Microwave spaghetti squash is so easy to make. It's the fastest and easiest way to cook this winter squash.
Baking this squash takes about 40 minutes. But if you use the microwave, it's ready in less than 20!
I love spaghetti squash! The magic of raking a fork back and forth and turning its tasty flesh into strands always amazes me.
It's easy enough to bake spaghetti squash in the oven. It's ridiculously easy to cook it in the microwave. This method is so easy and the results are comparable to baking. So, more often than not, I choose the microwave.
You'll only need one ingredient to make this recipe! A 2-pound spaghetti squash.
Once it's cooked, you can toss the strands with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and butter. But those are optional ingredients.
When I use microwave spaghetti squash to make noodles, I season them with melted butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
A tasty variation is to sprinkle the cooked strands with ¼ cup of dry-grated parmesan cheese.
Sometimes, I add ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme or oregano.
The detailed instructions for microwaving a spaghetti squash can be found in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe.
Your first step is to pierce the squash with a knife or a fork. You can leave it whole - there's no need to cut it first. As long as you pierce it with a fork before cooking, it shouldn't explode in the microwave.
Place the squash on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it until tender, for 5-6 minutes on each side.
Once the squash is cooked, let it cool so it's not too hot to handle. Then, cut it open with a sharp knife and remove the seeds and pulp.
The last step: Rake a fork back and forth across the squash's flesh to create strands.
The cooking time suggested here of 5-6 minutes per side is ideal for a small, 2-pound squash. If yours is larger, you'll need to microwave it for longer. Your goal is a soft squash that can be easily pierced with a fork. I recommend starting with six minutes per side for larger squashes. You can always add more time in the microwave.
Microwave cooking is a bit of a gamble because microwave ovens vary. If you decide that your squash is ready, but upon slicing it, you realize it's still too hard, don't despair! This happened to me a few times.
Here's what to do: Scoop out the pulp and seeds. Place each squash half in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Add two tablespoons of water, cover, and microwave until fork-tender. This should take about two more minutes for each half.
Sometimes, microwave spaghetti squash can end up overcooked and mushy, like this squash that I cooked a few weeks ago - you can see it's soggy:
If this happens to you, place the squash halves, cut side down, on a clean towel for a few minutes. This will help absorb some of the excess liquid. The strands will still be a bit mushy. However, take comfort in the fact that they will still taste great!
No. That's the best part of this cooking method - you don't need to bother with cutting it in half. As long as you pierce the squash all over, it shouldn't explode in the microwave.
Microwaving is faster and easier, but microwave-cooked strands tend to be a bit mushier than baked ones. It's up to you if the slight mushiness is worth the easier and faster preparation.
You can discard them, but they are edible, so I usually roast them with olive oil and spices to make roasted spaghetti squash seeds. You can use this recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds as a guide.
Using microwave spaghetti squash can be as simple as adding some melted butter (or good olive oil), salt, and garlic powder. Then, you have a truly delicious and easy-to-make side dish. Parmesan is another tasty addition.
The leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. In fact, they taste great even on the fourth day - almost as good as when freshly prepared. Reheat them gently in the microwave, covered, at 50% power.
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Microwave Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash (2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a sharp knife.
- Place the squash on a large microwave-safe plate. Microwave it for 5 minutes. Turn it to the other side (carefully; it will be hot) and microwave it for 5 more minutes until it's soft to the touch. For a larger squash, start with 6 minutes per side.
- Using oven mitts, remove the squash from the microwave (the squash and the plate will be very hot - use a trivet). Let the squash stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking.
- Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise. Allow it to cool for 2-3 minutes until easier to handle.
- Scoop out the pulp and seeds from the squash's center.
- Rake a fork back and forth to remove strands of its flesh into a serving bowl.
- If desired, toss with butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Or use your favorite pasta sauce. Serve immediately.
- Microwave cooking is a bit of a gamble because microwave ovens greatly vary. If you decide that your squash is ready, but upon slicing it, you realize it's still too hard, simply scoop out the pulp and seeds. Place each half in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Add a little water, cover, and microwave until fork-tender. This will probably take 2-3 more minutes for each half.
- If the squash ends up overcooked and mushy, place the squash halves, cut side down, on a clean towel for a few minutes. This will help absorb some of the liquid. Take comfort in the fact that it will still taste great!
- The leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. In fact, they taste great even on the fourth day - almost as good as when freshly prepared. Reheat them gently in the microwave, covered, at 50% power.
- The nutrition info is for the squash only.