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Information on How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Information on How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
How food trends come about can sometimes be quite a mystery. Some wonder, who was the first person to crack open an egg and cook it? Or what motivated anyone to smash a coconut to get to the milk and meat? Whoever thought to take a whole squash, cut it in half, season with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, roast it in the oven, then shred the insides with a fork to create a healthy, vegetable, pasta-like dish? And is it really that easy to prepare spaghetti squash? How do you cook a spaghetti squash? 

Spaghetti squash is not only a wonderful comfort food, but it also makes us feel good about swapping out processed food like packaged spaghetti for a tasty and nutritious vegetable. What a great time to learn how to prepare spaghetti squash, as many of us are trying to stick to our New Year’s resolutions about eating better and healthier. The best news of all? It really is easy to learn how to cut and cook spaghetti squash and it’s delicious 

How Do You Prepare Spaghetti Squash?

The basic recipe begins with placing the squash on a large cutting boardcutting the squash in half lengthwise, and then scooping out the seeds. Preheat the oven to 400 F. 

How Do I Cook a Spaghetti Squash? 

  1. Once the seeds are removed, lightly drizzle olive oil on the flesh of each half of the squash, then season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. 
  2. Turn the seasoned halves over, flesh side down, onto a lined roasting pan or baking sheet. 
  3. Pierce a few holes in the rind with a fork. 
  4. Place in the oven for 30 minutes or so, depending on the size of the squash. 

How Long Does It Take to Cook Spaghetti Squash?

Just like pasta, you can overcook spaghetti squash, resulting in almost pureed or toosoft mush. Since the size of the vegetable can vary (also like pasta) cooking time will vary. So there is no one clear answer for how long it takes to cook spaghetti squash.  

Check after the first half hour by turning the squash over and scraping the inside with a fork. The vegetable should yield, and as you pull the fork back across the cooked inside, it will create fine strands resembling the look of spaghetti with a slightly firm texture. 

Now What Do I Do with My Cooked Spaghetti Squash? 

Great job! Now that youve learned the basic method for cooking a spaghetti squash, here are some next steps and recipe ideas. Although you could also simply scrape out the cooked spaghetti squash and serve it as a main dish or a versatile side that compliments any protein.  

Here are three entrée ideas that answer the question, How do you cook a spaghetti squash?

How Long Does Cooked Spaghetti Squash Last in the Refrigerator? 

Typically, these spaghetti squash dishes are so wellloved, that storing leftovers is not really an issue. In the rare case you have enough left for lunch tomorrow, simply place the remainder in a container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.  Uncut and uncooked spaghetti squashes can last up to two weeks on the counter. 

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

What you need: 

  • cup of your favorite marinara sauce 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese 
  • Cooked spaghetti squash 

 Directions:

  1. Once all the spaghetti squash has been removed from its rind, place the strands in a baking or casserole dish. 
  2. Mix them with marinara sauce and mozzarella. 
  3. Top the mixture by sprinkling Parmesan cheese across the surface. 
  4. Bake in a 400 F oven until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. 

Remember, cooking is all about learning a method and adding your own personal twist. These recipes are just starting points for you to create and cook the spaghetti squash dishes you and your family will love. Feel free to experiment with different recipes using the unusual and unusually delicious “spaghetti” squash. 

Sausage Spaghetti Squash Boats

What you need: 

  • 2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce  
  • 1 pound of cooked and drained crumbled Italian sausage or links sliced into disks 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese 
  • Cooked spaghetti squash (reserve the rinds) 

Directions:

  1. Remove spaghetti squash from the rinds and place it in a mixing bowl.  
  2. Mix with marinara sauce, sausage and mozzarella. 
  3. Place ingredients back into the spaghetti squash shells. 
  4. Put the shells back on the same sheet or roasting pan you used to cook the spaghetti squash. 
  5. Top the mixture by sprinkling Parmesan cheese across the surface. 
  6. Bake in a 400 F oven until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. 

Shortcut Shrimp Scampi with Spaghetti Squash

What you need: 

  • 1-pound pre-cooked large shrimp, deveined, with tails removed 
  • stick of unsalted butter 
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice  
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • 1/3 cup of either white wine, clam juice, or chicken broth 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 
  • Pinch of red pepper flake (if a bit of heat is desired) 
  • Cooked spaghetti squash 
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley, for garnish 
  • Grated parmesan cheese to serve, if desired 

 Directions:

  1. To create the scampi sauce: melt butter in a saucepan with lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, liquid of choice, salt, pepper and optional red pepper flakes. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine shrimp, scampi sauce, and squash. 
  3. Cook either in the squash rinds to make boats or in a baking dish or casserole pan. 
  4. Roast in a 400 F oven until hot. 
  5. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with Parmesan. 

About The Author

Sharon MacGregor

Writing from her desk in New York, Sharon MacGregor is a contributing reporter, freelance writer, and blogger with a passion for human interest stories as well as meals shared with friends and family. Her blog, Fed Well includes recipes with upcoming tips to prepare foods for infants and toddlers, simple and seasonal cocktails, and easy modifications to create dishes respecting dietary restrictions including dairy and gluten intolerances. She loves entertaining for the ones she loves including her new grandbabies!

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