Microwaving spaghetti squash is the fastest and easiest way of preparing this vegetable. I almost never bother with baking it!
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 quite comparable to baking. So more often than not, when cooking this nutritious vegetable, I choose the microwave. And I cook it often, mostly to replace pasta and other starchy foods.
How to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave
It’s so easy! Here are the basic steps (the detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card below):
1. 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.
2. Microwave the squash for 5-6 minutes on each side, and it’s ready!
This cooking time 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.
Troubleshooting this recipe
Microwave cooking is a bit of a gamble because microwave ovens greatly vary. Here are my tips for handling unexpected results:
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.
What to do if you cooked the spaghetti squash for too long and it’s 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!
Is it better to bake spaghetti squash or to microwave it?
In general, 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.
What to do with the cooked squash?
Lots of things! It 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.
How long can I keep the leftovers?
Leftovers keep very well in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Microwave spaghetti squash is one of those dishes where 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
- 1 small spaghetti squash (2 lb.)
- Pierce the spaghetti squash in a few spots with a sharp knife.
- Microwave 5 minutes; turn to the other side and microwave 5 more minutes, until soft to the touch. For a larger squash, try 6 minutes per side. Let stand for 5 minutes to finish cooking.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Allow to cool 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.