The fastest and easiest way to prepare spaghetti squash is to microwave it whole.
While baking it takes about 40 minutes, if you use the microwave, it's ready in less than 20 minutes! I rarely bother with baking it anymore.
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 whole in the microwave.
This method is so easy, and the results are quite comparable to baking. So more often than not, when cooking this wonderful vegetable, I choose the microwave. And I cook it often, mostly to replace pasta and other starchy foods.
You'll only need one ingredient to make this recipe! A 2-lb. spaghetti squash. Once it's cooked, you can toss the strands with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and butter. But those are all optional ingredients.
Cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave is so easy! Here are the basic steps. The detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
Your first step is to pierce the squash with 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.
Then, place the squash on a microwave-safe plate and microwave it for 5-6 minutes on each side.
Once the squash is cooked, let it cool so that it's not too hot to handle. Then cut it open with a sharp knife, remove the seeds snd pulp, and rake a fork back and forth across its flesh to create strands.
The cooking time of 5-6 minutes per side is ideal for a small, 2 lb. squash. If yours is larger, you'll probably need to microwave it a bit longer.
Your goal is a soft squash that can be easily pierced with a fork. Try 6 minutes per side for larger squashes.
Frequently asked questions
No. That's the best part of this cooking method - you don't need to bother with cutting it in half, which is a bit of a challenge. As long as you pierce it all over with a fork, it shouldn't explode in the microwave.
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.
Simply 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!
Microwave-cooked strands do 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. Personally, I think it is.
You can simply discard them, but they are edible, so you can roast them with olive oil and spices to make tasty roasted seeds. You can use this recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds as a guide.
Using microwaved spaghetti squash can be as simple as adding some melted butter (or good olive oil), salt, and garlic powder to the strands. Then you have a truly delicious and easy-to-make side dish. Parmesan is another tasty addition.
Or you can use it as the basis for many tasty recipes, including this wonderful spaghetti squash casserole and these crispy spaghetti squash fritters.
Leftovers keep well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. In fact, the leftovers taste great even on the fourth day - almost as good as when freshly prepared. Reheat them gently, in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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Microwave Spaghetti Squash: So Easy!
- 1 small spaghetti squash (2 lb.)
- Salt and pepper to taste, optional
- Pierce the spaghetti squash in a few spots with a sharp knife.
- Place the squash on a large microwave-safe plate. Microwave it for 5 minutes. Turn it to the other side (careful, it will be hot) and microwave it for 5 more minutes, until it's soft to the touch. For a a larger squash, try 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, just until easier to handle.
- Scoop out the pulp and seeds from the center, then rake a fork back and forth to remove strands of the flesh onto a serving bowl.
- Toss with butter, salt and pepper, or with your favorite sauce, and serve.
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, simply 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!
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Nutrition per Serving
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