How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a very versatile vegetable.  It is a welcome addition to any low carbohydrate diet, as it allows the dieter to come as close to experiencing a pasta dish as possible without consuming large quantities of carbs.  Spaghetti squash is even lower in carbs than whole grain pasta and is quite tasty to boot.

Spaghetti squash can be prepared in a number of ways but the easiest methods are baking, boiling or microwaving.

In order to properly bake a spaghetti squash, you just first cut it in half.  What you will notice is that there is a significant amount of effort required to cut it open.  It is a tough squash and requires a sharp knife in order to get the job done.

Like most winter squash, the spaghetti squash has a good deal of meat inside, so what you should see once you've cut open your squash is a large area of whitish flesh and a smaller open cavity filled with seeds, just like a pumpkin.  Scrape out the seeds, much like you would for a pumpkin, and discard.

Place the halved or quartered squash, rind side up, on a baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the squash from the oven.  Take a fork and begin separating the strands of the flesh, scraping them gently onto a plate. Cover the strands with marinara sauce and, voila!  Low carb spaghetti.  The texture will be a bit different, but the taste is surprisingly similar.

You can get the same result from the microwave after 6-8 minutes on high, or by boiling the squash for about 20 minutes, but the texture of the squash will be somewhat less firm than the baking method.

You can also bake or microwave the squash whole, making it even easier to prepare.  The only major drawback to cooking it whole is that it takes a bit longer to cook and it is easy to burn oneself when removing the seeds and pulp.

To cook the squash whole, place it in a 375 degree oven for about an hour, or into the microwave for 10-12 minutes on high.  If you bake it in the microwave, then once it has finished cooking you should let it stand for another 5 minutes to allow it to steam.  You can also put a whole squash into a slow cooker for 8-10 hours.  Remove the squash from whichever cooking appliance you have chosen to use, cut it at the center, and carefully remove the seeds.  Then separate the strands with a fork and prepare with marinara sauce as above.


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