How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

As some of you may know, March is National Nutrition Month! This year’s theme, assigned by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is “put your best fork forward.” Today, my fellow interns and I created a video about how to chop and cook different vegetables. Our goal was to teach the veteran population about ways to eat more veggies and make small steps towards putting their best fork forward. We included demonstrations on how to purchase, chop, and cook chard, brussels sprouts, radishes, artichokes, and eggplant.

Working on this video allowed me to reflect on the many benefits of learning how to cook. When it comes to the kitchen, knowledge is truly power. Assisting someone with preparing food is an incredible way to help that person take control of his or her health. A short lesson on chopping carrots can turn into a daily habit of eating raw vegetables. Teach someone to roast a sheet of veggies, and all of a sudden, meal prep becomes routine.

Today’s post goes through the steps of preparing spaghetti squash. This fiber-rich vegetable is a fantastic substitution for pasta, rice, or noodles. It’s low in carbohydrates, satiating, and versatile– you can dress it up with any sauce you like!

Ready to give it a try?

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash 

First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Get out a large cutting board and sharp chef’s knife.

    Spaghetti Squash 1

  2. Slice the squash in half. This may take some elbow grease! 

    Spaghetti Squash 2

  3. Scoop out the seeds and discard. I tend to use a large serving fork to scoop out the “gunk” in the middle. 

    Spaghetti Squash 3

  4. Once squash is clean in the middle, place both halves face down in a rectangle baking pan. You can add a small amount of water (<1/2 inch) to the bottom of the pan to help with steaming the squash. This is optional, but can help make the squash more tender. 

    Spaghetti Squash 4Spaghetti Squash 5

  5. Bake for 35-45 minutes. The squash is finished when it is tender, and can be easily pulled away in strands from the outside skin with a fork. It can be very hot, so be sure to let it cool slightly by flipping it over so the steam can come off. 

    Spaghetti Squash 7

  6. Spaghetti squash is delicious with stewed tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Additional ideas include adding pesto or asian-style sauces with vegetables and lean proteins. 

    Spaghetti Squash 6

 

Enjoy adding spaghetti squash to your meals!

-Lizzie

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