How to Open (and roast) a Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a great vegetable, especially once you stop eating noodles from grain sources. It works as a fairly neutral base, taking just about any flavored sauce and making you feel like you just had pasta. Super comforting! Here’s the catch…the thing is a pain to cut open! I have often thought that if it were easier, I’d eat more of it. And then Halloween came along.

You know those cute little serrated mini-knives that are sold for less than a dollar around this time of year? They are AMAZING at cutting squash open! Guess what else? If you get the fancy (under $3) pumpkin scraper with the teeth to go along with it, you’re in business! Quick and painless. Trust me. Stock up – I did!

Spaghetti Squash tools 2013

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

1 medium spaghetti squash

A few pinches of salt

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2) Use the small serrated knife to cut all around the squash, lengthwise. Then crack it open to reveal the seeds. It should be really easy since the little knife has already done all the work. Use the serrated scraper to remove the seeds.

Spaghetti Squash cutting 2013

Spaghetti Squash breaking

Spaghetti squash scraping 2013

3) Sprinkle a little salt on the cut sides and place face-down in a large glass baking dish. Add water to the dish to measure a little less than a 1/4 in. deep. Bake the squash in the oven for about 35-40 minutes. If you squeeze the outside of the squash with tongs, there should be some give, but not squishy. I like mine to be pretty al dente because I will invariably cook it again. BUT if you want yours a little softer, go ahead and leave it in another 5-10 minutes.

Spaghetti Squash with water 2013

4) Let squash cool cut-side up until you can handle it easily. I often bake it whenever I have a moment and leave it to cool – even for a couple hours. Scrape the squash with a fork to make spaghetti-like strands. Reheat before serving.

Spaghetti Squash - Shredding 2013 (2)

Note: This is a great vegetable to roast on the weekend, shred, and store in the fridge. Now you have noodles ready to go. I will almost always microwave, sauté, or otherwise cook them before eating, which is why I like them still firm when I roast them.

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