How to halve a spaghetti squash without losing a finger.

Right or wrong, perfect sense or nonsense, I often do things a certain way simply because that’s the way I’ve always done them.  A prime example is my method for tying shoes.  I remember attempting to learn the whole bunny goes round the tree and jumps in the hole spiel on a wooden practice shoe back in elementary school.  I’d memorized the story line, but my bunny wanted nothing to do with that stinkin’ tree and my index finger kept messing up the loop-around (I blame it on my big hands).  Honestly, I didn’t see what the big deal was.  For weeks I’d been using my own method (the make-two-bunny-ears-then-crisscross-then-fold-one-under-and-pull-to-tighten approach) and my shoes were staying on just fine.

I have a lot of these little quirks, especially in the kitchen, where it’s well established that my knife skills border on horrifying (trust me, you’d shudder if you saw me chop an onion), but hey, I get the job done.  Even though I’ve nearly severed several fingers over the years, not to mention the time I impaled my pinky with a steak knife while slicing a bagel, I’d never really given much thought to the dangerous method I employed to halve a spaghetti squash.  I always proceeded in cutting a spaghetti squash as if it were a giant rock-hard avocado—with a knife painstakingly seesawing around the perimeter of the squash.  I’m not sure what events occurred that caused my subconscious to one day realize this was a horrible HORRIBLE idea.  I’m just thankful it did before I’d involuntarily amputated something.

Spaghetti Squash (1 of 14)

Spaghetti Squash

  • Spaghetti Squash (approximately 1 – 1.25 lbs per person, which will give you ~2 cups of squash per person)
  • S&P
  • Toppings of choice

First, carefully slice off the stem end of the squash:

Spaghetti Squash (2 of 14)

Stand the squash upright on the newly created flat end.  Carefully use your knife to vertically slice the squash in half.

Spaghetti Squash (3 of 14)

Double high-five if all ten fingers are still intact!

Spaghetti Squash (4 of 14)

Use a spoon to scoop out seeds, season with S&P, then place the squash halves cut-side down on a cooking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Spaghetti Squash (5 of 14)

Bake at 375 for 25 minutes (5-10 minutes longer for a large squash).  Using an oven mitt, hold one half of squash in your hand while using a fork to scrape the squash innards onto a plate.  If the squash does not easily break apart into noodle-like strands when you scrape it with the fork, put the halves back into the oven for another 5 minutes before trying again.

You can always cook the squash longer—but once it turns mushy, you might as well scrap the whole meal and order some pizza.

Spaghetti Squash (6 of 14)

Then simply top with toppings of your choice!

Clearly, this means meatballs.

Spaghetti Squash (1 of 1)

Got any random kitchen tips?  Share them in the comments section below!

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  1. My mom like to cook these in the microwave (the spaghetti squash is placed in a glass bowl with some water at the bottom and covered in plastic wrap; it acts like a steamer). I’ll have to get me a spaghetti squash and try it in the oven! 🙂

  2. You are so SMART! How many years have I been halving spaghetti squash without ever thinking of doing this?

  3. uhhhh marrryyyy! amazing demonstration, my friend! lol…..who would-a-thunk this could actually be so easy with one little step! i, too, have almost lost a finger……or two….and a toe, when the knife goes flying and lands withing millimeters of the piggies….thanks for sharing. this makes eating spaghetti squash more appealing, as the hardest part was cutting it! happy tuesday! xo

  4. Thank you for being fervent! I cooked and enjoyed my first spaghetti squash…loved it! And it was certainly easy (ok…easier) to cut in half by following your directions. I found your site this week by googling for spaghetti squash recipes…timing is everything, isn’t it. I’ll certainly keep reading your blog…thanks!

  5. Tonight was my first time ever “halving a spaghetti squash“!! I had know idea how to properly do this, so I went to google, which brought me here:) Thanks so much for teaching me such an easy and safe technique;)

  6. Thank You,Thank You,Thank You! cutting spaghetti squash this way is so much easier! I never thought to cut it this way!

  7. Save those seeds! You can separate them from the icky pulp, spread them over the same cooking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes. You’ll hear a few of them snap and pop. Afterward you have a tasty, crunchy and VERY HEALTHY snack!

  8. Love this, thank you! Do you have any suggestions on the best way to preserve half a squash you’re not ready to eat? No way we can eat a whole squash in one sitting.

    1. I always cook the entire squash at once and then refrigerate any leftovers. They’ll keep for a few days, and you can easily reheat them in the microwave or use them in a cold “pasta” salad.

  9. Thank you for the method of cutting spaghetti squash. Some tips:
    1)It’s much easier to clean the seeds out once cooked;
    2) sprinkle 2T of oil, salt and pepper to taste on the open half of squash;
    3) Be sure to turn it upside down in GLASS pan ((two yellow humps) (somehow a metal cookie sheet dries out the squash;
    4) Cook it about 1 hour (+/-) @ 400F;
    5) When it comes out of the oven, I score the squash canoes right down the middle to create spaghetti that is perfect for a fork without dangling sauce on your clothes;
    6) Use a fork with narrow tines and gently scrape from the score up, or the top down to the score to losen up the strands.
    6) Put an entire half of the squash in a long shallow pan that has a cover;
    7) Pour half a jar of Emeril’s Roasted Gaaahlic sauce over the entire pan;
    8) Repeat 5-7 above and you’re done;
    9) You can top with parmesan cheese and some red pepper flakes. ooooh, so yummy.

  10. At this exact second I am baking part of a spag squash I have done the following procedure to: I placed it between a bag of rice and a bag of beans or stability on a cutting board with what I think are really feet but it was upside down so the feet became walls to prevent skidding; Balancing the squash on the flat top where the stump had been, I cut the stump off as you had suggested; I cut a thin slice off one side to make a flat side. This required four or five cuts to accomplish; I lay it on the flat side and repeated the method; I lay it on the second flat side and repeated; I broke the remaining squash into pieces by hand; I scooped out the seeds; I placed the slices, seeds and half the remainder in the fridge for later; I put the chunks I think i can eat at a meal in an oiled pan to bake for ten minutes; I noticed a burning smell and took them out and turned them over; I put them in for ten minutes again; Now they are cooking on residual heat. I hope it works.