How To Make Smoked Spaghetti Squash
A great low-carb and low-calorie substitute to pasta, spaghetti squash looks like a regular squash except that, when cooked, its flesh separates into strands resembling traditional spaghetti.
Paired with a variety of sauces and seasonings, spaghetti squash can be prepared in several ways and plays its role wonderfully as a slightly sweet delicate-textured pasta substitute.
Ranging in color from pale yellow to canary yellow, one of the best ways to make it is in the smoker, where it can be served both plain with a bit of seasoning or doused in a creamy carbonara or Alfredo sauce.
So, how do you make smoked spaghetti squash? The best way to make smoked spaghetti squash is in a smoker by giving it a good dose of smoke before turning up the heat and dressing it in a bit of salt, pepper, and other condiments of your choice.
Read on for step-by-step instructions for cooking spaghetti squash in a smoker, how to prepare it, what to pair it with, and much more:
How To Cook Spaghetti Squash In A Smoker
Spaghetti squash, also called vegetable spaghetti, is fairly big and round, weighing at least 4 pounds and yielding around 8 cups of cooked squash.
To cook spaghetti squash in a smoker, you need to prepare it first by slicing and seeding it, followed by seasoning it with a dry rub, smoking it till it’s tender, and then shredding and serving it.
Here are step-by-step instructions for you to follow:
1. Slice And Seed
- Start with a medium-sized spaghetti squash and give it a quick rinse to clean it up.
- Take a sharp knife with at least an 8-inch blade and cut the squash in half lengthwise.
- Hold the squash with one hand and insert the tip of the knife into it with the other. Cut through the skin of the squash, pulling the knife down toward you.
- Instead of attempting to get it all in one go, pull out the knife and spin the squash 180° to the other side.
- Repeat the process once again, this time cutting in the opposite direction.
- Flip the squash and repeat the steps until it is cut in half.
- Once you have the two halves, scoop out the seeds. Don’t worry about getting all the shreddy bits out, though.
2. Season With Dry Rub
- Start by poking a few holes in the flesh of the washed and seeded squash using a fork.
- Spray it with some olive oil to make the dry rub adhere to it.
- Use a sweet, salty, and savory rub made using salt, black pepper, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and smoked paprika.
- Take the time to properly season the flesh of the squash. Rotate the squash to the sides so that you can get the rub on its inner walls.
- Let the squash marinate for about 15-20 minutes until it starts to pull out some moisture.
3. Smoke It
- Fire up your smoker and place the seasoned squash into it, cut side facing up.
- Smoke it at 180°F for about 30 minutes to give it a great smoky flavor.
- Turn up the heat to 350°F and let it cook for an additional 50-60 minutes or until it has squishy sides and is tender enough to shred into spaghetti strands using a fork.
4. Shred And Serve
- Once the smoked spaghetti squash is ready, use a pair of tongs to take it off the smoker.
- Use a fork to shred the flesh into spaghetti strands, making sure to keep it inside the skin, and add a bit of butter to it for flavor.
- Serve it as is or top it with some creamy sauce, sliced sausages, pulled pork, or slices of creamy avocado.
Best Sauce For Smoked Spaghetti Squash
Smoked spaghetti squash is incredibly delicious on its own and doesn’t really need any sauces or condiments to make it taste better.
If you are using a well-balanced dry rub to season the squash, are smoking it properly, and are using an adequate amount of butter, we’re positive you won’t need any further improvements.
However, if you feel like pairing your smoked spaghetti squash with a sauce, there are several options since it works great with any type of sauce, just as regular spaghetti.
Depending on your taste and preference, you may opt for classic marinara or pair it with cilantro cream sauce, Alfredo sauce, honey ginger sauce, or mushroom cream sauce.
Other Ways To Cook Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is a versatile vegetable that can be cooked in a variety of ways.
Although smoking is one of the best ways to bring out its flavor, you can also bake or roast it, or cook it in the microwave, slow cooker, or electric pressure cooker.
In The Oven
To bake spaghetti squash in the oven, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Rub the inside of the halved squash with olive oil and a dry seasoning of your choice.
- Place the squash halves onto a baking sheet, making sure they are cut side down to brown and caramelize the edges and add more flavor. This technique also lets the excess moisture fall away from the squash instead of forming a pool in the center.
- Place the baking sheet into a preheated oven to 375°F and bake it for 40-50 minutes. The total bake time will vary depending on the size of the squash.
- Once the squash is fully baked and fork-tender, shred it into spaghetti strands.
In The Microwave
One of the quickest ways to cook spaghetti squash is in the microwave. Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Cut the squash in half, take out the seeds, and season it with some olive oil and herbs and spices of your choice.
- Place the cut-side-down squash halves on a microwave-safe dish.
- Fill the dish with about 1-inch of water.
- Microwave it for 5 minutes, making sure to keep checking it.
- Microwave for an additional 2-5 minutes or until the squash is fork-tender.
- Once done, shred it into spaghetti strands.
In A Slow Cooker
To cook spaghetti squash in a slow cooker, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Poke several holes all over the exterior of the squash using a small, sharp knife to act as air vents.
- Place the whole squash in a slow cooker, cover it, and let it cook on high for 3-4 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours. You may add 1-1.5 hours if your squash is 5 pounds or more.
- To check for doneness, firmly poke the squash with a pair of tongs. If it dents, it is done.
- Take it out of the cooker, and once it is cool enough to handle, slice it in half and scoop out and discard the seeds.
- Fluff the flesh using a fork and shred it into “noodles”.
- Season it with your choice of spices and herbs.
In An Electric Pressure Cooker
To cook spaghetti squash in an electric pressure cooker, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Slice the squash in half and take out the seeds.
- Put a steamer basket into the pressure cooker and add ½ cup of water into it.
- Set the squash halves on top of the steamer basket and seal the lid of the pressure cooker.
- For a 3-pound squash, cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. It takes some time for the pressure cooker to build up the pressure, so it will take an additional 5-10 minutes to be ready.
- When the 7 minutes are up, release the pressure inside the cooker by pressing the quick-release button.
- Open the lid when the floating valve at the top of the cooker drops.
- Take the sliced squash out of the cooker using a pair of tongs and shred and season before serving.
Now that you know how to make spaghetti squash in a smoker, along with some other great ways to cook it, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have!
What’s the best spaghetti squash to buy?
Spaghetti squash comes in a variety of sizes, and while choosing the best one for your dish, always go for one that has hard, firm skin and feels heavy for its size.
Since they grow on top of the ground, it is not uncommon to come across scarring and discoloration, especially on the bottom. A few blemishes are nothing to worry about either.
How do you cut squash with very hard skin?
If the skin of the squash is very hard to cut through, there are simple tricks to soften it. All you have to do is pierce the skin of the squash in a few places using a sharp knife, especially along where you would eventually want to cut it.
Put it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, after which its outer shell will soften, making it much easier to cut.
It is not recommended to microwave a whole squash for longer than that though, since the steam build-up inside it could be potentially dangerous.
Up Next: How To Make Smoked Ice Cubes