Look below for more information about spaghetti squash including: health benefits, general cooking tips, and recipes using spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti squash has been a popular offering at the Food Bank’s Produce to People distributions across Southwestern Pennsylvania. Spaghetti squash is categorized as a winter squash, like acorn squash or butternut squash. However, spaghetti squash is slightly different from the standard, better-known winter squashes. It is best known for its unique flesh that separates into pasta-like strands after it is cooked, giving this squash its namesake: Spaghetti.

Health Benefits

  • Try replacing boxed pasta for spaghetti squash for a lower calorie, low-carbohydrate alternative for pasta night. Spaghetti squash is more nutrient-dense than most store-bought pastas— which means that by swapping spaghetti squash for spaghetti you’ll get more nutrition in fewer calories.
  • Spaghetti squash is a good source of Vitamin C. One cup of cooked spaghetti squash provides 10% of the recommended daily dietary intake for Vitamin C. Top spaghetti squash with ½ cup pasta sauce and together this fast and easy meal provides you with about one-third of the RDA for Vitamin C!

Storage

  • Store spaghetti squash at room temperature for up to 2 months.
  • If cooked, store cooked squash in a closed container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

COOKING TIPS

Spaghetti squash is an incredibly versatile squash. It can be boiled, steamed, roasted, or even microwaved. Add cooked squash to a vegetable curry or serve with pasta sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese! The fastest way to cook spaghetti squash is in the microwave.

Microwaving Spaghetti Squash

Stab spaghetti squash several times with a knife before microwaving, in order to allow any steam to escape.

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Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Rotate the squash and cook for 3 more minutes. Repeat until squash is soft and the skin begins to wrinkle.

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Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds with a spoon and discard. Scoop out the squash strings from the skin. Try using a fork to separate the pale yellow, pasta-like strands.

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Roasting Spaghetti Squash

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Cut the squash in half length-wise and scrape out the seeds. Place the squash halves cut-side up on a backing sheet and roast until the flesh is fork-tender, about 40-60 minutes. Scrape out the flesh using a spoon or a fork to separate the squash into its characteristic spaghetti strands.

Spaghetti Squash Curry

The warming spices and subtle heat of this curry recipe are perfect for cold, winter months. Spaghetti squash makes a traditional curry recipe a little more unique!

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  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  •  1 Tbl oil
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, minced (optional)
  • ½ Tbl tomato paste
  • 1 Tbl curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 (15 oz) can coconut milk
  • 2 cups low-sodium broth (vegetable, chicken, or beef)
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • juice of ½ lime (optional)
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  1. Place squash that has been pierced with a knife on a microwave-safe dish.
  2.  Cook on high for 5 minutes. Flip squash and cook 5 more minutes or until soft.
  3.  Scoop out seeds and discard. Then, scoop out squash from skins. Put spaghetti squash “noodles”
    into a bowl and set aside.
  4.  Heat oil in a medium-sized pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add jalapeno, tomato paste, curry powder, and ginger, and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the canned tomatoes, lime juice and salt. Simmer for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  7. Pour the coconut curry broth over the spaghetti squash.
  8.  Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and fresh cilantro, if desired.

     Makes 6 servings

 

KNIFE SAFETY

Spaghetti squash can weigh as little as 2-3 pounds or as much as 8-10 pounds. The squash’s rounded shape can make it difficult to cut in half. The first tip of knife safety: USE A SHARP KNIFE. You are far more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp knife. Cut on a surface where you feel like you have a bit of leverage; if you’re short, that may mean using the kitchen table and a cutting board as the cutting surface, instead of the kitchen counter.

If you want to roast your spaghetti squash, here’s an easy tip to make cutting the squash in half a little bit easier:

  1. Stab the skin with a knife a few times and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. This short time in the microwave will soften the skin enough and make cutting much easier.
  2. With the squash cut in half, scoop out the seeds and arrange both halves in a baking dish. Then your squash is ready for the oven!