how to microwave spaghetti squash
Here is a step by step guide to show you just how easy it is to microwave spaghetti squash. I have photos for each step, including how to cut it in half, how to scoop it out and how to check if it is done too. Next week, I’ll have a delicious new recipe to share with you featuring spaghetti squash.
How to Microwave Spaghetti Squash
Step 1: Pick the Right Squash
First choose spaghetti squash that is smooth and firm. Make sure it doesn’t have any rot which first appears like small round spots. To soften the spaghetti squash to make it easier to cut in half, you can microwave it whole for 20 to 30 seconds.
Step 2: Cut the Squash in Half
Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise with a large chef’s knife. Break it apart at the stem.
Step 3: Scoop out the Seeds
Open the squash. Inside you’ll see the center cavity is filled with seeds and pulp. You’ll have to scoop that out before cooking the squash. To scoop out the seeds and pulp, use a spoon and scrape down to the hard flesh of the spaghetti squash. This is sort of like cleaning out a pumpkin for a jack o’ lantern.
Don’t be afraid to scrape away all of the thready pulp!
Step 4: Arrange the Squash in Baking Dish
Place the squash halves, cut side down, in a large microwave safe casserole dish. I used a 9 by 13-inch pyrex lasagna dish. Pour 1 cup tap water over the squash.
Step 5: Cover and Microwave the Squash
Layer parchment or wax paper over the squahsh. Then cover with plastic wrap. The parchment or wax paper keeps the plastic from touching the food. The plastic wrap seals in the steam. Microwave the squash until it is done.
How to Tell When Spaghetti Squash is Cooked
Done, you say? How do you when the spaghetti squash is done? Well, let’s start with the ball park of time. It took 16 minutes in my 1200-watt microwave. I started out with 8 minutes. And then I opened up the microwave and poked the squash with my finger right through the plastic wrap. It felt just as hard as it did when I put it in, so I knew it wasn’t even close. This is just to give you a sense of whether or not it is close to being fully cooked — there is more checking to come. But it doesn’t make sense to unwrap it if it isn’t even close.
So I added 8 minutes and zapped it agin. If you have a small squash or it is very fresh (like you’re doing this in the fall right after the squash was harvested) you may want to be more conservative and just go in 5 minute intervals. The feeling you are after is that the skin will give ever so slightly under your poking finger. It will be subtle. Once you have a feeling you’ve gotten to that point, and you’ve cooked it 13 to 17 minutes or so, then the real checking happens.
That’s when you use pot holders to take the whole shootin’ match out of the microwave and set it on your work surface. Remember: these Science Ovens are amazing cookers and this thing will be very hot, and there will be a lot of steam under that plastic wrap. (Not that I have ever totally spaced that fact myself or anything…)
Very carefully remove the plastic and parchment, opening it away from you so you don’t burn yourself with the steam. Flip one of the squash halves over, and test to see if it shreds into spaghetti strips with a fork. If it seems stuck to the shell or it looks really dry it is still undercooked. You’ll have to wrap it back up and nuke it some more until it makes nice spaghetti strips.
You also don’t want to over cook it, because it will become watery and the threads will smoosh into squashy smooshiness. Not the microwave spaghetti squash of your dreams.
How to Make Spaghetti Squash “Noodles”
To make nice long strips of microwave spaghetti squash, keep working with the fork to get as much of the flesh out of the shell, always working in the same direction as the threads. Once you get down to the bottom, and aren’t getting much with the fork, you can clean it out with a large kitchen spoon.
That’s all there is to it. Now you can top it with whatever you like!
Next week, I’ll have a brand new recipe featuring spaghetti squash cooked in the microwave. It is so yummy I can barely wait!
Leave me a comment below to let me know if this is helpful or if you have another way of doing it. Don’t forget to hit pin it! to save these helpful tips for later. And while we’re at it, sign up for my email list to be a member of the Cool Kids Club.
More Spaghetti Squash Recipes:
And Classic Pesto is delicious on it and only takes 5 minutes to make.Print
This step-by-step guide tells you how to microwave spaghetti squash, how to tell when it’s fully cooked, and how to scoop out the seeds.
- Spaghetti squash
- Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise with a large chef’s knife. Break it apart at the stem.
- Open the squash and scoop out the seeds and pulp.
- Place the squash halves, cut side down, in a large microwave safe casserole dish. (I used a 9 by 13-inch pyrex lasagna dish.) Pour 1 cup tap water over the squash.
- Layer parchment or wax paper over the squahsh. Then cover with plastic wrap.
- Microwave the squash until it is done. To be safe, microwave the squash in 5-minute intervals (smaller squash will cook faster, while larger squash might need up to 15+ minutes). If you can’t tell if your squash is done, see my notes in the post above for tips on testing the doneness of the squash.