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Here’s how to cook spaghetti squash the absolute best way: roasted in the oven. Baked spaghetti squash yields tasty, fluffy noodles (never soggy!) that you can use in so many different ways!

spaghetti squashed cooked in the oven

Why Roasting Is the Best Way to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is budget-friendly, mild (key for serving kids), easy to prep, and versatile. Unfortunately, it’s also underutilized, and I think a big reason is people aren’t sure how to cook it. That changes today!

The best way to cook spaghetti squash is roasting. Here’s why:

  • Fluffy and Tender. Baked spaghetti squash yields strands are tender, yummy, and pair well with just about any flavor. Some methods of cooking spaghetti squash yield water-logged “noodles” but roasting avoids this.
  • Simple and Fuss-Free. Roasted spaghetti squash is easy! You don’t need to peel spaghetti squash to roast it. Plus, tou need little beyond oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Tastier. As with Roasted Butternut Squash, roasting makes spaghetti squash caramelized and slightly sweet.
baked spaghetti squash on a plate with a fork and blue checkered napkin

5 Star Review

“Perfect recipe, and leads to so many more healthful delicious dishes, I love a shake of fresh Parmesan cheese and a few herbs and I am got to go.”

— Patty —

How to Cut Spaghetti Squash

The only hard part about roasting spaghetti squash in the oven is cutting it in half, and fortunately, with these tips, it’s not hard at all!

  • The trick to cutting spaghetti squash is to start by trimming off the ends so that you have a flat base.
  • Be sure to use a very sharp knife.
  • Make sure your cutting board doesn’t slip.
Spaghetti squash on a cutting board
  1. Prepare. Grab a non-slip cutting board and your best chef’s knife.
A spaghetti squash being chopped on a cutting board
  1. Cut a Flat Base. Place the squash horizontally on the cutting board. Slice off the stem and base, creating two flat ends.
  2. Stand It Up and Cut Vertically. Using one of the flat ends, stand the squash upright and slice it in half from top to bottom. If your halves are not perfectly even, don’t stress. Your squash will still turn out.
A spoon scooping seeds from a squash
  1. Remove the Seeds. Using a plain old kitchen spoon, remove the seeds and stringy parts.

Tip!

Not just for pumpkins! Do you have a pumpkin carving kit from Halloween lying around? One reader shared that she keeps one of the large carving knives from her kit in her kitchen year-round for cutting open all types of squashes.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

Once your squash is cut in half, the hard part is over.

All you need from here is salt, pepper, olive oil, and about 40 minutes in the oven.

  • Use this roasted spaghetti squash recipe any time a dish you are making calls for baked spaghetti squash.
  • Whether you are seeking perfect al dente squash noodles, a fast side dish, or need it cooked for one of your favorite baked spaghetti squash recipes, after testing multiple methods, I can confidently report that this is the best way to roast spaghetti squash in the oven.
Two uncooked spaghetti squash halves with oil and pepper on a baking sheet
  1. Oil and Season. Coat the insides of the squash halves with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Two spaghetti squash halves on a baking sheet ready to bake in the oven
  1. Place Cut-Side Down. Use a parchment-lined baking sheet for easy clean up.
A roasted spaghetti squash on a baking sheet
  1. Roast. Bake spaghetti squash for 35 to 40 minutes at 400 degrees F, until fork-tender on the inside and the outsides give when pressed.
A seasoned roasted spaghetti squash on a baking sheet
  1. Flip. The flesh side is now facing up.
using a fork to shred roasted squash on a baking sheet
  1. Fluff. With a fork, gently rake the flesh to create the strands. ENJOY!
Two roasted spaghetti squash halves

The Best Ways to Eat Spaghetti Squash

From excellent side dishes to pasta substitutes, and squash boats to casseroles, roasted spaghetti squash’s light, stringy texture works well with so many recipes.

Here are some of my personal favorite ways to enjoy it:

  • Drizzled with some melted butter and a handful of fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, or parsley would be fantastic, but you could use any herbs you have in your refrigerator).
  • Sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon, which made roasted spaghetti squash my favorite vegetable as a kid.
  • A classic dusting with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • With shredded Parmesan tossed on top for a stellar side dish, like Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan and Mushrooms.
  • With marinara sauce, garlic, and served with Baked Turkey Meatballs.
  • Served underneath Italian favorites like Baked Chicken Parmesan.

Favorite Spaghetti Squash Recipes

Properly cooked spaghetti squash is mild and versatile! Here are some of the best spaghetti squash recipes, all of which start with roasting spaghetti squash:

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Refrigerate roasted spaghetti squash in an airtight storage container for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm baked spaghetti squash in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat with a little olive oil or your sauce of choice.
  • To Freeze. While you can freeze spaghetti squash, it may become very soggy once thawed. If you want to freeze leftovers, freeze them in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. (Though honestly, I’d avoid freezing if you can.)
A fork pulling out baked spaghetti squash flesh

More Tips for Perfect Spaghetti Squash

  • Don’t Overcook! You know spaghetti squash is done when the flesh of the squash is fork-tender inside, the outsides are turning golden, and when you press on the outside of the squash, it gives a little. If you overcook the squash, it will be mushy. (Cooking a smaller squash? Be sure to check it a little earlier.)
  • Easy On the Oil and Salt. Make sure you add salt and oil to your spaghetti squash before roasting, but don’t overdo it. Too much salt may draw out more moisture than you want, and excess olive oil can make baked spaghetti squash soggy.
  • Don’t Add Water. While some recipes may call for a little water in the pan with the squash, I found that it roasts perfectly without it.
  • Skip the Holes. You don’t need to poke holes in the outsides of your spaghetti squash before roasting.
  • Halves, Not Rings. I also tested roasted spaghetti squash rings, but I prefer the simple cut-in-half from top-to-bottom method for roasting. The squash was quicker and easier to cut, and I preferred the texture of the squash strands that resulted too.

Tip!

Need cooked spaghetti squash but don’t want to turn on your oven? This set-it-and-forget-it Crockpot Spaghetti Squash recipe is for you.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

5 from 37 votes
Here's how to cook spaghetti squash the very best way: roast it in the oven! Always tasty, never soggy, and perfect for using in any recipe.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes

Servings: 2 halves

Ingredients
  


Instructions
 

  • Bake the squash: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Grab a large, sturdy chef's knife and a cutting board that doesn't slip.
  • Lay the squash down horizontally on the cutting board. Using a very sharp, sturdy chef's knife, trim off the stem and base end of the spaghetti squash so that you have a flat side on each end.
  • Stand the spaghetti squash upright on the larger of the two ends, and carefully cut it in half lengthwise from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds and stringy insides. You can discard the seeds or save them to roast later.
  • Drizzle the cut sides of the squash with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil each and then sprinkle the salt and pepper over the halves. Rub lightly to evenly coat the insides of the squash.
  • Place the squash cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Do not press any holes in the squash.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the squash is just fork-tender on the inside, lightly browned on the outside, and the skin gives a little when pressed on the outside (be careful, it is hot!). If your squash is very large, it may be as long as 50 minutes or so, but don’t let the squash overcook or your strands will be soggy.
  • Flip the squash over.
  • With a fork, fluff to separate the strands. Enjoy topped with butter and herbs, a sprinkle of brown sugar, or in any recipe calling for baked spaghetti squash (see blog post above for suggestions).

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate roasted spaghetti squash in an airtight storage container for up to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm spaghetti squash in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat with a little olive oil or your sauce of choice. 
  • TO FREEZE: While you can freeze spaghetti squash, it may become very soggy once thawed. If you want to freeze leftovers, freeze them in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 2)Calories: 118kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 348mgFiber: 5gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 386IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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85 Comments

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  1. Cutting tip: For cutting spaghetti squash use a ‘pumpkin cutting knife’ saved from when the kids carved up the jackpot lantern without anyone having to worry about them loosing fingers. The same tool works great for other squashes…. it’s not just for pumpkins! Best of all it is easier and safer than using the kitchen knife!5 stars

  2. Perfect recipe, and leads to so many more healthful delicious dishes, I love a shake of fresh Parmesan cheese and a few herbs and I am got to go. Thank You, for all the beautiful recipes and ideas.5 stars

  3. This recipe is so easy, you made me not afraid to make it. Super easy, I Did use an Ice Cream scooper, but I love this. Glad I made this. Thanks.5 stars

  4. Super recipe All the bases are covered. Fast simple method of making this delicious vegetable with multiple finishing options. It really is as easy as it sounds and delicious too.5 stars

  5. Thank you so much! This is a great recipe and so easy to make! Going to try another one of your recipes tomorrow. I need easy and healthy. So happy I found you!5 stars

  6. My first time cooking the squash and by following your method it turned out perfectly. Love it.5 stars

  7. I made it this way and put tomato sauce on it to make a meal. I love it this way. I use it as a side dish or main entree.5 stars

  8. The recipe was great. The squash came out just how I wanted. My only difficulty/annoyance was trying to read your write up and get to the actual recipe through all the commercials and pop ups. Sorry but I probably won’t be back :(5 stars

    1. Hi Kat! I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience the ads caused you! I will certainly keep paying close attention to the number of ads and how they load, as I never want them to hinder your ability to view the recipe or the blog post. I do truly appreciate your feedback and apologize again for the inconvenience! Also, there is a quick and convenient “jump to recipe” button that will help you get to the recipe faster and a print button to have the recipe quickly at your fingertips. Hope this helps!

  9. Thank you for great advice on not roasting too long. I cut my squash just a tiny bit unevenly. One “half” was done at 35 minutes, but the other portion was 42 minutes. I brushed Wegmans basting oil (a garlicky herb blend oil) on each half first, and didn’t even miss the salt and pepper that I forgot. We enjoyed it with homemade marinara sauce from our tomato garden and with a shaved blend of parmesan, asiago, and romano cheeses atop. It was true fine dining…at home!5 stars

  10. Excellent. Simple and perfect. Perfect for “Funtional” diet as well as T1 Diabetes and Hashimoto’s. Husband has asked that this become a permanent part of our menu. Sadly, I had to explain seasonal veggies to him.5 stars

  11. I made this last night and served with meat sauce and parmesan in each half. Spaghetti squash has zero WW points and my husband’s meat sauce was only 15pts because he had a large serving. Super big win as his Hardee’s breakfast biscuit was 24pts alone. He said this is delicious and he’d really love to have it again, and often.5 stars

  12. How do you pick out a good spaghetti squash? Does the coloring make a difference? Like the darker yellow the better it is? I have no clue!!

    1. Hi Sue! This article might be helpful: https://healthyfamilyproject.com/produce-tips/spaghetti-squash/ Hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try!

  13. Your instructions are excellent and spot on. The snark is an extra added attraction.
    BTW, I am not usually a 5 star giver. So well deserved.5 stars

  14. Easy to follow recipe I had never cooked this squash before it came out perfectly. My family loved it.5 stars

  15. Easy to prepare. I didn’t need to make any changes or additions. It was perfect for me as a light dinner for just my self. I want to prepare it again using some of the added ingredients you suggested and serve to my family as a complete dinner.5 stars

  16. QUESTION: I’d like to make your WONDERFUL!!! Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore for a friend who needs to be gluten free so I was thinking of serving the chicken with spaghetti squash instead of with pasta. Do you think the flavors would work together?

    1. Hi Jaycee! The spaghetti squash will take on the flavors from the chicken so it should be good! If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes! Enjoy!

  17. Loved it! I served it with a low sugar spaghetti sauce and had a roasted, home grown jalapeño on the side.5 stars

  18. So good! Paired with turkey spaghetti sauce, added fresh spinach, garlic, fresh oregano, dash of some spicy pepper. Topped with fresh parm. Side salad to boot. Plenty for lunch too!5 stars

  19. Loved the squash prepared with the olives, tomatoes, etc. cooked to perfection .
    My husband loved it and he didn’t think he would…this will be a regular dish in our
    home for it’s health benefits.5 stars

  20. I have made this recipe several times – so easy to do and it’s delicious! I use a grapefruit spoon to scrape out the inside of my baked spaghetti squash. The serrated edge cuts through the meat of the squash easily and doesn’t require much effort.5 stars

  21. Perfect spaghetti squash every time! The tips on cutting the squash are easy and the safetest. The cooking method guarantees light and fluffy squash noodles like you’ve never had before.5 stars

  22. Looks like an easy recipe that I want to try ,I’ve never had this..can you buy a small squash or just roast 1 half and free The other?
    Thx Debbie

  23. Excellent…really loved this recipe. Easy and flavorful. I just used Parmesan cheese and it came out really good. The family loved it. Thanks.5 stars

  24. First time cooking a spaghetti squash and it turned out great! Prepped and put in oven while I finished my after work chores. Used it in place of my regular spaghetti noodles. Super easy and delicious!!5 stars