How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Microwave
When laziness prevails! Cooking Spaghetti Squash is so easy to do and cuts the cook time dramatically. Now you can enjoy your favorite pasta stand-in without having to wait an hour (or MORE!) for your spaghetti squash to roast in the oven.
I just finished a juice cleanse and, in all honesty, it was pretty brutal. Yes, I may be acting a little dramatic about it but I think I would have been less hungry had I not had to drink a juice every 2-3 hours. And the juice was like an appetite stimulant so I was constantly reminding my belly that it was completely empty leading to those crazy hunger pangs that totally make you hangry.
I’m not a fan of cleanses at all but I was really stuck on the sweets train for the past few months and thought this would be the best way to nip it in the bud. Guess what? It worked! But now…I’m trying to work some healthy recipes back into my diet before biting into my next cookie or slice of cake. It’s unrealistic to say that I will NEVER have cake again because my motto is everything in moderation. Even sweets.
But for dinners and lunch and everything in between, I’m trying to stay on the lighter side for the time being because all the food holidays are coming and I will not hold back. It’s just not the way life should be lived. Right? Plus, January is always a fresh start so we can come back to the healthy stuff then. But right now….I’m totally digging Spaghetti Squash, which isn’t a new thing for me at all.
I LOVE Spaghetti Squash because it’s kind of a fun vegetable to eat. And preparing it can seem like a daunting task but I’m here to tell you that it’s SUPER easy to make and even faster than ever because we’re making our Spaghetti Squash in the MICROWAVE!
Year ago, I made this Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash and meatballs which was my go to dinner for months that year. It was so easy (and popular) I made it for a Fox 29 Good Day Back to School segment. It was a hit but unless I really wanted to prep in the morning before work, I didn’t really feel like wrestling a stubborn spaghetti squash first thing in the morning.
Wanting to create more Spaghetti Squash recipes, I decided to give the microwave a try and BOY was I happy with the results!
What Is Spaghetti Squash
If you’re not familiar with spaghetti squash, you’re in for a real treat.
Spaghetti Squash is a yellow-ish, orange vegetable from the squash family that’s commonly found in fall. Once cooked, the flesh of the squash can be shredded into long, thin strands similar to spaghetti and can be used as a substitute to pasta in many recipes.
One cup of cooked spaghetti squash has about 30 calories and about 10 grams of carbohydrates (2 grams of fiber…so net carbs are around 8 grams.)
While spaghetti squash doesn’t necessarily taste like pasta, it’s hearty texture and mild flavor make it suitable for most pasta sauces or baked pasta recipes. And while the taste is pretty mild, it does have a sweetness to it that lends a nice contrast to most tomato based sauces!
High in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, potassium, beta-carotene and antioxidants, Spaghetti Squash is a healthier alternative to pasta. It’s also gluten-free, keto friendly and paleo approved.
How To Cook It In The Microwave
This is HANDS DOWN the easiest way to cook Spaghetti Squash. Microwaving your spaghetti squash slashes the cooking time dramatically leaving you with perfect strands of squash spaghetti you can use in so many different ways. So much easier than roasting Spaghetti Squash.
- Cut your squash in half lengthwise using a sharp kitchen knife.
- Scoop out the seeds using a spoon. (Save the seeds for roasting!)
- Drizzle the cut side of the squash with olive oil and season with salt/pepper.
- Place the squash cut side down in a baking dish and fill with about 1 inch of water.
- With a fork, prick holes all over the outside of the squash. This will allow steam to escape.
- Transfer the baking dish to the microwave and cook in high power for 10 minutes.
Your squash is done cooking when it’s fork tender and no longer rock hard. Allow the squash to cool a bit until it’s easy to handle and, using a fork, scrape the sides of the squash to create the strands.
How To Cut Spaghetti Squash
My quick tip for making your Spaghetti Squash easier to open is to score your squash with a knife, poking the skin with a fork and then popping it in the microwave for a couple minutes to soften. It’s much easier to cut if you’re having a difficult time powering through the tough skin.
I found that about 3-5 minutes is all you need to soften Spaghetti Squash enough to get your knife through it without too much muscle. But as tempting as it is, do not cook the whole squash in the microwave for longer than 5 minutes because it could cause the steam to build up creating a very dangerous situation.
This tip also works if you want to bake spaghetti squash in the oven but are having a difficult time cutting it in half.
How To Serve Spaghetti Squash
Microwave Spaghetti Squash is so fantastic for easy weeknight dinners.
Here are my favorite ways to serve it:
- Topped with this hearty meat sauce.
- Sub in for regular pasta in this Aglio e Olio recipe
- Dressed with a bit of olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper…perfection.
- Alongside this easy Chicken Cacciatore
- Stir in a spoonful of Basil Pesto
Cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave might just be your new weekday rockstar recipe because it’s so, sooooo incredibly easy to make. And you can totally make it your own by topping with your favorite Marinara Sauce or a homemade Alfredo Sauce with a handful of spinach!
If you have an Instant Pot, you have to try this version for cooking spaghetti squash!
Get the Recipe: How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Recipe
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Using a large, sharp knife, carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise through the stem end.
- Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. (Or save the seeds and roast them.)
- Drizzle the cut side of the squash with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the squash, cut side down, in a baking dish. Using a fork, pierce several holes in the skin so steam can escape.
- Cook the squash in the microwave on high for 10-15 minutes or until the flesh is fork tender.
- Allow the squash to rest until cool enough to handle. Using a fork, shred the flesh of the squash to create long spaghetti strands.
- Drizzle with olive oil and serve or use in your favorite pasta recipe.