How to prepare a spaghetti squash for roasting

Anyone that follows my blog knows by now how much I love spaghetti squash!

I have always LOVED pasta, it’s my absolute favorite meal, prepared in many many ways!! But I’m trying to eat healthier meals so I need to cut out the pasta when possible. I sub those dishes with spaghetti squash.

A friend of mine asked how to prepare it, she said she has wanted to try to make it but didn’t know how. I promised her that the next time I would make it, I would send her pictures and directions so she could see what I was doing. I thought I would share just in case anyone else is interested too.

Cutting those suckers is half the battle! Use a good sharp knife, keep a wooden spoon handy. And make sure the squash is on a cutting board so you do not chop or cut into your countertop. I start by putting the knife right in the middle lengthwise (or end to end) and carefully work it down about halfway through. I found that if I put it the entire way through, I have a more difficult time working it around to the end. This works for me, you may find a better way for you.

Anyway, I gently start working the knife blade back towards the end of the squash. Now, sometimes I have had squash that my knife will NOT cut through the stem, this is where the wooden spoon comes in handy, but it needs to be a heavy duty wooden spoon. I use the handle to start “hammering” the knife handle down through the stem. Seriously, this works!!! I saw someone else do this, I tried it and it works!

After that, just keep cutting around the entire squash. If the cut doesn’t match up on the opposite side, no worries cuz no one is gonna see that.

Then scrape out the seeds. If you start scraping too much you will see that you are also pulling the squash noodles out too so once you have the strands with the seeds out, then you’re good to go.

If you’re only planning to use half the squash, wrap the other piece in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

Next I drizzle the squash with olive oil, then salt and pepper. Depending on the sauce I am making I may add different spices and herbs to the squash. For this recipe I sprinkled the squash with cayenne pepper.

You will need a baking dish or cookie sheet lined with foil, just make sure the baking object has sides to collect any oil that may run out.

Turn the squash upside down onto the baking sheet. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.

When done, remove the baking sheet from the oven. I use a towel to grab the squash and turn it over. Be careful!! Using a fork, gently pull the noodles from the squash onto a large bowl or plate.

There ya go! Give it try and feel free to share how you make you spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

I haven’t made Puttanesca in a very long time, it’s one of my favorite Italian dishes. And since I am loving spaghetti squash and trying to find new ways to serve it, this seemed like a good thing to try… And I loved it!

There’s nothing better than a pasta sauce full of garlic simmering on the stove, the aroma is amazing!

I started with some olive oil in my cast iron skillet, after that heated I added 2 anchovies, red pepper flakes, and garlic. I used garlic powder since I didn’t have any garlic bulbs on hand. I simmered that until the anchovies melted, then I added capers, chopped black olives and a can of whole tomatoes. I smashed them while they were cooking and then added a few tablespoons of tomato sauce.

When the sauce was ready, it only took about 5-8 minutes, I tossed in the spaghetti squash noodles. I did a light and gentle toss. After placing the scrumptious noodles and sauce in a pasta bowl, I added some freshly grated parmesan cheese and dinner was served.

A glass of red wine and a slice of toasted Italian bread, and my tummy was happy.

This made 2 servings for me, I cannot eat a big bowl of pasta, even the spaghetti squash. So for you, this may well be one full serving. A half of a spaghetti squash is two meals for me. If you are making this for two, you may want to use the entire squash and double the recipe for the sauce.

Also, if you think you won’t like the anchovies, just give it a try. I am not a fan either and generally do not use them but I did this time. They just bump up the flavor, but omitting them is fine. You might want to double the capers if you don’t use the anchovies. And I can tell you from experience, don’t go overboard with the anchovies either. I have put too many in because I didn’t want to waste them, and it had too much of a fishy taste for me. So 2 is plenty.

The garlic is a must, and lots of it. I typically don’t use a lot of garlic in my recipes but for this dish I love a lot of garlic.

For the tomatoes and sauce, if you don’t have a can of whole tomatoes, diced will work just fine. Adding the extra tomato sauce is not necessary, I just wanted a little “extra” in the sauce. I thought about adding a tablespoon of tomato paste but went with the sauce instead. This step is totally up to you.

This sauce works fine with regular spaghetti noodles too.

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

Serves 2

2-3 T olive oil

2 anchovies

½ tsp red pepper flakes, more or less depending on your preference

1 bulb of garlic, finely diced or 2 tsp garlic powder

1-1/2 T capers

¼ cup chopped olives, use your favorite

1 14 oz can whole tomatoes

3 T tomato sauce, optional

Salt and pepper to taste

Half of a prepare spaghetti squash

Finely grated parmesan cheese for topping

  1. Heat oil over a medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add the red pepper flakes and the anchovies, stir until the anchovies are melted.
  2. Add the capers, olives, tomatoes and the tomato sauce. Gently smash the whole tomatoes until they are broken up.
  3. Let the sauce simmer lightly for a few minutes, taste and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Gently toss in the spaghetti squash noodles, toss until coated and then serve. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

I hope you give this sauce a try over spaghetti squash! Let me know if you do 🙂

Pancetta and Edamame Spaghetti Squash

I love sharing an appetizer of edamame beans when I meet friends for dinner at our local sushi restaurants.  I also enjoy buying the steamer bags at my store so I can enjoy them at home.

Those little steamer bags of beans also inspire me to be able to add these beans to recipes. I am able to get two recipes out of one bean bag.  LOL  Ok, not that funny.

For this recipe, I baked my squash as usual; covering it with a good drizzle of olive oil or avocado oil, salt and pepper, but this time I added a few dashes of ground cayenne pepper and turmeric.

This recipe comes together in just a few minutes (I love recipes like this).  Once the squash was baked, I turned the oven off but left the squash in the oven until I was ready to scrape it out.

To a fry pan I added about 1 T of butter and a touch of oil, melt the butter over medium heat.  Next I added about 10 slices of pancetta and some ground black pepper.  Simmer until cooked, about 5 minutes or so.

Then I added 1 cup of the edamame beans that have been steamed and removed from the shell.  Just cook the beans until they are heated through, about 2-3 minutes.  Add just a little salt to the pan.  You won’t need much because of the salt in the pancetta.  I also did a dash of cayenne and turmeric.

Next, I poured in 1 cup of white wine.  You can substitute vegetable or chicken broth if you prefer. Let that simmer over a medium low heat until the wine/broth reduces a little.

While that simmered, I scrapped out the squash noodles into a pasta serving dish and ladled the sauce over the noodles.  I topped the dish with grated Parmesan cheese.

This was an incredibly light but filling meal.

Pancetta and Edamame Spaghetti Squash

Serves 2

1 half of a baked spaghetti squash, let sit in oven so it stays hot until sauce is cooked

10 slices of pancetta

1 T butter

1 T olive oil

Cayenne pepper and turmeric, season to taste

1 cup edamame beans, cooked and removed from shells

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 cup white wine, or vegetable or chicken stock

Parmesan cheese, finely grated for topping

  1. Melt butter and oil over a medium heat, then add the pancetta and some ground black pepper.  Cook for about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Add the beans to the pancetta, add a little salt, cayenne pepper and turmeric and cook for about 2-3 minutes until heated through.
  3. Add the wine or the broth and let reduce for a few minutes over a medium low heat.
  4. While that is simmering, scrape out squash noodles and place in a pasta serving bowl.
  5. Immediately ladle sauce over noodles, top with grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli Sauce over Spaghetti Squash

I love pasta.  Seriously, I could eat it every day.  But I don’t want all those carbs. The next best thing is spaghetti squash.

This is amazing to me!  How can I substitute squash for pasta?? I do not have a clear understanding of this but it works and I love it.

I’m also looking for ways to change my diet to a healthier and lean diet so the squash is perfect.

So I am always looking for different sauce ideas for the squash.  Over the weekend I had a lot, and I mean a lot of things in the fridge that needed to be used.  One of them being the spaghetti squash.

I also had broccoli, half of an onion, chicken stock, a little wine, lemons, and a few shrimp in the freezer.  I found dinner in those ingredients.

I pulled the shrimp out to thaw, I only had about 12 large shrimp but it would work.  Would have loved more but I was working with what I had.

Then I baked half the spaghetti squash, I will use the other half this week.

When the squash was ready to come out of the oven, I turned off the heat and left it in the oven while I started the sauce. First thing I did was melt 1 tablespoon butter and drizzle of avocado oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Then I added diced onion and the shrimp.  Season with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and thyme.

Sauté until the shrimp are about halfway done.  Then toss in broccoli florets and sauté until bright green and the shrimp are cooked.  Next, add either 1 cup of white wine or chicken stock.  I decided on the white wine for tonight’s meal and will use the stock for couscous tomorrow.

Simmer on low to reduce but do not overcook.  Only about 1-2 minutes.

Scrape out the squash and place on a plate or pasta bowl and top with the sauce, grated parm cheese and a drizzle of lemon juice.  I got 2 servings out of my squash and the sauce was enough for both servings too.

Garlic Shrimp and Broccoli Sauce

Serves 2


Half of prepared spaghetti squash

1 T butter

2 T olive or avocado oil

1 small onion, diced

About 12-15 large shrimps, shell and tail removed, deveined

1-1/2 c broccoli florets

Salt & Pepper to taste

½ tsp Paprika

½ tsp Garlic Powder (adjust to your liking or use 1 clove of minced garlic)

1 sprig of thyme, leaves removed

2 dashes of red pepper flakes

1 cup white wine or chicken stock or broth

Grated Parm Cheese and lemon juice for topping


  1. Melt butter and oil in large non-stick saucepan.
  2. Add shrimp and all the spices, sauté until shrimp are cooked about halfway, then toss in the broccoli florets and cook until bright green and shrimp are cooked.
  3. Add the wine or broth and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Scrape out shell of spaghetti squash and place strands in a pasta bowl or plate and top with sauce, grated parm and lemon juice.

Cajun Shrimp Spaghetti Squash

The most difficult part of making this dish was cutting the squash in half.  Wow!

After getting that squash cut in half and removed the seeds and strings, I drizzled avocado oil over the meat of the squash.  You can use olive oil if you want, avocado is my new favorite.  Salt and pepper well.

You could use other spices here too.  I definitely could have driven the Cajun spice home and dusted the uncooked squash with it but salt and pepper were just fine.

I placed each half meat side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and popped them in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Just before I pulled the squash out of the oven I coated about a dozen large shrimp (deveined and shells and tail removed) in Cajun seasoning and sautéed them in a little butter and oil until done, only takes a few minutes.

Using a fork, scrape the inside of the roasted squash and pull the spaghetti strands out of the shell and put on a plate.  After you have it all scraped out, place the spaghetti strands back into the shell and top with the cooked shrimp and drizzle some of the oil/butter.  Top with your favorite cheese, I used grated parm.

You can put the noodles in a pasta dish but sometimes I like to put the noodles back into the shell and serve it that way.

I like to think this dish is healthy, wouldn’t you agree? Very little butter, avocado is a good oil, and squash instead of pasta.  Yep, healthy!

Cajun Shrimp Spaghetti Squash

1 cooked and prepared spaghetti squash, with the noodle put back in the shells

1 dozen large shrimp, deveined with shells and tail removed

1 T Cajun seasonings, or to taste

Avocado oil and butter

Grated Parm cheese for topping

  1. Just before the spaghetti squash is finished roasting, make the shrimp.
  2. In a bowl toss the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning.  Depending on how much spice you like, start wit one tablespoon and go from there.
  3. Place shrimp in a hot pan coated with oil and butter, sauté until cooked.  Only a few minutes.
  4. Divide the shrimp over each shell, drizzling some of the oil/butter over the shrimp.
  5. Top with grated parm cheese and serve.
  6. You could also pop them back in the oven to melt the cheese if you want.  Just keep an eye on it. Set as