My recipe requests always include spaghetti squash, but I never get a chance to make it because spaghetti squash is so expensive here.
But the other day, I saw a spaghetti squash on sale for $0.99/lb. (Organic, too!) So, for all of you who have struggled with spaghetti squash, let me introduce you to Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash.
Spaghetti squash is quite large and difficult to cut and cook. If you struggle to cook spaghetti squash, this recipe is for you.
Put it on a schedule and don’t think about it again. This recipe Apronese will give you right below.
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti Squash – What Is It?
If you have never heard of spaghetti squash, you’re in for a treat. Upon cooking, the flesh separates into spaghetti-like strands.
It resembles the shape of a yellow blimp, or the shape of a football, with seeds inside. It is similar to a pumpkin, in appearance, and is very tasty. Some people have said that you can clean and roast the seeds just like you would pumpkin seeds, however I didn’t get many out of mine, so it didn’t seem worth the time.
You can use the spaghetti squash strands after they have cooked, nearly just like you would spaghetti strands, with the same results; you will get plenty of fiber and you will be able to enjoy a low-carb alternative.
Check out the entire nutritional profile for spaghetti squash here.
Depending on their size, spaghetti squash will cook in a different manner, yielding a different number of servings and taking longer to cook.
Throughout my life, I have seen them in all shapes and sizes, from the small, round squash around 2 pounds all the way to the monster squash over 5 pounds. I cooked this big squash in my slow cooker for about 5 hours, yielding about 6 cups of mock spaghetti (about $0.89 per serving).
Budget Spaghetti Squash
You should pay close attention to whether the spaghetti squash is priced per-pound or per-item when selecting these suckers.
Even though the per-pound price seems low, those suckers can be huge, and the price adds up quickly, so watch out! If you’re lucky enough to find them priced per pound, always try to find the smallest squash you can find or if they’re priced per item, look for the largest squash that you can find.
Why Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash?
When it comes to spaghetti squash, there are several ways to prepare it, all of which have their pros and cons. Since my squash was monster-sized and I didn’t want to even risk attempting to cut it open when raw, I chose to use my slow cooker to cook it. Slow cooker spaghetti squash is nice because it is easy to prepare, yet makes the best spaghetti squash for family and friends.
A) You won’t have to worry about your whole house getting hot.
B) It is not necessary to cut the squash before eating it. Due to its tough skin, cutting a large raw squash can be a scary and dangerous experience.
C) The cooking process is a bit more forgiving than other hotter methods, like the oven, so you can wander around and do other things while the spaghetti squash is cooking, but it doesn’t eliminate the need to babysit it. Well, maybe a little bit, but the slow cooking process is a bit more forgiving than the oven.
Step by Step Photos
A spaghetti squash must be cleaned well on the outside before you begin cooking. Once it is cleaned well, use a paring knife to make several holes in the outer skin of the squash, so that steam can escape during cooking.
I think my squash must have been damaged during the ride home because when I took it out today I discovered that it had gotten a hairline crack all around the outside. But that’s okay, because the crack just served as another steam vent.
After you have placed the squash in your slow cooker, it is time to begin cooking it. Don’t rush this because you don’t want it to burn or anything like that.
However, I have a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker (not sure, I have had it for years). This 5 lb. squash barely fit end to end, and it was just millimeters away from hitting the lid.
Put the lid on the cooker and turn it up to high. The cooking time will depend on how large the squash is. The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of the squash.
You should cook the squash on high for at least 3 hours (5-6 hours on low) and then add one additional hour for every pound you exceed 3 pounds. With the thick ceramic walls of the slow cooker, it works as a mini-oven by slowly baking the squash.
In the absence of an exact science in cooking time, here is one way to determine when it has been cooked. Press firmly into the skin with your finger (it will be hot, so you should do this quickly or cover your finger in a towel.
If your finger dents into the skin, then it has been cooked. If the exterior is still hard and does not give at all to your pressure, you will need to wait some more time before it can be fully baked.
There will be some slight dent on the exterior of the product, but it will look more like a car bumper when it is dented.
In addition, it may also be possible to smell the characteristic sweet smell associated with cooked squash. Obviously, if you’re unfamiliar with that smell, that won’t help, but for those of you who are, it’s another clue to find out.
Upon reaching the desired temperature, carefully lift it from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board to cool. It is very likely that the food will not cool if left in the slow cooker for too long since it is constructed of ceramic.
Taking it out of the freezer once it’s cool enough to handle, cut it in half along the equator. The reason you want to do this is because the strands run around the squash horizontally when cut along the midline, while cutting the strands end to end will result in very short segments.
You can scrape the seeds out of the center using a spoon after cutting around the equator to keep the long strands intact. The seeds may come with a few strands, but that is completely normal, so there is no need to worry about them.
You will need a fork if you want to pull the strands away from the tough skin once the seeds have been removed. This part is a lot of fun.
Now that the spaghetti squash has been cooked, it is ready for you to eat! It doesn’t taste like much on its own, but you can make so many delicious dishes with it.
For instance, I like to top mine with butter and herbs and Parmesan, and sometimes I also build marinara sauce from scratch.
Apronese hopes this is an interesting recipe that you will want to try now and forever.
I would appreciate it if you would share in the comment section below some ideas you have for newcomers regarding how they can eat spaghetti squash.