My Misadventures Opening a Spaghetti Squash

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Posted by Jill Whalen | Posted in Food, Healthy Eating, Nutrition | Posted on 11-07-2013

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I truly wish someone was video recording me while I was trying to slice a spaghetti squash in half. But I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal! I’ve sliced plenty of other types of squashes with little problem. I found that at least for buttercup and acorn squashes, a bread knife works well.

I started out with my biggest (widest) knife, figuring that might do the trick on the large spaghetti squash. However, I barely dented the flesh with that one. I know I don’t have the best knives in the world, but they’re typically good enough for this sort of thing!

Anyone Have a Saw Handy?

So next I tried the bread knife. If it was good enough for other squashes, surely it would be good enough for this one. I tried sawing the bread knife through the squash. While I got through the skin, it was as if I was trying to saw through a tree trunk. Which made me think I could really use a chain saw for this sucker! I was having fun picturing myself gassing up the chainsaw and effortlessly slicing through this crazy monster squash as I continued to manually saw with the bread knife. At this rate, it was going to take me an hour to get through the damn thing and I wanted to get it roasted before I left for my yoga class (in an hour and a half!).

Bringing Out The Big Guns

Thinking about the chainsaw, while making me smile, also reminded me that I had an electric knife buried away somewhere. (I think it was a wedding gift from 30 years ago, which had previously only been used to slice cornedbeef!) Being afraid that I was going to slice my hand or fingers off because the damn thing was also hard to keep secure on the cutting board, I punctured it with a steak knife which I proceeded to use as a handle to try to better hang on. I was convinced that the electric knife would surely slice right through the sucker…but nope. It was surprisingly no better than the bread knife! Was this thing made out of stone or something?

If You Can’t Slice It — Kill It?

Eventually, I went back to the wide (non-electric) knife and jabbed it into my nemesis instead of trying to actually slice with it. (I’m pretty sure I stabbed it more out of anger than trying to actually slice it at that point–I think I was trying to kill it!) Of course then it got stuck in the damn thing! I tried pulling it out, but I was getting more and more worried about somehow cutting off an appendage or stabbing myself from the inertia that would surely happen once it pulled out.

Success!

Finally, instead of trying to pull the knife out (it was about half way into the squash at this point) I just picked up the whole thing by the knife and smashed it onto my cutting board, knife point first. That actually seemed to get me some where. So I banged it down a few more times until finally, finally, it sliced open! I had to sort of pry open the last bit, but it was good enough!

All The Tools!

Success!

So what am I missing? Is there some secret to slicing a spaghetti squash in half? If you know it, please let me know in the comments! (Added from the comments: My daughter, Corie, told me that if you put it whole in the microwave for about a minute, it then is easy to slice in half…she was right!) — Jill

Added: It came out yummy! I turned it into fake pasta pesto which ended up being a whole lot better than I thought it would be!

cooked-spag-squashpesto-spag-squash

Jill

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Sorry, I go through almost the same thing every time I try to slice one of those suckers. I have a big ol’ chef’s knife, which I use to stab it, then work my way around a bit until it’s opened up enough that I can start twisting the knife to further widen the crack. I usually end up actually splitting it more than cutting it. Fortunately, it nukes up beautifully in the microwave in about 7 minutes or thereabouts, so I can make up for the time I spent getting the darned thing open and still have supper on the table before it’s bed time. 🙂

I was surprised at how much “woodier” the skin of it is compared to other squashes. Now that I took out all the insides, the “bowl” that’s left seems like it could be used as a real bowl and probably hold up in the dishwasher. (Either that or you could use it as a boat! They’d be great on a desert island!)

Table saw? 🙂

I put mine in the microwave for a few minutes, or bake it first for about 30 minutes whole. Much easier!

Will miss you on the SEO side, but I am in very similar place you are at the moment, so look forward to following you here!

Thanks for the tip! I was hoping to find another one today at Trader Joe’s but they didn’t have any. 🙁

Good thing you didn’t actually use the chainsaw.

The electric knife was my chainsaw, but it was useless. I did have to deal with another spaghetti squash since this post, and things went much smoother. I stabbed it with my big knife and then just kept banging the whole thing on the cutting board until it split.

What I ended up figuring out is the longest, SKINNIEST knife is what works best.

I got turned onto spaghetti squash this summer when my neighbor left me one and told me how to prepare it. A whole new food I’d never had in my life! Love it! And you can eat a ton of it as it’s only about 62 calories per cup.

Isn’t it THE BEST?! I’m going to bring some pesto spaghetti squash to an xmas eve party tomorrow night!

Ooo, I have made it with pesto yet. Sounds delish! That gives me an idea. One of my favorite dishes is basil pesto linguini with blackened salmon. Next time I make it, I’m going to swap the linguini for spaghetti squash.

That sounds like a great idea! Let me know how it comes out.

(Oops, that should be “haven’t made it” yet.)

I roast it whole. Jab a few holes in it first, put a little water in the pan and bake it for about an hour at 375. Super easy to cut in half and get the seeds out, and the squash comes out all ready to mix with your other ingredients.

Cool, thanks for the tip. Might try that next time. I have been getting better at cutting them raw. Down to about 1-2 minutes now!

I forget where I saw this tip, but it works for me. Just heat the whole spaghetti squash in the microwave for a minute or so, and it’s much easier to cut!

Thanks, will definitely try that when I make that spaghetti pizza sausage recipe you tweeted a bit ago! http://paleomg.com/almost-5-ingredient-pizza-spaghetti-pie/