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I’m always looking for ways to make healthy recipes for my family quicker and easier. Oven roasted spaghetti squash (whole or halved) is my go-to method for cooking this fall squash, but sometimes I need something last minute. After countless trials, I stumbled across a way to make it that’s even faster and easier: Microwave spaghetti squash. It’s a fool-proof method that takes as little as 10 minutes!
Like baking, you can cook spaghetti squash in the microwave whole or halved. I prefer to cook it whole for a couple of reasons. First of all, microwaving spaghetti squash whole prevents the need to cut through it raw, making it safer and easier. Second, the squash keeps its texture without burning or drying out. Finally, there’s no cutting board needed, which means fewer things to wash. Win-win!
Why You’ll Love Microwave Spaghetti Squash
- Much shorter cooking time than the oven — as little as 10 minutes!
- Perfect fork-tender noodles
- Neutral flavor that goes with anything
- No hassle of cutting the hard squash in half
- Naturally low carb and gluten-free
- Versatile and delicious pasta substitute
- Enjoy on its own or use in other spaghetti squash recipes
How To Cook Spaghetti Squash In The Microwave
This section shows how to microwave spaghetti squash, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Pierce. Place squash on a microwave-safe dish. Using a sharp knife, poke holes all over the spaghetti squash. (This prevents steam from building in the squash so that it doesn’t explode — do not skip this step.)
- Microwave. Cook whole spaghetti squash in the microwave, turning halfway through the cook time (see time chart below).
- Check. Pierce skin of the squash again to check for doneness.
TIP: How do you know squash is done?
The knife should be able to pierce the skin with very little resistance. (You do not want it to pierce through too smoothly, as that means the squash will be overcooked and mushy.) If there’s too much resistance, it’s not done, so continue to cook in 1-2 minute intervals as needed.
- Cool and cut. Remove the squash from the microwave and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise and place cut-side up.
- Fluff and season. Use a spoon to remove the seeds, then use a fork to separate the flesh inside the spaghetti squash halves into strands. Season with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper, or use in other recipes.
How Long To Microwave Spaghetti Squash?
Cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave takes anywhere from 8 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Start with 8 to 10 minutes for a 1-2 pound squash, and add an additional 2 minutes for each additional pound of weight.
Here is a time chart for microwave spaghetti squash of different sizes:
|Extra Small||1-2 pounds||8-10 minutes|
|Small||2-3 pounds||10-12 minutes|
|Medium||3-4 pounds||12-14 minutes|
|Medium-Large||4-5 pounds||14-16 minutes|
|Large||6-7 pounds||16-18 minutes|
|Extra Large||7-8 pounds||18-20 minutes|
- Store: Keep microwave spaghetti squash in an airtight container, with or without skin, in the fridge for up to 5-7 days.
- Reheat: Warm up leftover spaghetti squash in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- Freeze: Place the noodles in a freezer-safe container or zip lock bag, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or in a sealed bag submerged in water on the counter, before reheating or using in recipes.
Ways To Use Microwave Spaghetti Squash
Cooking spaghetti squash in the microwave offers up a quick, easy, and healthier pasta substitute that can be used in so many different ways! Here are some of my all-time favorite ways to use it in recipes:
- Sauces – Serve microwave spaghetti squash with your fave sauce as a pasta alternative. Try it with sugar-free marinara sauce (or other tomato sauce), creamy Alfredo sauce, or vibrant pesto sauce.
- Cheese – In addition to olive oil, salt, and pepper, I love a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top. You can also mix in other cheeses, like mozzarella or cheddar.
- Spaghetti squash recipes – Use it to speed up the prep in recipes that already call for cooked spaghetti squash, like spaghetti squash lasagna, keto pad Thai, or creamy spaghetti squash carbonara.
- Chicken – Spaghetti squash strands make the perfect base for saucy chicken dishes, like mushroom chicken, creamy Cajun chicken, or garlic butter chicken. But you can also serve it with simple options, like healthy baked chicken breast.
- Steak – Serve it on the side with a tender sirloin steak, or New York strip if you’re feeling fancy.
- Fish – My baked cod and pan seared halibut recipes both come with a sauce that’s delicious drizzled over microwave spaghetti squash, but you can’t go wrong with simple baked salmon, either.
- Soups – One of my favorite ways to use it is to make a low carb chicken soup! You can also add the noodles to other soups, like coconut curry soup or vegetable soup, or replace the zoodles in keto pho with spaghetti squash instead.
- Casseroles – Use the microwave shortcut to make a spaghetti squash casserole, replace the cauliflower in a pizza casserole, tuck the noodles into a chicken bacon ranch casserole, or even mix them into a breakfast casserole.
Microwave Spaghetti Squash
Microwave Spaghetti Squash (Fast & Easy)
Microwave spaghetti squash makes tender noodles in minutes! Learn the best way to cook spaghetti squash in the microwave, plus serving ideas.
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Place the squash on a microwave safe plate. Using a sharp paring knife, pierce the spaghetti squash all over.
Cook spaghetti squash in the microwave, turning halfway through the cook time. The starting point is 8-10 minutes for a 1-2 pound squash, and add an additional 2 minutes for each additional pound of weight. For example, a 2-3 pound squash would take 10-12 minutes, a 3-4 pound squash would take 12-14 minutes, a 4-5 pound squash would take 14-16 minutes, a 6-7 pound squash would take 16-18 minutes, and a 7-8 pound squash would take 18-20 minutes.
To check for doneness, use the paring knife again to pierce the skin. The knife should be able to go through the skin with very little resistance. (You do not want it to pierce through with 100% ease, as that means the squash will be overcooked and mushy.) If there’s too much resistance, continue to cook at 1-minute intervals as needed.
Remove the spaghetti squash from the microwave and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise.
Use a spoon to remove the seeds, then use a fork to shred to create spaghetti-like strands.
Transfer the spaghetti squash noodles to a bowl. Add olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper. Toss to coat.
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Serving size: 1 cup
Number of servings will vary depending on the size of your squash.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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