This easy air fryer spaghetti squash is ideal as a side dish or a pasta substitute. It is delicious, versatile and you will be amazed at how quick and easy it is to make in the air fryer!
One of my favorite things about fall is all the types of winter squash, from pumpkin to delicata to butternut squash. And with the air fryer I can cook it fast and have this no fuss spaghetti squash ready in only 20 minutes.
The texture of this air fried side dish is also excellent, just as if it was roasted in the oven. Microwaving is also fast, but it results in a mushier texture that just isn’t as appealing!
Spaghetti squash is a favorite because its long strands and mild flavor make it a fantastic substitute for pasta. Twirl it around your fork and enjoy a pasta like experience with fewer calories, fewer carbs and lots of fiber.
Why You Will Love Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
- It is super easy to make. The most difficult part of the entire recipe is cutting it in half!
- It is excellent at absorbing and enhancing other flavors, whether that is spaghetti sauce or butter or herbs.
- It is a filling side dish.
- The pasta like texture and appearance makes it a kid friendly recipe.
- Since it is low carb it is keto friendly and paleo friendly.
How to Choose Spaghetti Squash
There is really only one key ingredient in this recipe and that is of course the squash. But when faced with a big pile at the farmer’s market or grocery store how do you know which one to buy?
Color is one of the most important things to consider. It should be a nice yellow color, not pale or whitish. Look for soft spots on the skin or cracks in the skin. This is another sign that it was picked too early.
Of course to cook it the air fryer the size is key. You need one that will fit inside the air fryer basket. Look for one that is about 6 inches long not the biggest one you can find!
How to make Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
Wash and dry the squash. Slice the end off so you can stand it on end and then cut it in half with a large knife. Try to make the halves more or less evenly sized.
Tip: If you are having trouble cutting through the thick skin put it in the microwave for 2 minutes. This will soften it enough to make cutting easier.
Use a spoon to scoop the seeds out of the spaghetti squash halves. Also scrape out the stringy bits that cling to the insides.
2. Air Fry
The final texture will be better if you add a little bit of oil or liquid before cooking. So brush the inside and cut edges with a little bit of olive oil.
Tip: Don’t use a commercial spray oil because they contain preservatives that can damage the finish on an air fryer basket. Buy an inexpensive spray bottle and fill it with oil.
Sprinkle on your seasoning. I usually just add salt and black pepper, but you can add additional seasoning such as garlic powder, paprika or cayenne pepper.
Put the halves in the air fryer, cut side up, at 370 degrees F for 18 minutes. Once it finishes check it for doneness by poking it with a fork. If the fork goes in easily it is done.
If it isn’t done return it to the air fryer for another 3-5 minutes of cooking.
How to Serve
To serve use a fork to scrape out the insides. It will come out in strands, just like pasta. You can either serve it in the shells or pile the strands up in a serving bowl.
If I am using it as a vegetable side dish I just add some butter and basil or parsley right in shell, scrape it up into strands and put the entire shell on the table. This gives it a nice presentation!
If I am using it as a substitute for spaghetti noodles then I will scrape them out and put them in a large bowl. Keep in mind it will be hot and use a hot mitt or glove to protect your hand as you scrape.
How to Use Spaghetti Squash
While spaghetti squash makes a delicious side dish its appealing texture makes it a great addition to any meal. Here are some of my favorite ways to use it.
- As a replacement for spaghetti with a simple marinara sauce.
- Stuff it back in the shell topped with sausage, chili, taco meat or roasted veggies.
- Top it with shrimp scampi for garlicky and buttery dinner.
How to Store
Spaghetti squash stores well once it is scraped out of its shell. Put it in a plastic bag or airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for about 5 days.
To reheat it simply combine it with a sauce (or butter or oil or broth) in a sauce pan and reheat for 2-3 minutes. It can be reheated in the microwave too, although I think the texture is better if you use the stove.
How to Freeze
It also freezes very well. Put any leftover spaghetti squash a bag and squeeze out all the air. Then put it in the freezer where it will keep for up to 6 months.
Find More Air Fryer Squash Recipes
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- spray oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Wash and dry the squash. Slice the end off it and stand it on end. Use a sharp knife to cut it in half lengthwise.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits that are inside.
- Spray the cut halves with a little bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put it in the air fryer basket, cut side up. Air fry at 370 degrees F for 18 minutes.
- Check for doneness by sticking a fork in it. If it goes in easily it is done. If not continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- To serve scrape the insides with a fork to get long strands.
- Serve the spaghetti squash strands with butter and herbs or use it as a base for a sauce.
Use oil in a spray bottle, not a commercial spray oil. Commercial oils can damage the finish on the air fryer basket.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 96Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 308mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g
Nutrition facts are estimates.