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Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter

Say hello to the spaghetti squash.

I gotta say, big squash is intimidating. It’s heavy, hard to peel, hard to cut (hack saw anyone?) and hurts when you drop the bastard on your foot *!@#!*%Y&!!!

But how can you resist that sunshiney-happy-yellow? It will be one of the easiest vegetable dishes you can make. I cook the long strands like I do spaghetti (well, why not!?) and toss it with garlicky butter and shower with parmesan cheese.

In reality, as intimidating as a squash looks, it’s strangely simple to cook. Just plop it on a baking sheet and pierce a few times all around with a sharp paring knife or bamboo skewer. No cutting, no peeling, no marinating, no massaging. Just plop. And carry it to your oven. WITHOUT tilting the pan and dropping it on your foot. According to commenters below…you could also microwave the sucker for a few minutes, slice in half and roast cut-side-down for 30 minutes.

OR — you could just microwave the ENTIRE thing

But I like baking the best.

Bake 375F for about an hour. Just until you can pierce it easily without resistance with a knife.

Let it cool, then slice open and rake out the seeds.

Then use your fork and scrape away….oooh lookie lookie at those pretty strands. If it seems really hard to scrape out the squash, return to the oven for another 10 minutes. The squash shouldn’t be mushy — taste it — it should still have a nice, slight crunch.

One squash will feed lots of people.

Loads of butter, loads of garlic.

Loads of parsley or basil.

Toss in the squash, season with salt.

And loads of grated parmesan cheese.

Perfecto!

Print

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 5 Cook Time: 60
baked-spaghetti-squash-garlic-butter-4600.jpg

I tend to under-bake the spaghetti squash just a bit, so it still retains just a slight crunch. Baking time really depends on how big your squash is - try to get the smallest one, especially if you’re only feeding 4 people. It’s ready if you can pierce the squash with a paring knife with little resistance. If you’re a garlic love, don’t be shy - use more!

Alternatively, microwave the whole squash for 2-4 minutes (to soften enough to cut lengthwise). Place squash cut-side down on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until tender.

Ingredients:

1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley (or basil)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Pierce squash a few times with sharp paring knife (to let steam escape). Bake spaghetti squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.

2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Use a fork to remove and discard the seeds. Continue using fork to scrape the squash to get long, lovely strands. If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. When garlic becomes fragrant, add parsley, salt and spaghetti squash strands. Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt. The spaghetti squash should have a slight crunch (i.e. not mushy) - but if you like it softer, cover the pan and cook 2 more minutes.

More Spaghetti Squash Recipes

Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Tomatoes and Basil  Microwave Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Basil from Steamy Kitchen

Spaghetti Squash with Pomodoro Sauce from Whipped
Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash from Smitten Kitchen
Stuffed Squash Boats from Dine & Dish
Spaghetti Squash with Crispy Bacon & Turnip Greens from Cooking by the Seat of my Pants
Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil, Parmesan from Love & Olive Oil
Zucchini & Spaghetti Squash “Lasagne” from Green Lite Bites

Comments 218

  1. Karl Gissom

    Looks really good. Haven’t had it a while. Only one thing about your recipe. Probably to much butter. Try some EVOO to replace some of that butter.

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  4. Donna

    Two tablespoons of butter for six servings isn’t bad at all. Butter isn’t bad for you, especially in such a small amount (that’s one teaspoon per serving). If you use grass-fed like Kerrygold, it has even more nutritional benefits.

    I like to use this instead of pasta. Saves loads of calories and carbs, and has way more nutrition than real spaghetti.

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  6. sierramessina

    I make this almost every week. I add canned tuna, broccoli or asparagus, and white wine. I’m on the candida diet and this is my version of tuna noodle casserole. I like it better than the real thing!

  7. Mariela

    Thanks for the recipe. I planted spaghetti squash without knowing what it was or how to cook it. Now I know what to do with it. I love your blog. thanks for sharing your knowledge :)

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  13. TJ

    I am trying to cut down on the carbs and this was my first spaghetti squash EVER and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I didn’t have garlic (the shame) and had to use powder, but it was delicious! Thank you for the easy recipe. I am making spaghetti sauce to have over the leftovers tomorrow.

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  16. Tammy

    My recipe called to cook it in the oven after slicing in half for 45 minutes on 375. It is crunchy. Almost a raw texture. How do I cook it longer to make it softer? I KNOW my 7 year old will NOT eat it this way even WITH butter and cheese lol
    HELP!! :)

  17. Tammy

    So microwaving it after it has already been shredded is ok? What about boiling it for a few minutes? Thanks!

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  19. Carolyn Mawhee

    You have made my day! This “Baked Squash” recipe is absolutely wonderful. VLC and delicious. I missed my toe… when my squash decided it could fly. That’s when I looked up this recipe. You are a life saver. Cause it sure did try to whip me at first. Now I can laugh about it. Especially knowing I am not the first person to be attacked by a spaghetti squash… Thank you for your blog!

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  21. Guy Jones

    A couple of points:

    In my humble opinion, it is advantageous to slice the squash in half before baking it, as opposed to baking it whole and then slicing it. The reason is that the former method allows much of the squash’s substantial moisture content to be evaporated away. This results in a much drier, tastier squash, with better texture. The baking whole method basically steams the squash innards, resulting in soggy flesh whose flavor is more watered-down. Here’s how I do it:

    Carefully slice the squash lengthwise into two halves.
    Scoop out the seeds and “guts.” Use scissors to snip off any strands that are difficult to remove. (Save the seeds — they can be toasted on a baking sheet and salted for a yummy snack!).
    Rub 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil with your hand on the inside of the squash cavity, and around the edges. This will help caramelize the surface flesh a bit, adding flavor.
    Sprinkle sea salt and pepper generously in the squash cavity and around the edges.
    Place squash halves flesh side down on a baking sheet.
    Bake at 350-375 F for about one hour.
    Remove sheet and let squash cool.
    Use a fork to scrape the flesh, creating “spaghetti” strands.
    Serve with tomato sauce, pesto or other sauce, and grated pecorino, grana padano or parmigiano reggiano cheese, and enjoy!

  22. Guy Jones

    Oh, I forgot to add one step to the above — before placing the squash halves on the baking sheet, use a fork to pierce the flesh in a few different spots around the cavity area — this will allow steam to escape the cavity during cooking, as opposed to building up and steaming the flesh of the cavity area.

  23. ShellyVDK

    I think this recipe sounds really good, but we like meat with our side dishes! Anyone have a good idea for a yummy meat(dish) to have along with this spagetti squash recipe?

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  25. sabrina

    Hi!
    I did my first squash today! I diced 2-3 garlic cloves, 1 small onion, and cooked them with a little butter until onion gets transparent. I added a diced peeled tomato, and some shredded cured proscuitto. Then I transferred the spaghetti squash in the pan (it was a bit too cool). I removed from heat and added some feta type greek cheese and mixed everything. Awesome!

  26. Helen

    Yes, that is a lovely way to cook squash. However, I do not have the physical strength to slice it in half when raw. It’s all I can do to poke a knife in it so it doesn’t blow up! So, I bake it whole, and when it is nice and soft I can cut it up and season it. Knowing this, maybe I will try to cut more holes in it, so as to let more of the steam out and not water the taste down? I did think that roasting it whole left all the good nutrients inside and not escaping onto the pan. Happy winter squash eating!

  27. Jen

    I can’t believe I went 30 years before trying this! I love it! A nice break from noodles for my toddler, too.

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  30. JonasOfToronto

    Awesome recipe!

    To roast, I cut longways in half, cleanly gutted, lightly buttered cavity, placed open side down on a silicone baking sheet

    Baked 375 for over 90 minutes, it became perfectly cooked. It released super easy and was able to scoop the (lightly dry-roasted but still succulent) squash right out in seconds with a straight formica spatula. I mean right down to the hard peel, no waste! Wonderful filament strands, easy to separate.

    Thought I’d share, supposedly this preparation works with a Greek seasoning (well why wouldn’t it.)

  31. Bonnie N

    I baked a spaghetti squash this way last week. I mixed the strands with butter and a little brown sugar. Didn’t think of using butter and garlic but that sounds great. I’ll do that next time. I usually garlic in almost everything so that will be right appropriate for my taste. Thanks for the idea.

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  34. Barbara

    I haven’t done this before, but I’m wondering if you think this could be cooked in a crock pot?

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  37. Gemmy

    My family has always done spaghetti squash at Christmas time, and this year, I get to make my first holiday dinner. YAY!

    In lieu of having a small amount of people eating this year (so no turkey and one guest has a strong aversion to chicken), I decided on a cola basted ham. Vegetables are all well and good, but some of us like a little flesh with our greens ;) . You could do anything with the ham, though (or anything else for that matter), but it does depend on what YOU/they want and what you’re willing to make. I was going to make a mustard/pineapple ham, but one guest is ALSO deathly allergic to pineapple. You can find some excellent recipes out there on the internet.

    HOPE THIS HELPS!

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  42. pk

    I loved the directions with the photos. I don’t have the attention span to follow an exact recipe (I know you have it below), and, for me, that would take some of the creativity out of cooking, but the quick overview directions are awesome. Read through some good comments, especially interested in the ones about cutting it open before baking. Cutting raw squash is a pain, I might bake it for a bit, then cut it, then bake more. Topping with baby bellos in a white wine sauce tonight, can’t wait to try it.

  43. Judy Benton

    When I cook squash, spaghetti or otherwise, I nuke it for about 4-5 minutes whole and that makes cutting it in half much easier, then bake or do what you are going to do with it.

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