You are here

14 Healthy Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

1 of 14

All photos

Spaghetti squash is a winter squash that, when cooked, looks just like your favorite noodles. It's a delicious, nutritious way to lighten up your favorite pasta and noodle dishes. One cup of cooked spaghetti squash contains 42 calories, 0 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 1 gram protein, and 9 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. It also gets its yellow color from beta-carotene, which is rich in antioxidant properties. There are many of way to cook spaghetti squash, but here's an easy one to get you started, and it can also work as the base for numerous recipes. 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Cut squash in half (you can prick it with a fork and microwave for about 5 minutes to soften the skin if needed) and scoop out seeds.
  • Place squash, cut-side down, in baking pan filled with about 1/2 cup water.
  • Bake until squash is soft (skin will give when you press on it), about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.
  • Once cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh using a fork to rake out strands.
  • In a rush? Just wash and prick squash and then microwave on HIGH until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes instead of baking.

Now you're ready to add your spaghetti squash to any recipe. Here are some inspiring recipes from registered dietitians to get you started.

Photo: Shutterstock

Pesto Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

2 of 14

All photos

Spaghetti squash lends itself very well to traditional Italian flavors. Dressed up with pesto and Parmesan, it's a great lower-carb sub for pasta. This dish also happens to be vegetarian, making it a perfect for Meatless Monday.

Get the recipe: Pesto Parmesan Spaghetti Squash


Photo: Amy Gorin Nutrition

Spaghetti Squash with Meat-Free Bolognese Sauce

3 of 14

All photos

This meal will bring vegetarians and carnivores alike to the dinner table. In this recipe, soy crumbles replace traditional beef.

Get the recipe: Spaghetti Squash with Meat-Free Bolognese Sauce

Photo: Meal Makeover Moms

Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken Marinara

4 of 14

All photos

These creative spaghetti squash boats have all the flavor of spaghetti and meat sauce but for far fewer calories. They're totally kid-friendly—and also great for your inner child. (Check out these other low-carb alternatives to pasta.)

Get the recipe: Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken Marinara

Photo: Euphoria Nutrition

Spaghetti Squash with Cannellini Beans

5 of 14

All photos

This colorful vegetarian dish is packed with filling plant protein and fiber thanks to the creamy cannellini beans. The mozzarella on top adds a touch of richness.

Get the recipe: Spaghetti Squash with Cannellini Beans

 

Photo: Triad to Wellness

Spaghetti Squash Broccoli Chicken Alfredo Bake

6 of 14

All photos

When you want a gooey, cheesy meal that won't break the calorie bank, this Alfredo-inspired dish delivers. It also provides a balanced mix of veggies and protein with plenty of fiber and flavor to hit all the satisfying comfort food notes.

Get the recipe: Spaghetti Squash Broccoli Chicken Alfredo Bake


Photo: Nutrition to Fit

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parmesan

7 of 14

All photos

When served with pasta, chicken parm can be a heavy meal that'll send you right into a food coma. Here, this classic gets lightened and brightened up.

Get the recipe: Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parmesan


Photo: Emily Kyle Nutrition

Vegan Pesto Spaghetti Squash

8 of 14

All photos

This flavorful take on pesto pasta features nutritious walnuts and gets its "cheesy" flavor from the nutritional yeast. (Love pesto but looking for more ways to use it? Here, you can find a healthy pesto recipe that doesn't involve pasta.)

Get the recipe: Vegan Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Photo: Nutritious Eats

Veggie Fajita Spaghetti Squash Stir-Fry

9 of 14

All photos

This vegetarian, Mexican-inspired meal makes a great Meatless Monday entrée. This healthy twist on a family favorite lets you enjoy all the classic fajita flavors without the excess carbs from the tortillas.

Get the recipe: Veggie Fajita Spaghetti Squash Stir-Fry

Photo: C It Nutritionally

Crockpot Spaghetti Squash Meatballs

10 of 14

All photos

Let your slow cooker make dinner while you go about your day. This healthy spaghetti squash meatball recipe is sure to become a go-to for busy weeks, and you'll also want to try these other healthy crock pot recipes for winter

Get the recipe: Crockpot Spaghetti Squash Meatballs

Photo: Snacking in Sneakers

Creamy Enchilada Casserole with Spaghetti Squash

11 of 14

All photos

The spaghetti squash in this enchilada casserole lightens up a classic favorite. Bonus: It's a great way to sneak in extra veggies!

Get the recipe: Creamy Enchilada Casserole with Spaghetti Squash

Photo: Smart Nutrition

Garlicky Baked Spaghetti Squash

12 of 14

All photos

Want to think beyond a side of pasta? This garlicky dish is super easy to make and pairs with all kinds of flavors.

Get the recipe: Garlicky Baked Spaghetti Squash


Photo: My Menu Pal

One-Pot Spaghetti Squash

13 of 14

All photos

One-pot meals are a major time-saver on busy nights. Added bonus: less clean-up. This dish gets its creaminess from goat cheese. Enjoy on its own or add your favorite protein for extra staying power. 

Get the recipe: One-Pot Spaghetti Squash

Photo: Perspective Portions

Grain-Free Spaghetti Pie

14 of 14

All photos

Spaghetti pie is a classic comfort food. This grain-free, Paleo-friendly version lets you enjoy the rich, creamy flavor of the original without relying on heavy elements that'll weigh you down or processed, hard-to-pronounce ingredients.

Get the recipe: Grain-Free Spaghetti Pie

Photo: The Real Food Dietitians

Comments

Add a comment