How to Cook Spaghetti Squash, Plus Our Best Recipes That Use the Vegetable

As late summer spins warmly towards shorter days, the best of the most bountiful season’s produce pours into markets. One of the most intriguing arrivals is the spaghetti squash. Oblong and variously hued, from canary to butter yellow, but also amber or blonde, this hard-shelled pumpkin-cousin seems unremarkable at first. The interior of the raw squash looks as one might expect from any winter squash: firm flesh and many large seeds. But then you cook it, and the magic becomes apparent.

With some gentle coaxing, the cooked meat of the spaghetti squash falls away from its shell into threads, strands, and ribbons—it’s essentially a vegetable pasta. The flavor remains squash-like and, at best, is firm and slightly sweet. The only special technique you need to acquire for absolute spaghetti squash virtuosity is the art of the scrape. You will need a fork. We know, so high tech!

And the age of spaghetti squash is upon us. Low in calories, high in fiber and nutrients like folic acid, this well-camouflaged wonder-ingredient might as well have been designed by a prescient genius who looked into the twenty first century and saw a low-carb future (the origins of the spaghetti squash remain frustratingly obscure). While spaghetti squash is not carb-free, it’s relative carbohydrate value is low compared with say, potatoes, rice, and pasta. If you have gone keto and are missing linguine, a bed of grains for some delicious pan juices, or worry that your meatballs feel lonely, the spaghetti squash is your new best friend. Try it with with Bolognese, with shrimp, or turn it into pancakes.

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