How To Cut a Spaghetti Squash

I call bullsh*t on anyone who says, “Spaghetti squash tastes just like spaghetti.”

No, it doesn’t.

Is it delicious? Sure.

Do I love to eat it? You bet.

But it does not. taste. like. pasta.

It does, however, meet other delicious criteria:

  • It’s easy to cook

  • It’s versatile

  • It’s paleo and Whole30 approved

  • It’s packed with good-for-you stuff like fiber, Vitamin C, Niacin, B6, and Pantothenic

  • Acid, which Wikipedia tells me is “critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.”

And you can turn it into Paleo Pad Thai.


Or Mediterranean Noodles with Sardines.

But there is one thing that’s tricky about spaghetti squash: cutting the damn thing without also hacking off an important appendage. So I give you my ground-breaking video…

How To Cut a Spaghetti Squash

Need foolproof roasting instructions for spaghetti squash? Get ’em right here!

Print this recipe
How To Peel A Grapefruit

I la-la-love pink grapefruit, and the Thai Pink Grapefruit Salad from Well Fed 2 is a both unexpected (dried shrimp! coconut! lime!) and delicious. The...

Read More
Onions 101

Last summer, I told Farmer Chuck — the king of everything delicious at our CSA Sunrise Farm — that the onions we'd been getting in our basket were...

Read More


  • Vanessa says:

    I love this!! It is good to know banging it a little on the counter isn’t a completely crazy method!

  • Melissa Johnson says:

    This was great! I love spaghetti squash and totally agree does NOT taste like pasta but totally delish! Great pointers have always had a little trouble cutting it… btw where can you find leopard print knife like that? ! Love it and all things leopard print lol 🙂

  • Honey says:

    So sad that it seems to be impossible to get hold of spaghetti squash in Sweden, I would really like to try it :/ I’m using zucchini noodles for everything spaghetti like right now, but it doesn’t always feel quite right.

  • Lydia says:


  • Barbara says:

    I always put the spaghetti squash in the microwave for a couple of minutes to soften it a bit and make it way easier to cut!

  • Scarlett Herbkersman says:

    I like to put all hard squashes in a heated oven until they soften slightly. Then pull out cut scrape seeds and cook however you were going to.

  • Helen says:

    I’ve found that – by far – the easiest way is to use a pumpkin carving knife. Shove it in the squash and cut. No possibility of cutting your fingers cause the knife is not sharp and it cuts through the squash like a dream. Even the cheapo store versions work well.

  • De23 says:

    Nice vid! Now can you make one showing how to julienne zucchini without shredding your skin along with it?

  • Ashley says:

    The other option is to stab it a few times with a fork and stick the entire spaghetti squash in the oven at 350 for about an hour. The knife will go through the skin very easily and then you can remove the seeds and the squash noodles.

    • Mel says:

      I agree this makes it much easier to cut — but I don’t like the texture when it’s cooked whole. The whole inside steams and for me, it’s just too mushy. But it is WAY easier that way, so if you don’t have a texture issue, that’s a great way to go.

  • jennifer says:

    I thought I was the only one that smacked my squash on counter.. hehe. At least I know my seemingly inefficient method seems to be the way to go! 😉

  • Renee says:

    Hi Melissa:

    Thank you for your video on how to cut a spaghetti squash. My question is after you cut it as demonstrated, how do you get the squash to resemble spaghetti. I tried using my food processor to no avail. Do you have to cut into “spaghetti” with a hand grater?

  • melody says:

    oh my. i got coffee coming out my nose from laughing when you started smacking the squash. and where did you find a leopard print knife!! now, my real problem squash is butternut squash–even harder than spaghetti squash!

  • Beez says:

    Squash is great as squash, any kind. But I think they should call this type “string squash” not spaghetti squash. Its good in its own right. It depends on what you’re used to. The name forces a sort of false comparison. OR..if you were a kid who grew up in a Vegan household: or in a low carb environment, the “norms” wouldn’t be based on either the “meat” or “some refined high carb” food.

    • Sara says:

      I live in Shanghai and had a little trouble finding spaghetti squash here until I learned that the Chinese name for it roughly translates to “golden thread squash”. I wonder if more people would like it if they didn’t expect it’s American namesake to lend to it’s flavor?

  • Melody says:

    i saw zebra and giraffe knives at Central Market today (Kuhn Rikon brand) but no leopard. so jealous of your knife.

  • Laura Taylor says:

    Thanks for this post! I have thrown out too many of these things because I couldn’t cut them. Going to try this tomorrow!!

  • I jumped and my cats hit the decks when you slammed the squash on the counter – LOL! I’ve hesitated to try this because I had no idea how to cut and prep it. I like that your recipes tell us how to roast it too. Lots of other authors/blogs assume you do and start with the squash being ready. So thanks, super nicely done.

    • Mel says:

      I’m glad you like my roasting technique. There’s lots of advice out there about how to cook it, but I think most of the recipes make it too mushy. Al dente for everyone!

  • Sarah says:

    Ha! Thank you so much. I thought it was my ineptness in the kitchen that was leading to my struggles and banging the darn thing on the counter!!

  • I use Cutco knifes! The butcher knife is the BEST: just WACK! No hands near the squash – LOL!

    AND I AM OBSESSED with spaghetti squash and sardines or mackerel from the tin with olive oil! SO GOOD 🙂

  • June Junie says:

    Nice video! More please! I cut spaghetti squash slightly differently. I’d still take your advice of putting a towel on the board, but I cut off about an inch of both ends, not enough so that you go into the center/seeds. Then stand it up on one of the cut ends and slice down (with a bit of wiggling of the knife). It’s surprisingly easy. I think getting the stem off and going at it crosswise makes the difference.

    • Teresa says:

      This how I cut my spaghetti squash as well. Sometimes you still even get to bang it on the counter a little. lol

    • Greg says:

      I do this as well. Typically I stab it a few times and microwave it/them, but I grew my own this year and had about six to casserole/freeze, so roasted them all at once in the oven. I cut off the stem end just enough to stand on end, using a long, sharp santuko, then start to cut down the center lenghtwise about an inch or so. Since the cut tends to veer off to one side, I remove the knife, turn the squash 180 and finish the cut to the bottom for a better chance of two halves. It’s not difficult to cut and seed them raw.

  • Lydia A says:

    Great method, but I do mine a little differently. First I microwave the squash for about 4 minutes to slightly soften it, then I cut the ends off and place the squash upright on one of the now flat ends. Then, with a large sharp knife, it’s pretty easy to slice down the middle.

  • Kitty says:

    I wanted to say that you can successfully microwave spaghetti squash; in Well-Fed (my current #1 favorite cookbook by the way!), you mentioned that oven-roasting is the best way to avoid mushiness, but I learned that you can cut it, scoop it, put cut-side down in a baking dish, add just a splash of water and microwave for about 6 minutes for a medium-size squash. Let it sit till you can hold it, then fork out the strands. The texture is still al-dente, at least for my taste. It’s definitely not mushy. And this method of scoring, cutting and banging a bit works marvelously to cut it.

  • Pirate Jeni says:

    I have a whole blog post dedicated to “it tastes just like pasta!” bullpucky.. and I used a lot of curse words as well.

    It does NOT taste like pasta but it can be darn delicious.

    I whack mine with a big knife and slam it through with a big stick.

  • Katherine says:

    I am not a fan of spaghetti squash, and I am in total agreement with you: it ain’t nothing like the real thing! I am half Sicilian so I’m a harsh critic of all pastas, but I’ve learned since first going gluten free to then going primal/paleo that few people know what the heck they are talking about when it comes to replacing pasta. I favor zucchini noodles as like you, I like the slurp-appeal, but I have also become a huge fan of spiralizing veggies since getting turned on to the kitchen gadget and visiting the blog Inspiralized. I am almost thunderstruck at how good some veggies can noodle-ize. Way beyond my imagination. And now I see a suggestion to make these “noodles” into rice, which also excites me, because I am so not a fan of cauliflower rice, either (and it makes my tummy hurt!). Just passing this on, as I think this is right up your alley!

  • dominique says:

    i tried your way and went back to the way i had been doing it. alton brown showed a video where he cuts butternut squash with a meat cleaver and a rubber mallet. the same method works on spaghetti squash 🙂
    and the banging is fun!!

  • Rachel says:

    Love that you started banging the squash on the counter! I do this too and my kids think I’m nuts. I hate when it doesn’t get a nice clean break though, suppose I could score it first like you did to keep the ragged edges.

  • Barbara says:

    When I started Paleo last month I never had spaghetti squash before. Now, I am hooked and I LOVE IT! It took me 6 minutes to cut my first one!

  • Ashley says:

    Melissa, you are a wizard!!! This is by far the easiest time I’ve ever had slicing open a spaghetti squash. Thank you!!!!

  • Lisa says:

    I hand mine to the grocer and have him cut it. One easy step hehe. 😉

  • lynna says:

    Amazing video, but I’d be afraid I would crack my granite! LOL

  • Kati says:

    What should the consistency of spaghetti squash be? I tried it for the first time last night and it was pretty chewy and kind of gross and I don’t think I can eat it again!

    • Mel says:

      I like mine fairly al dente, which means it still has some texture to it. You might like yours cooked more so it gets softer. But if you think it’s gross, there’s no reason to eat it. There are so many other delicious vegetables, and you can make “noodles” from zucchini. You might like that more.

  • Phil says:

    I bought a really big squash. Any tips for storing already cooked spaghetti squash, or should you only cook a part of it. How long would a cut squash last in the frig.

    • Mel says:

      Roast the squash, then scrape it to turn it into “spaghetti,” then store in the fridge for up to 5-6 days. If you have too much, you can freeze it.

  • tom-paul jagg says:

    And what a babe, thanks for the helping tips. Cheers from Manly, Au, tpj

  • Taylor says:

    I was seriously trying to cut open my squash for 15-20 minutes then I found this video, banged it on the counter, and voila! It opened! Thanks!

  • Lupey says:

    Thank you so much for saving my appendages and dinner. I am glad I found your video and followed your advice. It worked like a charm. Before finding your video, I actually told my daughters that we might be having the frozen store bought pot pies for dinner, since I couldn’t cut the squash. >.<

  • Kathleen says:

    Awesome! Thank you!!

  • olga says:

    I was getting ready to cave ans boil some spaghetti, now I have A wonderful aroma of toasted suash filling the Kitchen!!! Thank you!

  • Cindy says:

    I love to eat roasted butternut squash skins. Can I eat roasted spaghetti squash skins?


  • Kristi says:

    Thank you! I actually googled “how to cut spaghetti squash if you are a woman”. LOL

  • Megan says:

    OMG!! Thank you for this. Not only is it helpful but you are a doll! Squash cut and all ten fingers are in tact- winning!!

  • Mollie says:

    Greatest advice ever. It worked like a charm and was fun at the same time! Made my life so much easier tonight, thank you!

  • alli says:

    thank you so much for this tutorial! i was dumbfounded on how to cut this rock of a veggie and was afraid it would end up in copius amounts of tears, blood and a trip to the ER. this worked like a charm! 🙂

  • Tiffany says:

    You would probably have an easier time using one of those pumpkin carving saws. I got one for $3 and cutting through spaghetti squash is super easy now and very quick.

  • Tara Pantera says:

    I just stick the whole thing in the oven for 20 minutes, pull it out, cut it open, scoop out the seeds, then put it back in for another 25 mintues or so. Done…and I didn’t slice of a digit trying to cut it open raw.

  • Dena says:

    This was great!!! Thank you so much!

  • Sam Lynn says:

    You saved our dinner! This was my first time cooking spaghetti squash and I was totally unaware that it came with its own special challenges. Thank you for the quick help!

  • Becca says:

    THANK YOU! I almost bailed on the squash and I thought fine I will give one last hope and google “how to cut a spaghetti squash” and your video popped up and instantly saved me (and my fingers)!

    Thanks so much…would love to feature this video on my blog!

  • Robin says:

    you’re a genius. thanks!

  • Shelley says:

    You are amazing! Could you come be my cooking pal?! I was about to give up and order pizza! My son loved the show 🙂 thank you!

  • Meghan says:

    I LOVE your method! I just opened a few different tabs to figure out how to cook spaghetti squash, so I’ll be using your knife method for sure but I also found this chick’s method of slicing it into discs before cooking – the noodles come out longer this way!

  • Angie says:

    I cook and then cut. Knife slides right through. No banging.

    • Yes, that’s an easier way to cut the squash, but for me, the squash itself gets way too mushy. I don’t like the way it tastes that way. If that works for you, that’s awesome!

  • Jeanee says:

    Thank you SO much for this suggestion. I was attempting to cut my squash while my baby napped in the swing. I knew banging it would be a bad idea. The pumpkin carving knife was SO simple!

  • Ann Grimm says:

    Thank you so much for posting the video. I love spaghetti squash, but have come close to serious injury on several occasions when trying to halve them. I did what you said, and it split in the first whack on the counter! Very helpful. I have leftover squash, so may be trying your paleo pad thai this week too!

  • Abs says:

    Thanks so much for the tip! for getting the “meat” out, I have found that a steel/metal ice cream scoop does the trip better than a spoon.