This cheesy and earthy garlic parmesan spaghetti squash is one of my favorite side dishes to serve at dinner time! It’s also a favorite among Pickled Plum readers! 

A bowl of spaghetti squash and mushrooms topped with fresh parmesand and parsley leaves.

Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms

When I created this recipe I didn’t expect it to become one of the most popular recipes on my blog.

Can you believe it’s been shared over 300,000 times and has been featured on big sites like Bon Appetit, Buzzfeed, Lauren Conrad, Prevention, Self, Today, Huffpost Taste, and so many more!

It’s always a good feeling when one of my recipes is loved by so many people – especially when the level of love for the dish is mutual 🙂

The flavors of this dish are savory and very earthy, almost like a creamy mushroom risotto. However, instead of creamy grains of ricewe are using beautiful golden strands of squash, which yield a satisfying crunch.

sliced spaghetti squash

What is spaghetti squash?

Spaghetti squash is a variety of winter squash that’s oval and yellow, with flesh that resembles spaghetti strands when scraped once it’s cooked.

It’s delicate in flavor – a little sweet though much milder than butternut squash – and watery.

The texture is crunchy and stringy which is why it’s a popular choice to use as a substitute for pasta or Asian noodle based dishes. An average spaghetti squash measures between 8-14 inches in length and weighs 2-3 pounds.

How to tell when it’s ripe?

  • Look for a bright yellow color. If it’s a little green, it’s too young. If it’s yellow-orange, it won’t keep for very long.
  • The texture of the skin should be hard enough that you can’t push your fingernail through it. If you can it means that the squash is still too young to eat.
  • The skin should not have any bruises or damage otherwise it’s a sign that’s it’s over-ripe.

cooked sliced spaghetti squash

How To Cut Spaghetti Squash

Dealing with spaghetti squash can be a painful experience if you are not familiar with its rock hard skin. Cutting it raw is doable but I personally prefer to do the slicing once it’s cooked as the skin softens and it becomes a breeze. But there is a way to get around cutting a somewhat raw spaghetti squash, you just need to know how to do it.

  • Microwave the squash for 5 minutes. This won’t cook the squash but will soften the skin a little.
  • Take it out of the microwave using a kitchen towel (it will be very hot!) and lay it on a cutting board with the flattest side down.
  • In a straight line, poke a few small slits – about 2-3 inches long – through the skin, lengthwise, all across both sides. Think of the dotted lines you see on notepads where you can easily tear off a piece of paper. Something like that but with longer slits and on a vegetable 😉.
  • Turn it back to its flattest side and start cutting from the stem first. Keep going until you end up with two perfectly even spaghetti squash halves!

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

There are two ways to cook spaghetti squash:

  • Roasting.
  • Microwaving.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

  1. Rinse the spaghetti squash and dry it with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  3. Pierce the skin of the spaghetti squash a few times and place it on a baking tray.
  4. Bake in the oven for about one hour, or until you can pierce through the skin without any resistance.
  5. Take the spaghetti squash out of the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes.
  6. Slice in half, discard of the seeds and use a fork to scrape the squash into think long strands.

*This preparation is for a 3-4 pound spaghetti squash. You may need to bake longer if the squash is bigger.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Halves

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Rinse the spaghetti squash and dry it with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
  3. Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  4. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and brush a little neutral oil (vegetable or grapeseed) on the fleshy part of the spaghetti squash.
  5. Place each half, skin facing down and roast in the oven for about 1 hour.
  6. Take the spaghetti squash out of the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes.
  7. Shred each half using a fork.

Microwaved Spaghetti Squash

  1. Rinse the spaghetti squash and dry it with a kitchen towel or paper towel.
  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds with a spoon. 
  3. Cover a plate or a microwave safe container with a damp paper towel and place the spaghetti squash, cut side down (skin facing up) on top.
  4. Microwave on high for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the spaghetti squash out of the microwave and let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. Grab a fork and shred the strings into a large bowl.

cooked spaghetti squash strings

How Long Does Spaghetti Squash Last?

  • Stored in the fridge or on your counter, a spaghetti squash that’s uncut will last between 1 to 3 months.
  • Cooked and scooped out of its flesh it can keep for 3 to 5 days in the fridge.
  • You can also freeze it in small portion for a few weeks. However, many people have reported that this method isn’t recommended as the squash gets quite watery and mushy once thawed.

How to Store Spaghetti Squash

Keeping a whole spaghetti squash in a cool, dry place (55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit) will make it last for up to 3 months, as opposed to 1-2 weeks in a fridge. Cut squash on the other has to be kept refrigerated in an airtight container or plastic bag. It will last 1-2 weeks.

How to make garlic parmesan spaghetti squash

Now that you know all there is to know about spaghetti squash, let’s get to the recipe!

  1. Cook the spaghetti squash. You can either use the microwave or oven for this recipe.
  2. Fry the garlic and mushrooms. Use a large pan with some olive oil and a pinch of thyme.
  3. Scrape the spaghetti squash. Use a fork and scrape out all the strings into a bowl.
  4. Put the dish together. Add the spaghetti squash strings tot he skillet and flash fry with the garlic and mushrooms. Add the parmesan cheese and transfer the dish to a plate.
  5. Season with fresh parsley. You may need to season with a little salt and pepper as well. Serve and enjoy!
garlic, mushrooms and parmesan spaghetti squash ingredients

Cooking with spaghetti squash

The flavors are milder and not quite as sweet as butternut squash, which makes a great vehicle for ingredients that are more savory and umami based. It’s a wonderful addition to the menu!

Because cooked spaghetti squash releases a lot water, make sure to drain the container before eating. It will keep on releasing water the longer it sits there.

If you love this recipe, here are more yummy spaghetti squash dishes to try:

spaghetti squash with garlic, parmesan and mushrooms

Did you like this Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash With Mushrooms Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comment section below!



Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms

Cheesy, earthy and savory, this spaghetti squash recipe is a great way to introduce your kids to veggies!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 70 minutes
  • Total Time: 80 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x
  • Category: Gluten-Free
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 pounds spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups button mushrooms (chopped bite size)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • handful flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 375Fº
  2. In a deep skillet (or large pan), add olive oil, garlic and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes over high heat and add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are golden brown (about 7-8 minutes). Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. Wash the spaghetti squash under water and dry it. Put the spaghetti squash on a baking tray and pierce a the skin a few time using a knife. Bake for about 1 hour, until squash can be pierced with a knife. Alternatively, you can microwave the spaghetti squash. Instructions are at the bottom.
  4. Take the squash out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature for about 15 minutes. Cut in half and get rid of the seeds. Use a fork to scrape the squash into strings.
  5. Add the spaghetti squash strings to the skillet (or pan), turn the heat to high and quickly fry with mushrooms. Sprinkle parmesan while sauteing for a minute.
  6. Turn the heat off, top with parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Instructions for microwaving spaghetti squash:

  1. Place the spaghetti squash on a microwave safe plate or other microwave safe container covered with a damp cloth or paper towel. Place the cut side down (skin facing up). Microwave on high for 10 minutes.
  2. Take the spaghetti squash out of the microwave and shred with a fork. If the squash is still hard, microwave for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until tender.


This Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms will keep refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Keywords: side, main, vegetarian, Thanksgiving, Christmas, gluten-free

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