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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter

Say hello to the spaghetti squash.

I gotta say, big squash is intimidating. It’s heavy, hard to peel, hard to cut (hack saw anyone?) and hurts when you drop the bastard on your foot *!@#!*%Y&!!!

But how can you resist that sunshiney-happy-yellow? It will be one of the easiest vegetable dishes you can make. I cook the long strands like I do spaghetti (well, why not!?) and toss it with garlicky butter and shower with parmesan cheese.

In reality, as intimidating as a squash looks, it’s strangely simple to cook. Just plop it on a baking sheet and pierce a few times all around with a sharp paring knife or bamboo skewer. No cutting, no peeling, no marinating, no massaging. Just plop. And carry it to your oven. WITHOUT tilting the pan and dropping it on your foot. According to commenters below…you could also microwave the sucker for a few minutes, slice in half and roast cut-side-down for 30 minutes.

OR — you could just microwave the ENTIRE thing

But I like baking the best.

Bake 375F for about an hour. Just until you can pierce it easily without resistance with a knife.

Let it cool, then slice open and rake out the seeds.

Then use your fork and scrape away….oooh lookie lookie at those pretty strands. If it seems really hard to scrape out the squash, return to the oven for another 10 minutes. The squash shouldn’t be mushy — taste it — it should still have a nice, slight crunch.

One squash will feed lots of people.

Loads of butter, loads of garlic.

Loads of parsley or basil.

Toss in the squash, season with salt.

And loads of grated parmesan cheese.



Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 5 Cook Time: 60

I tend to under-bake the spaghetti squash just a bit, so it still retains just a slight crunch. Baking time really depends on how big your squash is - try to get the smallest one, especially if you’re only feeding 4 people. It’s ready if you can pierce the squash with a paring knife with little resistance. If you’re a garlic love, don’t be shy - use more!

Alternatively, microwave the whole squash for 2-4 minutes (to soften enough to cut lengthwise). Place squash cut-side down on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes until tender.


1 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley (or basil)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Pierce squash a few times with sharp paring knife (to let steam escape). Bake spaghetti squash for 60 minutes, or until a paring knife pierces easily through skin with little resistance. Let squash cool for 10 minutes.

2. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Use a fork to remove and discard the seeds. Continue using fork to scrape the squash to get long, lovely strands. If the squash seem difficult to scrape, return the squash to bake for an additional 10 minutes.

3. Heat a large saute pan with the butter and the garlic over medium-low heat. When garlic becomes fragrant, add parsley, salt and spaghetti squash strands. Toss well, sprinkle in the parmesan cheese and taste to see if you need additional salt. The spaghetti squash should have a slight crunch (i.e. not mushy) - but if you like it softer, cover the pan and cook 2 more minutes.

More Spaghetti Squash Recipes

Spaghetti Squash Recipe with Tomatoes and Basil Microwave Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Basil from Steamy Kitchen

Spaghetti Squash with Pomodoro Sauce from Whipped
Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash from Smitten Kitchen
Stuffed Squash Boats from Dine & Dish
Spaghetti Squash with Crispy Bacon & Turnip Greens from Cooking by the Seat of my Pants
Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil, Parmesan from Love & Olive Oil
Zucchini & Spaghetti Squash “Lasagne” from Green Lite Bites

208 Responses to “Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter”

  1. CW — 9/28/10 @ 12:04 pm

    Oh yum! That looks really good.
    You could toast the seeds with a bit of salt and pepper and toss them back in with the squash. I bet it would taste incredible.
    I just saw a bunch of squashes and pumpkins at the farmers’ market yesterday. Can’t wait to start making fall/winter-friendly food!

  2. I love spaghetti squash but this is the first time I’ve read about baking it whole – it sounds so much easier that way! I have one sitting on my counter now and can’t wait to eat it this week!

  3. dhanes420 — 9/28/10 @ 12:10 pm

    oohhhhh! nice. never thought to even eat one of these, usually stick with acorn and butternut.

  4. Monica — 9/28/10 @ 12:10 pm

    one of my favorite meals to put together, its easy, no mess and yum, every single time.

  5. Mrs. Kolca — 9/28/10 @ 12:22 pm

    This is a healthy vegetarian meal. Too bad that kind of squash is not always available in the country where I live.

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  7. City Share — 9/28/10 @ 12:50 pm

    Yum. I love spaghetti squash – I even serve it with tomato sauce. It’s so exciting that fall has arrived with its whole new set of vegetables.

  8. Lucy — 9/28/10 @ 12:50 pm

    Love, love, love spaghetti squash. We have a local Italian restaurant that serves it as a side with most dishes and includes a little marinara on top. To die for! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I will definitely try it.

  9. Miranda Merten — 9/28/10 @ 1:02 pm

    I had a girlfriend in college that would eat spagetti squash all the time. I have never tried it and last week I saw it back at Whole Foods! So now that I have a really good looking recipe, I am going to try this one soon!

  10. SusieBee — 9/28/10 @ 1:28 pm

    It’s such a versatile veggie. I poke several holes in one and microwave until soft-10-29 minutes depending on size. Homemade sauce, italian turkey sausage, mushrooms and parmesan, perfect!

  11. Kirstin — 9/28/10 @ 1:31 pm

    you made this look way less scary, plus since it’s squash all that butter doesn’t count right?!?! tehehe

  12. Lori @ RecipeGirl — 9/28/10 @ 1:39 pm

    Your spaghetti squash looks yummy. I always forget about spaghetti squash. It’s the perfect dinner for me… but the husband and kid wouldn’t like it so much. Is your family into it?

  13. Heidy — 9/28/10 @ 1:48 pm

    What a great idea to cook it whole,(and to add parmesan, yum!) I have always halfed it and baked for about half that time…but you are so right about the hacksaw thing. It is almost impossible to cut one without some kind of injury. I will definitely try this method!!

  14. Lizzie Longenecker — 9/28/10 @ 2:08 pm

    Holy moly that looks delicious! I’m such a squash nut… I just posted this on facebook and have gotten comments already.

    I haven’t commented in a while, but I’m still addicted to you, Jaden. Don’t you worry about that!


  15. sara — 9/28/10 @ 2:19 pm

    Oh wow! I woulda been cursing in my kitchen with a huge knife in my hand. And woe is the person who walks in to ask what my problem is. Thanks for the awesome tip – I had no idea you could cook the thing whole! :)

  16. MICHELLE — 9/28/10 @ 2:23 pm

    Great!!!! Now…..if you would please find a recipe for Chinese Chicken Feet!!!!

  17. Katie's Cooking — 9/28/10 @ 2:28 pm

    What an effortless meal! I will definitely be making this in the near future. Perfect for leftovers too!

  18. Foodie in Berlin — 9/28/10 @ 2:33 pm

    Spaghetti squash can be a bit bland but I like they way you cooked it with butter, garlic, parsley and Parmesan. It must be lovely like that!

  19. I love spaghetti squash, minus the dropping on the foot part, thank you very much. How could this not be good…butter, garlic, parm, yum!

  20. LOVE this post! I’m getting so excited about squash!!

  21. Alice — 9/28/10 @ 5:04 pm

    I love love LOVE squashes. I’ve got an acorn squash for my supper tomorrow that I plan on using similar flavours with.

  22. A wonderfully simple way to prepare it! Great photos!

  23. Barry — 9/28/10 @ 6:30 pm

    Hmm, I’ve always split em in half then roasted. This looks to be much easier and tasty. The squash is also great with tomato sauce though it can overpower it if you use too much.

  24. i loveloveLOVE spagetti squash! it really is so simple! I just love how you made it. beautiful! don’t you just love fall??? i need to go out and get some so i can make this yummy dish!! thanks for motivating me! :)

  25. carine — 9/28/10 @ 9:00 pm

    is squash and pumpkin different?

  26. Carlos — 9/28/10 @ 9:47 pm

    Never had spaghetti squash! this looks amazing and I will have to give it a try this weekend. If it taste like it looks, I will be making this dish regularly. Thanks for the post!

  27. Danny — 9/28/10 @ 10:30 pm

    Spaghetti squash microwaves beautifully. I put the whole squash in the microwave for 2 minutes. That initial time makes it easy to cut it in half. Then I take the two halves and add a tablespoon of water, cover with Saran wrap and then microwave for 15 to 20 minutes. (It may take less time if squash is not very big.) Then scrape out the seeds and proceed as you like.

  28. Monica — 9/28/10 @ 11:15 pm

    I have never made spaghetti squash, but this recipe motivates me to give it a try. Looks delicious, and I love the simplicity of the recipe. Thanks!

  29. LimeCake — 9/29/10 @ 1:02 am

    this looks delicious! and so simple. i wonder if the same can be done with other types of squash.

  30. Kim in MD — 9/29/10 @ 8:12 am

    I love spagetti squash, but hate the fact that it is so darned hard to cut into. You have solved that problem by roasting it BEFORE cutting it. Another “why didn’t I think of that?” moment! :-) Love the garlic, butter and parmesan, Jaden!

  31. Kalyn — 9/29/10 @ 10:10 am

    This sounds delicious. You can also microwave the squash for a few minutes if you want to cut the squash and remove the seeds before baking. I’ve done that when I wanted to season the inside, but your method also sounds great!

  32. Liam O'Malley — 9/29/10 @ 1:41 pm

    This looks great, will definitely have to try it out soon.

  33. FoodontheTable — 9/29/10 @ 2:52 pm

    This looks wonderful and so simple with just a few ingredients.

  34. dhanes420 — 9/29/10 @ 6:54 pm

    Just bought two, didn’t realize they were so small. I’ll post a pic to twitter :)

  35. Liz @ Blog is the New Black — 9/29/10 @ 8:31 pm

    Spaghetti squash is so delish!

  36. Oh, Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. I bought a spaghetti squash today and didn’t have a recipe yet. Great, that makes me happy. Thank you Jaden.
    Greetings from Denver.

  37. Carolyn Jung — 9/30/10 @ 12:20 am

    I’m a girl who likes her pasta — a lot! But I tell ya, you may have just sold me on spaghetti “squash” as an alternative at least now and then. Beautiful strands, especially with all that wonderful garlic butter. ;)

  38. Thanks for sharing, Jaden. Spaghetti squash is on my “to cook one day” list. I just might have to use this recipe!

  39. nicole — 9/30/10 @ 5:52 pm

    I love spaghetti squash. It is one of my favorite vegetables.
    I typically fight through it and cut it in half so I get the baking time down. Man those are some fiesty hard squashes.

  40. Katrina — 9/30/10 @ 11:00 pm

    Oh my goodness! this looks ssooooo good!

  41. Mindy — 10/1/10 @ 9:43 am

    It’s also delicious tossed with tomatoes, basil and garlic!

  42. wow I have never heard of such a dish but I would love to try it out. I bet its so good too.

  43. SHelby — 10/1/10 @ 10:35 am

    This looks so delicious! I have never ever cooked spaghetti squash before. I think it is about time I tried. Thank you for encouraging me and enticing me!

  44. Lynn — 10/2/10 @ 2:50 pm

    Just want to say thank you for the recipe & also a big Thank you for the belly laugh! :D Loved your lil diddy about cutting up the squash!! Have a great day!

  45. Chef David — 10/2/10 @ 5:43 pm

    Love this recipe and your photos never fail to inspire.

  46. Chris — 10/3/10 @ 10:18 am

    Why is your foot blue and purple?

  47. Alta — 10/4/10 @ 3:03 pm

    I have a huge sunshiny yellow spaghetti squash on my counter! I love your version..simple and delicious.

  48. Wow, this looks delicious! I’ve never cooked spaghetti squash, it always seemed so intimidating. This recipe is inspiring me to give it a try!

  49. Gretch — 10/8/10 @ 4:47 pm

    Very tasty! I used basil and replaced the butter with olive oil. Really enjoyed it, thanks!

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