Spaghetti Squash with Garlic & Parmesan

I have a stash of butternut, spaghetti and delicata squashes stored away for the winter. This spaghetti squash with garlic & Parmesan from Ina Garten’s Cooking for Jeffrey is just the recipe I’ve been looking for. Roast the spaghetti squash in the oven for about an hour. Add minced garlic in butter in a large skillet. Sauté the shredded squash in the garlic butter until heated through. Off the heat, toss the Parmesan on top. A simple recipe for a weekday meal.

How good does that look? The theme of the week at IHCC. It looks fabulous, especially embellished with nasturtium providing a contrasting orange tone and adding a touch of whimsy to the dish. The pot of edible flower is flourishing indoor in the winter months. It makes me smile.

I don’t usually expect simple bare-bones recipes to yield complex flavors. It surprises me how delicious this spartan vegetable dish is with just a few everyday ingredients. Moreover, it has the substantial look and flavor of a pasta dish. Can’t believe it is not pasta.

It was a bit of a struggle to have to cut the spaghetti squash in halves before roasting it in the oven. Maneuvering a heavy chef knife to cut open a big stubborn thick-skin squash is more than a struggle; it gets dangerous and worrisome.

I got a tip from my daughter who loves spaghetti squash. She told me she cooked the whole squash in the Instant Pot on a rack with a cup of water under pressure for about 20 minutes. This is her take: “The obvious difference from roasting in the oven is you don’t get the crisp parts, but I’d prefer the Instant Pot because the whole squash was evenly cooked to the perfect al dente texture, and the insides practically fell out of the rind after I let it cool.”

None of the knife-wielding drama! I have to give that a try.

Spaghetti Squash with Garlic & Parmesan

Print Recipe
Serves: 5 to 6


  • 4 pounds spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves



Preheat the oven to 400°F.


Place the spaghetti squash, cut sides up, on a sheet pan. Brush the flesh completely with olive oil and pour the apple cider into the cavities. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 50 to 75 minutes, until the insides of the squash are very tender and shred easily when raked with a fork. It should be the consistency of al dente pasta. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Shred as much of the flesh of the squash as possible and transfer it to a large bowl. Discard the shells.


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the butter in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat until the butter starts to sizzle. Add the garlic and cook for just one minute, until fragrant. Immediately, add the shredded squash and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until heated through. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan, parsley, 2 teaspoons salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.


Adapted from Ina Gartner's Cooking for Jeffrey


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  • Reply
    Kim Tracy
    February 4, 2018 at 9:52 am

    It’s funny, we expect the more complex dishes to be the most delicious, and sometimes they can be, but I’ve also learned that the most simple, like this, are usually the most popular with my family. I love how pretty you’ve made this look with the nasturtium as a garnish. Looks inviting!

  • Reply
    Diane Zwang
    February 4, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    I grew up eating spaghetti squash but my family doesn’t seem to like it. Maybe I could get my husband to try this one, he loves Parmesan cheese. I agree with the knife drama, it is hard to cut some squash.

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