Crockpot Spaghetti Squash
Crockpot Spaghetti Squash at your service! This hands-off, healthy slow cooker recipe is here for when you a) need a vegetable side to serve with dinner but aren’t in the mood to actually plan and cook it, b) have an oven that is already occupied, c) need spaghetti squash for a different recipe, and/or d) want to feel like a multitasking crockpot boss babe.
As a kid, spaghetti squash (with brown sugar and butter, please and thank you) was one of the few vegetables I would eat without some serious mealtime melodrama. It took me a while to reunite with it as an adult, and considering its positive qualities, I don’t make it nearly as often as I should.
Spaghetti squash is low carb, low calorie, and offers a range of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Spaghetti squash is budget friendly and filling.
The more I type, the more I’m asking myself why I don’t cook spaghetti squash every week.
Here’s the honest answer: I hate leaving the oven running for the 45+ minutes it takes for the spaghetti squash to bake. I often need the oven for other dinner endeavors, and I feel like as long as the oven is on, I can’t put the squash entirely out of mind.
If only there were an alternative way to cook spaghetti squash…
I think you know where this is going.
Enter Crockpot Spaghetti Squash. I set out to see if I could cook squash in the slow cooker, and the answer was a resounding yes!
The lead up to this post was my first time making spaghetti squash in the slow cooker, and I am a changed woman.
Not only was it super convenient to have the squash cooking while I went about the rest of my day, it was EASY from beginning to end.
How Do You Make Spaghetti Squash in the Crockpot?
- STEP ONE: Select Your Spaghetti Squash.
- You can use any size or weight of squash you like as long as it fits comfortably in your crockpot. Given that most spaghetti squash are fairly large, I’d recommend making this recipe in a 5- to 6-quart crockpot. This is the crockpot I used.
- STEP TWO: Wash the outsides of the squash thoroughly with soap and water. Clean, lean, and mean is what we are going for here.
- STEP THREE: Prick the outsides several times with a paring knife. This creates vents that will allow steam to escape.
Note: You can cook the spaghetti squash whole. No need to cut it in half here! Triple points for ease.
- STEP FOUR: Pop the squash into your slow cooker, then cover.
One of the biggest questions I had before I started is if I needed to cook the spaghetti squash in water and the answer is no. While I do like adding a little water to the pan if I’m roasting the squash in the oven, the steam trapped in the slow cooker will provide plenty of moisture.
- STEP FIVE: COOK! The cooking time will vary widely based on the size of your squash, and because all slow cookers are different, your particular model will influence the cook time as well.
- For a medium-size (3-pound) squash, I’d recommend 3 to 4 hours on high or 5 to 6 hours on low. For every extra pound of squash, add an hour or so to the cook time (about 1 extra hour on high or 1 to 2 additional hours on low).
For those who love the precise details: I tested this a few different ways. I found a more moderately sized squash (4 pounds), and it took nearly 4 hours on high. Large-and-in-charge spaghetti squash (5+ pounds) needed 7 to 8 hours on low.
- STEP SIX: Check for Doneness.
- Quickly and firmly press the outside of the squash with your finger (be careful, it’s hot!). It should dent easily but not feel like complete mush.
- STEP SEVEN: Let Cool. Halve. Remove Seeds.
Cooking spaghetti squash in the slow cooker even simplified my least favorite part of preparing any kind of squash: scraping out the seeds!
I know, I know, removing the seeds is not that bad and of course worth it, but they are usually so slimy! With crockpot spaghetti squash, the seeds and strings come out easily and instantly with very little pressure.
- STEP EIGHT: Fluff and Eat!
Once you’ve shredded the squash strands (a task I find oddly satisfying), they are ready to use however you please.
How to Store and Reheat Spaghetti Squash
- To Store. Store leftover cooked squash halves (fluffed or unfluffed) in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm spaghetti squash in the oven at 350 degrees F until hot. You can also reheat it in the microwave until warmed through.
Ways to Use Crockpot Spaghetti Squash
- Top with Parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and parsley. This is my go-to when I’m serving the crockpot spaghetti squash as a side.
- Sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and a baby pat of butter. My childhood favorite.
- Serve with Turkey Bolognese for a slow cooker spaghetti squash and turkey meat sauce.
- Serve with Whole30 Meatballs or Lentil Meatballs.
- This slow cooker spaghetti squash lasagna caught my eye (not yet tested but it has great reviews, and I love Robyn the recipe author’s cookbook!).
- Shred and use for a different recipe that calls for cooked spaghetti squash. I love the idea of using this method for a crockpot Spaghetti Squash Casserole.
- You can also leave the squash unshredded, then use the halves for a different recipe like these Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats.
Crockpot Spaghetti Squash
- 1 medium-to-large spaghetti squash - left whole*
- 1 Pinch kosher salt - optional, plus additional to taste
- Thoroughly wash the outside of the squash with soap and water. Rinse and dry.
- With a small, sharp knife, poke several holes all over the outside of the squash. These will act as air vents.
- Cover the slow cooker. For a 3- to 4-pound squash, cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours. Add 1 hour (on high) or 1 1/2 hours (on low) for a squash that is 5 pounds or more. All slow cookers are different, so your cooking time may vary depending upon your model.
- Check for doneness: firmly and quickly poke the squash with your finger (be careful, it's hot!). If the squash dents easily, it's done (it should not be mushy). See photo above for a visual.
- Remove to a cutting board. Once the squash is cool enough to handle, cut off the top and bottom ends, then slice it in half. Scoop out and discard the seeds.
- Use any way you like! Fluff with a fork to shred into squash "noodles," use the halves for spaghetti squash boats, or try one of the other suggestions listed in the blog post above. I also like to season my squash with a light pinch of kosher salt.
- *If two small squash will fit in your slow cooker side by side, you can cook both at the same time. Whatever squash you choose, ensure your crockpot lid can close completely.
- Store leftover cooked squash halves (fluffed or unfluffed) in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat and use as desired.
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