Q. I love buying fresh local fruits and vegetables at the Farmer’s Market near my house, and I can’t resist buying squash when it’s in season. I always hesitate to buy too much in case I can’t eat it all. Can you freeze spaghetti squash?
A. Spaghetti squash is inexpensive, healthy, and delicious, so who wouldn’t want to stock up? Fortunately, spaghetti squash can be easily frozen with great results. However, it does need a bit of preparation first. While you can freeze a whole, raw spaghetti squash, it’s not very practical because it takes up a ton of space and would take forever to thaw. Instead, cooking the squash first and preparing it for freezing helps it take up much less room in the freezer and be ready to eat more quickly.
What makes spaghetti squash so unique are the spaghetti-like strands that can be pulled from the squash, providing a low calorie alternative to traditional spaghetti. The strands can be topped with tomato or other pasta sauce for a dish that tastes like pasta but is much lighter. To cook spaghetti squash, wash it first and dry it carefully so it doesn’t slip. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop the seeds out of each side, and place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish. Bake at 375F for approximately 35 minutes, or until soft and the threads pull freely from squash. Remove spaghetti squash from the oven and let cool.
Using a fork, run it the length of each half of the squash, loosening the strands. One the strands have all been released, pat them down with a paper towel to soak up any extra liquid. Place the strands in freezer bags and squeeze out the extra air. Freezing spaghetti squash in serving sized amounts can be a good idea for those who aren’t going to use a whole spaghetti squash at one time, since one spaghetti squash can serve up between 4-6 servings.
To thaw spaghetti squash, remove the package from the freezer and allow the squash to thaw in the refrigerator for several hours until thawed through. Remove from the freezer bag and heat gently in a pot or in the microwave until excess water has evaporated and squash is heated through. To serve, top spaghetti squash with your favorite sauce or add some olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and basil.