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Basic Microwave Spaghetti Squash

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Updated June 27, 2014

Spaghetti squash entree
Ray Kachatorian/Photodisc/Getty Images

In autumn and winter, squashes of all sorts are among the most abundant and least expensive vegetables at any grocery store. They're also nutritious: winter squash are a great source of Vitamin A, potassium, and beta carotene. While dense winter squashes like butternut, kabocha, and acorn are best roasted, you can steam spaghetti squash in the microwave for a no-fuss side dish, or start cooking it in the microwave and finish it on the stove.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole spaghetti squash

Preparation:

  1. With a long, sharp knife, pierce squash three or four times along the perimeter, making sure the holes extend all the way to the center of the squash. (This creates steam vents in the squash.)
  2. Microwave squash for 20 minutes. Steam should be coming out of the holes at the end of this time. If not, microwave for another 4 to 5 minutes. Let squash sit in the microwave for 10 minutes after cooking.
  3. Cut off stem end of squash. Cut remaining squash lengthwise. You will see light yellow squash and darker, almost amber areas. The darker areas will contain seeds. Remove all seeds and retain the light yellow strands.

Serving spaghetti squash: Spaghetti squash and pasta can be served almost interchangeably, but most people find plain spaghetti squash a bit bland. You'll probably want to "dress up" the squash before serving. This microwave cooking method is an easy way to steam the squash. You can serve the spaghetti squash with your choice of toppings. Some easy ones include:

  • Butter or margarine and Parmesan cheese (if you aren't avoiding dairy), with lots of freshly ground pepper
  • Marinara sauce, pesto, or any other favorite pasta sauce (Note: Most pesto sauces include dairy and nuts.)
  • Fresh herbs (especially basil), kosher salt, and olive oil.

Steamed spaghetti squash is also delicious sautéed in olive oil or with bacon. Because it tastes so mild, you can pair it with greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, or virtually any other vegetable.

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