This Hack Makes Cooking Spaghetti Squash Stupid Easy

This frankly bland squash is popular for its spaghetti-like strands and texture, but if you've never cooked spaghetti squash before, you might be wondering how exactly you turn this hard-shelled squash into golden spaghetti-like strands ready for tossing with your favorite Bolognese or puttanesca sauce?

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It's true while its name and texture suggest that this vegetable is the miracle answer to avoid the calories and carbs of pasta, it is still a squash, and so it requires a little more work to produce than boiling a large salted pot of water, and cooking until al dente.

Luckily, we have this ridiculously simple trick for cooking spaghetti squash that will turn the yellow gourd you just purchased from the market into long golden strands of spaghetti-like glory.

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the squash into rings widthwise, instead of the usual lengthwise cut. Your rings should be about an inch thick. Remove the seeds by running a paring knife between the seeds and the flesh you want to keep. Then, arrange the rings on a parchment lined sheet pan, and drizzle the rings with olive oil. Spread the oil around to coat the tops and bottoms of the rings. Season the squash with salt and pepper on both sides. This is crucial because, as we mentioned before, spaghetti squash can taste a little bland.

Roast the squash rings in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Then remove the pan from the oven, and set aside about 10 minutes to cool, so that the rings are easier to handle.

Peel the skin off of the rings, and then pull apart the squash using either a fork or your hands. Toss your squash with your chosen toppings or sauce, and serve!

Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.