Lighter, brighter and packed with more nutrients than its pasta namesake, spaghetti squash is one of those veggies with which I have a love/hate relationship. I love eating it because it’s got a yummy nutty flavor and is low in calories and high in fiber. But, until now, I’ve had trouble preparing it to varying degrees of success in the microwave.
Not only is this oven method much simpler (with a quicker clean-up, thanks to the parchment paper), but baking it also imparts a rich, roasted flavor and helps the flesh from getting too soggy. And it’s the perfect side dish to lend a festive fall feeling to any meal.
Easy Spaghetti Squash Side Dish
- 2 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
- 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp roughly-chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Drizzle squash flesh with olive oil, evenly dividing between the four halves.
- Season each of the four halves with 1/4 of the onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Place cut sides down on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast until squash is tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing flesh strands with a fork.
- In a medium bowl, mix squash with butter, Parmesan, parsley and red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.
I always like to start by washing the outside of the squash. And cutting it in half can be a bit tricky, so be careful when wielding your knife.
Clean out all of the seeds, but don’t worry about scraping the flesh clean.
Arrange the squash halves so they all fit nicely on the parchment paper; this will keep you from having to do extra clean-up later!
The skins will darken slightly when cooked, and there may be some slight discolorations that come through, but that’s normal.
When the squash is ready, you’ll be able to pull the strands away from the skin easily with a fork. Experiment with your favorite mix-ins, and enjoy.
What’s your favorite seasonal twist on fall meals?