Best Baked Spaghetti Squash [vegan]

Best Baked Spaghetti Squash [vegan]

I noticed that there are quite a few different ways that people suggest cooking spaghetti squash.

Here are the suggested methods:

  • Baked or microwaved whole
  • Steamed in a pan of water in the oven
  • Sliced into rings and baked
  • Halved lengthwise or crosswise, baked cut-side up or down

I have a strong preference for one method. My preferred method reduces the amount of moisture in the squash and yields golden, caramelized edges that add extra flavor.

Here’s my trick: Cut the spaghetti squash in half from the stem end to the base, rub the inside lightly with olive oil, and roast it cut-side down on a baking sheet. There’s a little more to it (see the recipe below), but that’s the gist.

Easy, right? No fuss, no mush, just tender and delicious spaghetti squash! This way, the moisture pools on the pan instead of collecting inside the spaghetti squash, and you end up with a perfect built-in bowl that you can load up with toppings.

How to Slice Your Spaghetti Squash in Half

Spaghetti squash has thick walls, which can be difficult to cut through. You’ll need a sharp chef’s knife and a good cutting board that won’t slip. Pro tip: You can rest your cutting board on a wrung-out paper towel or kitchen towel to prevent it from moving around.

The trick is to create a flat surface so you can slice through the squash safely. Here’s how I do it

  1. First, rest the squash horizontally on the cutting board. Hold the squash firmly in place with your non-dominant hand.
  2. We’re going to cut off the tip-top and bottom edges, so keep your hand several inches away from where you’ll be slicing. With your dominant hand, use a sharp chef’s knife to cut off the top. Turn the squash around 180 degrees and slice off the bottom, again keeping your hand far away from the knife.
  3. Then, turn the squash upright, with the widest end against the non-slip cutting board. This gives us a stable position for slicing. Start at the top and slice downward. Your hands should never be beneath the knife, or in danger’s way.

If at any point you are uncomfortable with this technique, stop and ask someone for help. Safety first!

More Reasons to Love Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a nutritious winter vegetable that offers lots of fiber, beta-carotene, folate, and more. It offers a really fun, spaghetti-like texture and built-in bowl shape.

Spaghetti squash is a good stand-in for pasta, and also plays nicely with a variety of other flavors. It goes particularly well with these ingredients:

  • Tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Vegan Parmesan or other cheeses (try my “ricotta cheese”)
  • Garlic and onions
  • Basil and thyme
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Vinegar: balsamic, sherry, red or white wine vinegar

How do like your squash? Please let me know in the comments!

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