Recipe For Health
adapted by Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski
Featured Food: Spaghetti Squash Yield: Serves 4Learn more about Spaghetti Squash


  • 1 spaghetti squash (about 2 ½ pounds)
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. + 1 t. mix of fresh chopped herbs: thyme, parsley, sage, and chives
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 350°. 

Cut 1/8 - 1/4 inch off of ends, then cut squash in half lengthwise. Place in a baking dish cut side down. Add water to baking dish until the bottom of squash is covered (up to 1/4 of an inch). Cover top of pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes until the squash can be easily pierced with a paring knife. 

Flip squash, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes or until tender. 

Remove from oven, uncover and allow squash to cool for 10 minutes. 

Remove the seeds with a large spoon and discard. Use a fork to pull the strands of squash and put them in a large bowl.

Heat a skillet and add olive oil, squash strands, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until spaghetti squash is warm. After squash is warm, add butter and toss until incorporated. Serve immediately.

Learn More About Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash has a fun surprise inside. 

Rake a fork across the coarse interior of a cooked spaghetti squash and you can’t help but smile as the long strands pull apart to form a mound of squash noodles!

Fall is the time of year when spaghetti squash and other members of the winter squash family begin to make their appearance in the market. Grown in the height of the summer season, they are harvested in October. The ‘winter’ in their name comes from the time of year when we eat them. Also called keepers, winter squash will keep for months when stored in dry conditions at a temperature of 50° to 55°.

A golden-yellow shell on the outside is a sign of a fully ripe spaghetti squash. If it’s white, it’s not ripe. A few scuff marks are to be expected from a squash that’s been on the vine for months, but soft spots are unacceptable. Take home a large one — the bigger spaghetti squash have the most flavor.

You can store spaghetti squash on your countertop for up to a month before moving it to cold storage. When you’re ready to eat it, scrub the exterior, poke it in several places with the tines of a fork (don’t skip this step or it will explode in your oven) and place it on a baking sheet in a moderately hot oven (325° to 375°) for an hour or so until it feels soft to the touch. Let it cool a bit, cut it open, scoop out the seeds and let the entertainment begin! Use a fork to rake loose the “spaghetti” down to the rind.

Even when fully cooked, the strands remain a little on the crunchy side. The mild, nutty flavor of spaghetti squash goes well with tomato sauces of all kinds. Or toss it with some olive oil and parmesan cheese…just like pasta!

Peggy Crum MA, RD

Featured Recipes

Recipe For Health

Rhubarb & Strawberry Crisp

Combine tart rhubarb with sweet strawberries, add a streusel topping, and bake until bubbly. Dessert doesn’t get easier—or more classic—than this. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You’re sure to get rave reviews!

Recipe For Health

Farro Salad with Grilled Vegetables

Chewy farro grains are delicious in this autumn-y salad. Recipe yields enough for dinner for 2 to 4 with some left for a couple of lunches. To do this, make the base with dressing, farro, and grilled veggies. Add fresh veggies to the base as you go.

Recipe For Health

Pecan and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

Roasting amps up the flavor in everything including pecans. Chef Kurt's attention to detail takes a traditional chocolate chip cookie to another level of yum!

Recipe For Health

Onion Soup

Onions, the simplest of pantry staples, mingle with butter, broth, and herbs to become luxuriously smooth and delicious. Add "homemade" croutons and a blend of cheeses to make a complete and satisfying meal.

More Food and Nutrition Recipes

Find a Recipe

Browse all recipes

Find a Class

Browse all courses

Search Health4U

Food and Nutrition Counseling Services

Food and Nutrition Counseling Services provides you with access to accurate health and lifestyle information, helping you to explore new behaviors and skills, and identifying useful campus and community resources.

MSU community members eligible for food and nutrition counseling services include faculty, staff, graduate assistants, retirees and the spouses/partners of members of these groups.

To schedule an appointment with Health4U you are not required to email us from your MSU email address; please email us from the email address you are most comfortable with. 

Read More

Departmental Services

The goal of department based services is to provide work units and colleagues the opportunity to learn about health and wellness as a group activity or exploration.  

Read More

Health e-Guide

This guide has been discontinued and is no longer viewable.

Visit Health e-Guide