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.

a whole spaghetti squash on a marble board

Shopping For Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash is harvested in the fall and is a great storing crop. Look for it in the market from the fall through most of the winter. In the spring and summer, look for signs of rot, as it has probably been stored too long.

Spaghetti squash does not ripen further as it is stored like a banana or tomato, nor show obvious signs of ripeness like the smell of a melon or pineapple, instead, they are picked when they are ripe, cured and then put to market. So if you see them, they will be ripe.

To tell if they are high quality choose spaghetti squash that is smooth and firm. Make sure it doesn’t have any rot which first appears like small round spots.

How to Prepare and Cook Spaghetti Squash in The Microwave

Cut the Squash in Half

To soften the spaghetti squash to make it easier to cut in half, you can microwave it whole for 20 to 30 seconds. Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise with a large chef’s knife. Break it apart at the stem.

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! 

Arrange the Squash in Baking Dish

Place the squash 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.

Cover and Microwave the Squash 

Layer parchment or wax paper over the squash. 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

Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the squash so how do you know when the spaghetti squash is done?

After the first 5 minutes, carefully press your fingertip into the squash to see if the skin has softened. (Careful it will be hot!) 

If the squash is still hard, continue cooking in 5-minute intervals. Smaller squashes will be done more quickly.

Once the skin is soft enough that it gives when you press on it, test to make sure it is fully cooked by removing the plastic and parchment. Then scrape up the strands of squash with a fork. If the strands closest to the shell are still hard, continue microwaving in 2 minute intervals until they are softened. 

Note that you don’t want to overcook it, because it will become watery and the threads will be mushy. 

Step By Step Photos

More Spaghetti Squash Recipes: 

plates of spaghetti squash with sauce on top

This is comforting and clean at the same time Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Sausage Ragu. It is made with made with tons of veggies! It is ready in just 50 minutes.

a plate of spaghetti squash with red sauce and cheese

I love the little kick of heat in this Spaghetti Squash with Amatriciana Sauce. It is a 30-minute, primal friendly, low-carb version of Spaghetti Amatriciana, made with spaghetti squash instead of pasta and bacon in the Amatriciana sauce instead of Guanciale. 

a blue dish with spaghetti squash topped with cheese

Spaghetti Squash Salad with Chèvre and Lemon Thyme Dressing. This vegetarian spaghetti squash dish is loaded with lemony flavor from a simple lemon thyme salad dressing made with fresh shallot and a touch of honey to balance the acidity. Toasted almonds add a contrasting crunch. It is also naturally gluten-free and primal.

a moody table scape with a plate of spaghetti squash with onions and mushrooms on it

This vegan and grain-free recipe for Spaghetti Squash with Mushroom Rosemary Sauce gets its flavor from stove-top roasted garlic. It is topped with savory mushroom sauce with caramelized onion, roasted garlic and rosemary. It may be low carb but it is full of flavor.

Some other sauce ideas include these favorites

Of course this is also great with a little bit of salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter for healthy recipes delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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digging out the strands of the spaghetti squash

How to Microwave Spaghetti Squash

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 5 cups
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Microwaved
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise with a large chef’s knife. Break it apart at the stem.
  2. Open the squash and scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  3. 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.
  4. Layer parchment or wax paper over the squash. Then cover with plastic wrap.
  5. 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.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 31 cal