Spaghetti squash is high in vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and cholesterol- and gluten-free. This is why it is the perfect spaghetti replacement for traditional spaghetti.
To enjoy spaghetti squash better, whether cooked or uncooked, it needs to be stored properly. And now you may be wondering if you can freeze spaghetti squash.
It is possible to freeze spaghetti squash. It can keep for seven to eight months in the freezer. Before freezing, it should be placed in a freezer-safe bag with as much air squeezed out of the bag as possible. This is to prevent freezer burn, which can make spaghetti squash less delightful to eat.
Whether this is your first time to think about eating spaghetti squash or you have been adding it to your diet for some time now, keep on reading.
But First: What is Spaghetti Squash?
You can look at the pasta aisle of your favorite supermarket for hours. However, you won’t find any spaghetti squash in it.
That’s because spaghetti squash is a type of fruit — yes, it’s one of those fruits that a lot of people assume as vegetables. Other fruits that are commonly mistaken by many for vegetables include:
- Bell peppers
Spaghetti squash is a member of the cucurbitaceae family, which is also sometimes referred to as cucurbits or the gourd family.
It is related to cucumbers, gourds, squashes, pumpkins, and melons. Because of this, you will find spaghetti squash at the produce section of the supermarket and not in the pasta aisle.
Obviously, spaghetti squash got its name from the fact that, when it is cooked, its flesh becomes long and stringy.
The cooked flesh can be shredded with a fork to turn it into strands that closely resemble traditional spaghetti.
What does spaghetti squash taste like?
Spaghetti squash has a mild, almost neutral flavor. It doesn’t have a strong and unmistakable taste as winter squash and other squashes. Due to this, it goes very well with red and cream-based spaghetti sauces. Many have a hard time telling cooked spaghetti squash and traditional spaghetti apart.
Appearance-wise, it can be mistaken for traditional spaghetti without trouble. A lot of people describe it as being very similar to angel hair pasta. It is translucent and light yellow in color.
Especially if you cook a large spaghetti squash, the resulting strands can be just as long as traditional spaghetti.
But just because spaghetti squash is called as such doesn’t necessarily mean that it can only be consumed as an alternative to traditional spaghetti.
What’s so nice about spaghetti squash is that it can be prepared in other ways as well. For instance, it can be sautéed or stir-fried with other vegetables. It also goes well with various meats.
And by the way, the seeds of spaghetti squash can be roasted, just like pumpkin seeds.
It’s true that spaghetti squash and traditional spaghetti are pretty much alike when it comes to the taste and appearance. However, they are not the same when it comes to their nutrient content.
Because spaghetti squash is a fruit that’s masquerading as a vegetable, it goes without saying that its nutritional profile is more impressive than that of traditional spaghetti, which is made of milled wheat and water only, although some brands are enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Still, their nutritional profile pales in comparison to spaghetti squash.
Here are some of the many health-giving nutrients in spaghetti squash:
- B vitamins
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
It’s not just the long list of nutrients that make spaghetti squash appealing to health-conscious people.
It makes a lot of heads turn toward its direction also because it is low in carbohydrates and calories.
This is the reason why so many of those who wish to slim down opt for spaghetti squash than traditional pasta, which is loaded with calories.
Spaghetti squash is also friendly to the heart and the rest of the cardiovascular system. It’s because it contains absolutely no zero cholesterol.
So, in other words, it can help keep the arteries clog-free. The fact that spaghetti squash is also packed with fiber can give you peace of mind that your heart is out of harm’s way!
(But of course, it is still of utmost importance to pair eating spaghetti squash with a healthy diet and lifestyle.)
Are you steering clear of anything that contains wheat, such as traditional spaghetti, because you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease?
You will be more than happy to know that spaghetti squash is completely gluten-free!
Indeed, there are many perks that come with welcoming spaghetti squash into your life.
However, it’s a must that you store it properly, whether cooked or uncooked, in order to keep it from going to waste. Proper storage is also necessary to keep the many nutrients that it has intact.
Storing Spaghetti Squash in Different Ways
And now we have arrived at the crux of this article: answering the question “can you freeze spaghetti squash?” and other related ones.
Especially if you want to make spaghetti squash a staple in your diet, you should know how to keep uncooked and cooked spaghetti squash fresh to enjoy the most delightful pasta dish.
Let’s check out how you should properly store spaghetti squash in various ways…
How to Store Fresh Spaghetti Squash
Fresh or uncooked spaghetti squash should be stored in a cool and dry place. Because it has a thick skin, it is protected very well from the elements, which allows it to keep for up to three months. Refrigerating fresh or uncooked spaghetti squash, on the other hand, will only shorten its lifespan.
Many fruits should be placed in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening as well as the rotting process. However, there are those that are best stored outside the refrigerator. One of those is spaghetti squash.
What makes spaghetti squash able to withstand storage in the pantry or somewhere in the kitchen is that it has a thick and tough skin.
What’s more, its flesh does not contain a lot of moisture, unlike something that is categorized as summer squash (we will talk more about this matter in a few, so don’t stop reading now).
But just because spaghetti squash is one tough squash doesn’t necessarily mean that you can stash it anywhere you like. See to it that you place it in a cool, dry area.
Keep it away from direct sunlight, sources of heat and excess moisture. It can stay good for up to three months, especially in wintertime.
It is a completely different story, however, if fresh or uncooked spaghetti squash is sliced. It needs to be stored in a different manner, and we will talk about it shortly.
How to Store Spaghetti Squash for the Winter
Spaghetti squash has thicker skin than most other types of squash. It’s due to this why it can be stored throughout winter. When the temperature drops, spaghetti squash should be stored in a warm area of the home, preferably 50°F. It should be kept away from high humidity to keep it from rotting.
The reason why spaghetti squash can stay unharmed in the wintertime is that it’s a type of winter squash.
Contrary to popular belief, winter squash is not harvested in the winter — it is harvested anywhere from late summer to early fall.
It is referred to as such because it has a thick skin, which is a good thing because it helps winter squash last until winter. So, in other words, it has an extraordinarily long shelf life.
Aside from spaghetti squash, there are also other winter squashes. They include:
- Acorn squash
- Banana squash
- Butternut squash
- Delicata squash
- Hubbard squash
- Kabocha squash
- Sweet Dumpling squash
- Turban squash
There’s winter squash.
And then there’s summer squash. It is nothing like winter squash because it has soft skin and a moist flesh.
Due to this, it has a shorter shelf life than winter squash, such as spaghetti squash.
How to Store Half a Spaghetti Squash
Half a spaghetti squash should be stored in the refrigerator. It should be placed in a ziploc bag beforehand, with as much air squeezed out as possible. Properly refrigerated, cut spaghetti squash can keep for two to four days. It is also possible to store half a spaghetti squash in the freezer.
Earlier, storing fresh or uncooked spaghetti squash was talked about. It was also mentioned that storing sliced spaghetti squash requires a different approach altogether.
Once spaghetti squash is sliced, it no longer has the same impressive shelf life as whole spaghetti squash. That’s because the flesh is no longer protected by the thick skin.
Exposure to air can make spaghetti squash go bad faster than usual. Bacterial action can also make it rot in just a couple of days.
Worry not because refrigerating half a spaghetti squash can save it from rotting fast.
Unfortunately, the fridge can keep it fresh for two to four days only. You should use it quickly to keep it from ending up in the garbage bin.
No matter if cooked or uncooked, half a spaghetti slice is best stored in the refrigerator. It is a terrible idea to leave it on a countertop or keep it in the pantry.
Not only will it go bad faster than usual, but it may also attract insects that can wreak havoc on your life as well as other food items nearby.
How to Store Cooked Spaghetti Squash
Cooked spaghetti squash can be stored either in the refrigerator or freezer. In the refrigerator, cooked spaghetti squash can keep for up to five days. In the freezer, it can keep for seven to eight long months. Before refrigerating or freezing, cooked spaghetti squash should be allowed to cool.
When deciding whether you should store it in the refrigerator or freezer, determine when you are planning to consume cooked spaghetti squash.
If you intend on eating it in less than a week, refrigerating it is the way to go. But if you are not sure about when you are going to serve it on the table, freezing it is the better storage option.
There are a couple of things that you have to do before refrigerating or freezing cooked spaghetti squash:
- Allow it to cool to room temperature. It is a bad idea to store cooked spaghetti squash in the refrigerator or freezer while it is still hot. That’s because it will cause moisture to collect while hot spaghetti squash is cooling inside the closed environment of a refrigerator or freezer. This will cause it to go soggy in the refrigerator. On the other hand, this will cause it to suffer from freezer burn in the freezer.
- Place it in a refrigerator- or freezer-safe plastic bag. And before sealing the plastic bag, it’s important that you try to squeeze out as much air as possible. The goal is to keep moisture-containing air from being trapped in a ziploc bag with cooked spaghetti squash. Otherwise, you may end up with slimy (when refrigerated) or rock-hard (when frozen) spaghetti squash that your eyes and mouth will no longer find delightful.
Make sure that you cool cooked spaghetti squash to room temperature and seal it in a ziploc bag before storing it in either the refrigerator or freezer, and you’re golden!
The steps on how to store leftover cooked spaghetti squash call for placing it in an airtight container before refrigerating it.
Failure to use a serving spoon can cause leftover cooked spaghetti to go bad faster in the refrigerator as a result of bacterial activity. It’s also a good idea to store it separate from the sauce.
How to reheat frozen spaghetti squash
Frozen spaghetti squash can be reheated in various ways. It can be allowed to soak in boiling water for four to five minutes. It can be allowed to thaw for a while and then reheated in the oven or microwave. After thawing it, spaghetti squash may also be reheated in a pan together with its sauce.
By following the steps above, you can enjoy cooked spaghetti squash that seems like it’s freshly cooked. Just see to it that it’s stored in the freezer properly.
Freezer burn can keep cooked spaghetti squash from being a delight to eat even if it’s properly reheated after taking it out of the freezer.
How to Dehydrate Spaghetti Squash
Before dehydrating spaghetti squash, it should be cooked first. After letting it cool for several minutes, the flesh should be shredded with a fork. Spaghetti squash should then be dried in a dehydrator at 125 °F for four hours. Dehydrated spaghetti squash should be stored in an airtight container.
Dehydrating spaghetti squash removes up to 80% of its moisture content. This helps prevent bacterial action, which helps save it from rotting anytime soon.
When dehydrated, spaghetti squash can keep for three to six months.
However, it’s not enough that you dehydrate spaghetti squash properly. It’s also a must that you store it the right way once it is dry.
Just like other dehydrated food items, dried spaghetti squash should be stored in an airtight container, either out of plastic or glass. It may also be stored in a ziploc bag.
The container or plastic bag should then be kept in a cool and dry place. You can place it in the pantry or cupboard.
See to it that it is placed away from direct sunlight or any kitchen appliance that generates heat.
If three to six months of shelf life isn’t enough, you may store dried spaghetti squash in the freezer. There, it can stay in excellent shape indefinitely.
However, it’s a must to protect it from freezer burn, which can make it dry and hard. You can stave off freezer burn by placing dried spaghetti squash in a ziploc bag with the air squeezed out before freezing it.
Rehydrating dried spaghetti squash is easy. All you have to do is place it in boiling water for four to five minutes. Strain and serve rehydrated spaghetti squash as you please.
Just Before You Freeze Spaghetti Squash
Above, we have answered the question “can you freeze spaghetti squash?” as well as a bunch of others.
No matter if uncooked, cooked, sliced, shredded, or dehydrated, storing spaghetti squash is trouble-free. This means that you can add it to your diet easily, especially if your goal is to be a healthier person.
Because it is a fruit, spaghetti squash should be stored the right way to keep it from rotting.
The good news is that fresh or uncooked spaghetti squash can keep for months if it’s placed in a cool and dry place.
Also, cooked spaghetti squash can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, or dehydrated and kept in the pantry or cupboard.
Happy eating a plate of spaghetti that’s free of traditional spaghetti!