How To Cut Spaghetti Squash If It's Too Tough

Low-carb pasta is one of the biggest food trends of 2023, according to Whole Foods. Alongside noodles made from zucchini (a.k.a. zoodles), penne made from butternut squash, and rotini crafted from chickpeas, spaghetti squash is another popular alternative to traditional pasta. One cup of the stringy vegetable contains about 42 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates, compared to 239 calories and 47 grams of carbs in one cup of regular spaghetti (via Healthline). 

There are a lot of different ways you can prepare spaghetti squash, from roasting it in the oven to tossing it on the grill. Unless you're cooking it whole, however, no matter which method or recipe you choose, you'll likely have to start with cutting the spaghetti squash in half or into rings. Sometimes, depending on the squash, that can be easier said than done. What do you do if the outer shell is too tough to cut into? Here's a hack for softening up your squash the next time you're in the kitchen.

This method will make the squash easier to slice

Like many winter squashes like acorn, butternut, or delicata, spaghetti squash can be very difficult to cut before cooked thanks to its hard exterior. Fortunately, there's an easy way around this — and all it requires is a microwave. The blogger at Mama Loves to Eat recommends piercing the skin of the spaghetti squash (to allow steam to get out) and then microwaving it whole for three minutes. This should soften up the outside enough that you can cut it, whether in half or into rings.

This microwaving hack is very popular among food bloggers. Teaspoon of Spice suggests scoring slits in a dotted line along where you'll slice the spaghetti squash before putting it in the microwave, so you'll already have a template for cutting once it's softened. Note that the microwaving time may vary depending on the strength and power of your specific microwave — the same blogger said they heat theirs for up to six minutes.