How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in a Microwave in 5 Easy Steps


Spaghetti squash can be a bright, beautiful drop of sunshine in your autumn kitchen.How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in a Microwave- Mama's High Strung

After it’s cooked, those long yellow strands of flesh are a brilliant substitute for pasta. It’s also one of the best vitamin-packed vegetables you can eat. With a little seasoning, it’s a perfect side dish for whatever you’re serving.

Like most winter squash, these babies can be hard to open… but preparing them is so very easy. If you’ve got a microwave-safe dish with a lid, you’re all set. Some recipes call for covering the squash with plastic wrap… but that bothers me. Here’s my method and all you need is a pie plate and a microwave.

Ready? Here’s how to cook spaghetti squash in a microwave in 5 easy steps:

1. Wash and dry the 3 to 4 pound squash thoroughly.

2. Place the squash on your cutting board. Insert a large, heavy-duty chef’s knife lengthwise in the middle of the squash. Carefully slice the squash towards the end. Remove the knife, turn the squash. Insert the knife again and slice toward the uncut end until it opens.

3. With a metal spoon, scrape out the seeds and pulp until you reach the hard flesh. (Be sure to save the seeds and roast them!)

4. Pour ¼ cup of water into the bottom of a microwave-safe pie plate. Place one half of the squash face down in the water. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on high in the microwave. You’ll know it’s ready when the squash is soft and you can easily squeeze or press it. (Note: If your microwave doesn’t rotate, turn the dish ¼-way around after 8 minutes of cooking. Continue cooking for 5 to 7 minutes until cooked). Remove the cooked squash half from the pie plate. Place remaining squash half on the pie plate with ¼ cup water if necessary. Repeat.

5. When both squash halves cool, remove the yellow “spaghetti” flesh with a fork.

Pretty easy, don’t you think? So don’t avoid these beauties! Bring a little sunshine into your kitchen this week… spaghetti squash is in season now!

Extra Helpings: Kosher Salt vs. Table Salt


Blanca asks: What is the difference between regular salt and kosher salt? If I don’t have kosher salt, can I just use regular salt in my recipe?

There’s something so flamboyantly romantic and artistic when a chef reaches into a crock for a pinch of salt and throws it into the food with a flourish (and, no, Mama doesn’t find it the least bit show-offish). It just wouldn’t have the same effect if the chef stood there with a saltshaker… shaking, shaking, shaking… would it?

Anyhow, that’s kosher salt the chef is using… not table salt.

Chefs love kosher salt because the large grains make it easy to season with and because it dissolves slowly in cooking. It’s also chemical free, so it tastes better.

Unlike kosher salt, anti-caking chemicals are added to table salt to help it flow freely out of the saltshaker. Iodine is also in there, and has been since 1924, when the government asked the Morton Salt Co. to add it to its product. (People weren’t getting enough iodine in their diets, so the government stepped i… hard to imagine that happening today without an uproar, huh?).

Table salt also weighs more than kosher salt, so that’s another reason why you can’t substitute it equally.

So to answer your question, there is a difference: texture, taste and weight.

Oh, one other thing… and as long as no organic ingredient is introduced into it, salt, kosher or table, keeps forever. For more info about different kinds of salt, click here.


Kitchen Think: Stop The Weight Bullying!


Are you a weight bigot?

Calling someone fat or obese, even under the pretext of being concerned for his or her health, is a form of bullying. Shaming someone in order to get them to lose weight is equally cruel.

And these days, those being bullied are just as likely to fight back…

Take the case of Wisconsin television anchor Jennifer Livingston. She received an email from a viewer recently that said, among other things, “Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain.”

Here’s how Jennifer responded:

Last week on my Facebook page, I posted a new commercial from Blue Cross of Minnesota. I was shocked by the ad because it struck me as shaming rather than educating.

Weight bigots hide behind the “…concerned for your health” line because it’s a way to be mean, and act like they are better than the other person… without looking like a bully.  People who are overweight or obese know they have a weight issue… and they are concerned for their health, too.

I know we’ve all been inundated lately with statistics and numbers and information on just how obese our country has become. I’ve certainly written a lot about the problem… you can see some of my posts on the subject here, here and here. But, unless you’re offering some new information that can actually help someone overcome his or her weight problem, think before you speak.

Nobody likes a bully.


I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: