rub it all in really good.

    Step 4. Place spaghetti squash halves cut side-down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    This enables the edges to caramelize. Aluminum foil is not recommended since it will stick to the squash more than parchment paper will. Also, a small amount of the heavy metals in the foil will inevitably leach into the squash while it’s roasting.

    Step 5: Bake spaghetti squash in the oven at 425°F for 40-50 minutes.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    The timing depends on the size – it may take a little longer or be ready a bit faster. You’ll know the spaghetti squash is done cooking when it shreds easily with a fork.

    Step 6: Shred into noodles.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    To turn the spaghetti squash into “pasta” place a large fork into the flesh at the stem end and pull towards the opposite end until long strands form. Repeat this process until the entire squash has been turned into “noodles”.

    Tips for Cutting into Spaghetti Squash

    Much like its oranger cousin, the butternut squash, spaghetti squash have a somewhat tough and hard skin that can be challenging to cut through.

    Here are a few tips to easily cut this stubborn vegetable:

    • Smaller squash can be easier to cut through than larger ones.
    • Use a freshly sharpened knife and a cutting board that does not slide around.
    • Poke a few holes into the squash and microwave it for a few minutes to soften the skin. (I like to use this trick when Cutting Butternut Squash, too!)

    Storing

    • To Prep-Ahead: Make roasted spaghetti squash in advance to have on hand for easy recipes.
    • To Store: This will last for up to 4-5 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
    • To Freeze: Place the “noodles” in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pre-freeze for 2-3 hours, or until squash is firm. Transfer frozen squash to a freezer-safe bag, remove as much air as possible, and freeze for up to 5-6 months.
    • To Reheat: The easiest way to warm leftover spaghetti squash is in the microwave. You can also place in a 350° oven for 10 minutes, or heat in a skillet over medium heat.

    Avoid baking it in water. Instead, halve the squash and roast it cut-side down on parchment paper in the oven.

    After microwaving to soften it up, use a sharp knife to slice it in half.

    First, poke holes around the surface of the squash. Then, microwave for a few minutes.

    Because it is a natural source, it is considered a good carb. One cup of spaghetti squash has 10 grams of carbohydrates. It is an excellent low-carb alternative to pasta.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Expert Tips and Tricks

    • Microwave for a few. This makes it easier to slice through.
    • Flat side down. Place the cut side against the baking sheet for the best results.
    • Cook until caramelized. You want the edges to brown up slightly so it will taste sweeter.
    • Shred down the long-axis. The strands run around the circumference of the squash.
    • Use parchment paper. It’s the best non-stick surface.
    • Freeze it. Make extra to save for later, just make sure to pre-freeze in a single layer first.

    Spaghetti Squash Recipes

    Now that you know how easy it is to make this healthy vegetable, it’s time to get creative! Here are a few recipes to try out:

    Published on April 11, 2022

    Learn how to make Crockpot Spaghetti Squash for an easy and healthy side dish. This cooking method is simple and keeps your oven available for other dishes. You can enjoy tender spaghetti squash without any work.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Crockpot Spaghetti Squash

    I am a huge fan of spaghetti squash. It is healthy, low carb, low calorie and tastes great.

    The only reason I don’t cook this more is because I’m not a huge fan of cutting and baking this. I recently started using the slow cooker and it’s been a game changer.

    You don’t have to cut it prior to cooking. It can be difficult to cut the squash before it’s cooked so this is great.

    The squash still turns out delicious and tender but I can go about my day. It is so handy to come home to perfectly cooked spaghetti squash.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Easy Crock pot Spaghetti Squash recipe

    If you would rather set it and forget it, this cooking method is for you as well.

    Let’s get started with this simple recipe. Once you try it, you will be hooked.

    Ingredients

    • Spaghetti Squash

    How to cook spaghetti squash in a crockpot:

    • Wash the spaghetti squash. Go ahead and wash the squash.
    • Poke holes in the squash. Next, poke several holes on the outside of the squash. You can use either a fork or a knife.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    • Place in slow cooker. Finally, put the whole squash in the crock pot.
    • Cover and cook. Cook the squash on low for 5 to 6 ½ hours or cook on high for 3-4 hours. The squash should be tender but not mushy.
    • Remove from crock pot. Once the squash has finished cooking, move it to a cutting board. Allow to cool until you can easily handle it.
    • Cut in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Then scoop out the seeds from each cut side and discard. It should be super easy and tender.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    • Shred the squash. You can use a fork to “shred” the inside of the squash. This will make the slow cooker spaghetti squash look like spaghetti.

    Salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    What to serve with Spaghetti Squash?

    • Spaghetti Sauce – We love this easy Crockpot Spaghetti Sauce.
    • Marinara sauce – It is so easy to make homemade marinara sauce.
    • Alfredo Sauce – You can make Alfredo with just 5 ingredients.
    • Cinnamon and Butter – This is similar to a sweet potato and makes a yummy side with a hint of sweetness prepared this way.
    • Parmesan Cheese and Olive Oil – This is so simple but one of my favorite ways to enjoy spaghetti squash.

    You can really use spaghetti squash however you like to enjoy traditional pasta. It can be used in casseroles, pasta dishes or eaten alone.

    The texture is different but we really enjoy it. It is a healthy alternative to pasta the entire family can enjoy.

    How to know when spaghetti squash is done?

    You should be able to press it with your thumb and leave an indentation. This is just a slight indent as you do not want it mushy.

    Keep in mind that the cook time will vary based on the size of your squash. If you are using a smaller size, it will need less time to cook.

    Can you overcook spaghetti squash?

    Yes, you can. Overcooking will result in watery and mushy spaghetti squash.

    It is important to follow the directions and adjust the time accordingly for smaller sized squash.

    Why did my spaghetti squash turn out mushy?

    Mushy squash is a result of cooking for too long. This traps the steam in the crock pot and makes it mushier the longer it cooks.

    How to Store Spaghetti Squash?

    Refrigerate the leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

    How to Reheat Spaghetti Squash?

    Microwave leftover spaghetti squash in intervals starting at 60 seconds until heated through. I like to drizzle with olive oil when reheating but this is optional.

    If you would rather use the oven, place in a 350 degree oven. It will only take a few minutes.

    Either option is fine. However, I usually microwave our leftovers.

    Instant Pot option:

    • Cut the squash in half lengthwise.
    • Scoop out the seeds.
    • Add 1 cup of water.
    • Place the spaghetti squash in the instant pot.
    • Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
    • Do a quick release and remove the squash.
    • Shred and enjoy.

    For complete pressure cooking instructions, check out this Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash Recipe.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Crockpot Spaghetti Squash is easy.

    I think you will enjoy this simple but delicious dish. It is healthy and tasty without much work.

    Spaghetti squash goes with lots of different things for a versatile side dish. If you are trying to eat healthier without sacrificing taste, try this yummy recipe.

    It is amazing with different types of sauce. However, it is really good alone topped with your favorite seasonings.

    This vegetable is simple to cook in the slow cooker and makes quite a bit of noodles. Let us know what you think after you try it. Leave a comment below.

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    How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    • You can cook a spaghetti squash whole or in half. To cook it in half, the down side is, you have to cut through the tough rind with a good knife and cut it open length wise and scoop out the seeds (just like a pumpkin!) The only time I ever do this is if I feel like slow baking it seasoned with some olive oil and parmesan cheese. But usually I’m in too much of a hurry, so I usually cook it whole.

    • The advantage to cooking it whole is that it is way easier to cut in half and scoop out the seeds. You can use every method for whole or half, except the slow cooker. It is better to only use a whole squash for this method.

    • The disadvange to cooking it whole is that it does take just a few more minutes this way (but not much!) and you risk burns (if you are like me!) from not waiting for it to cool down just a bit before cutting and scooping seeds.

    Boil: 20-30 minutes till fork can pierce the skin.

    Bake: 375 degrees on a baking sheet. Whole: 1 hour. Half: 30-40 minutes.

    Slow Cooker: add a cup of water to crock and cook on low 8-10 hours. Cut it in half at the equater (not length wise as it’ll probably fall apart on you anyway. Lift out the pieces with tongs. to scoop seeds and shred squash. (I don’t usually use this method. I’ve found I’d rather slow cook the Spaghetti sauce all day and quick cook the sqaush in the microwave, but it’s my personal preference.)

    1) Using a skewer or knife puncture several holes in the whole squash (We don’t want a squash expoding!).
    Microwave on high10-12 minutes for a whole one. 6-8 minutes for a half.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    2) It should be easily pierced with a fork when done:

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    3) Here’s what the inside looks like. There’s actually not that much pulp/seeds to scoop. The sides show the strands of squash that are ready to be separated like spaghetti strands.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    4) Scoop the seeds and pulp.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    5) Using a fork, pull the strands away from the outer rind.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    6) I always use the rind as a bowl and serve my family small spaghetti squash for each person. I always add a dot of butter/margarine and sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on the hot squash. It’s ready to eat as is.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Or top with your favorite sauce!

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Spaghetti squash is exactly what you might guess; a variety of squash with flesh that pulls into spaghetti-like strands when cooked. This carb-free alternative to pasta has been popular amongst people on low-carb and gluten-free diets, and as the vegetable is packed with vitamins and minerals it’s a generally healthier option if that’s what you’re after. The seeds, like pumpkin seeds, are excellent for roasting up into a crunchy, healthy treat.

    Spaghetti squash can be either yellow or orange, but always be sure to select a firm, unblemished one. Smaller squash make great individual portions, whilst the bigger ones are nice for a showstopping sharing dish.

    How to cook spaghetti squash

    Whilst you can boil, microwave or steam spaghetti squash, roasting gets the most flavour into it as it starts to caramelise – and as it is relatively mild in flavour, this is no bad thing!

    Ingredients

    • 2 spaghetti squash
    • olive oil
    • salt

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    What spaghetti squash goes with

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Spaghetti squash has a mild taste, making it an excellent vehicle for strong flavours. This baked spaghetti squash recipe is packed with a punchy stuffing of olives, capers, lemon zest and Parmesan. You could also go down the spiced route by adding it to curries or hot Thai soups in place of (or as well as) noodles.

    The fun and unusual texture of spaghetti squash makes it a very versatile ingredient. As the name suggests, you can use it as a pasta replacement and serve with a pesto or tomato sauce. The same goes for noodle dishes; try it tossed into a stir-fry with lots of chilli and ginger (just make sure the squash has been drained of as much liquid as possible first). It also makes a great base for a bhaji, fritter or hash. This chorizo hash recipe uses spaghetti squash instead of potatoes for a twist on the classic brunch dish.

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    Time-tested tips and tricks to prepare and cook spaghetti squash, a humble vegetable that is surprisingly delicious!

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Table of Contents

    Why you’ll love spaghetti squash?

    Spaghetti squash is simply magical! Who would have thought that cooking this hard squash could produce spaghetti-like strands that’s so delicious and satisfying?!

    Seriously, baked spaghetti squash is one of my favorites and it makes an easy and delicious side dish any time!

    The best way to cook this squash:

    A quick Google search will reveal that baking or microwaving spaghetti squash are the most popular methods of cooking this squash.

    Over the years, I’ve tried many cooking methods to cook spaghetti squash (slow cooker, oven, microwave, Instant Pot, you name it!)

    And every time, I come back to the basic oven roasted spaghetti squash. It’s simple. It’s easy. And it’s basically foolproof!

    My second favorite method is Instant Pot, because it’s so fast, less 30 minutes!

    How to cut spaghetti squash:

    This might be the hardest step in preparing spaghetti squash. But here’re my tips on safely cutting this hearty squash:

    1. Place your squash on a stable cutting board – if needed, place a damp towel under the cutting board to prevent sliding.
    2. Hold one end of the squash with your non-dominant hand, and using a sharp chef’s knife, pierce the squash in the middle and cut through the squash length-wise, as pictured below.
    3. Then turn the squash vertically and cut through the other end of the squash.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    A sharp knife is essential for safe and easy cutting!

    How to oven roast:

    1. Place the spaghetti squash halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet, lined with a parchment paper.
    2. Then drizzle olive oil all over and generously salt and pepper.
    3. Bake it at 400°F for 40-45 minutes.
    4. Then cool the squash until safe to handle and scrape the flesh with a fork to reveal the strands.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    How to cook spaghetti squash in Instant Pot:

    1. Place a rack in inner pot of Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water.
    2. Put squash halves and close the pot.
    3. Set the Instant Pot for 8 minutes on High pressure.
    4. Once the timer is up, release the pressure right away. And carefully open the lid. Remove the squash using a pair of kitchen tongs.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    FAQ and storing tips:

    Absolutely, this underrated winter squash is low in calories, but rich in fiber and packed with nutrients, such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, etc. It’s a great low-card substitute for pasta!

    It’s not necessary to peel spaghetti squash, but the skin is not edible. Once cooked, it’s easy to scoop out the flesh.

    Uncooked whole spaghettis squash keeps well in a cool (around 60°F/15°C) and dry place for up to 3 months.
    Refrigerate cooked spaghetti squash in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to a month.

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Ways to serve spaghetti squash:

    Here’re delicious ways to serve this winter squash:

    • Simply serve roasted spaghetti squash as a side dish, topped with butter, parmesan cheese, fresh herbs and/or garlic chips.
    • Serve with your favorite pasta sauce for a low-carb dinner.
    • Make a spaghetti squash casserole or boats with brown ground beef and cheese, etc.

    Spaghetti squash doesn’t have to take a long time to make. In fact, it can go from being on your counter to your plate in less than 20 minutes!

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Long strands of ‘noodles’ from our spaghetti squash.

    Spaghetti squash is gaining in popularity with so many people wanting to eat more veggies and limit the amount of carbohydrates that they eat. However, some people steer away from making it because it takes too long.

    With the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, you can have spaghetti squash on your table in no time! And that means you can have Low Carb Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Breadsticks for dinner!

    Not wanting to eat it right away? No problem! Make it a day or two in advance and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready.

    The Secret To Getting Those Long Spaghetti Squash Noodles

    How to slow cook spaghetti squash

    Cut the the squash crosswise to get long noodles.

    If you search how to make spaghetti squash most recipes will tell you to cut the squash lengthwise (from top to bottom). Although this technique will result in soft and tender noodles, the strands will be short and not resemble spaghetti at all!

    The key to getting long noodles is to cut the squash through the center. When the top and bottom halves are cooked, you can easily pull out the long noodles with a fork.

    You can use the squash noodles as a direct replacement for traditional spaghetti noodles. The thickness resembles angel hair or thin spaghetti. See our recipe: Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

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