How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Cooked spaghetti squash is a great nutrient dense, gluten-free, lower carb alternative to pasta or rice noodles. There are two great methods how to cook spaghetti squash and we’re giving you all the details you need to know!

Bowl of instant pot spaghetti squashHow to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash noodles are probably the easiest alternative to traditional pasta there is. While it doesn’t taste exactly the same, spaghetti squash is a nutrient-dense, low carb alternative to pasta (whether gluten-free or not). If you can’t eat pasta or noodles for whatever reason, this is a pretty good substitute. It can take the place of almost any noodle dish, ranging from a classic “spaghetti” and meatballs, to a baked Italian “pasta” dish or even as a Pad Thai. Cooking spaghetti squash is so simple, being a mostly hands off cooking task. The hardest part is slicing it in half, so we are giving tips below.

Safe knife skills with spaghetti squash

How to Safely Cut It:

Your best answer to safely cutting a spaghetti squash is to have a large sharp knife, and a flat stead surface to cut it. With one hand, steady the spaghetti squash, and with the other press the knife into the squash before using your weight to leverage the knife through the squash. Once the knife is at least an inch inside the squash use your other hand to push down on the knife until it cuts through the squash entirely.

We cut the squash in two ways:

  1. Crosswise the the middle: This is our preferred method. This way is easier because there is less squash to cut, and you don’t have to go close to the stem. This results in long strings of noodles.
  2. Lengthwise: This method is harder to cut the squash and results in shorter noodles. Don’t try to attempt to cut through the hard stem. Once you’ve cut to that, take the knife out and use your hands to pull apart the spaghetti squash halves.

Still are afraid to cut the squash? You can always cook the squash whole, and cut after it is cooked. It’s obviously much easier to cut after it is soft, but we don’t prefer this method (see below as to why).

Can you Cook Spaghetti Squash Whole?

Yes you can, but this was not our favorite method of cooking it. If you are truly intimidated by cutting a squash, cooking it whole certainly makes it a lot easier to cut, but if you follow the tips above you should be able to safely cut a spaghetti squash. We didn’t like the result of a whole cooked spaghetti squash because it is harder to scoop out the seeds when they’re soft because you can’t easily distinguish between the inedible seeds and the edible squash strands.

Roasted spaghetti squash

Long strands of spaghetti squash

Our Favorite Way to Cook It

We are fans of cooking spaghetti squash in both the oven and in the Instant Pot. There is a slight difference in taste, and an even greater difference in cook time between these two, but knowing both is useful.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Oven

Roasting spaghetti squash in the oven takes longer, but it results in tender caramelized squash noodles. This is definitely our preferred method if we have the time. To make it, all you do is split the spaghetti squash, scoop out the seeds and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and roast until fork tender. More detailed directions are below in the recipe section!

How to Cook Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Steaming spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot is by far the quickest method, and great when short on time! The squash noodles have a more straight-forward taste to them since there is no caramelization occurring. We prefer splitting the spaghetti squash and scooping out the seeds before cooking it, but you can steam it whole.

Spaghetti squash meal prep

Do you Eat the Skin of the Spaghetti Squash?

No! While some squash has edible skin, this is not one of them. Simply scoop out the “noodles” and discard the skin.

How to Use it

Treat spaghetti squash noodles like pasta! It can be eaten as is with a little oil, salt and pepper and parmesan cheese or you can use it in any variety of recipes. Check out below for some of ours:

Recipes using Spaghetti Squash:

Watch the video:

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time 00:03 Cook Time 00:45 Inactive Time 00:00 Total Time 00:50 Serves 2-4


  • 1 3-4lb. spaghetti squash (see note)
  • splash of oil (roasting only)
  • salt and pepper


For the Oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with foil
  2. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise (for short "noodles") or crosswise (for long "noodles") and scoop out seeds. 
  3. Scoop out seeds and discard.
  4. Brush inside with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Place facedown on baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until you can pierce with a fork.
  6. When cool enough to handle, scrape out "spaghetti" with a fork.
  7. Cooked spaghetti squash will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.

For the Instant Pot:

  1. Cut spaghetti squash lengthwise (for short "noodles") or crosswise (for long "noodles") and scoop out seeds. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
  2. Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot.
  3. Stack the spaghetti squash on top of each other (cut-side up).
  4. Close the lid and make sure the knob is turned to sealing.
  5. Set to manual high-pressure for 10 minutes (longer time will be needed for bigger squash)
  6. When the timer goes off, turn the vent on the top of the lid to venting to release the steam.
  7. Once the venting knob has dropped, open the lid and shred the spaghetti squash with two forks to turn squash into spaghetti-like noodles!
  8. Cooked spaghetti squash will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes

  1. If your spaghetti squash is a different size, you may have to adjust the cooking time, especially for the Instant Pot.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Casserole

This Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Casserole is comfort food lightened up! All the classic flavors of your favorite chicken enchiladas, including refried beans, made healthier with spaghetti squash as its base. This gluten-free and dairy-free meal is the ultimate family favorite meal that is great for meal prep, too. Made in partnership with Tuttorosso Tomatoes!

Spaghetti Squash Enchilada Casserole close upChicken Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Casserole

This Enchilada casserole is the ultimate gluten-free casserole! This healthy and hearty enchilada casserole made with spaghetti squash has all the Mexican flavor you love that is a definite crowd favorite. This recipe has loads of veggies, shredded chicken, homemade refried beans, spaghetti squash and is so comforting.

Here’s what you need to make it:

  • 5 cups cooked spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken or make it)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 batch refried beans (or buy it)
  • arrowroot flour
  • enchilada spices
  • tomato Sauce
  • chicken broth
  • herbs for garnish

Spaghetti Squash Enchilada Casserole

This recipe is made in partnership with my friends at Tuttorosso Tomatoes, my favorite tomatoes that I trust time and time again in my kitchen. Other Tuttorosso favorites include my Lasagna SoupInstant Pot Chicken CacciatorePizza Stuffed Peppers, and One Pan Indian Spiced Chicken and Cauliflower!

Ingredients for enchilada casserole

How to Make this Enchilada Casserole

  1. Roast or cook the squash in an Instant Pot. Check out this article for more info.
  2. Pre-cook and veggies that go with it.
  3. Make the refried beans and sauce.
  4. Assemble and bake!

Cheesy top of casserole with avocado slices

Watch the video:

If you like this recipe, try these other Spaghetti Squash Recipes:

Scoop of enchilada casserole from the oven

Spaghetti Squash Enchilada Casserole (with Chicken)

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes Total Time 1:20 Serves 6


  • 5 cups spaghetti squash, cooked
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 14.5 ounce can black beans
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups spinach, loosely packed
  • 5 ounces refried beans, about 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Chopped scallions, for garnish
  • Optional: 1/4 cup Mexican blend cheese, more for topping

1 batch Enchilada Sauce from page XXX in My Cookbook (Makes about 2 cups)

Refried Beans (makes 8 ounces)


  1. Cook The Spaghetti Squash:  Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Brush inside with oil. Place facedown on baking sheet and add 1 tablespoon or so of water to the baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until you can pierce with a fork. Once done, scrape out squash into spaghetti stands and set aside. 
  2. While cooking, sauté the veggies: 
  3. Make the enchilada sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the arrowroot flour and stir constantly for 1 minute.  Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and salt. Then add the tomato sauce and gradually add the chicken broth, whisking to remove any clumps. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by about half and can coat the back of a spoon. 
  4. Make the Refried Beans: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in garlic and spices and let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Drain the liquid from the beans and rinse well, then add the beans to the saucepan. Turn down heat and stir well. Add in lime juice and water. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Take off heat and mash well using a potato masher or fork. Set aside until ready to serve.
  5. Assemble and bake:

Recipe Notes


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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

This post is sponsored by Tuttorosso Tomatoes. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

Creamy Pumpkin Casserole

My new favorite Fall faux pasta dish is this Creamy Pumpkin Casserole. I love savory pumpkin dishes just as much as I love baked goods with pumpkin in it!  This creamy casserole has pumpkin, spinach, and chicken slathered in the most delicious sauce, then baked to perfection. 

Creamy Pumpkin Casserole

I am so excited to partner with my friends at Pacific Foods to bring you today’s recipe. It’s not one you’ll want to miss! It uses both a dairy-free milk and their pumpkin puree (which is my all-time favorite), more on that below.

Creamy Pumpkin Casserole

Creamy Pumpkin Casserole 

Look at that creamy bite of heaven!

Creamy Pumpkin Casserole

Let’s talk about pumpkin puree for a second. This pumpkin from Pacific Foods is hands down my favorite. There’s only ONE ingredient: Pumpkin. That’s it, friends, nothing added! It has a great shelf life, is smooth and delicious, and is often a great sub in cooking and baking. In my recipes that call for applesauce, I’ll often sub it for pumpkin puree for a wonderful twist! AND personally, I find easier to store versus can, if you don’t use it all! 

Creamy Pumpkin Casserole

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Creamy Pumpkin Casserole  Creamy Pumpkin CasseroleHappy pumpkin cooking!  

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Chicken and Caramelized Onions

Are you ready for Fall? Fall recipes, cooler weather, apple picking, all things pumpkin, leggings, boots, scarves? Ready or not, it’s a-comin’! This Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Chicken and Caramelized Onions is hearty comfort food meets healthy and nutritious! A perfect meal all autumn long!

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Chicken and Caramelized Onions

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Let me tell you, this Alfredo isn’t your ordinary Alfredo sauce. It’s creamy and delicious, but not JUNKY! Wait what? Yes! Plus caramelized onions and chicken. You guys, run to make this one!

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Chicken and Caramelized Onions


The combination of the good quality mayo + Pacific Foods Original Almond Milk (my favorite milk substitute for baking or cooking) + garlic and spices gives you ALL THAT FABULOUS FLAVOR.


Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Chicken and Caramelized Onions

Want more spaghetti squash recipes? Try these:

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Creamy, healthy, goodness. How are you celebrating Fall?