Looking for a way to indulge in your favorite comfort food without the guilt? Try this air fryer spaghetti squash, a healthier twist on classic spaghetti. Not only is this dish low in calories and packed with nutrients, it's also incredibly easy to make in your air fryer in under 30 minutes!
Meet air fryer spaghetti squash, your new go-to for a healthier twist on classic spaghetti! This versatile vegetable can be transformed into a delicious and healthy pasta substitute with the help of your trusty air fryer.
Spaghetti squash is a delicious and healthy, low carb alternative to traditional pasta. Traditionally, it's roasted in the oven. But it turns out that it's really easy to cook it in an air fryer! Plus, the air fryer is a huge time saver. This is one of my new favorite air fryer recipes, right up there with my air fryer butternut squash and air fryer coconut shrimp.
With its firm texture and mild flavor, spaghetti squash can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to casseroles. I'll show you how to cook spaghetti squash in an air fryer, so you can enjoy this nutritious and versatile vegetable in a new and exciting way.
So, say goodbye to heavy carb-loaded meals and hello to a lighter, yet satisfying dinner option. Get ready to fall in love with this easy air fryer spaghetti squash! You may just find that this delicious side dish becomes a new staple in your meal planning.
- Why You'll Love This Dish
- Why Cook Spaghetti Squash in an Air Fryer?
- Spaghetti Squash vs. Pasta
- Doctor's Tips
- How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Air Fryer Step-By-Step
- Chef's Tips
- What To Eat With Spaghetti Squash
- Recipe FAQs
- More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Resources
- Master Your Air Fryer With My New Digital Cookbook
Why You'll Love This Dish
- Quick & easy- cooks much faster than in the oven!
- Healthy- spaghetti squash is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber plus it's a good choice if you're following a low-carb diet
- Versatile- you can use it in a variety of dishes in many different ways
Why Cook Spaghetti Squash in an Air Fryer?
Cooking spaghetti squash in an air fryer definitely has some benefits!
- It cooks much faster in the air fryer when compared to roasting in the oven. This is because the air fryer uses hot air to cook food quickly and evenly.
- The air fryer helps to retain the vegetable's natural moisture and flavor. This results in a more tender and flavorful spaghetti squash.
- It's energy-efficient. The air fryer uses less energy than a traditional oven, so cooking spaghetti squash in the air fryer can be a more energy-efficient option.
- Clean up is easier. Air fryers are generally easy to clean, so you won't have to worry about scrubbing a large baking dish or roasting pan. This can make cleanup a breeze, especially if you're in a rush.
If you don't have an air fryer, you can read my post on how to bake spaghetti squash in the oven.
Spaghetti Squash vs. Pasta
Spaghetti squash and spaghetti (pasta) are both long and thin, but that's where the similarities end.
Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash. When it's cooked, it can easily be scraped into long, thin strands that resemble spaghetti. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a firm texture.
Spaghetti squash is low in calories and carbohydrates, and high in fiber. It's a popular substitute for pasta for people who are watching their carb intake or trying to eat more vegetables.
Spaghetti pasta, on the other hand, is an Italian noodle made from wheat flour, water, and sometimes eggs. Pasta is higher in calories and carbohydrates than spaghetti squash, and lower in fiber. However, it is a good source of complex carbohydrates and can be a part of a healthy diet, in moderation.
When it comes to cooking, spaghetti squash can be roasted, boiled, or cooked in an air fryer. Regular spaghetti, on the other hand, is typically boiled in salted water until it's tender. Pasta is a staple ingredient in many Italian dishes, as well as in cuisines around the world. Spaghetti squash can be used as a substitute for spaghetti or other long noodles in many recipes.
In terms of nutritional value, spaghetti squash is generally considered a healthier option than pasta, as it's lower in calories and carbohydrates and higher in fiber. Spaghetti squash is a good source of pantothenic acid, a B vitamin. It’s also a decent source of vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, and niacin.
However, both foods can be part of a healthy and balanced diet when consumed in moderation and combined with a variety of other nutritious foods.
Spaghetti squash contains beta carotene and vitamin C, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants can curb free radical damage and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for full ingredient list.
Ingredient notes and substitutions:
- Spaghetti squash- use a small or medium spaghetti squash that will fit in your air fryer
- Olive oil- can use avocado oil or other oils; you can brush it on or spray it on with an oil sprayer. Read my post on the best oils and oil sprays for the air fryer.
- Salt and black pepper- you can season the squash with any additional seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning or paprika
How To Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Air Fryer Step-By-Step
See recipe card at the bottom of this post for full recipe instructions.
Choose the right squash
When selecting a spaghetti squash from the grocery store, look for one that is firm and heavy for its size. It should also have a dull, matte surface and no soft spots or cracks.
A medium-sized squash will yield about four cups of cooked squash, which is enough for four servings.
Prepare the Squash
Spaghetti squash can be difficult to cut, so I like to soften it first. The best way to do this is in the microwave. However, if you prefer, you can skip the microwaving step (Step 1) and proceed directly to Step 2 below.
- Step 1- Wash the squash thoroughly and pat it dry. With a sharp paring knife, make several slits in the skin of the spaghetti squash, along the line where you will eventually cut it in half lengthwise. Place the squash on a plate and cook it in the microwave on high for 4-5 minutes until softened.
- Step 2- Once squash is cool enough to handle, place it on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise along the slits you made with a sharp knife.
- Step 3- Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the inside of the squash with a spoon. Discard them or keep the seeds to roast them for a yummy snack!
- Step 4- Brush the cut surface with olive oil and season with salt, pepper or any other desired seasonings.
Cook the squash
- Step 5- Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees F. Place the squash halves in the air fryer basket cut side up (depending on the size of your squash, you may need to cook them in batches). For easy clean up, you can line the basket with a silicone air fryer liner or perforated parchment sheets.
- Step 6- Cook 15-20 minutes, or until the flesh is fork tender.
Shred the squash
- Use a fork to scrape the flesh of the spaghetti squash into long, spaghetti-like strands. Be careful not to tear the skin of the squash, as it can be used as a serving bowl.
- Serve the spaghetti squash with your favorite toppings, such as grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley or basil.
- Choose a small or medium-sized squash that can easily fit in the basket of your air fryer.
- I like to soften the spaghetti squash in the microwave first to make it easier to cut. Be sure to cut slits in the squash before microwaving so the steam can escape.
- If desired, you can line the air fryer basket with a silicone air fryer liner or perforated parchment sheets for easy clean up.
- You can serve the long strands of squash in the skin- it makes an excellent serving bowl! Top it with your favorite toppings.
- Don't have an air fryer? Don't worry, you can bake the spaghetti squash in the oven.
Recommended Air Fryer Accessories
Line your air fryer basket with these reusable perforated silicone mats. You can buy square or round mats. The holes allow hot air to circulate around the food prevent it from sticking.
You can also line your air fryer basket with one-time-use perforated parchment sheets. They come in different shapes, sizes and colors- white or brown (unbleached).
This EVO oil sprayer is perfect for evenly spraying your food and air fryer basket with oil. It doesn't clog up like many other brands.
What To Eat With Spaghetti Squash
This easy air fryer spaghetti squash is a simple side dish that pairs well with many ingredients. Once the spaghetti squash is shredded, you can use it in any recipe that calls for spaghetti or other long noodles. I like to toss it with olive oil, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese, and top it with fresh herbs like parsley.
You can mix it with your favorite pasta sauce or my healthy turkey bolognese sauce. Then, top it with my delicious Greek chicken meatballs or turkey meatballs. One of my favorite ways to eat spaghetti squash is tossed with marinara sauce and topped with a dollop of ricotta cheese. You can also top it with shredded mozzarella cheese, parmesan or my vegan parmesan cheese.
You can mix it with veggies, cheese, or protein for a tasty and healthy meal. If you're looking for a hearty casserole, try my vegetarian spaghetti squash casserole.
Whole, uncut spaghetti squash can last for several weeks if stored properly. You should store spaghetti squash in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Cooked spaghetti squash can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Reheat leftover spaghetti squash in the microwave or air fryer.
Yes, you can freeze cooked strands of spaghetti squash in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 8 months. When you're ready to use it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat it in the oven, microwave, air fryer, or on the stove top. Frozen and reheated spaghetti squash may have a slightly softer texture than freshly cooked squash, but it should still be delicious and nutritious.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Air Fryer Resources
- Easy oven to air fryer conversion guide
- Best oils and oil sprays for the air fryer
- How to reheat pizza in the air fryer
- Can you use parchment paper in an air fryer?
- How to cook Beyond Burgers (fresh or frozen) in the air fryer
- How to cook frozen chicken tenders or nuggets in the air fryer
Master Your Air Fryer With My New Digital Cookbook
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Cook smarter, not harder with your air fryer! You'll get 35 delicious and guilt-free recipes that you can make quickly and easily in the air fryer. Plus, FREE bonus cooking time guides (cheat sheets) included!
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Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat air fryer to 360°F. Wash the squash thoroughly and pat it dry.
- Optional step: To make it easier to cut the spaghetti squash, you can soften it first in the microwave. To do this, with s paring knife, make several slits in the skin of the spaghetti squash, along the line where you will eventually cut it in half lengthwise. Place the squash on a plate and cook it in the microwave on high for 4-5 minutes until softened. Wait until squash is cool enough to handle, then proceed to the next step.
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. Scoop out the pulp and seeds with a spoon. Discard them or keep the seeds to roast them for a yummy snack! Brush the flesh side of the spaghetti squash with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings.
- Place the spaghetti squash halves, cut side up, in the air fryer basket. Cook 15-20 minutes, or until the flesh is tender and easily pierced with a fork. Remove the squash a let cool slightly. Use a fork to scrape the spaghetti squash flesh into strands. Be careful not to tear the skin of the squash, as it can be used as a serving bowl.
- Serve the spaghetti squash with your favorite toppings, such as olive oil, garlic powder, tomato sauce, grated parmesan cheese or chopped parsley.