Is This The Spaghetti of Your Dreams?

Spaghetti Squash

March 20, 2013   63 Comments

Want your pasta to be zero calories and still taste like pasta? Maybe I have found a solution.

Snack Girl evaluated Miracle Noodles last year and decided that they were less than miraculous.

But, there is another alternative from the non-processed section of the supermarket: the spaghetti squash.

First, you have to find it. I found it easy because it was labeled “spaghetti squash”. Here is a photo for those of you who aren’t as lucky:

It kind of looks like a mango, no? Then, you have to roast it (directions below). Finally, you get to decide if spaghetti squash can hold a candle to spaghetti.

One cup of cooked spaghetti squash is 42 calories versus spaghetti for 221 calories so if you liked it and were trying to cut back, this would be a great option.

After roasting mine, I decided to try it with some salsa and cheese because there is almost nothing I won’t eat without salsa and cheese. I found it to be crunchier than spaghetti and it doesn’t taste like much.

Did I like it? It was pretty good. Much better than the Miracle noodles, but still not spaghetti. The texture wasn't quite right and I found it a little strange.

I think it would be better if it was sauteed with some vegetables like this recipe: Spaghetti Squash and Chard Saute.

Have you tried spaghetti squash? Please share how you serve it.

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Roasted Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash

Preheat oven to 375 F. Using a sharp knife poke the spaghetti squash about 12 times at least an inch deep (this is to prevent pressure from building up inside of the squash and having it explode in your oven). Place the squash on a baking sheet and roast until soft.

For 1-2 pound squash this will take about 45 minutes for a 3-4 pound squash figure about an hour.

Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds. Using a fork scrape the inside of the flesh into a bowl creating strands of squash. Use for a replacement for spaghetti or rice.

For one cup = 42 calories, 0.4 g fat, 0.1 g saturated fat, 10.0 g carbohydrates, 3.9 g sugar, 1.0 g protein, 2.2 g fiber, 28 mg sodium, 1 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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63 Comments:

I typically cut mine in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil, and roast at 425ºF until the insides are slightly golden brown. Usually 45 minutes. If it's still crunchy, it's not fully cooked. I love using spaghetti squash as a replacement for spaghetti with my favorite meat sauce, made from 99% fat free ground turkey and lots of veggies. Give it another chance. :)

on March 20, 2013

I have tried Spaghetti squash before. It's hard getting used to but my husband, our youngest and I can't tell a diff anymore with the Alfredo sauce or chicken parm. Also I ring out the extra water in a towel and add salt, pepper, parm cheese, and sometimes herbs to it.

on March 20, 2013

Snack Girl. There is a much easier way to cook this delicious spagetti alternative. Just cut in half (on horizontal). Place in glass dish with some water and microwave for 5-7 minutes. More is larger. Scrape out seeds and voila!!! I just love this veg with a tiny bit of butter and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese!!! I could eat the whole thing!!!!

on March 20, 2013

I tried this some years ago, it was pleasant, but a little too moist to get that satisfying pasta "chew" (though I did bake it to try and dry it out a bit).

I got a better result - albeit via a fiddlier process - cutting yellow courgette/zucchini into thin strips and baking them in the oven, and then using it as a kind of vegetable tagliatelli. Tagliatelli is always a bit floppier and less chewy than spaghetti anyway, so perhaps that helped. And the courgette strips were a little firmer than the spaghetti squash.

I do think that one has to eat it with the mindset that it's a vegetable, though, and not try to pretend it's actually pasta. Then any pasta-like quality is a blessing on top of the fact that you're eating a lovely healthy vegetable.

on March 20, 2013

It is also good mixed with some chopped spinach, ricotta cheese, some jar sauce, top with whole wheat bread crumbs then bake until cooked through. Almost like mac and cheese.

on March 20, 2013

I love Spaghetti squash! I use it in place of spaghetti in a number of things. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and put it in a dish with some water, nuke it for about 10 minutes and its ready. I mix it with a couple wedges of Laughing Cow and some fake egg, then top it like I would Baked Ziti and bake. Fantastic!

on March 20, 2013

I tried as spaghetti once and was not sold. I think istara is right pretending its something it's not didn't work for me. The chard sauté sounds good, I think I would prefer it prepared like that.

on March 20, 2013

I love spaghetti squash - but I don't delude myself that it is a pasta substitute. For me, it's just something else I like to eat. I do use it as the center of a meal - I particularly like it tossed with pesto and maybe some fresh mozzarella or parmesan. And some roasted cherry tomatoes. And shredded fresh basil. And maybe some pine nuts. Ok, I am getting hungry!

on March 20, 2013

We just had spaghetti squash for dinner last night! I cut mine (used 2) in half and scooped the seeds before I roasted it, but I don't think there's a wrong way to do it as long as it's soft enough to scoop:) We mixed ours with sautéed spinach, tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella and baked til bubbly. It was tasty and satisfying but a little watery; I will wring it out next time like recommended above.

on March 20, 2013

I nuke the spaghetti squash, but don't cut it in half - I stab it with a knife several times, put it in a casserole dish and nuke it until the skin is softened - easier to cut (I turn off the microwave turntable so the dish will fit. LOVE spaghetti squash!!!

on March 20, 2013

I love spaghetti squash. It is the base for my favorite entrée at Ruby Tuesdays, spaghetti squash marinara. They top the spaghetti squash with roasted red pepper marinara sauce and broiled zucchini slices. It is super-delicious with just a sprinkle of parmesan on top. As prepared (without the cheese or the biscuits they serve on the side) a serving is only 260 calories! It has tons of flavor and is really filling, all without any meat. I have tried to replicate this at home with varying success. I'm pretty sure they use olive oil in the squash and roast or sautee it. Mine was good but did not have quite as much flavor as the restaurant's version.version

on March 20, 2013

I started off substituting half (baked) spaghetti squash in the place of 1/2 my whole wheat noodles when eating spaghetti with marinara. Now it's 100% spaghetti squash for me. Just takes some getting used to

on March 20, 2013

This is a WW recipe that is really good. I love sage and it was great with the spaghetti squash. http://bit.ly/XYLwkb

on March 20, 2013

I cut mine in half and brush lightly with olive oil and a pinch of cinnamon .....the trick is to cook it upside down on baking sheet.....40 minutes or so at 400 degrees. I'm addicted to it....I use it as a side dish or spaghetti substitute or load it with sautéed veggies and chicken....like a stir fry....

on March 20, 2013

I had spaghetti squish last night with my homemade sauce! I love it but it's not a pasta replacement. If you're craving pasta have pasta. I also love the squash in veggie stir fry.

on March 20, 2013

I agree with the above commenter that if you don't delude yourself into thinking it's an actual pasta swap (way different texture!), spaghetti squash is a nice healthy vehicle on which to place all of the yummy toppings that you would normally use pasta for.

on March 20, 2013

I actually love spaghetti squash but started making it as a side dish and not as a spaghetti substitute. Now I will sub it for spaghetti or add it in to a whole wheat or brown rice pasta dish.

on March 20, 2013

Thank you so much for this! I picked up a spaghetti squash last night and then put it back because I was unsure how to cook it! Lots of advise here, thanks so much to everyone!!

on March 20, 2013

I LOVE Spaghetti squash -- I made it just last night. If you're in a rush, you can actually cook it in the microwave, too. Just cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and nuke it, face-down, on a plate for 7-10 minutes.

on March 20, 2013

I love spaghetti squash! No, it isn't pasta, but I prepare it in all the ways that I enjoy the real thing and it is delicious! I just like all the things you can do with it: toss with fresh parm, roasted vegetables, a chunky, homemade red sauce... thanks for all the microwave tips - great to have a quicker way to get it on the table!

on March 20, 2013

I also love Spaghetti Squash and do cook in the microwave like many have mentioned. I like to saute some fresh mushrooms, onions, and green pepper, add some garlic. I then throw in some shrimp and crab meat, and put over the top of the squash and add just a bit of fresh parmesan cheese and yum! My family loves it.

on March 20, 2013

Denise-your seafood veg stir-fry sounds delicious! Will have to try it. I love SS but often forget it when menu-planning. I think I'd like to try to wring out some moisture and plop a flattened spoonful in a non-stick pan with a pat of butter and see if it'll crisp up for a hash-brown-like breakfast item! Has anyone tried this?

on March 20, 2013

I don't try to pretend it's spaghetti either, and I make sure it's roasted until soft and not crunchy, and the excess liquid either squeezed out or cooked out on the stove before adding stuff to it. We love mixing the cooked squash with Arrabbiata spaghetti sauce and ground beef/turkey/sausage, or with enchilada sauce, cheese & meat. Can be baked in the oven or done on the stovetop, just depends on what you're trying to accomplish.

on March 20, 2013

My problem with it is that it is too watery. It dilutes the sauce too much and turns into a mush. How exactly do you wring it out? That would help, but it is not clear to me how to do that. Thanks!

on March 20, 2013

We've all just tried (and have been raving about) Pad Thai made with spaghetti squash instead of noodles. It's FANTASTIC. Spaghetti squash is also really great with the ingredients of Greek Salad (minus cucumber) - peppers, onions, tomatoes and feta. You can saute the peppers and onions and put the tomatoes and feta on top at the end.

You can also microwave the squash whole, then cut in half and scoop seeds etc when it's soft. About 10 min.

on March 20, 2013

Hollie - What goes in Pad Thai?

on March 20, 2013

We do a yummy spaghetti squash with a little whole wheat pasta (gives you the pasta texture without too much pasta) marinara, Parmesan and ground turkey. Super yummy!!

on March 20, 2013

I'm OBSESSED with spaghetti squash (but I also really like squash)! I put any sauce on it that I would normally put on noodles and I find that you need to sauté it after you roast it if you want a more tender/less crunchy texture. I also learned that you can easily microwave it (but only recommend this if you cut it first) in just around 10 minutes rather than roasting for close to an hour. Hope that helps!

on March 20, 2013

Pat, I'm going to try to blot/press/gently wring the strands with a double layer of paper towels.
Hollie, the greek salad sounds so good!
SG, thank you for generating so many healthy SS ideas!

on March 20, 2013

spaghetti squash is a new favorite. i also do the "poke holes in it and roast it" technique. works great! i always save the seeds, wash them off, dry them, then roast them with a little olive oil and salt/pepper. my family loves them. i let the seeds dry out on a paper towel for a couple of days. they seem to roast best this way. there are always seeds being prepped in my kitchen! (butternut, spaghetti, acorn, etc.) for the squash: my latest dish is to sautee garlic and tomatoes, top that on a nice serving of spaghetti squash with some fresh shaved parmesan, and then add a fried egg on top. HEAVEN!

on March 20, 2013

Thanks Barb L - I'll give that a try. And, Julie, my whole family fights over the roasted seeds! Just like roasting pumpkin seeds - they are delicious!

on March 20, 2013

I tried spaghetti squash several years ago. It was way too squashy tasting. Maybe it was over-ripe I am not sure. Reading all the posts - maybe I will give it another try.

on March 20, 2013

I tried this a couple of years ago but didn't cook it right, so I thought it was disgusting (I'm texture sensitive). I decided to try it again after seeing it on the Biggest Loser and this time cooked it like you said above and I loved it! I will eat pasta from time to time, but it's gluten free and I like to try different alternatives. I can't eat tomatoes too often as they're my migraine trigger food, but every so often, I'll indulge and just take meds right after. Yes, it's crunchier and definitely NOT spaghetti, but it's a good alternative when you need one. I'm going to try it sauteed with some fresh veggies next as the flavor is more mild than my traditional butternut.

on March 20, 2013

I didn't realize how much I'd adore spaghetti squash! And you don't have to use it just for meat sauce either, pretty much any kind of sauce will work!

on March 20, 2013

Yea, see the whole "moisture" factor threw me off as well as some of the other posts mention. I baked it and when it was done, i was SO ready to be wowwed, but it didn't happen. I as not a fan and not sure I will try it again.

on March 20, 2013

I made spaghetti squash with marinara sauce and it's good.

My new fave way is from skinnytaste in a baked casserole.

on March 20, 2013

I love spaghetti squash and look forward to having some in the summer. I like to serve it with a spaghetti sauce.

on March 20, 2013

Spaghetti Squash is absolutely delicious & I find myself craving it quite often. I cut mine in half, season with a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper & brush it with olive oil. Then I graba glass baking dish & fill with 2-3 inches of water. Place squash cut side down & bake at 375 for 45 mins to an hour depending on size. To test pierce with a fork when there is some give its time to enjoy the deliciousness. I love to do a quick sautee with the cooked spaghetti squash with mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, evoo & sometimes I throw in some turkey sausage crumbles. Oh and of course a dash of cheese. Boy I'm hungry now :-)

on March 20, 2013

Why on earth do they call this spaghetti squash?! What an odd name. Is the name the only reason we use it as a spaghetti substitute or the other way around? hmmmm.

on March 20, 2013

Bridgeciaj, after you cook the squash, you scrape it with a fork, and the flesh comes out in "spaghetti-like" strands.

on March 20, 2013

I love spaghetti Squash I discovered it 2 years ago. It's a good fix for if you want spaghetti, but not the calories.

on March 20, 2013

I am on the "fan" side of spaghetti squash. I roast it whole in the oven until outside is browned and begins to dent inward. I scrape out the shreds and save the seeds for roasting. Then saute diced colored peppers, onions, garlic in a wee bit of olive oil. Add squash and lightly brown. Then shut off heat and add some grated Italian cheese--maybe could also add some peas or whatever other vegetables you want.

on March 20, 2013

Just want to put this out FYI: we may want to use our microwave ovens a lot less or toss them out. If you Google
"Microwave Test", you will understand. It kills off or changes
The structure of the food/nutrients, making them un-recog-
nizable to the body, therefore not giving you the nutrition you
Expect. Love your site, it rocks!

on March 20, 2013

I love spaghetti squash! I don't think it tastes enough like pasta to be a suitable replacement though. But I do love it!
I eat it many ways; plain, with butter, with tomato sauce, with taco sauce, with sauteed veggies, etc. Love it!

on March 20, 2013

I cook mine in the microwave too, but WHOLE! Just be sure to poke holes in it, rotate every 5 minutes or so until it is done (usually 10-15) minutes. After it cools for a bit, it is so much easier to cut after it is cooked than it is raw. I love spaghetti squash!

on March 20, 2013

I microwave the squash then add my healthy balance butter alternative and truvia and a little cinnamon, it is a comfort food style sweet treat for me.

on March 20, 2013

I roast my spaghetti squash cut in half until I can smell that it's cooked (longer than often suggested). I then use a fork to scrape out the strands which I then put in a container in the frig for a few days until I remember it's there. By then I drain the extra liquid from the container and use it as a base to put sauces on (then we can have garlic bread with it) and baked dishes (generally cheese and greens are involved).

on March 20, 2013

Diane Campbell: I just read another article last week that dispelled the dangers/nutrient loss of microwaves which was so comforting, even tho I prefer the results of oven baking!
Here's that item
http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/02/26/jane-says-everyt…

I guess moderation is still the best bet.

on March 21, 2013

I ate Spaghetti Squash 3 times this week. I cut it half and roast it. I had 4 cups of food for less than 200 calories. 1 c. spaghetti squash, 1 (packed) cup finely chopped spinach (think parsely) and 1 cup lite marinara sauce. It was yummy and kept me so full I didn't want for anything else for hours. Now that I know Kroger sells it year round it will be on my weekly menu.

on March 21, 2013

I absolutely love this spaghetti squash recipe.
Sometimes I substitute a chicken/apple sausage for the beans. (I think I may have discovered Everyday Maven at your website, Snack-Girl). http://www.everydaymaven.com/2012/roasted-spaghetti-squash-…

on March 21, 2013

Actually I do mine in the microwave. Just prick the skin a bit so it doesn't explode. My husband loves it with sauce and ground sausage, as an "au gratin" bake and a host of others I've come up with.

on March 22, 2013

I so love your honesty! I really enjoy spaghetti squash but it can't replace pasta if that is what you are looking for. Here is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. Of course this probably doesn't save any calories but at least you are getting some veggies! http://dandydishes.blogspot.com/2011/10/spaghetti-squash-au…

on April 4, 2013

Absolutely no need to lose fingers with slicing or stabbing. Just roast whole at 350 for 90min..VOILA!
It's all about what is served on top of it for flavor!

on April 4, 2013

It is so good tossed with italian sausage, diced tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.

on April 17, 2013

I love it. Granted it takes some getting used to but it really gives me a better full than either pasta or rice. I found it mostly because I got gestational diabetes during pregnancy and could no longer eat very many carbs:( Thankfully that ended when i had my baby but ever since then i have told everyone i know about spaghetti squash:)

on April 17, 2013

Kathy, that sounds so good I'm running out for sausage now to go with my 2wk old spaghetti squash, thanks for the inspiration!

on April 18, 2013

I love spaghetti squash, but I don't view it as a replacement for pasta. I just see it as a delicious, versatile food in its own right.

on April 20, 2013

After prepping the wonder squash in the oven, I toss the "spaghetti" into a hot wok with: sliced turkey sausage, 1 can drained diced tomatoes, and this spice mix: 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp ground oregano, 1/2 tsp seasoned salt, and a pinch of garlic. Ground pepper to taste, sprinkled chopped fresh spinach for garnish, and wallah. DELISHINESS for dinner!

on March 4, 2014

I love spaghetti squash! The first time I tried it, it wasn't cooked long enough. Kind of tough and no flavor. The next time, I cooked it longer and it turned out very sweet and tender. Unfortunately, after the first failed attempt, my husband won't touch it. So I don't make it now.
No, it isn't pasta, but it's a great vehicle for pasta sauce!

on September 23, 2014

Easy way to fix spaghetti squash is the crock pot. Wash the squash poke holes in skin with a fork put it in the crokpot with 1/2 cup water let it cook on low for 8 hour or less for smaller squash turns out great. After done cooking cut squash and remove seeds. Best thing is you don't try to cut off a finger trying to cut open the squash when it is raw.

on May 27, 2015

I'm a pasta purist! I refuse to call spaghetti squash a pasta substitute. I'll eat the stuff if I have to, but no amount of doctoring is gonna make me pretend I'm eating pasta!!

on May 27, 2015

Spaghetti squash is okay but I'd like it much better if people quit trying to sell me on the idea that it's a good substitute for the real McCoy! There just ISN'T any substitute for a platter of al dente spaghetti bathed in a flavorful (preferably homemade) sauce and freshly gated Parmesan cheese! No way, no how! As far as squash is concerned, give me
a flavorful baked Acorn squash any day! I hate the word "substitute" when it comes to
my favorite foods! But thatsa justa me! Cut calories by foregoing super-sweet desserts!
Don't ever forget Sophia Loren's remark that she owed everything she had to spaghetti!
If that doesn't make you feel less guilty about twirling your way through a helping of pasta I don't know what will. Seriously, life's too short for substitutes! Moderation is the answer!

on September 28, 2016

I have tried several types of the miracle noodle and found them to be a great replacement for a lot of dishes we make at home. My wife had type 2 and controls it with diet and exercise. We have not had "noodles" for a few years but with Miracle we were very pleased eating them. They do require through washing and a little extra work and it seems they cost more than the Pasta Zero. I will review the Pasta Zero and come back. We grew and eat spaghetti squash till we got so tired of it, it was fine but prep was longer than we desired.

on October 27, 2017


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