Spaghetti Squash: Cheap Healthy Food and Recipe

When I decided to eliminate grain from my life, it became apparent soon after that I would miss pasta. Fortunately there is a vegetable that can be prepared like spaghetti noodles, allowing you to “cheat” the system and get your pasta fix – it’s called spaghetti squash.

What is spaghetti squash? According to Wikipedia, it is a seed-bearing variety of the winter squash, and is also called vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, spaghetti marrow, squaghetti, or gold string melon.

It is called “spaghetti” squash because when it is prepared, the inside is scraped with a fork, resulting in long thick strands much like noodles.

If you are like me, you probably have never tried it because you didn’t have a reason to. Most people I talk to about spaghetti squash have never tasted it.

Spaghetti squash is cheap, easy to prepare, and healthy. Even if you aren’t on a low-carb diet, it is the perfect way to introduce a grain-free meal once a week. Chances are your kids will love it, especially if you don’t tell them what it is.

Spaghetti squash can be mixed with red sauce, white sauce, meats, and otherwise prepared as you would any pasta dish. It has a nice crunch to it (crunch is also something that is missing from low-carb diets), tastes great, and we’ve actually found in my house that we like it more than traditional pasta noodles.

It is cheap to buy, approximately $1-2 for a single spaghetti squash, and the smaller sized ones can easily feed four people. The larger ones could provide for multiple meals. That makes them a cheap and healthy food.

If you are wondering how to cook it, below is my wife Katie’s spaghetti squash recipe. The photos are our own.


Spaghetti Squash with Marinara Sauce and Italian Sausage

  1. Select your spaghetti squash based on size. The size pictured here will make one dinner for a family of four. 

    spaghetti squash

  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half from end to end using a large, sharp knife.

    Spaghetti Squash

  3. Use a large spoon to scrape out the middle of the squash. Be sure to remove all the seeds and stringy stuff.
  4. Place one half of the spaghetti squash with the cut side down into a microwave safe container that has about an inch of water in it.

    spaghetti squash

  5. Microwave for approximately 15 minutes. The squash is done when the outside can be easily poked with a fork. Adjust cooking times as needed.
  6. CAREFULLY remove the squash from the container. Add a little more water and cook the other half in the same manner.
  7. When the squash is sufficiently cooled, use a fork to scrape the squash away from the skin. It will scrape out in strands like spaghetti noodles. I find using tongs works best to hold the squash in place during this step.

    spaghetti squash

  8. Add your desired ingredients to complete your meal. The photo here shows spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, browned Italian sausage and shredded romano and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. We also like it with alfredo sauce and shrimp.

    spaghetti squash

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About John Miro

Writer. Blogger. Helper. Regular posts about debt freedom, intentional living, and personal finance, with some travel mixed in.
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17 Responses to Spaghetti Squash: Cheap Healthy Food and Recipe

  1. I wish it were available here year round!
    Nicoleandmaggie recently posted..Ask the grumpies: Preschool play vs academicsMy Profile

    • John says:

      I don’t even know where it grows. Not sure if it’ll be at the local farmers’ market. Thanks for stopping by nicole and maggie!

  2. Michelle says:

    Yum sounds and looks good!

  3. AverageJoe says:

    We had spaghetti squash all the time as a kid. In a very “green eggs and ham” kind of way, I hated it the same way I thumbed my nose at brussel sprouts and asparagus, two of my favs now.

    Thanks for the reminder about this. I’m gonna try and find some this weekend!
    AverageJoe recently posted..5 Fees I Hate More Than The New Spirit Airlines B.S. Bag Charge: Our Cuppa Joe DiscussionMy Profile

  4. Modest Money says:

    Sounds easy enough to prepare. I was expecting you to have to use some kind of pasta making tool. I love pasta, but I may just have to give this a try to have a healthier option.
    Modest Money recently posted..May 11th 2012 Blog UpdateMy Profile

    • John says:

      It’s pretty easy to prepare and make the strands with a fork – I hadn’t heard about people using a pasta maker.

      Thanks Jeremy for stopping by!

  5. Wow, I never heard of spaghetti squash. It looks good!

    • John says:

      We had it last night – it basically absorbs the flavor of whatever you mix it with (sauce, meat, etc). Give it a try!

  6. I actually have seen this done on a lot of cooking blogs but I also saw some machines that turn squash into noodles. I never knew you could do it yourself with a fork. I’ll have to try that. I’m always up for no carb recipes!
    From Shopping to Saving recently posted..Financial Lessons and Other Stuff I Learned From My MomMy Profile

    • John says:

      I wonder if they cook the squash before running it through the machine? It actually sounds like more work to do it that way.

      Check it out – i’m sure your local grocer has some.

      Thanks S2S!

  7. This is extremely interesting. My wife and I are going to have to test this out. We eat quite a bit of pasta and cutting down on the carbs definitely wouldn’t hurt!

    I hope you have a great weekend John!
    Jason @ WorkSaveLive recently posted..Recipe: “Better Than Crack” Brownies (1st Guest Post!)My Profile

    • John says:

      Give it a try – I’d like to see it pop up in one of your regular recipe posts!

      Thanks Jason – have a great weekend too!

  8. 101 Centavos says:

    I may still grow some, if I can remember to buy the seeds.

    Spaghetti squash is great stuff, especially as a sub for lasagna.
    101 Centavos recently posted..Career Tips For Young FolksMy Profile

  9. Pingback: Occupy the Garden (plus some links) | 101 Centavos

  10. I love squash. They are so versatile. I actually grow numerous varieties in my garden every year.
    Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter recently posted..Why Buying Green Is Not Always Eco-Friendly.My Profile

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