Spaghetti squash is one of the many squashes you find in the supermarket during the fall and winter months. If you've noticed the yellow oval-shaped vegetable and wondered what to do with it, you'll be amazed by this versatile ingredient.
Spaghetti squash is easy to cook and mild in flavor. Unlike most other squashes that are meaty and solid, the interior of the squash transforms into long, tender strands that are similar to al dente spaghetti when cooked (hence the name spaghetti squash). It makes the vegetable a stand-in for pasta for those who follow low-carbohydrate diets or those who cannot consume gluten.
Spaghetti squash can be cooked in the oven, microwave, slow cooker, or pressure cooker and simply topped with your choice of sauce. It's satisfying and filling–much like pasta–and has a lightly sweet flavor that pairs well with just about anything.
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Cooking spaghetti squash doesn't require any special equipment—just your oven and a baking sheet. Poke the whole squash all over with a fork and bake for at least an hour or until tender. While your squash is baking, make your toppings or sauces like a meaty bolognese or a mushroom cream sauce. When the squash is done roasting, simply slice in half, remove the seeds, and scrape out the spaghetti-like strands.
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Enjoy a classic carbonara by simply swapping the spaghetti for squash. This recipe has you slice the squash in half, remove the seeds, and roast until tender. This leaves enough time to fry the bacon, make the simple cream sauce, and set the table. The creamy dish is gluten-free—serve with a side salad it makes a full meal.
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In addition to being delicious, spaghetti squash is versatile. It can be cooked in a variety of ways, not just with a long roast in the oven. Stick the vegetable in your slow cooker with a little water and let it cook all day unattended. Or speed things up by slicing the squash in half, adding it to your electric pressure cooker, and steaming for a mere seven minutes. If you end up with extra spaghetti squash, freeze some of the strands for use later.
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Spaghetti squash pad Thai is a twist on a favorite takeout dish. The squash replaces rice noodles and it includes fish sauce, cilantro, tamarind, scallion, garlic, bean sprouts, and roasted peanuts. The tofu is broiled rather than fried and, if needed, a few simple substitutions turn it into a vegan meal.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Stuffed spaghetti squash is a delicious main dish or side and the squash doubles as the serving bowl. The roasted squash is filled with cherry tomatoes, garlic, onion, Swiss chard, and Parmesan cheese. Fresh oregano and rosemary add another layer of flavor. If you skip the pork, it's vegetarian, and using an alternative to the cheese makes it vegan.
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Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash With Sage Brown Butter Sauce
In the short time it takes to cook spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot, you can prepare a savory brown butter sauce on the stove. A dash of red pepper flakes and fresh sage leaves add lots of flavor to the simple, but elegant dish. Serve the brown butter spaghetti squash with chicken breasts or roasted vegetables and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling.
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Alfredo sauce is traditionally paired with linguini pasta, but it works just as well coating tender spaghetti squash. This vegetarian alfredo dish is topped with broccoli, but you can add grilled chicken or shrimp if you like. Parmesan, pecorino, or a mix of the two cheeses works well for the sauce.
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Give spaghetti squash the full pasta treatment by tossing the cooked strands with tomatoes, butter, garlic, fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese. This recipe is mostly hands off, with the squash roasting in the oven before being tossed with the other ingredients. Serve with a salad as a vegetarian pasta main or top with homemade meatballs for a real treat.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Spaghetti squash can be quickly and easily steamed in the microwave. Remove the stem and cut in half before removing the seeds and stringy goop in the middle. Place cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish with a little water and cook until tender. Use a fork to remove the strands and use in place of pasta for an easy turkey tetrazzini or a simple cacio e pepe.
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For a Mexican take on spaghetti squash, combined the cooked strands with ground beef, bell pepper, onion, garlic, tomato, and cheddar cheese and bake. It's similar to a pasta bake but without the carbs and is a delicious main dish. The ground beef can easily be swapped for ground turkey in this recipe, or add diced fresh or pickled jalapeños for a spicy kick.
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For this quick and easy spaghetti squash dish, microwaved squash is shredded and kept warm while you make a delicious creamy bacon sauce. Mix up the flavors by swapping the bacon for cooked sausage or lose the meat altogether and add sautéed mushrooms or wilted spinach. Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a little heat.
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If you're wondering what to do with all of the seeds you scrape out of the middle of spaghetti squash, the answer is make a tasty snack! Squash seeds are similar in flavor and texture to pumpkin seeds and are a popular snack in the Middle East. Give them a rinse, pat them dry, and then roast until toasty. Add your choice of seasoning, including Cajun or Chinese five-spice.