Spaghetti squash is a bit of a miracle, isn’t it? Cheese, chocolate, and corn dogs aside, spaghetti might be the most perfect food on earth, and Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, found a way to grow it straight from the ground. Of course, Mother Nature’s version is a bit more responsible: less processed white flour and empty calories, more antioxidants and vitamins and all that other good stuff you need more of in your diet.
Spaghetti squash is a noble attempt to make something we love better and, while it’s not a perfect substitution, it’s pretty damn fantastic if you know how to make it correctly. Once again, Mother Nature delivers, making sure that it doesn’t take crazy culinary skills to make spaghetti squash do what you need it to. There’s no special equipment, no ninja-level knife skills, no “hacks” or kitchen magic required. All you need to do is follow these simple directions to have perfectly prepared strands of spaghetti squash, upon which you can build a delicious (and nutritious!) masterpiece.
How to Make Spaghetti Squash
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, and line a baking sheet with either foil or parchment paper.
Use a sharp knife to split the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and any stringy bits from the center.
Rub the squash’s cut side well with olive oil, then place face down on the baking sheet. Stab the outside of each squash half about a dozen times to create vents for extra steam to escape.
Roast the spaghetti squash for 30 minutes. Carefully flip over one half with tongs and use a fork to check if the meat easy shreds with a fork; if not, flip it back over and roast for another 10 minutes before checking again. It’s ready when it begins to shred easily, but is not completely mushy.
Allow the squash to cool for about 10 minutes before shredding, using tongs to hold it steady. Discard the rind. Spread the squash out onto the baking sheet to allow steam to escape, so your squash does not become a watery mess.
If you’d like to dry it out a bit, return the shredded squash to the oven and roast, giving it a stir every five minutes or so, until it’s at your preferred texture.
How to Serve Spaghetti Squash
Once the squash is cooked properly, you can dress it up as you like. Serve it plain, seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper, and maybe a bit of olive oil and butter. Toss it with a bit of grated parmesan, or a few spoonfuls of your favorite tomato sauce. Add to grain bowls as a topping, or build a bowl using the spaghetti squash as a base. You can eat it immediately after it comes out of the oven, or you can keep it in a container in the fridge for up to four days.