Embracing Spaghetti Squash

by in Healthy Recipes, January 29, 2009

There are many kinds of winter squash available now, but spaghetti squash is the most light and versatile of the bunch. If you’ve never tried one or don’t know how to prepare it, fear not.

What is spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo) is a variety of winter squash (others include acorn, butternut and delicata). It has a bright yellow exterior and white stringy pulp that resembles thin noodles when cooked.

Why is spaghetti squash “Healthy Eats”?
A cup of cooked spaghetti squash has 40 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 10 grams of carbohydrate, no cholesterol and 10% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Spaghetti squash’s popularity spiked during the low-carb diet craze, but this veggie is worth checking out beyond it’s low-carb benefits — it tastes great, too.

What to do with spaghetti squash?
Unlike other winter squash, spaghetti have a very mild flavor. To prepare, cut in half lengthwise and boil, steam, microwave, or roast with olive oil, salt and pepper. Once cooked, the fibrous pulp easily comes out with a fork (get the kids to help you, it’s kind of fun!).

Enjoy cooked squash with marinara sauce for a lighter alternative to a pasta dinner. Try roasting with ginger or combining with vegetables and cheese for a hearty casserole.

Shopping Tip: Choose squash that are brightly colored, firm and without blemishes. Store uncut in a cool, dry place; they will stay fresh for weeks. Once cut open, wrap the squash in plastic and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Comments (12)

  1. Anissa Otero says:

    I bought a spaghetti squash once just to try and cooked it accordingly-it was delicious and I didn’t feel guilty eating it.

  2. Georgie Weaver says:

    I love spaghetti squash. I cut in half length wise, lay cut side down in about a 1/4 up on sides of water and microwave 10 to 14 minutes depending on size. Scrape out spaghetti and season with lite butter,salt and pepper, my mouth is watering thinking about it–so good.

  3. Bonnie says:

    We love Spaghetti Squash with homemade pesto… Delicious!

  4. Michelle says:

    I slice it in half and I put salt, pepper, a couple scrapes of nutmeg with some butter and put it in a plasic grocery bag tied up and cook in the microwave for about 10 minutes

  5. Kristine Brabson says:

    Michelle, you should avoid using plastic grocery bags in the microwave — it’s unsafe and could leach chemicals into your food. (And who wants to ruin a perfectly healthy and delicious spaghetti squash?) Try looking for plastic wrap at the store that’s labeled microwave-safe.

  6. Doris says:

    I followed a friend’s tip and just pierced the spaghetti squash in several places (I used an ice pick), placed it in the microwave on some waxed paper and cooked on high for 3-5 minutes (based on the size of the squash), turned it over using hot pads and cooked an additional 3-5 minutes. I let it cool some before I cut it in half to prevent steam burns and I can fork some “spaghetti” when it is still warm, but when it is completely cool I can fork even more (usually for a second meal).

  7. Sami says:

    I have cooked this stuff for a long time!

    I cut it lenghwise and put face down in a shallow pan with some fresh garlic and water. Bake for 30 minutes on 350 or until it is tender. I then add more garlic and a little bit of butter after I scrape out the good stuff. Poor pasta sauce on it. GOOD STUFF!

  8. Melissa says:

    Just learned what spaghetti squash was and love it! Cut it and bake in oven for 60-70 min and put parmasean and butter. It is sooooo good. Can't get enough of it. I am a pasta freak and this is a good healthy and low cal alternative.

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