We’ve all been there: You see the giant yellow squash in the store and are instantly reminded of all the low-carb meals you came across on Pinterest, but you’ve never actually mustered the courage to tackle the sought-after veggie. To help you finally sub your go-to box of noodles with this low-calorie alternative, we’ve consulted Chef de Cuisine at Fairway Market Cafe, Vincent Olivieri, on how to cook spaghetti squash. Not only is it a delicious low-carb alternative to your favorite pastas, but it’s also jam-packed with skin-healing vitamin A, energizing B vitamins, flu-fighting vitamin C, and bone-protecting calcium.
How to cook spaghetti squash
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out all seeds, being careful not to remove the flesh.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place cut side down on baking sheet and into the oven for one hour.
- With a fork, gently remove the flesh of the squash, almost fluffing it. Try not to go at it too hard—you want to keep all the strands intact to give it that spaghetti look.
Pro tip from Olivieri: If you leave the skin intact, you can put squash back in and use that skin to hold it as a vessel, and it also makes for nice plating.
Now that the squash strands are removed from the skin, you can use them in any way that you would use spaghetti! The options are truly endless. At Fairway Markets, Chef Olivieri adds Pomodoro sauce, Parmigiana Reggiano, and basil to his spaghetti squash dish. Seeking a keto-friendly spaghetti squash dinner? Just mix the “noodles” with marinated Cabecou cheese and a spicy pesto—you can even add an extra protein punch to the dish by tossing it with sliced grilled chicken or roasted salmon.
Should you replace wheat pasta with spaghetti squash?Shutterstock
Besides for the plethora of vitamins and nutrients that the winter veggie provides, swapping a two-ounce serving of conventional wheat-based spaghetti for the same size serving of spaghetti squash will save you over 180 calories. That means you’ll have more room to pile the spaghetti squash high (it’s less calorie-dense than traditional pasta) and make more room for fun sauces and toppings. If you’re not too keen on giving up your tried-and-true carb altogether, opt for experimenting with mixing a half serving of regular noodles with a few handfuls of spaghetti squash—you’ll get the best of both worlds!