Learn how to cook spaghetti squash the best way! A delicious winter veggie that can be a healthy side or sub in for noodles to pair with any sauce!

plate of spaghetti squash

Ever wonder how to perfectly bake spaghetti squash? Well, I did when I was in college. I was in complete space cadet nation back then when it came to cooking myself meals.

Don’t worry, I knew how to bake, so if need be, I could have survived on baked goods alone (that and Amy’s microwave meals ha!). Since I’ve, ya know, grown up a bit (okay, not THAT much, as I still love some quality Disney and Harry Potter movie-watching), I’ve gathered a few cooking tips and tricks.

plate of spaghetti squash with marinara

The first being, how to cook myself a dang good spaghetti squash.

In this guide, we’re going to go over what a spaghetti squash is (I didn’t know for most of my life!), how to cook it, how not to cook it, and then what to pair with your perfectly baked veggie spaghetti 🙂

Sound good? Cool, let’s get to it!

What is spaghetti squash?

To be honest, I didn’t know what spaghetti squash was until college! Since then, I’ve come to love this delicious winter squash.

Spaghetti squash is a rather large and hard-shelled yellow winter squash that’s usually ready between October and February. On the inside, it’s full of strands that look like- you guessed it- spaghetti!

baked spaghetti squash

How to cook spaghetti squash

A very common question, and for a good reason. The skin doesn’t soften like when you bake a sweet potato, and it’s not exactly easy to slice through raw, like acorn or delicata squash.

So how to you cook spaghetti squash whole and get it soft enough to slice?

Well, this baked spaghetti squash recipe is the real deal. You’ll get extraordinarily moist and soft spaghetti squash that actually tastes good and can be used in any recipe, whether it’s a side dish or part of your main meal.

If you’re a visual person like I am, I highly recommend checking out this video tutorial for starters 😉

But here is an easy step-by-step for how to bake your spaghetti squash whole:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. This is key! High temps will help this spaghetti squash all the way through its thick skin.
  2. Next up, poke your spaghetti squash with a few holes all around the squash using a fork. Be careful not to poke yourself though!
  3. Bake the spaghetti squash for at least an hour or until the skin is soft enough to poke through effortlessly.
  4. Let the squash cool before you slice into it, and then when you do, gently scoop out the seeds.
  5. Pull at the strands of spaghetti squash with a fork to get them away from the sides, and there ya go!
cooked spaghetti squash

And that’s really it! Baking spaghetti squash is seriously so easy and a great way to meal prep a veggie to have throughout the week!

Tips & Tricks for Baked Spaghetti Squash

  • Use a very sharp knife, but please be careful when slicing! I have to say that, it’s the worry wart in me!
  • Slice length-wise, but avoid slicing into the stem of the spaghetti squash. It’s too thick to slice into, so just slice around.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt to serve, whether you’re eating as a side dish or adding to a main meal!
  • For extra flavor, add your favorite spices: basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, cumin, and more go perfectly with baked spaghetti squash!
  • Do not microwave your spaghetti squash! Nothing against microwaves, I know they’re great for speed, but man does it not taste as good! I say this with sweet potatoes too: if you want the most flavor, bake it, don’t microwave it!
  • Spaghetti squash is Whole30 friendly, Paleo, vegan, and low in carb, so it really fits all dietary needs! But it does not need to be a weight-loss food. Anyone can enjoy spaghetti squash, it just depends on how you serve it 😉

Speaking of which…

spaghetti squash strands

What to pair spaghetti squash with

I personally love to enjoy spaghetti in addition to whatever I’m eating, but I know that many would love to use it as a fun veggie noodle, or bake it in a creamy sauce, or use it in soups! Here are a few great baked spaghetti squash recipe ideas that taste AMAZING!

two plates of spaghetti squash with marinara

And just a note, I’ve included my favorite marinara sauce recipe to go with your spaghetti squash 🙂

  • Serve with a creamy Alfredo sauce, like my lightened up dairy free Alfredo or your favorite Alfredo recipe! I recommend baking it in the spaghetti squash shell 🙂
  • Bake in a casserole with your favorite veggies and sauce
  • Toss in some pesto or my marinara sauce (found down below!)
  • Substitute or add in spaghetti squash into your favorite pad Thai recipe
  • Add it into a soup!
  • Make fun baked “mac n’ cheese” boats and bake the squash with the this dairy free “cheese” sauce!
pate of spaghetti squash

I hope you get to try out spaghetti squash after this! It’s a wonderful veggie to add to your fall and winter meals 🙂

Let me know how the sauce and squash go for you in the comments below, and if you end up trying it out, don’t forget to share with me on Instagram and Pinterest!

Happy Squashing 🙂

fork in spaghetti squash

More fun and healthy comfort food recipes:

Lightened Up Fettuccine Alfredo

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

How to Make Focaccia

Easy French Ratatouille

Easy Veggie Lentil Mushroom Burgers

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

pinterest pin for spaghetti squash
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spaghetti squash strands

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baking


Learn how to cook spaghetti squash the best way! A delicious winter veggie that can be a healthy side or sub in for noodles to pair with any sauce! Whole30 friendly, gluten free, vegan, and low carb!


  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp chopped onion
  • Optional: parmesan cheese, vegan cheese, bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with tinfoil.
  2. Poke several wholes into the spaghetti squash using a fork.
  3. Place the spaghetti squash onto the baking sheet and into the oven.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, or until the skin is very soft.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing into the spaghetti squash.
  6. Slice in half and scoop out the seeds.
  7. Use a fork to scrap the strands away from the skin. 
  8. You can either serve the spaghetti squash in the boats or scrape the strands out and serve with the sauce. You can also store the spaghetti squash in an airtight container for meal prep and serve throughout the week. 

To make the sauce:

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil with the garlic and onion. Sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add the marinara sauce and sea salt, and stir together. When fully heated, serve over the spaghetti squash and top with optional toppings.

pinterest pin for spaghetti squash
pinterest pin for spaghetti squash