This is a guest post by team member Kiran. To learn more about Kiran check out our team page or her website!
Okay, I’m gonna be honest, I had a horrible experience with spaghetti squash in high school. Back then I was all into spaghetti, pasta, and basically anything that was full of refined carbs – thank goodness I found real food! Anyhow, I’d read these fantastic things about this vegetable that tasted almost like regular noodles but had all the benefits of a vegetable. I was sold! I headed to my closest grocery store and picked up a package of already prepared squash “noodles.” I took it home and heated it up, anxious to give my new-found favorite food a taste. But I just about gagged when I took the first bite. The rest went into the trash, and I vowed to never eat this food again.
Flash forward to just a few weeks ago. I was shopping at Trader Joe’s with my youngest, who spotted the snack station. They happened to be serving – you guessed it – spaghetti squash topped with a little marinara. Somewhat hesitant, I still gave it another shot. And this time I was really sold. On the taste. It was so yummy! I started chatting with another customer who gave me some tips on cooking them, and the next thing I knew, I found myself heading to the bin with these oval-shaped goodies. And so I’m here today to tell you about what a great, versatile dish this can make. So whether you’re already a spaghetti squash lover or you’re feeling fearful, I’ve got a great recipe for you to try.
Spaghetti Squash Q&A
Before we get to the recipe, though, let me try to answer your questions:
Q. Does it taste like squash?
A. No. Not to me, at least. Honestly, whatever you top it with will determine the taste of it. I’ve seen recipes with pesto, the obvious marinara, simple butter and Parmesan cheese, and more. It seems that it takes on the taste of the toppings.
Q. Does it taste like regular pasta noodles?
A. Again – no. My opinion. The consistency is different. But different can be good, right?!
Q. Will my kids eat it?
A. You’ll never know until you try :). So give it a shot! I’m happy to report that mine do! In fact, they were a bit worried before trying it but I’m ecstatic to say that all four of them gave it “two thumbs up.” My 10 year-old said it made it into her top 5 favorite foods!
Q. I’ve seen it baked in the oven before. Do I need to do this?
A. There are a few different methods used to cook your spaghetti squash. This is one that works well for me; I find that microwaving it makes it a bit softer so that you can actually cut through it. Trying to slice through a hard squash is a slight bit dangerous, in my opinion, as it’s tough to get the knife through initially.
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So without further adieu – here is the recipe for you!
Do you love spaghetti squash? Or have you had an experience similar to mine? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments, and also your topping ideas!
39 thoughts on “Spaghetti Squash + Roasted Tomato Sauce”
Do you think I could make the sauce ahead of time and freeze until the night I’m planning to use it? I’m a night shift nurse and more I can prep on my days off the better this works, especially for those night when my husband has to do the cooking.
Hi Mandi, yes, this sauce is freezer friendly. – Nicole
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! Glad to hear that you came to love spaghetti squash
Just a note, the phrase is “without further ado”; an ado is a hubbub, a bustle, a flurry, or a fuss. “Adieu” is the French word for “goodbye. Not sure if you meant to say that.
I made Spaghetti squash alfredo with pancetta (or bacon) and peas. Cut squash in half lengthwise and deseed, cook @ 400-25 min. let cool, scrape squash out in strands with a fork. While waiting for it to cook, fry pancetta(or bacon)until crisp, remove from pan, then add 1 sm. diced shallot, thyme 1 tsp., 1/4 c. dry white wine, scraping up sm. bits from bacon until most is evaporated,add 1 1/2 c. heavy cream, pinch of nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt. Increase heat to medium high and cook, stirring until sauce is thick and creamy. Remove from heat, add squash and pancetta, return to medium heat and cook, stirring until combined, about 1 min., sprinkle w/ parsely. This recipe is great and found in Food Networks Oct. 2015, magazine.
Wow sounds good!
We just had this last note! My husband says he likes it better than regular spaghetti!
I am just starting to cook without using something from a box or can. I tried this recipe today and I love it! Never knew how easy it is to make red sauce without using anything from a jar or can! I LOVE red sauce. Looks like I will be buying lots of tomatoes!.
Love the idea of putting it in the crockpot!! Do you prick the outside first??
We adore spaghetti squash. My secret tip is that you can cook it in the CROCK POT! Put a little water in the bottom and just put it in whole. When you get home it’s totally cooked. Just cut in half and “flake” out with your fork.
Caroline, do you prick the outside of the squash before you put it in the crockpot?
My husband and I love this recipe. We try not to eat a lot of pasta, so with this spaghetti squash we get to eat more “Italian”. I just wish my kids would eat it. We’re not giving up yet though. We’ll keep it in our dinner rotation.
My new favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash is to cook it in my crock pot. I place the whole squash in the pot with 1/2 cup water and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. It is easy to cut open, discard the seeds, and enjoy the rest.
I tried this tonight, and added fresh basil to the roasting tomatoes and onions, and ground turkey to the finished sauce. Amazing!!!
Yay! I’m so glad that you loved it!!
I love spaghetti squash! One trick I do is I place the squash in my salad spinner in a few different batches. And spin all the water out of it. I find if I dont, it turns whatever sauce watery.
Funny timing on this post – I just made spaghetti squash for the first time ever yesterday (in the crockpot – SOOO easy!). My girls were VERY hesitant to try this and before even taking a bite were trying to determine what else they could eat. Then they tried it and LOVED it (even asked for seconds). I will be making this again!!!
How did you make it in the crock pot??
sorry, i didn’t know the rules. :o(
No worries. It is all a learning process. Margarine is full of bad fats, hydrogenated oils, and have an imbalance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids. Lisa typically uses butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil. Here is some more information on avoiding refined oils:https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2011/05/14/mini-pledge-week-10-no-refined-oils/. ~Amy
I like spaghetti squash with chopped sautÃ©ed veggies, olive oil & Parmesan.
Sounds yummy. It seems as if you eat healthier you will stay full longer? Or is this a myth?
Hi Victoria. It is not a myth. Fresh, whole foods full of nutrients keep you satisfied longer. :)
I love the idea to roast the tomatoes. I prefer spaghetti squash with just olive oil and chopped veggies so I would omit the blending step. If your squash is watery after roasting, try sauteing it to cook the water out. I’ve even roasted the squash ahead of time, shredded it, then store it until dinner. It just takes minutes to put together in the skillet, perfect for when you have a busy afternoon.
I actually have 40..yes 40…pounds of spaghetti squash coming tomorrow in my Azure Standard order. I found that it can be frozen so you guessed it! I will be baking and vacuum sealing squash the rest of the week!
I adore spaghetti squash! I love it no matter what you do with it, but my husband only likes it if you top it with butter, salt, and pepper, and that’s it. Someday I’m hoping to convince him to try it different ways!
I love spaghetti squash! I grew up loving it, but unfortunately haven’t had it quite as often since being married because my husband isn’t that big of a fan. He’ll tolerate it once in a while. This post makes me want to have some!
I was so excited to see that 2 people already made and reviewed the recipe in 1 day!! Too bad their ratings of this recipe have nothing to do with the recipe at all. If you love spaghetti squash, great! Want to share other good ideas, fantastic! But if you haven’t made THIS recipe, why give it a rating? I’m trying to find out if people actually like this specific recipe, which is why it has the whole rating system set up.
Couldn’t agree more. Comments on how good a recipe looks doesn’t help.
I love spaghetti squash but *ONLY* for a buttery/ creamy pasta dish. It is really good with butter, leeks, garlic, and parmesean (and even a dash of cream). I really appreciate the cooking tips but I don’t like its sweetness with tomatoes since I don’t like a sweet marinara. Anyone who likes a sweeter marinara sauce will probably love this recipe.
I find spaghetti squash to be a bit sweet, which isn’t my favorite thing in the world. I’ll still eat it occasionally, but if I’m looking to cut some carbs, I’d rather make zucchini noodles.
I have tried spaghetti squash as a substitute for pasta with a red sauce, but i didn’t like it. I made it in place of pasta for a dish with olive oil infused with a lot of garlic sliced real thin, balsamic vinegar, mushrooms, fresh parmasen cheese and prosciutto. It was delish.
I agree, don’t care for it with traditional spaghetti sauce but love it with other sauces or toppings.
I also like it tossed with brown butter, sage, toasted hazelnuts and parmesan!
That sounds really yummy! Will have to try that, too.
This sounds wonderful, so gourmet!!
We recently started to eat spaghetti squash. We have been using meat sauce, first time we made it, we just threw in the leftover ground turkey into the sauce.
Perfect easy no fuss dinner that doesn’t leave any left overs.
Have you tried pressure cooking yours? It is so quick and easy! Bring to high pressure and cook for 5-6 minutes! Perfectly cooked every time!
we love love LOVE spaghetti squash!
(though they are awfully watery this year – it must have been a bad growing season here in Ontario)
we like to use the actual squash as our bowl. just cut it in half lengthwise, like you suggest (again into quarters if half is too much for one!)and then fill the cavity with whatever sauce you enjoy. we like a pasta sauce full of veggies and sometimes meat. a sprinkle of good parmesan never hurts either!