Ingredient of the Week: Spaghetti Squash

Categories: The Basics

What is it?
Spaghetti squash is a big, giant squash - not like those puny zucchinis or calabacitas or yellow squash. The spaghetti squash means business - similar in size, color and shape of the butternut squash, it ranges from four to eight pounds, and is in season in the early fall through late winter.

The big difference between spaghetti squash and butternut squash is its crazy, stringy texture. This is where it earns its "spaghetti" description - the strands of squash on the inside of the thick skin are reminiscent of thin pieces of spaghetti.

An average four-pound spaghetti squash will give you around five cups of cooked flesh, so one squash is plenty to feed a family of four as a side dish. The best part is that when you buy one of these large squash, it will last about a month, at room temperature, so it won't take up precious fridge space.

How is it used?
Spaghetti squash is usually used in side dishes - steamed, boiled, baked or even cooked in a slow cooker, it's easy to prepare. Many low-carb dieters also use it in place of pasta because it is so low in calories.

Where can I buy it?
We found one at Whole Foods, but when it's in season, it can be found in any produce section at a decent grocery store.

Herbed Spaghetti Squash: Courtesy of

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anon today
anon today

Yum. My local HEB has giant ones, too. Cooked one last year in the manner of baked ziti, subbing squash strands for pasta (put all the pasta/sauce/cheese back in the squash halves to bake). Seeds of the squash sprouted in the compost pile, so we grew spaghetti squash last summer in the garden.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Ohhhhhh, love! Love spaghetti squash! You can even cook it in the microwave (split in half, fleshy sides down, in a little bit of water) if you don't want to crank up the oven. I used to make that all the time for dinner.


I did that the other day for the first time and the recipe I had instructed you to throw the entire thing inn there with a few holes in it and in 10 minutes we were done and it was cooked perfectly. I also got it at Cannino's for a lot less than a Whole Foods one.

Ruthie J M
Ruthie J M

Love spaghetti squash! And glad to hear they have them at Canino's (I get mine at Central Market). Lately I've been cooking it in the microwave, then topping with marinara and a bit of lean ground beef or sausage. Healthy delicious!


Ooh. Definitely hitting up Canino's soon - AND trying to cook that sucker whole in the microwave. Thanks for the tips (both of you).

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