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how to bake spaghetti squash


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Step 1

Move a rack to the middle of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 °F (204 °C). Adjust your oven rack before you turn the oven on. Let the oven preheat while you cut the squash.If you'd like the squash to have a more caramelized, roasted flavor, preheat the oven to 425 °F (218 °C). Since it will cook faster, reduce the cooking time by 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 2

Cut a 2 to 3 lb (0.91 to 1.36 kg) spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Hold the squash against a cutting board and carefully use a chef's knife to cut through the squash lengthwise. To make it easier to cut, don't try to slice through the stem. Once you cut lengthwise around the entire squash, use your hands to pull the halves apart.To prevent your cutting board from slipping, lay a damp kitchen towel underneath it.

Step 3

Scoop out the seeds from each squash half. Take a spoon and scrape the seeds and stringy parts from each piece of squash. Ensure that you just scrape the stringy bits that are attached to the seeds so you don't scrape into the flesh of the squash.Discard the seeds or roast them like you would pumpkin seeds.

Step 4

Put the halves in a pan and drizzle the squash with 1 US tbsp (15 ml) of olive oil. The olive oil helps the squash from sticking and gives the squash a mild flavor as it roasts. Turn the squash so they're cut-side down in a roasting pan or baking dish.Feel free to season the squash with salt and pepper at this point.

Step 5

Bake the spaghetti squash for 30 minutes or until the halves are soft. Put the pan in the oven and cook the squash halves until they're tender. To test if they're done, insert a butter knife into the flesh. If you're able to insert it and remove it easily, the squash is done. If the butter knife is difficult to pull out, bake the squash for another 5 minutes and check it again.It might take up to 10 to 15 minutes extra for large squash halves to cook.

Step 6

Remove the spaghetti squash and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Once the spaghetti squash is completely tender, wear oven mitts and take the pan out of the oven. Don't try to immediately shred the squash since it will be difficult to handle right away.

Step 7

Drag a fork against the cooked squash flesh to create strands. Wear an oven mitt to hold 1 spaghetti squash in 1 hand. Then, take a fork and gently scrape from 1 end of the squash to the other. This makes lots of thin strands of spaghetti squash. Keep scraping until you reach the thin, hard shell.

Step 8

Toss the strands with sauce or season them with herbs before serving them. Transfer the strands of spaghetti squash to a serving bowl and spoon your favorite sauce or curry over them. If you prefer, sprinkle grated cheese, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil over the strands instead.Tip: To serve the strands directly from the squash shells, don't transfer them to a serving bowl. Instead, season the strands while they're in the shells and set them on serving plates.Try spaghetti squash with a homemade spaghetti sauce, creamy alfredo sauce, or peanut sauce.Put the cooked spaghetti squash into an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 1 week. For longer storage, freeze the squash for up to 3 months.

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