Incredibly Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash

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It’s summer! This time of year brings hot days and an abundance of fresh produce.  I love summer food!  Zucchini, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, peppers and so much more…it’s a gardener’s dream!

I love growing a garden each year. For me it’s therapeutic: clean out the garden bed, turn the soil, add fertilizer, plant our plants (or seeds), water, weed, and watch nature at work.

I even have my kids help me do the work.  At 10, 8 and 6, they are old enough to benefit from it in multiple ways.  For example, I believe that they are old enough to be able to do the work and learn that hard work is important and yields wonderful end products. In this case, it’s food that we eat as a family.

I also feel that gardening gives them such a rich education in where our food comes from in a natural way.  Granted, this isn’t large scale farming!  However, it does allow them to see how food grows and what goes into growing good food. Certainly, the process of growing good food is much different from buying food at a grocery store! Each year I get some fascinating questions from my boys about the food and plants we grow. I also hear some very interesting connections that they put together.

Each year I get some fascinating questions from my boys about the food and plants we grow. I also hear some very interesting connections that they put together. It really makes for great conversations and teaching moments with my kids!

Another benefit the kids receive in this process is quality time with me doing something I enjoy. Not to mention that this is time spent outside: breathing fresh air and being active rather than being inside playing video games or watching tv!  Fun, healthy and productive? A win-win, in my book!

Gardening has been a learning process for me – what grows best with what, what foods need more water or more sunshine or just more time, when can each food be harvested and eaten, etc? While the items in my garden vary year by year, every year we grow spaghetti squash.

I love growing spaghetti squash because it’s really pretty easy and not too finicky (unlike tomatoes which can be very particular about their conditions).  Plus, we usually get large yields from one plant.  One year I grew 15 spaghetti squash on one single plant!

Now while growing 15 spaghetti squash might sound like too much to handle or eat, the great thing is that the squash stores well for long periods of time in a cool places (like the basement of your house).  I have personally stored spaghetti squash in my basement for 2-3 months without any problems at all.

One thing to note about growing spaghetti squash is that the plant grows like a vine, with shoots going in multiple directions.  It’s helpful to have something to use to direct the shoots, like a fence or a garden border, etc.

If you have never tried growing spaghetti squash, give it a try this year!

Once you have grown (or purchased) a spaghetti squash, how do you go about preparing it?

When I first began preparing spaghetti squash for our family, I learned to bake it in the oven until it was soft enough to fork out the “noodles”.

Unfortunately, baking during the summer is not an ideal method for preparing much of anything; using the oven heats up the house, making it more uncomfortable as well as expensive to cool.

So what is a good alternative to the oven for preparing a spaghetti squash?  Your handy dandy slow cooker!  It makes prep a snap and clean-up is just as easy.

If you don’t already have a slow cooker, I have and LOVE this one! It has latches that clip on

the lid to keep it closed so you can transport your food in the slow cooker without spilling it. This comes in extremely handy when you are going to a potluck. You can program the cooking time or use one of three available modes of cooking. It’s affordable, and it’s larger size is perfect for so many uses (such as a spaghetti squash!).

An added benefit that has completely sold me on slow cooking our spaghetti squash is that I don’t need to cut the squash in half until after it’s cooked.  If you have ever baked a spaghetti squash, I’m sure you remember how tough it is to cut in half when it’s raw! Yet cutting it open after it is cooked is easy because that thick, hard skin is soft after cooking.

Learning how to cook spaghetti squash in the slow cooker was a total game changer for me because it opened up so many new possibilities for dinner prep.  It’s also the very easiest way to cook this large vegetable. With hectic lives and busy schedules, I value any and all tricks that make getting everything accomplished a possibility.

Once you have your spaghetti squash cooked, you can use the “noodles” in place or in addition to spaghetti noodles with sauce or with the creamy sauce of your choice.  You can also saute the “noodles” in a little butter and garlic to create an amazing side dish.  Spaghetti squash is so versatile, there are tons of options!

Try cooking your next spaghetti squash in the slow cooker and comment below to let us know your favorite way to eat spaghetti squash.

 




Incredibly Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash
Print Recipe
Cooking spaghetti squash in the slow cooker yields easy prep, easy clean-up and perfectly cooked spaghetti squash. It couldn't be more time saving than it already is!
Servings Prep Time
1 spaghetti squash 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 hours 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 spaghetti squash 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 hours 10 minutes
Incredibly Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash
Print Recipe
Cooking spaghetti squash in the slow cooker yields easy prep, easy clean-up and perfectly cooked spaghetti squash. It couldn't be more time saving than it already is!
Servings Prep Time
1 spaghetti squash 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 hours 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 spaghetti squash 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
4-6 hours 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: spaghetti squash
Instructions
  1. Spray 6 qt slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Prick the outer layer of the spaghetti squash on all sides, about 10 times total.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup water into slow cooker and place spaghetti squash inside. Close lid and turn on low.
  4. Cook 4-6 hours on low (2-3 hours on high), until spaghetti squash is soft to the touch. Once cooked, pull out and let sit and cool for 10 minutes before cutting in half and scooping out the seeds with a spoon.
  5. Use a fork to separate the "noodles". Serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to one week.
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18 Comments:

  1. This recipe will be perfect for tomorrow. I really needed a new idea and this has me inspired. Thank you so much for sharing it!

  2. I have the perfect occasion in mind for this meal. Im so glad that I saw this recipe today. I know that it will be a hit!

  3. Made this last night. Huge hit! Even my VERY picky 15 year-old had seconds!!!

  4. I cant wait to try this recipe! It looks delicious. Thank you for sharing it!

  5. Wow, this looks scrumptious. Im excited about trying it out this weekend. My family has been asking for something new. Thank you for sharing it.

  6. My family would love this one. Thank you for sharing it! Im sure that I will be asked for seconds.

  7. And if you cut it on the “equator,” your noodles will be longer than if you cut it from stem to end.

  8. This looks amazing! I am sure that my family will love it and I cant wait to make it. I may even try it out tonight.

  9. This really looks delicious, and I like how simple it seems to make. Im trying to decide whether to try it today or over the weekend. Either way, thank you for sharing it!

    • I love how simple it is to make too! That’s what we are all about – making things easier because life is, well, too busy! Hope you love it, Tammy! Please let us know how it goes!

  10. I keep meaning to give spaghetti squash a try – an easy recipe for it is just the key!

    • I completely agree! I avoided spaghetti squash for a long time because of the time and labor involved (cutting it open raw – that’s a workout!). However, now that I use this method, it’s so easy to incorporate spaghetti squash into our meals frequently!

  11. Thank you for sharing how to cook this spaghetti in the slow cooker on Think Tank Thursday link party. Shared and pinned.

  12. Linda Manns Linneman

    This sounds so good. I love you can make it in the slow cooker. Thank you so much for sharing

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