Moroccan Spaghetti Squash
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One of my passions is teaching cooking to children and introducing new foods and flavors. This Moroccan Spaghetti Squash may not sound like something kids would like, but it really is an easy recipe for expanding their palate.
In a recent cooking class, as we measured the spices and added them to the butter, the kids all assured me that they were not going to taste this no matter what. However, I reminded them that they made a deal with me that they would taste everything we made even if it was just a small taste.
While they were delighted to see the strands inside the cooked but slightly cooled spaghetti squash, they were still a bit hesitant about a taste. As each of them took a bite, about as big as a tulip stamen, their eyes lit up. They went from, “Hey, this is kinda good,” to “Can I have a little more?” They ate every last bit of it.
How to Prepare Spaghetti Squash
The squash can be cooked in the microwave or in the oven. But, whichever way you cook it, you should pierce the skin all around with the tip of a paring knife so it doesn’t burst. I used Cutco’s sharp 4” Paring Knife.
To cook in the microwave, just place the whole pierced squash in and cook on high (in an 800-watt microwave) for six to seven minutes. Turn it over and microwave for another eight to 10 minutes or until squash feels slightly soft when pressed. The squash will be very hot, so you may want to remove it using a clean doubled kitchen towel.
This time around I roasted the squash in the oven. After piercing the outside, I popped it in the microwave for just a few minutes to slightly soften it, making it easier to cut.
Once softened, use a Butcher Knife to trim off the ends and then cut the squash in half, lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon or Ice Cream Scoop and then place the halves cut side down on an oiled rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for about 40 minutes at 375 F. Remove from the oven and let the halves cool. When ready, use two forks to loosen and separate the squash flesh into strands.
For step-by-step instructions on how to cut spaghetti squash, check out Cutco’s easy tutorial.
Making the Butter Sauce
The butter might have been the tipping point for getting the kids to try this Moroccan Spaghetti Squash. Because, who doesn’t love butter?
Making the butter sauce couldn’t be any easier. It’s a matter of melting the butter, adding in garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne and salt, and cooking until golden.
The sauce is drizzled over the separated spaghetti squash strands and topped with parsley. It’s a simple dish that has depth of flavor and adds a bit of intrigue to your dinner table.
Moroccan Spaghetti Squash
- 1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- To cook the squash in a microwave: Pierce the skin of the squash about an inch deep all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Place whole in the microwave and cook on 100 percent power for 6-7 minutes (800-watt microwave). Carefully turn squash over and microwave 8 to 10 minutes more or until squash feels slightly soft when pressed.
- Cool squash for 5 minutes.
- To roast the squash in the oven: To roast whole, pierce the skin of the squash all over with a sharp knife to prevent bursting. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 375 F oven for one hour. Or, cut the squash in half lengthwise, scooping out the seeds and placing the halves cut side down on an oiled rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes in a 375 F oven.
- While squash is baking, make the sauce. Over medium heat in a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it is just starting to turn golden. Add the spices and salt. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
- When squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to separate strands. Toss with butter mixture and sprinkle with parsley.