Fill Your Pasta Craving With Squash Instead

I’m always looking for new ingredients to cook with that make an impact on flavor and calories. Spaghetti Squash is a great substitute for pasta. It has more flavor, fewer calories, more nutrients – and is just as easy to cook as pasta.

Making this is pretty easy. The hardest part is cutting the squash. There are two ways to do it: brute force, or heat. If you’re feeling really strong, you can use a serrated knife- cut off both ends and cut from the inside out. Or with a very sharp knife, pierce the skin with the tip- and pull toward you. All of which require being careful or you will need my surgical services to sew you up.

Not liking brute force when it comes to knives (we surgeons like a delicate touch) – I prefer this method: With a fork, pierce the skin of the squash. Pretend the squash is a rectangle and pierce it twice per side with the fork. Place in a microwave on high for two minutes. This will allow the squash skin to soften then you can cut it with minimal force.

Once it is cut in half- scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You can roast the seeds if you like. I like to drizzle olive oil over the squash as well as some Sea salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes (its done when you can easily pierce the skin with a fork). Take it out of the oven- let it sit for ten minutes- then pull the pulp away from the skin and it will naturally form into noodles.

I like to use tongs to separate the squash from the skin. You can season the squash after you separate it from the skin. This can be used as the basis for its own dish- a much healthier and less fattening dish than any pasta.

My Favorite, And the Easiest Method

You can do it all in the microwave. Pierce the skin of the squash with the fork and place it into the microwave for 10 to 12 minutes. Once it is cooked let it rest for about five minutes. Cut the squash and scoop out the seeds (you can roast the seeds for a healthy snack). Drizzle on olive oil (with some a touch of truffle) and salt and pepper to taste (I like sea salt).

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit

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  1. Kristen Diaz says:

    I am so excited to find a substitute for pasta and this looks great and so easy to cook! Thanks for sharing!

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