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cacio e pepe spaghetti squash with stewy chickpeas

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlicky Chickpeas


This spaghetti squash recipe is from Skinny Taste’s One and Done Cookbook. It can be served as a side dish, but to make it a meal, I like to pair it with chickpeas simmered in their cooking liquid with lots of sautéed onions and garlic.

*Update Thanks to Commenters!*: Cut the squash crosswise as opposed to lengthwise. Cutting crosswise is not only easier but also (counterintuitively) produces longer, more spaghetti-like strands. Interesting, right? See the newly added video for cutting guidance.

If you have a microwave: Use it to soften the flesh of the spaghetti squash, thereby making it easier to cut into. One minute on high should do it, but continue to cook at 1 minute intervals if skin is still too hard after the first pass.

You can also you an Instant Pot. No need to poke any holes in it. I use 1 cup of water and cook the squash at high pressure for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. This softens the skin enough to make cutting easier.

UPDATE 10/17/2021: I now roast my squash at 350ºF for 45 minutes (as opposed to at 400ºF for 55-60 minutes). This shorter cook period yields firmer strands, which I like. A delicious way to serve this squash is tossed with this baked feta and cherry tomatoes. 


for the squash:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash(2 3/4 to 3 pounds)
  • kosher saltfor seasoning
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese

for the chickpeas:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 to 2 onions thinly sliced to yield 1-2 cups
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas in their cooking liquid
  • flaky sea salt for finishing


  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Halve the spaghetti squash crosswise and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and stringy yellow strands, then discard. (See notes in post and above for how to cut open a spaghetti squash.)
  3. Season the flesh with a pinch of salt & pepper then place the squash cut side down on the prepared pan.
  4. Bake until the flesh can be easily pierced with a fork, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. UPDATE: I now roast my squash at 350ºF for 45 minutes. The squash will not be knife tender. This shorter cook period yields firmer strands, which I like. If you have made this recipe in the past and have liked it, keep doing what you like, but otherwise, try cooking it for 45 minutes. Note: With this shorter cooking period, the squash will not be knife or fork tender when you remove it from the oven. 
  5. Using a fork, gently pull the squash flesh from the sides and scrape into a bowl; it will separate into spaghetti-like strands.
  6. Add olive oil, Pecorino Romano, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss well and serve immediately, or to make the chickpeas, continue on.
  7. To make the chickpeas: Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring every so often, till they begin to caramelize, 7 to 1o minutes. Add the garlic and pepper flakes to taste, and cook for a minute more. Add the chickpeas and 2 cups of cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 10 minutes or until chickpeas begin breaking down. Taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add liquid as needed to keep the chickpeas somewhat brothy.
  8. To serve. Spoon chickpeas into a bowl. Top with a spoonful of spaghetti squash. Use a microplane to shave more Pecorino over top. Serve, passing more salt and pepper on the side.
  • Prep Time: 10 mintues
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven/Roast
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: squash, spaghetti squash, pecorino, chickpeas