The Basics

Ingredient of the Week: Spaghetti Squash

What is it? Spaghetti squash is a big, giant squash - not like those puny zucchinis or calabacitas or yellow squash. The spaghetti squash means business - similar in size, color and shape of the butternut squash, it ranges from four to eight pounds, and is in season in the early fall through late winter.

The big difference between spaghetti squash and butternut squash is its crazy, stringy texture. This is where it earns its "spaghetti" description - the strands of squash on the inside of the thick skin are reminiscent of thin pieces of spaghetti.

An average four-pound spaghetti squash will give you around five cups of cooked flesh, so one squash is plenty to feed a family of four as a side dish. The best part is that when you buy one of these large squash, it will last about a month, at room temperature, so it won't take up precious fridge space.

How is it used? Spaghetti squash is usually used in side dishes - steamed, boiled, baked or even cooked in a slow cooker, it's easy to prepare. Many low-carb dieters also use it in place of pasta because it is so low in calories.

Where can I buy it? We found one at Whole Foods, but when it's in season, it can be found in any produce section at a decent grocery store.

Recipe: Herbed Spaghetti Squash: Courtesy of

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Amber Ambrose