Spaghetti Squash with Onion, Garlic, and Parmesan

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by Amy Flanigan on November 16, 2010 · 23 comments

Let’s take a walk through the produce isle, k?

We see the bright, pretty apples, tomatoes, and bell peppers. We see the usual suspects; carrots, potatoes, and onion. We see fresh herbs glistening with water. Then we see…what the hell are those?

An assortment of squash. All looking sort of large, deformed, and intimidating.

Acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash…pumpkins. I probably never would have bought any of these to make…had they not first been prepared for me. But thank goodness they were. Many years ago. And since then, I use them often.

Most people I know serve yams or some sweet potato casserole concoction for Thanksgiving (which I am totally in favor of), but why not give one of their neighbors a chance.

If you’ve never made spaghetti squash, you must. If for no other reason than it’s fun. After simply roasting it, you scrape the innards with a fork to get long strands, resembling spaghetti. It’s pretty neat. And effortless.

On it’s own, spaghetti squash is fairly bland, but combined with butter, onion, garlic, parsley, and Parmesan, it comes alive and is completely yummy.

But mostly…it’s fun.

Spaghetti Squash with Onion, Garlic, and Parmesan
Serves 8
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

• 2 small spaghetti squash (about 3-4 pounds each)
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 1/4 cup minced red onion, or 2 large shallots, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 cup chopped parsley
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce squash a few times with a sharp knife. Place on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour. Let cool for 10-15 minutes.

Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds and pulp. Using a fork, scrape the rest of the squash to get long strands (like spaghetti.) Place in a bowl and keep warm.

In a large nonstick sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, cook for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add squash strands and mix thoroughly. Season with salt. Add the parsley and Parmesan and toss to combine. Serve warm.

The squash should have a slight crunch (al dente.)

(adapted from Steamy Kitchen)

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Kenney March 20, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I made this tonight and it was soooo good! I added some turkey meatballs to mine and it was great. The only thing is that mine did not have a slight crunch to it. Nevertheless, still great!


Kim April 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Yum!!! My mom used to make a spaghetti squash dish with tomato sauce when I was younger, but I totally forgot about it til I found this post. This was my dinner tonight. I used a bit of fresh cilantro instead of parsley and it was awesome!


Amy April 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm

A few people have mentioned to me substituting spaghetti squash for actual pasta (as in spaghetti and meatballs), but have never tried that. So glad this worked out for you! It’s one of my favorite sides.


Emily March 23, 2011 at 9:10 am

I love spaghetti squash! Sadly Parmesan cheese isn’t usually vegetarian though.


Amy March 23, 2011 at 10:45 am

Hi there Emily – thanks for your comment, although it’s interesting to me. In my previous 10+ years of eating vegetarian (and being around many other vegetarians), cheese was always acceptable. It’s not okay if you’re vegan, but it’s perfectly fine if you’re vegetarian.


Amy November 30, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Kulsum – This is definitely a good recipe to get your toes wet if you’re new to spaghetti squash. So glad you stopped by! Oh, and ya…my family is like an extension of Very Culinary, they deserve their own page.


Kulsum@JourneyKitchen November 30, 2010 at 9:52 am

I dont know why but I still havent made spaghetti squash and I have been stumbling upon recipes all the more! This one sure looks like a winner.

P.S. How cute is it that your Mom and Dad comment on your blog. Super!


Amy November 17, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Dad – Oh, yes. Of course I know mom’s spaghetti bake. I didn’t know that’s what she was referring to. I can’t imagine that being made with this squash instead. Hm. As for the picture, I think it’s hilarious (and completely awesome) that we still have green grass in November…and that it’s not covered by snow. I love California.

Mom – Thanks for backing me, Mom! I’m making it for Haley’s preschool Turkey Day feast tomorrow. We’ll see what all the finicky eaters think of it. I won’t hold my breath.


Mom November 17, 2010 at 8:30 am

Amy made this for me during one of my visits, and yes, it is really good. Years ago, I bought a spaghetti squash and baked it, scraped it and added regular pasta sauce. It wasn’t very good and never tried it again. But this recipe is a winner.


Dad November 17, 2010 at 12:39 am

Amy, you mean you don’t remember Mom’s baked spaghetti????? Still makes it only with spaghetti, not some weird squash. And as for Paula, all you have to do is take any recipe, add four sticks of butter, a quart of heavy cream, and a four caret diamond, and you could write her cook books for her!

P.S. Love the pic. Red is a great color for that yellow stringy stuff with Sac greenery as the background.


Amy November 16, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Jenny – I’ve heard several people over the years mention spaghetti bake and actually using this squash as a substitute for pasta. I don’t know if I’d ever take it that far, but I believe you! And it’s hard to argue with Paula.


pam November 16, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I am all about fun squash!


Debbi Does Dinner Healthy November 16, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I love squash, you’re right, the spaghetti squash IS fun! Thanks!


Jennifer aka Ms. Jenny November 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm

One of my favorite veggies is squash! I like them ALL! Spaghetti squash is also very good in a spaghetti bake…….check out Paula Dean’s recepie and just replace the noodle with the squash…YUMMY in my tummy!


Amy November 16, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Lisa – It’s like that song that was following you! Note: if you’ll be the only one eating it though, halve the recipe. It makes a lot.

Joanne – you have almost rendered me speechless. And here I thought you of all people would love this. Hm. Is it a texture thing? Try it again…with loads of butter and Parmesan. And get back to me.

Dani – Yes! Acorn squash with butter/brown sugar is wonderful. Agreed. But the maple syrup with this was just… gross. Sorry Ree, I guess they can’t all be winners, right?

Jen – You are such a great guinea pig. *mwah*


Jen November 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I got to be a “taster” the first night Amy made this, and while her back was turned, I kept going back to the pan on the stove and stealing bites. Yeah, she caught me, but it only made her smile. Yes, it’s *that* good! And, yeah, spaghetti squash is fun. :o)


Dani H November 16, 2010 at 11:42 am

Now this is the kind of “pasta” I can go for, Amy. Sounds delicious, with or without prosciutto or pancetta. Maple syrup? Not so much, though I do love acorn squash with butter and brown sugar. Happy almost Thanksgiving!


Joanne November 16, 2010 at 10:22 am

I am going to say something truly heretical and that is…that I haven’t fallen in love with spaghetti squash yet. I KNOW! Me! Squash FANATIC. I think I just haven’t found the right preparation yet. But you, my favorite matchmaker EVER, may have just found it for me. You are so good to me like that.


Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary November 16, 2010 at 9:53 am

I saw this on SK and thought…oh must make! Now I see it here and it’s like someone is whacking me upside the head “make this already”. I love spaghetti squash and this recipe sounds like it will make me love it even more! I agree with ya on PW’s recipe. Maple syrup and spaghetti squash just don’t mix IMHO.


Amy November 16, 2010 at 8:56 am

Cate – I also tried the Pioneer Woman’s spaghetti squash with maple syrup, but was not a fan of that one at all. Surprised me considering I love all things sweet. But the flavors just didn’t work for me.

Andrea – LOVE the idea of adding prosciutto or pancetta to this. Brilliant! And such an easy addition. I’m totally trying that next time. Great idea, Andrea…thanks!


Andrea November 16, 2010 at 8:12 am

I actually have one of those in the cupboard (it’s a cool dry place at about 40 degrees right now). I think I’ll add some bacon or prosciutto with a salad and see if Milo will go for it


Cate O'Malley November 16, 2010 at 7:24 am

Ahh, I saw that recipe on Steamy Kitchen, and even printed it out, but have yet to make it. Glad to hear it’s a keeper!


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