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3 Best Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash Fast

$3.01 Recipe/$0.75 Serving

These are 3 best ways to cook spaghetti squash fast! These techniques will help you get spaghetti squash on the table in 30 minutes or less! The three methods are cooking spaghetti squash in the oven, cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave, and cooking spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker (instant pot).

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Spaghetti squash is one of those foods I love to hate! It is great to have around but can take forever to cook and really puts a damper on my 30 minute or less dinner ideas! But don’t fear, these are my tried and true methods to help you get spaghetti squash on the table in about 30 minutes from start to finish!

I am even sharing my favorite tips on how to cut a spaghetti squash without feeling like you are going to cut off your fingers!

Ways to cook spaghetti squash:

A quick google search brought me instructions on lots of ways to make spaghetti squash:

Large glass bowl filled with microwaved spaghetti squash. Fork pulling strands out of the bowl.

I have to say I have tried most of these methods except steaming in a pan of water and baking or microwaving whole. There is something about a whole cooked spaghetti squash that intimidates me.

But this post the focus is on how to get spaghetti squash on the table FAST! So methods like baking it cut in half or using the slow cooker were out.

TIP: However if you have a slow cooker and remember to put the spaghetti squash in there in the morning, it can make for a quick and simple meal at night. You just need to cut the spaghetti squash in half and add about ½ cup of water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Pressure cooker filled with spaghetti squash. Fork taking strands of spaghetti squash from the Instant Pot

Tips on how to cut spaghetti squash easily:

If you have never cut a spaghetti squash, the skin is almost impenetrable, even with a really good knife. So the key here is to soften up the skin with heat.

Because I’m all about saving time, I like to use the microwave to help with this. If you don’t like using a microwave, check out the tip below!

  1. First, you want to use a fork or a sharp knife and score the spaghetti squash 3-4 times on the top to let steam release (like you would a potato).
  2. Next, place the spaghetti squash in the microwave for 3-5 minutes (depending on the size). 3 minutes for smaller spaghetti squash and 5 minutes for large ones.

TIP: If you are not using a microwave, place the spaghetti squash in a preheating oven to soften the skin. Place it in the oven cold and by the time it’s preheated, the skin should have softened enough to allow for easy cutting.

Baking sheet with spaghetti squash rings with a fork pulling strands of spaghetti squash from the rings.

After microwaving or baking in the oven to soften the skin, the spaghetti squash may be hot so handle carefully. I always use my Ove-Glove for this!

Using a large chef’s knife, carefully cut the spaghetti squash.

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How to cook spaghetti squash in the oven fast:

Cooking spaghetti squash by first cutting it into rings and baking it in the oven is faster than the traditional method (which usually takes 45-60 minutes), but it also produces the best texture spaghetti squash. The squash strands aren’t wet or mushy since they didn’t have a chance to steam and collect moisture like they do with other methods of cooking!

This method of cooking spaghetti squash rings in the oven creates the best texture and taste but it does take a little longer to cut the rings than the other two methods mentioned below.

Collage for how to cut a spaghetti squash for oven roasting
  • Preheat the oven to 450F. Poke a few holes in the squash and microwave for 3-5 minutes
  • Cut the squash into rings!
    • To cut the spaghetti squash into rings:
      • Lay the squash down lengthwise. Start at one end and slowly cut the squash into rings. If you find the squash is moving around too much, stand the squash up and cut down one of the sides creating a flat spot to rest the squash onto the counter with.
      • When you get close to the end, you can leave a bigger ring if you find it to be too difficult to cut. The squash can get cooked with the end in-tact and you can remove the stem and skin after cooking.
  • Once the spaghetti squash is cut into rings, use a spoon to remove the seeds and discard the seeds.
  • Spray some non-stick spray on a rimmed baking sheet (use parchment or silicone liner if you want quick clean up). Add the spaghetti squash rings and spray the top with non-stick spray and sprinkle with salt.
    • To save more time: put the spaghetti squash rings in a large glass bowl and microwave for 5 minutes while the oven preheats to 450F.
  • Bake in a 450F oven for 30 minutes, flipping the squash rings over at the halfway point.
    • If you microwaved the squash to save time, the squash rings should be done in 20 minutes, no need to flip them over.
Fork is breaking up the strands of spaghetti squash from the roasted spaghetti squash rings
  • Once the squash is done baking, remove it from the oven and use a fork to pull apart the strands of squash.

How to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave fast:

I cooked spaghetti squash in the microwave until I got a pressure cooker. It’s quick and convenient and it’s really hard to mess up!

Collage for how to cut a spaghetti squash for cooking in the microwave or pressure cooker
  • Poke a few holes in the squash and microwave for 3-5 minutes (depending on the size).
  • Remove the squash from the microwave and cut it in half.
    • First cut off the top and the bottom of the squash, then stand it up (so the flat part you just cut is on the bottom) and use your knife and cut the squash in half. Don’t saw back and forth but instead put pressure on both the front and back of the knife and cut straight down
  • Once the spaghetti squash is cut in half, remove the seeds with a spoon.
  • Place in a large glass bowl and cook for 10-12 minutes on high (depending on the size)
Large glass bowl filled with spaghetti squash, cut in half with a fork in the squash strands.
  • Carefully remove from the microwave and use a fork to pull apart the strands of the squash.
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How to cook spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker fast:

The best part of cooking spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker is that you can walk away while the squash cooks and the whole process is done in about 20 minutes (since it takes some time to come up to pressure). This is my favorite method when I’m short on time!

Collage for how to cut a spaghetti squash for cooking in the microwave or pressure cooker
  • Poke a few holes in the squash and microwave for 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the squash from the microwave and cut it in half.
    • First cut off the top and the bottom of the squash, then stand it up (so the flat part you just cut is on the bottom) and use the knife and cut the squash in half. Don’t saw back and forth but instead put pressure on both the front and back of the knife and cut straight down
  • Once the spaghetti squash is cut in half, remove the seeds with a spoon.
  • Add the squash to the insert of the pressure cooker along with 1 cup of water.
  • Seal the pressure cooker (close the vent) and cook on high pressure for 7-9 minutes (depending on the size of the squash).
  • Once the pressure cooker is done, manually release the pressure.
Pressure cooker filled with spaghetti squash. Fork is breaking up the strands of spaghetti squash
  • Carefully remove the squash and use a fork to pull apart the strands of the squash.

If you love spaghetti squash, try it in these dishes:

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3 Best Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash Fast collage

3 Best Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash Fast

$3.01 Recipe/$0.75 Serving
These are 3 best ways to cook spaghetti squash fast! These techniques will help you get spaghetti squash on the table in 30 minutes or less! The three methods are cooking spaghetti squash in the oven, in the microwave, and in the pressure cooker (instant pot). Spaghetti squash is the perfect vegan, gluten free, paleo, Whole30, low carb past substitute you will enjoy all year!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cooking spaghetti squash fast, meal prep spaghetti squash, spaghetti squash tips
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4 people

Guided Recipe Video

Ingredients

Instructions

Oven Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450F
  • Make 3 small cuts in the top of spaghetti squash and microwave 3-5 minutes to soften the skin. See note in the post if you don’t want to use the microwave
  • After microwaving, carefully remove the squash from the microwave and place on a cutting board lengthwise. 
  • Start at one end and start cutting rings from the spaghetti squash by cutting down crosswise
  • Once the rings are cut, remove the seeds using a spoon. Discard the seeds
  • After the seeds removed from the rings, spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray (use a silicone liner or parchment for easier clean up). Place the rings on the tray.
  • Place the spaghetti squash in the oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Remove the squash from the oven and flip them over. Bake again for an additional 10-15 minutes depending on how thick the rings are. 
  • Once the rings are done baking, you can test them by using a fork to try to pull apart the squash. If it easily comes apart, they are done. If they need more time, put back in the oven for 5 minutes. 

Microwave Instructions

  • Make 3 small cuts in the top of spaghetti squash and microwave 3-5 minutes to soften the skin.
  • After microwaving, carefully remove the squash from the microwave and place on a cutting board lengthwise. 
  • Carefully cut off the top and the bottom of the squash
  • Stand the squash upright on one of the cut ends. Cut down the center to make two long boats.
  • Remove the seeds with a spoon. 
  • Place the two halves in a glass bowl and microwave 10-12 minutes on high.
  • Once done, carefully remove from the microwave. Test if the squash is done by using a fork to try to separate the strands of spaghetti squash. Add 2 minutes at time if the squash is not fully done. 

Pressure Cooker Instructions

  • Make 3 small cuts in the top of spaghetti squash and microwave 3-5 minutes to soften the skin. See note in the post if you don’t want to use the microwave
  • After microwaving, carefully remove the squash from the microwave and place on a cutting board lengthwise. 
  • Carefully cut off the top and the bottom of the squash
  • Stand the squash upright on one of the cut ends. Cut down the center to make two long boats.
  • Remove the seeds with a spoon. 
  • Place the two halves in the pressure cooker insert with 1 cup of water. 
  • Place the lid on and make sure the pressure cooker is set to sealed. Cook high pressure for 7-9 minutes (depending on size). 
  • Once done cooking, manually release the pressure (keep your hands out of the way).
  •  Test if the squash is done by using a fork to try to separate the strands of spaghetti squash. If the squash isn’t quite done, close the lid and allow to steam in the basket for a few minutes. 
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
27
Carbohydrates
 
6
g
Fiber
 
1
g
Sugar
 
2
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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Recipe Rating




Eileen

Monday 5th of October 2020

Have always cooked spaghetti squash in the microwave. Wash outside, use sharp knife to make slits in skin. Bake 12-14 min in microwave. Cool it till handle. Cut long way & scoop out seeds. Put in serving bowl. Drain extra water. Season salt & pepper , and a bit of onion & garlic powder Sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Delish.

Samantha Rowland

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

Delish! Thanks for sharing!

Meghan

Thursday 31st of January 2019

I've been on a spaghetti squash kick lately!

Sam

Friday 8th of February 2019

Me too Meghan! Hope these tips help you make it faster!