14 Healthy Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash
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.
Pesto Parmesan Spaghetti Squash
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
Spaghetti Squash with Meat-Free Bolognese Sauce
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
Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken Marinara
Spaghetti Squash with Cannellini Beans
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
Spaghetti Squash Broccoli Chicken Alfredo Bake
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
Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parmesan
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
Vegan Pesto Spaghetti Squash
Veggie Fajita Spaghetti Squash Stir-Fry
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
Crockpot Spaghetti Squash Meatballs
Creamy Enchilada Casserole with Spaghetti Squash
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
Garlicky Baked Spaghetti Squash
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
One-Pot Spaghetti Squash
Grain-Free Spaghetti Pie
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