When Autumn rolls around, there is one side dish recipe I always make — and usually a few times: Parmesan Spaghetti Squash. It’s so frugal, but so good!
If you aren’t familiar with spaghetti squash, it’s a winter squash that is oblong with a yellow, hard shell. The inside is stringy, which is why the name “spaghetti” squash. One of the things I love about spaghetti squash, like other winter squash, is that they keep well. I buy when I see the prices the lowest and keep in a cool place. While I generally use within a week or so, you don’t have to — they will keep for about a month.
To make Parmesan Spaghetti Squash, carefully cut off the stem end and cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Use great care when doing this as the shell is hard. Then, using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp (which can be discarded).
Place the cut spaghetti squash in a bowl or dish that will fit in your microwave. If your spaghetti squash is very large, you can cut into quarters to help it fit. Place a small amount of water in the bottom of the bowl (about 1/2″). Cover well with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until shell feels soft (where you can depress and pierce easily on the shell with a fork). Since microwaves vary so much, it’s hard to say how long it takes, but in my microwave, I start with about 6-8 minutes, then check it and continue in 3-5 minute intervals until it is done.
Remove from microwave and allow to cool slightly. Carefully remove plastic wrap (be careful – it will be hot). Remove spaghetti squash from bowl and allow to cool a bit more until able to be handled. Drain water from bowl.
When spaghetti squash is cooled enough to be handled, use a fork and scrape strands by dragging the fork from one end to the other, loosening them up. Place strands back into your bowl and discard shell.
Mix in 4 tablespoons of butter into your warm spaghetti squash (if your strands aren’t warm, heat them up in the microwave a bit) until fully melted. Stir 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese into squash and stir until everything is mixed throughout the strands. If your squash was large or you prefer more butter or Parmesan cheese, feel free to add more as desired. This is one of the dishes that you can add more butter or Parmesan cheese, if you would like. Do what works for you. Also, this is really delicious with cooked and chopped bacon added too.
Season with salt and pepper.Print