You may know how to cook pasta perfectly every time, but if you’re saying goodbye to spaghetti and hello to a low-carb alternative, you may not know that the microwave is your friend. The appliance — once reserved for popcorn, TV dinners and leftover pizza — can fully cook a spaghetti squash.
Sure, you can cook spaghetti squash in the oven, but it’s much faster in the microwave. To get started, take a sharp knife and carefully score it all the way around, using the same route you’d take to cut an avocado. Then, poke the squash with a paring knife or fork in a few places to allow steam to escape during the cooking process. If you don’t, it could explode.
Next, place the whole squash in a baking dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove the dish and place the squash on a cutting board. Cut the squash in half, slicing along the lines you made when you scored it. It should still be pretty hard at this point but not completely raw.
Scoop out the seeds, and then place the squash halves upside down in the baking dish. Fill the dish with enough water for it to be partially submerged — about 1 inch or so. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. If you’re able to poke a fork through the skin easily, it’s done. If it’s not quite there yet, microwave for another 5 minutes.
Remove the baking dish with oven mitts and scrape the squash strands from the skin. A standard-sized spaghetti squash will get you approximately four to five bowls of “noodles” to pair with your favorite sauce and toppings. This should take less than a half hour, making the microwave your ticket to a quick and easy dinner — just make sure you never put these foods in the microwave.