Air fryer spaghetti squash is a quick and easy way to cook perfect spaghetti squash noodles every time. Never mushy or overcooked, this recipe makes the best low carb pasta noodles!
Use spaghetti squash noodles anywhere you would use regular pasta for a grain free, gluten free, keto and Whole30 friendly meal!
Why you will love this recipe
- Easy spaghetti squash cooked in the air fryer is the perfect base for any meal! When you use the air fryer, you get perfect noodles that are tender, not mushy every single time!
- Air fryer spaghetti squash can be used just like pasta! It’s low in calories, an easy way to add in more veggies to your diet, and it’s naturally gluten free (and grain free). You can use pasta sauce, creamy garlic sauce, or even make a salad!
- I have tips on how to make spaghetti squash easier to cut into! If you have ever cut a spaghetti squash before, you know they have very tough skin and they can be a bit intimidating to cut! Not anymore!
- Spaghetti Squash
- Salt (optional)
How to make air fry spaghetti squash
- (Optional to soften the skin) Start by carefully cutting two slits in the top of the squash (like you would a baked potato) so that you can cook the squash whole for a few minutes in the microwave or oven.
Microwave for 4 minutes on high. If you do not want to use a microwave, place the spaghetti squash whole in a preheating oven for 5-6 minutes (or if it fits whole in your air fryer, in the air fryer at 375F for 4 minutes).
- After the squash has cooked whole, carefully remove it and place it on a cutting board. Now the skin should be much softer and easier to cut into.
- Start at the middle of the squash and using a large chefs knife cut down towards the base. You will want to work in small sections, pushing the knife in then leveraging it down towards the base.
- Work your way around the squash until you have come to top where the stem is. Use your hands to break the rest apart at this point (don’t try to cut through the stem).
- Now you should have 2 halves of the squash with seeds in the center. You will want to scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
- Place the spaghetti squash in the air fryer basket, skin side down, cut side up. If your basket is not large enough to fit both halves of the squash cut side up, you will have to stack them on top of each other (see photo) or cook each half separately. (You will see that my squash had to be cooked stacked on top of each other.)
- Cook in the air fryer at 375F for 25-30 minutes.
Note: If you have to stack the squash, after about 15 minutes, pause the air fryer and carefully flip the squash so that the one on the top is now on the bottom and vice versa). Resume cooking the squash once flipped.
- After 25 minutes, carefully remove the one of the halves of squash from the air fryer (using tongs or an oven mitt in your hand). Take a fork and scrape the flesh, starting from where the seeds were and working your way towards the skin to create the noodles.
You want to test to see if the squash is cooked. It will easily form noodles at this point. Taste one of the noodles to see if it needs to cook longer (it will still taste like raw squash if it needs to cook longer). If needed, put the squash back in the air fryer for 5 minutes to finish cooking.
- Once done cooking, carefully remove it (use tongs if needed) and use a fork to scrape down the squash, releasing the noodles.
- The best tip is to choose a spaghetti squash that will fit in the basket of your air fryer. This usually means that you will need to get a smaller sized spaghetti squash or be willing to cook your squash in halves or quarters in the air fryer to accommodate the larger size. Typically a squash around 2 pounds works well.
- When picking out a spaghetti squash at the store, you are looking for a squash that is yellow, not pale or almost white. The color of the squash indicates its ripeness. Be sure the skin is unblemished (no bruises or dark marks that would indicate it was punctured). You want a squash that feels heavy for its size.
How to serve spaghetti squash
You can use air fryer spaghetti squash just like pasta. Although it is not an exact substitute, it can be a great way to get in more veggies or a lower carb way to enjoy some of your favorite dishes!
Some of my favorite ways to serve this recipe are with:
- Homemade Marinara Sauce
- Green Chili Sauce (for a fun Mexican twist)
- Pesto or Sundried Tomato Pesto
- Creamy Garlic Sauce (for a fun twist on fettucine alfredo)
- Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- Creamy Asian Sauce
- Use it as a base for salads like this Greek Spaghetti Squash Salad
Spaghetti Squash FAQs
Spaghetti squash gets watery when you over cook it. Overcooking the squash can be easy to do in the microwave, in the Instant pot, or in the slow cooker. Cooking the spaghetti squash in the oven or the air fryer helps keep it from getting watery. The constant air flow in the air fryer helps quickly cook the squash without overcooking it.
Cutting open the spaghetti squash can be the hardest part of this entire recipe. To make this easier, I recommend you take the extra time to cut slits in the top of the squash and microwave it whole for 4 minutes on high. This helps to soften the skin, which will make it easy to cut open. Having a sharp knife will also help with this.
After cooking, air fryer spaghetti squash can be stored in an air tight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. Reheat leftovers in the air fryer at 350F for 5 minutes or use the microwave.
If you decide to only cook ½ of your squash at a time, you can store the uncooked half of squash in the fridge for up to 4 days, covered.
Freeze leftover spaghetti squash in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months after scraping the squash away from the skin.
Note: after freezing, the squash may not have the same texture as right out of the air fryer; you may find that it’s a bit more watery after defrosting.
What if I don’t have an air fryer?
I have the best resource for you! My top 3 ways to cook spaghetti squash quickly (using the oven, microwave and instant pot).
Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash$3.04 recipe/$1.52 recipe
- 1 spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds) - $2.99
- 1 pinch salt (optional) - $0.05
- Start by piercing the squash with a knife 1-2 times (like a baked potato) so you can microwave the squash to soften the skin. This is an optional step.
- Microwave the squash whole, 4 minutes on high. If you don't want to use the microwave you can also put the squash in a preheating oven for 5 minutes or so. This is an optional step.
- Once the squash has cooked in the microwave, carefully remove it (it may be hot).
- Cut the squash in half from the stem to the bottom, starting in the middle of the squash. Cut in small pieces (the skin is thick) from the middle down towards the bottom of the squash. Work your way around the squash, stop at the stem.
- Use your hands to pull the squash apart, don't try to cut through the stem. Once you have two halves of the squash, use a spoon to remove the seeds.
- Place the squash cut side up, skin side down in the air fryer. If you have a smaller air fryer like I do, you may have to stack the squash on top of each other. You want the bottom half to be skin side down, and the top half to be skin side up.
- Place in the air fryer and cook at 375F for 25 minutes. If you have to stack the spaghetti squash, you will want to pause cooking after it's been cooking for 15 minutes. Carefully flip the squash so that the one on the bottom is now on the top. Continue cooking.
- After 25 minutes, carefully remove one half of the squash from the air fryer (use tongs, an oven mit hand or 2 forks). Take a fork and scrape the flesh, starting where the seeds once were and working your way towards the skin. You will see that noodles are forming. Take a bite of one of the noodles to see if the squash is cooked through. If it still tastes like raw squash, you will need to cook it about 5 more minutes.
- If needed, place squash back in air fryer and cook 5 more minutes at 375F.
- After done cooking, carefully remove both halves of the squash and scrape the flesh, creating the spaghetti squash noodles.
- You want to choose a squash that will fit in the basket of your air fryer. This usually means that you want to get a smaller sized spaghetti squash or be willing to cook your squash in halves or quarters in the air fryer to accommodate the larger size. Typically a squash around 2 pounds works well.
- After cooking, store in an air tight container for up to 4 days in the fridge. Reheat leftovers in the air fryer at 350F for 5 minutes or use the microwave.
- If you decide to only cook ½ of your squash at a time, you can store the uncooked half of squash in the fridge for up to 4 days, covered.
- Freeze leftover spaghetti squash in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months after scraping the squash away from the skin. Note: after freezing, the squash may not have the same texture as right out of the air fryer; you may find that it’s a bit more watery after defrosting.