Learn how to cut spaghetti squash easily and safely with this step-by-step tutorial and instructional video. You’ll also learn tips for how to cook spaghetti squash, recipes, and what to do if you don’t have a microwave or oven.
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Are you a fan of spaghetti squash? If you’re not familiar with this fall/winter veggie, it looks like spaghetti but tastes like squash!
I love serving it just like I would regular spaghetti. It provides the same shape as noodles while packing some extra nutrition and fiber.
But if you aren’t familiar with cooking this veggie, it can be really intimidating! The skin of spaghetti squash is very tough. But have no fear, I’m going to cover all of my favorites hacks for how to cut spaghetti squash safely and easily in this post, including how to soften spaghetti squash in the microwave.
This tutorial will show you how to cut spaghetti squash for long strands that most resemble spaghetti. There are other ways to cut this squash to yield shorter noodles, but that’s a topic for another day. Be sure to watch the video!
How to Cut and Cook Spaghetti Squash
- With a sharp paring knife, make several slits in the skin of the spaghetti squash, along the line where you will eventually cut the squash in half lengthwise.
- Put the spaghetti squash in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes on high. Please note: you MUST make slits in the squash before putting it in the microwave so that steam can escape.
- Remove the squash from the microwave, using a dish towel or oven mitt to avoid burning yourself. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, along the slits you made. Also cut off the stem.
- Remove and discard the seeds. (Or, roast them for a yummy snack!)
- Rub the cut surfaces with a drizzle of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes at 400 degrees F until the outer skin is softened. Cooking time depends on the size of the squash.
- Carefully flip the squash over with a dish towel or oven mitt. Loosen the squash “noodles” with a fork. Enjoy!
How to Cut Spaghetti Squash without a Microwave
Even though I like to take the extra precaution of softening spaghetti squash in the microwave, you can still cut it without a microwave. If you have a sharp chef’s knife and feel confident in your knife skills, slice off the stem of the spaghetti squash then carefully cut it in half lengthwise. It may take a little elbow grease, so be patient and take your time.
If you want to loosen up the skin of the spaghetti squash before cutting it, use a paring knife to make slits in the squash along where you will cut it in half. This may make it easier for you to cut even if you skip the microwaving step.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash without an Oven
If you want to streamline the whole process of preparing spaghetti squash, you can actually cook it entirely in the microwave.
Start with step 1 listed above: make several slits in the spaghetti squash with a paring knife. Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes to soften. Slice the squash in half, then remove and discard the seeds. Pour ¼ cup water in the bottom of a casserole dish and place the squash in it, cut side down.
Microwave for 5 to 10 minutes until the skin can be pierced with a fork. Be sure to start with 5 minutes, and check the squash after that so you don’t overdo it!
These tips for how to cut spaghetti squash will help you do so in an easy and safe way, but having the right equipment will make it even easier.
I use a Shun Cutlery chef’s knife. It’s very sharp and perfect for cutting squash, and although it’s expensive, it’s worth the investment (it sometimes goes on sale around the holidays too!). Shun also makes a great paring knife.
For cutting boards, I love these bamboo boards from Martha Stewart that have rubber stoppers on the bottom. You won’t have to worry about them slipping!
Spaghetti Squash Recipes
Now that you know how to make spaghetti squash easier to cut and how long to roast spaghetti squash, here are some of my favorite recipes for this veggie.
- Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry with Broccoli and Edamame
- Vegetarian Italian Spaghetti Squash Boats
- Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls
- Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Want to see more of my cooking tutorials? Check out my posts on How to Cut Delicata Squash, How to Shave Brussels Sprouts, and How to Make Riced Broccoli.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
How to Cut Spaghetti Squash
- Paring knife
- 1 spaghetti squash
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Use a paring knife to make several slits in the skin of the spaghetti squash, along the line where you will cut it in half lengthwise. Cook in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes on high to soften (you MUST make slits before putting it in the microwave to let steam escape).
- Remove the squash from the microwave, using a dish towel or oven mitt. Cut the squash in half lengthwise along the slits you made, and slice off the stem. Remove and discard the seeds.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rub the cut side of each half with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cook for 30 to 45 minutes, until the skin is softened. Cooking time will depend on the size of the squash. Remove from oven, and carefully flip over each half using a dish towel or oven mitt. Use a fork to loosen the spaghetti squash noodles. Enjoy!
- If you don’t have a microwave, you can still cut spaghetti squash in half, but it will take some extra elbow grease and more time. Start by slicing off the stem, then carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise, pausing as needed. Making slits in the skin along the line where you will cut before making the bigger cut may help.
- You can also cook a spaghetti squash entirely in the microwave if you don’t want to use the oven. Start by following the instructions for making slits in the spaghetti squash and softening the skin in the microwave (the first two steps above). Then, cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, and place the halves cut side down in a casserole dish with ¼ cup water. Cook for 5 to 10 more minutes in the microwave until the skin is softened and can be pierced with a fork.
- Store cooked spaghetti squash in the fridge for up to a week.
Happy cooking! – Lizzie
What kind of salt do I use to rub onto spaghetti squash? Table salt, sea salt or kosher salt? What is the difference between the 3?
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Hi Rue, you can use any salt to rub the spaghetti squash! The main difference between those salts is that kosher and sea salt have larger crystals than table salt. If a recipe calls for sea or kosher salt and you want to sub table salt, you should use a little less than what’s recommended since more of table salt crystals can fit into a measuring spoon.
Very helpful, Thanks
Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN
Glad to hear it!