Kitchen Confidence: Learn the Best Technique for Safely Cutting Spaghetti Squash


Dec. 4 2023, Published 3:32 p.m. ET

A spaghetti squash cut in half on a baking sheet.
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • Spaghetti squash is a healthy, low-calorie, low-carb alternative to pasta.
  • Cutting the ends off a spaghetti squash makes it easier to cut.
  • Spaghetti squash seeds can be roasted like pumpkin seeds.
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Spaghetti squash is a great alternative to pasta if you are on a low-carb diet. When cooked, it shreds into strands that resemble pasta noodles but have fewer calories and carbs and more nutrients than pasta.

To cook a spaghetti squash, you have to cut it in half, and that can be a challenge. The squash’s thick walls can be hard to cut through with a knife. Let’s look at how to cut a spaghetti squash the right way without cutting yourself or ruining your knife.

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Spaghetti squash used as pasta in a dish.
Source: Getty Images

Here's a few steps you can take to cut a spaghetti squash.

According to culinary scientist and lifestyle blogger Jessica Gavin, there are two ways to cut a spaghetti squash: in half from stem to end or in rings. While most people will cut the squash in half, cutting it and baking it in rings produces longer strings once cooked, says Gavin.

We will go through the steps for cutting a spaghetti squash in half, which is how most people cook it.

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Step 1: Soften the exterior of the spaghetti squash.

Before you sink your knife into the hard exterior of the spaghetti squash, you can use your microwave to soften it up so it’s easier to cut. Use a fork to puncture the squash exterior in a few places, and then microwave for about five minutes, per Budget Bytes.

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Step 2: Cut the ends off.

You shouldn’t even try to cut through the stem of the spaghetti squash, Gavin explained. Instead, once the squash has been softened in the microwave, cut off both ends of the squash. This will make it easier to stand up on a flat surface and cut through.

Step 3: Gently rock the knife as you cut.

Have you ever gotten your knife stuck in a squash while trying to cut it? The best way to avoid this from happening is to gently rock the blade back and forth as you cut through the squash.

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Step 4: Don’t throw out the seeds!

Once cut in half, you need to scoop out the soft center of the spaghetti squash before baking it. Like a pumpkin, the spaghetti squash center is filled with seeds you can save and roast later for a healthy snack.

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Interested in spaghetti squash pasta? Here's how to cook this veggie.

Cutting the spaghetti squash is the hardest part of the process. Once that is done, cooking a spaghetti squash is relatively easy. You just rub the inside of the squash halves with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, place them face down (with the skins on top) on a baking sheet or oven-safe dish, and then stick them in the oven.

According to the Food Network, you should cook the spaghetti squash at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. You can tell they are done when you can easily pierce the skin with a fork. Make sure to let the squash cool before you shred the meat with a fork.

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