How to Cook Spaghetti Squash:  A Step by Step Guide

Spaghetti Squash
By: Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Fall is here in full force which means beautiful foliage and deliciously, vibrant seasonal veggies. There are many different types of winter squash in season, each boasting loads of health-promoting and immune-supportive nutrients, like potassium, antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamin A and fiber. Swapping out carb and calorie-laden grains for veggies is a simple solution to watch your carb and sugar intake. We’ve seen it in our  Cauliflower “Rice” recipes and  Zucchini “Zoodles” in place of pasta, and now we have a fall favorite: spaghetti squash “noodles.”

Making spaghetti squash is easier than you think, and probably faster than you’d imagine.  Even simpler to pull off than the Cauli “rice” or summer’s zucchini “zoodles.” There’s no need for fancy tools needed and less clean-up too.  All you need is an oven, a baking dish and a sharp knife.  In season, spaghetti squash is easy to find and generally inexpensive at your local farmer’s market.

Here’s a step by step guide to lead you through.  After you’ve done it once, spaghetti squash is sure to be a new staple.

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).

Step 2:  Wash your spaghetti squash well.

Step 1 - Wash the squash

Step 3:  Cut your spaghetti squash in half, length-wise with a sharp knife. Hint: If you have trouble cutting it, try microwaving the squash for 2 minutes or more for a softer surface.

Step 2 - Cut Squash in Half

Step 4:  Scoop out seeds and strings.  Discard strings, rinse seeds, let dry then roast for a delicious, high-fiber and high-protein snack.

Step 3 - Scoop Out Flesh

Step 5:  Place a thin layer of water in a baking dish.

Step 6:  Place squash halves, flesh-side down and skin-side up in the baking dish.

Step 4 - Squash in Water

Step 7:  Bake for about 30-45 minutes, until skin is soft and able to easily peel away from flesh.

Step 8:  Remove from baking dish and let cool a few minutes.

Step 9:  Scrape out the squash flesh using a fork.  The strands will separate as you remove the soft squash flesh from the skin.  Scrape with fork, going with the grain or in the same direction as the strands to get longer “noodle” shapes, into a large bowl.

Step 5 - Scoop Out Flesh After Cooking

Step 10:  Serve in place of spaghetti pasta with olive oil and salt or with tomato sauce or vegan “Alfredo” sauce.


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Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Stacy is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and an Integrative Nutritionist. She consults for various companies, focusing on health, wellness and innovative strategies to help increase individual’s fruit and vegetable intake. Stacy is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist; she holds a BS degree in Dietetics from Indiana University, completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Senior Clinical Nutritionist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School teaching affiliates, in Boston, MA, with more than 20 years of experience. Stacy created and now serves as project manager and lead writer for nutrition services content on the Dana Farber website and the affiliated, nationally recognized nutrition app. Stacy is regularly featured on TV, radio, print and social media on behalf of Dana Farber and other organizations. Together with her husband, Dr. Russell Kennedy PsyD, they have a private practice, Wellness Guides, LLC. Stacy is an adjunct professor in Wellness and Health Coaching at William James College, currently teaching a graduate course in Health Coaching. Stacy is featured in the award winning documentary films, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2,” and serves on the Reboot with Joe Medical Advisory Board. Stacy lives in Wellesley with her husband, two sons and three dogs. She enjoys cooking, yoga, hiking and spending time with friends and family. Stacy is also one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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