Wave goodbye to the age-old saga of wrestling with your spaghetti squash and roasting it in the oven for what seems like an eternity. Welcome to the best method: cooking a whole spaghetti squash in the friendly confines of your microwave. In just 10-15 minutes (yes, that’s the total cook time!), plus a brief 10-minute siesta, you’ll transform your unassuming grocery store squash into a culinary masterpiece. This easy way not only saves you time but also spares you the danger of navigating a sharp chef’s knife through the tough skin of the squash. The result? A fork-tender, golden yellow delight that’s soft, easy to cut, and a dream to serve. Microwaving is a game changer in the world of spaghetti squash.

Once cooked, you’ll pull apart the strands of squash and saute with fresh tomatoes and chopped garlic for a few minutes. Toss sautéed spaghetti squash with olive oil, balsamic vinegar for acidity, fresh basil, and a heavy shower of fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Why This Microwave Steamed Spaghetti Squash Recipe Works

  • Cutting an uncooked spaghetti squash is difficult! The skin is hard and thick. Plus, the squash is round, making it wobbly on a cutting board. Microwaving the spaghetti squash whole eliminates the need for a hacksaw.
  • The cooking time of spaghetti squash in your microwave oven is only 10 to 15 minutes. Oven baked spaghetti squash typically takes upwards of 1 hour depending on the size. 
  • This cooking method saves energy, and leaves your oven free for other dishes. 
  • Our recipe testers say,
    • “Delicious and Easy! This is basically a 15 minute recipe, plus prep. We decided to omit the balsamic vinegar for a less acidic flavor. The tomatoes’ acid was sufficient for our taste buds.
      The cooking instructions were A+ perfect!”
    • “So simple!  I love that I don’t have to cut the Spaghetti Squash before putting it in the microwave (like most other microwave recipes suggest).  I just microwave it, scrape out the squash, and serve with butter alongside tomato sauce, sausage, and pasta spaghetti.  Everyone at the table is happy.  Thank you for sharing!”
    • “I just made this. So quick and incredibly delicious! I’ll never prepare spaghetti squash any other way, ever again. Thank you.” 

Ingredients For Steaming Spaghetti Squash 

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Balsamic
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese 

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave

  1. Take a sharp paring knife and carefully pierce the squash in several places all over. The piercing will allow the steam to escape, so that it will cook evenly and not burst in the microwave. 
  2. Put the squash on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of the squash), rotating it halfway through.
  3. The squash should offer very little resistance when pierced with fork. If not, return it back to microwave and let it go for another couple of minutes. 
  4. Carefully remove the squash from the microwave with gloves or towels and place it on a cutting board to cut the squash in half lengthwise. 

  5. Once open, remove the seeds. If you are cooking for a small family or for one use only half of e squash and save the other half for another recipe.
  6. Once seeds are removed, use a fork to scrape out the strands of spaghetti squash to replicate noodles. 

  7. Time to saute! In a large pan, add the tomatoes, fresh garlic, and basil. Add int he spaghetti squash strands and toss. Add in olive oil, balsamic, and salt and pepper to taste. Shower with fresh grated parmesan and serve right away. 


Will the squash explode in the microwave?

Nope! If you pierce the squash all over with a fork a handful of time, this will allow steam to escape and no pressure to build up. If you put the squash into the microwave whole without piercing it, too much pressure could build up causing it to explode. 

How will I know when the squash is done?

You will know the squash is done when you can easily pierce it with a fork with very little resistance. If you are having a little trouble getting the fork through easily, microwave it for a few more minutes. 

Can I cook spaghetti squash in the microwave without cutting it first?

Absolutely! Cooking a whole spaghetti squash in the microwave is not only the easiest way, but also an incredibly efficient method. This approach saves you from the precarious task of slicing through the tough outer skin with a sharp knife. Just remember to pierce the skin of the squash a few times to let steam escape and you’re good to go!

Is there a difference in the texture of microwave-cooked squash compared to oven-cooked?

Not really. Microwave cooking tends to preserve the mild flavor and sweet flavor of spaghetti squash, making those spaghetti-like strands just as delightful as oven-roasted, but in much less time. The microwave ensures even cooking, giving you those long, noodle-like strands that are perfect for twirling on a fork.

What do I do with the other half of the spaghetti squash?

Don’t let it feel left out! Store the unused half in an airtight container and pop it in the fridge. Next time you’re in the mood for a quick and easy side dish, you can whip it out and cook it up. Spaghetti squash is a versatile vegetable, so feel free to get creative. Use it as a base for your favorite sauce, or even try making a squash boat for a fun and healthy meal.

How can I use spaghetti squash in different ways?

Spaghetti squash is the chameleon of the vegetable world. You can use those long strands as a substitute for spaghetti noodles in pasta dishes, season them with a little olive oil, coarse salt, and pepper for a simple yet delicious side, or even toss them into a salad for some extra texture. It’s also fantastic when paired with your favorite sauce or used as a base in a variety of healthy recipes. The possibilities are endless!

Is spaghetti squash a good option for meal prep?

It’s a fantastic option. Cooked spaghetti squash can be stored in the fridge for 5-7 days, making it a great choice for meal prep. And you can easily reheat the squash in the microwave. Talk about a convenient and healthy addition to your weekly meals!

Cook Some of Our Favorite Spaghetti Squash Recipes Here:

Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash (Smitten Kitchen)
Recipe for Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin (Kalyn’s Kitchen)
Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta, Sage, and Pine Nuts (The Kitchn)
Spaghetti Squash with Sausage (White on Rice Couple)
Spaghetti Squash with Garlic, Butter and Parmesan (Steamy Kitchen) 

Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Tomatoes and Basil

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave

If you're only feeding 4-6 people, I suggest cooking the spaghetti squash whole, then only using half of the squash when you're ready to saute with the tomatoes. I like my spaghetti squash not too hard, not too soft. It shouldn't be mushy, you should be able to still separate the strands of squash. Plus, in this recipe, you'll saute the spaghetti squash for a few minutes, and it will soften in the pan.
4.89 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 155 kcal


  • 1 spaghetti squash small
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Using a sharp paring knife, carefully pierce (I really mean stab) the spaghetti squash in a few places (about 6 slashes is good). Place squash on plate. Microwave on high for 10-15 minutes, turning/rotating the squash halfway during cooking.  
    I had a 3 1/4 pound spaghetti squash. 12 minutes total was perfect.
    The squash is done with a fork very easily pierces through the squash, if there is resistance - microwave for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Carefully (the squash will be steaming hot!), use a chef's knife to cut the squash in half, lengthwise. The squash should be soft and easy to cut. Remove and discard the seeds. Use two forks to scrape apart the strands of the squash. For this recipe, we'll only use half of the spaghetti squash, about 4 cups.
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium heat with the olive oil. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes and basil and cook for another minute. Turn heat to medium-high and add in the spaghetti squash and toss. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle in the balsamic vinegar. Taste the squash - adjust seasoning. If the squash still needs a bit more time to cook through, cover and cook for 2 minutes. If the squash texture is perfect, toss in the grated cheese and serve immediately.


Serving: 4peopleCalories: 155kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 4gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 709mgPotassium: 329mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 770IUVitamin C: 12.5mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 0.8mg
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