10 Super Spaghetti Squash Recipes—Plus, the Best Techniques for Cooking This Unique Vegetable

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Gluten-free and low carb, spaghetti squash makes a fabulous substitute for pasta, but that's not all it can do. Here, we share our best cooking techniques and favorite recipes that use the vegetable.

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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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Roasted Spaghetti Squash

roasted spaghetti squash rings on pan
Kate Mathis

Easy-prep and low-mess, roasting of sliced spaghetti squash enhances its nutty quality, yielding a deliciously simple side or the versatile foundation for a flock of other dishes.

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Spiced Squash Pancakes


Craving a stack of griddle cakes? The spicy warmth of coriander and cumin, the fresh heat of jalapeño, and the sweetness of caramelized shallot blend quietly into pancakes so good you will want to triple the quantity and freeze them in batches. Add a dollop of yogurt to the warm cakes and you're all set.

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Roasted Shrimp with Spaghetti Squash


This brilliantly simple and very pretty combination of sweet roasted shrimp, fresh lemon juice, and delicate spaghetti squash is assembled in minutes.

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Sautéed Scallops over Spaghetti Squash


Sweetly briny sea scallops atop crisp leeks and tender spaghetti squash are dressed with a velvet beurre blanc just before serving. It's a meal no one will turn down.

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Spaghetti Squash Gratin


This crisp-topped and creamy spaghetti squash gratin is made bold by the addictive combination of melted anchovies and sage.

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Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Herbs


A sprinkling of sugar caramelizes on the spaghetti squash as it roasts, so that when it is shredded the toasted hazelnuts cling to its strands. A generous flurry of Parmesan and fresh soft herbs finish an ample standalone meal.

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Spaghetti Squash with Garlic


A roasted squash. Strands scraped into a bowl. Warm, sweet garlic. Toss. That's all. Feel free to add your favorite cheese.

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Baked Stuffed Spaghetti Squash


Halved spaghetti squash are filled with the best ingredients from the farmers' market and then baked for a dramatic entrée that sings of summer.

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Quick Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti Squash

turkey bolognese spaghett squash

In this playful culinary pun you have all the pleasure of twirling strands of pasta without the carb pain (well, guilt, really). Ground turkey lightens the sauce without skimping on any of the luscious flavor that makes us run home to this mama of all comfort foods.

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Spaghetti Squash Turkey Meatballs


A bed of spaghetti squash soaks up all the saucy goodness of these oregano-fragrant turkey meatballs, simmered in an umami-laden mushroom sauce.

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