How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

An easy tutorial with photos on how to roast spaghetti squash, PLUS recipe ideas for serving your roasted spaghetti squash noodles.

Would you believe me if I told you one of the meals I crave the most is a steamy bowl of spaghetti squash with a meaty red sauce, fresh basil, and parmesan cheese? I know, it may sound odd, but this is my idea of a perfectly comforting meal.

During the fall and winter months, I find myself craving pasta in all forms, and love the idea of re-creating my favorite hearty pasta dishes using spaghetti squash in place of noodles. It’s a lower-carb, healthier option, plus I wake up the next morning feeling energized rather than weighted down.

While I was developing recipes for my cookbook, The Quintessential Kale Cookbook, I wanted to include gluten-free, paleo-friendly pasta dishes, so I settled on preparing spaghetti squash with a spicy roasted garlic, kale, and mushroom sauce and was very pleased with the result.

So much so that I made the meal 4 times in a row without tiring of it!

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

My first attempt at spaghetti squash was one of utter confusion, but after understanding the mechanics of the marvelous squash, it’s now one of the easiest things to make!

The first time I roasted a spaghetti squash a few years back, I was unsure of how to actually get into the squash. Once I figured it out, I was a little appalled at how much juice was in my “spaghetti.”

Of course, once I ate it, I was like, “ this is DELICIOUS!…but it doesn’t reaaaally taste like spaghetti.” Because it doesn’t. In fact, it’s not even really close to an authentic noodle, but it still makes for a lovely meal.

I figured if I had trouble figuring out how to tap into the magical land of the spaghetti squash, there had to be others in the same boat. For that reason, I decided to make a little tutorial – hopefully you find it helpful!

Be sure to watch the video at the top of this post for the step-by-step visual.

So let’s hop to it! Stay tuned at the end of this post for ideas on how to serve your spaghetti squash noodles.

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grab your spaghetti squash and chop off the tip and tail. Halve it length-wise.

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

Stand the squash upright on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife, as dull knives likely won’t be able to get the job done. Allow gravity to help you cut from top to bottom, and be very careful while cutting – don’t force it!

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

Scoop out the innards and seeds using a sturdy metal spoon. Get the spoon as close to the flesh as possible while you’re scooping so that the innards release easily.

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

Coat the flesh with olive oil and use your hands to smooth the oil over the full surface of the flesh. Sprinkle salt and pepper over each half.

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

Place both halves cut-side down on a baking sheet.

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

Roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the flesh is very tender when poked with a fork. Note: You can adjust the bake time according to your personal taste – roasting the squash for less time will result in al dente “noodles.”

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

Using a fork, gently scrape the flesh, releasing strings of squash.

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

Okay, now we have our spaghetti squash “noodles”….what shall we do with them?? You can serve spaghetti squash with your favorite sauce and parmesan cheese, or try one of my favorite recipes below:

What to Do with Spaghetti Squash:

My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out, and thank you for your support!

What’ll you put on yours?

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - a tutorial with pictures | #healthy #recipe #howto

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Author: Julia


  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Chop the tip and the tail off of the spaghetti squash, cut it in half length-wise, and scoop the seeds out of each half.
  3. Rub about a tablespoon of olive oil over the flesh of each half. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet.
  5. Roast the squash for 35 to 50 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Note: For crunchy noodles, roast for 35 minutes. For al dente noodles, roast for 40-45. For tender noodles, roast for 50 to 55 minutes.
  6. When the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to gently scrape the flesh, releasing spaghetti-like stands. Do this until both halves of the spaghetti squash are scraped clean and place the “spaghetti” into a large serving bowl.
  7. Note that some water will seep out of the “spaghetti” – in order to drain the water, allow the spaghetti to sit in a bowl (or fine colander) and use a slotted spoon to scoop it on plates.
  8. Serve spaghetti squash with your favorite sauce and parmesan cheese.
An easy photo tutorial on How to Roast Spaghetti Squash - use spaghetti squash in all your favorite healthy gluten-free meals


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  1. Julie

    I love spaghetti squash. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive. Well, that or we weren’t such piggies and eat so much of it. I feel so healthy and then I can eat 4 pieces of garlic bread instead of two, right? Hey, wait!! No math problem for me! I love you!

    1. Stephie

      ^^ give her all the spaghetti squarsh. I just can’t dig it, not when there is real pasta in my pantry. I will, however, gladly eat any of those sauces by the spoonful!

    2. Julia Post author

      @Julie, I think I may have solved my Captcha problem…whodda known I could have saved you all that calculating over the months by simply checking a box? Let’s eat spaghetti squash! @Stephie, what if I hide it underneath sweet potatoes? Ne’er mind…that sounds horrible.

  2. dishing up the dirt

    I love my beloved spaghetti squash. Aside from the pain it is to harvest crates of them (they are super heavy) I can always forgive them once we eat them. Such a lovely and versatile vegetable. Great instructions!

  3. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    I’m a spaghetti squash lover myself. No, it’s not like real pasta but it has it’s own scrumptious flavor and texture that’s worth loving.

    I actually didn’t know how to cook it until I started reading food blogs. Gotta love the internets, teaching us how to cook!

    1. Lauren S.

      Me too Emma! I’ve got spaghetti squash in the oven for the first time right now. Cutting it was a nightmare! I’m glad there was no one here to watch and laugh… 3 knives and some select words were involved in that 20 minute process.

      1. Rowanna Barnes

        🤣 hey I thought it was just me and my sad cutting knife but this is my second time doing it it’s been awhile but I love it and when you season it just right the way you like it it’s great and thanks because I do feel healthier by eating it and it’s fun to prepare once it’s cut thanks for the instructions and in the microwave is a great idea I do the same when I’m cooking fresh beans and it cuts down on cooking time

      2. Judy

        I’ve read by poking spaghetti squash with a fork (or knife) then microwaving it for a number of minutes it will soften enough to then cut it safely.

        1. Rita McKinney

          The easiest way to cook spaghetti squash is to poke it in several places with a fork, then microwave for about 8-10 minutes. You can then split it and remove the seeds, strands, etc. However-this version is not as tasty as the roast kind, BUT it will get you closer to spaghetti squash (AND those wonderful toppings) quickly, during the week.

    2. Melissa

      The sticker on my squash said to heat in the oven or microwave to soften the skin before cutting. I tried without first and thought I was going to chop a finger off. After I threw it in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes, it was definitely easier to cut!
      Julie, thanks for the easy instructions for cooking!

      1. Julia Post author

        You’re very welcome, Melissa! Here’s how I chop spaghetti squash, which might make it easier for next time: I first chop off the tip and the tail. I stand the spaghetti squash up on a cutting board (make sure it’s stable), then chop it in half lengthwise through one of the ends that has already been removed. Remember, the spaghetti squash is still standing up. This way, gravity helps the knife cut through the flesh and once the knife gets through a little, it is very easy to chop. Hope that makes sense! I should have showed how I chop squash in my tutorial. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday 🙂

    3. Trina Berger

      Dont cut it lengthwise, simply chop it in half with a big knife, prep & roast the same. A friend showed me this & I wondered why I ever struggled the other way. Bonus surprise is the strands are actually longer this way! You’ll love it.

  4. Samantha @FerraroKitchen

    I need to try this again. I made spaghetti squash for the first time a few weeks ago. Cut in half, removed seeds, roasted for 40 minutes at 400. Pierced with a knife and it went right through..great. Shredded but then I noticed how soft and watery it was. It threw me off because we had it with spinach, another “soft” feeling and I couldnt finish it! Do you think I roasted too long? Should I try it more “al dente”?

  5. Lizzy

    Did you say “squarsh”? Oh that’s so funny… I had an Aunt that always called it that! LOL
    Thanks for the tutorial, makes sense… will roast mine tonight!!

  6. Marlitt Arnouville

    Forget cutting it, I used my Crock-Pot, poked a few holes in it and cooked it on high for 4 hours and cut it in half, scooped the seeds and scrapped it with a fork, super easy!

  7. Suzette

    I used your tutorial to roast my squash tonight. Except for a few choice words while trying to cut that sucker in half (I did use your method), it was easy and came out great! After shredding the squash, I browned some cubed pancetta, melted a stick of butter into it (I’m keto), and poured it over the squash and mixed it all up. Served it with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and it was so good!!

  8. sassygirl

    a bit late to the spaghetti squash party
    here but learned from another blogger to cut the squash thru it’s equator, NOT lengthwise! it keeps the strands longer and more spaghetti like. i will never cut it lengthwise again. try it.

  9. Edna

    While your squash is cooking make turkey soup from leftovers. Put the shred noodles in bowl and ladle soup over them. AWESOME 😎

  10. Cheryl Anne Berglund

    With arthritic hands, I just poke holes and roast the whole squash at once, then cut thru the equator and use the tines of a fork to scoop it out!

  11. Beth

    If you cut it in half in the middle rather than at the ends it’s not only easier to cut but then gives you the option to do 2 birdnest spaghetti squash portions that are great for presentation! After roasting just take a spoon and slowly ease out the entire nest from the skin.

  12. Laura

    Thank you. I’m going to try and cut it width wise. I’m trying to start eating healthier and I hope this recipe gives me a new and better attitude towards spaghetti squash.

  13. Susan Dubose

    These are such beautiful spaghetti squash recipes! I absolutely adore cooking it every now and then. Definitely have to try the burrito bowl recipe because it looks heavenly!

  14. Lori

    Great and lovely recipe. I’m also trying to switch to a healthier lifestyle and started to mine for healthy recipes like yours. Also, I started a marathon training with SportMe, and I managed to get rid of some pounds. Your blog posts are super inspiring for me in this phase, thanks!


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