How to Cut Spaghetti Squash the Right Way - Danielle Walker

I love spaghetti squash. It’s an amazing source of fiber and Vitamin C and once you know how to cut spaghetti squash the right way and prepare it, it’s a game-changing base to use in place of pasta. You also know I love a good hack — anything to make life and the prep and cooking process easier, right? When I shared about how I handle spaghetti squash on Instagram recently, you all went crazy for my tips. So I wanted to do a step-by-step tutorial for perfectly tender (never mushy) spaghetti squash. And if you don’t already have a favorite way to eat spaghetti squash, scroll down for some of my favorite recipes that use it!

How to cut spaghetti squash

caucasian female hands hold a spaghetti squash and knife on a wooden cutting board

Squash skin can vary in terms of thickness, but for the most part, they’re all pretty tough! So cutting them can be a hassle and even a bit dangerous since they don’t have any flat sides to rest on while you cut. So my trick here couldn’t be easier. As soon as you set your oven to preheat, stick your squash in whole. Just pop it on the rack and go about the rest of your prep. When your oven beeps that it’s heated, take the squash out (spare your fingers and use oven mitts).

Place it on a cutting board, cut the stem side off, and discard it. You’ll notice immediately how easy it is to cut through now that it’s been heated! You want to continue cutting in that same direction — creating about 2-inch rounds — until it’s all sliced. Cutting it this way keeps the strands longer and more like actual noodles. Plus, it cooks faster. Win, win!


caucasian female hands work on scooping out seeds of cut spaghetti squash rounds

Once you’ve scooped the seeds (much easier to do once it’s in these small pieces), give both sides a quick rub with olive oil and pop them onto a sheet pan. Give the slices a touch of salt, but not too much! Adding too much salt can cause the squash to get too watery as it cooks. And then you’ll be left with mushy strands. You’re only seasoning to cook the squash here, and you can add more salt once it has cooked to actually season it to your taste.


The other key here is temp. You want to make sure you’re cooking at a high enough temperature (400 degrees is great) to roast the squash and not steam it. If it steams at a low temp, it’ll be overly soft, but roasting at a high temp will cook it perfectly. Once the squash is cooked, the strands should easily pull away from the skin when you pull them with a fork. Use the fork to scrape all the strands into a bowl and discard the skins. Now you can either use your cooked spaghetti squash for a recipe like the ones below. Or, you can season it to taste. I like it with a little olive oil, some more salt, and a little bit of garlic powder. Prepared this way, it’s paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, Whole30, vegetarian, and vegan — the perfect base for any topping you’re craving!



image of chicken bacon ranch dairy-free, gluten-free spaghetti squash noodles

My most popular squash recipe is hands down my Chicken Bacon Ranch recipe. And if you already love this one, stay tuned for a similar one coming up on the blog!

chicken parmesan alongside spaghetti squash on a sheet pan

My Chicken Parm with Spaghetti Squash is another classic I come back to again and again.

shrimp and tomato pasta served over spaghetti squash in a white bowl with a silver fork

The Shrimp and Tomato Pasta from Meals Made Simple is bright and delicious and a family-favorite around here.

Or how about some classic Spaghetti with Meat Sauce?

Watch me make Spaghetti Squash on Instagram!

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Roasted Spaghetti Squash

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Danielle
  • Prep Time: 8 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 33 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American




  1. Place the squash directly on the middle rack and turn on the heat to 400°F to soften the skin. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. When the preheat timer goes off, remove the warmed squash from the oven, slice off both ends, and cut crosswise into four or five rounds. Scoop out the seeds from the center of each round.
  3. Drizzle both sides of the rounds with 1 tablespoon of the oil and a pinch of salt, then arrange the rounds in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  4. Roast 20 to 25 minutes, until the squash is fork-tender.
  5. Use a fork to pull the flesh into noodle-like strands from the sides of the squash rounds. Discard the skins. Season however you like!


How to Cut Spaghetti Squash the Right Way

image of four images of hands cutting spaghetti squash into pieces


  1. Over 20 yrs ago my boss introduced me to spagetti squash. Easier to cook than I 1st thought.

  2. Jean Bell says:

    Eaten Spaghetti squash but have always cut it in half lengthwise then roasted it…resulting in nice long strands like spaghetti….

  3. Kathryn Valerie Wallace says:

    My oven doesn’t have a preheat timer, so how long should I cook it for?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi! You can leave it in for approx. 10 min. If you find that it’s still too hard to cut, you may need to adjust the time as oven brands can heat up at different variables.

  4. Becky A Martin says:

    AMAZING! This is a game changer. The squash came out delicious, not soggy at all.

  5. Janet Schauf says:

    Wonderful- not mushy. Best spaghetti squash I’ve ever made!

  6. Rebecca Naughton says:

    I’ve never baked spaghetti squash this way before and it’s a game changer! It cut down a lot on the bake time since they are sliced. The ‘pasta’ isn’t soggy at all which would often happen when I baked it in halves before. Thank you!

  7. Kathleen Day says:

    This is an amazing way to bake the spaghetti squash.
    Question…..can I freeze or keep in fridge whatever I don’t use? If so, can I just keep what I don’t use in the rings, reheat and serve the rings on individual plates and have the individuals “spaghetti” their own…..that could look cool😀

    • Danielle says:

      Spaghetti squash that is cooked and pulled should remain good in the freezer for about six months. 🙂

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