How to Cook Unripe Spaghetti Squash as a Summer Squash
How to Cook Unripe Spaghetti Squash as a Summer Squash is for vegetable gardeners who have young unripe spaghetti squash in the garden. This will answer your questions if you wonder what to do with them!
This year I grew spaghetti squash for the first time in my tiny garden space, and it reminded me how I used to LOVE young unripe spaghetti squash back in the days when I had a bigger garden. And I know gardening season will be winding down soon and I thought people who have a surplus of small spaghetti squash that aren’t going to mature might like to try my method for How to Cook Unripe Spaghetti Squash as a Summer Squash! This is something I have done for many years (whenever I could get my hands on unripe spaghetti squash).
Squashes are divided into winter squash (which ripen late in the season, can be stored through the winter, and have hard outer rinds) and summer squash (which have a soft outer skin and can be eaten rind, seeds, and all.) Zucchini is the most famous summer squash of course, but when this recipe refers to cooking Spaghetti Squash as a summer squash it means cooking it when it’s young and has a soft skin.
Many years ago I was introduced to this way of eating spaghetti squash by a former boyfriend who grew it in his garden, and he taught me about picking the squashes when they were young and green and the skin could be pierced easily with your fingernail, and then simply boiling them and serving as a vegetable with lots of butter, salt, and pepper. It wasn’t until many years later that I learned to leave the spaghetti squash on the vine until the skins turn yellow, then bake or microwave the squash so the strands pull apart into a kind of vegetable “spaghetti” which is also tasty in a different way. I like spaghetti squash as a winter squash, but I am absolutely crazy about spaghetti squash when it’s cooked as a summer squash.
Of course, you’ll never be able to find young spaghetti squash like this in a regular store, so you’ll probably have to grow some in your garden or find a friend who has a garden who’s willing to share if you want to try this recipe. I haven’t ever run across another gardener who had tried this, so I hope some of my readers will be sure to try it if you get a chance. Trust me, you will love it! In fact, I just ate some of my leftovers while I was typing this up!
How to Cook Unripe Spaghetti Squash as a Summer Squash:
(Scroll down for complete recipe including nutritional information.)
- Most young spaghetti squash is light green, but in the second photo you can see I got one that was darker green.
- Choose young, small spaghetti squash with skin that can be easily pierced with your fingernail.
- Wash the outside of the squash well.
- Cut off both ends, then cut the rest of the squash up into pieces about 2 inches square. (If your squash has noticeable seeds, be sure they are tender.)
- Bring water to a boil, add salt, and add the spaghetti squash and turn heat to medium.
- Simmer the spaghetti squash until it’s tender (but not mushy), about 10-15 minutes or until the squash is easily pierced with a fork.
- Put cooked squash into large colander and let it drain well, for 5 minutes or more. It’s important not to rush the draining time.
- After squash has drained about 5 minutes, use an old-fashioned potato masher (affiliate link) to coarsely mash the squash and let drain 2-3 minutes more.
- Put spaghetti squash into a serving bowl and serve hot, with plenty of butter and salt and freshly ground pepper.
- And trust me, this is not a time to skimp on the butter. I hope you try it if you get a chance!
I use a generous amount of butter; use more or less to taste. I doubt that unripe spaghetti squash is in nutritional databases, so personally I suspect the carb count is lower than is indicated here since it's likely based on ripe spaghetti squash. This recipe given to Kalyn by a man named Art who taught her to cook spaghetti squash this way many, many years ago!
I use a generous amount of butter; use more or less to taste.
I doubt that unripe spaghetti squash is in nutritional databases, so personally I suspect the carb count is lower than is indicated here since it's likely based on ripe spaghetti squash.
This recipe given to Kalyn by a man named Art who taught her to cook spaghetti squash this way many, many years ago!
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Spaghetti Squash cooked as a summer squash is a great dish for low-carb and low-glycemic diet plans; use the amount of butter that works for your personal eating plan. This should be suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet, although South Beach would not recommend using butter.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
See Cooking for Gardeners for more ideas for cooking garden veggies! Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.