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 salt, for 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
Heat oven to 350ºF. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper.
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.)
Season the flesh with a pinch of salt & pepper then place the squash cut side down on the prepared pan.
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.
Using a fork, gently pull the squash flesh from the sides and scrape into a bowl; it will separate into spaghetti-like strands.
Add olive oil, Pecorino Romano, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss well and serve immediately, or to make the chickpeas, continue on.
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.
- 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