Spaghetti Squash with Chiles, Lime, and Cilantro

September 19, 2016
2 Ratings
Photo by Alexandra Stafford
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Spaghetti squash tend to be blander than other squashes, not quite as sweet and delicious on their own or simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter—they take well to bold seasonings. I've had success dressing the roasted, shredded spaghetti squash with butter, Parm, tons of parsley, and a squeeze of lemon as well as this bright, refreshing dressing, which is inspired from a Tamar Adler recipe for sweet potatoes that calls for chiles, lime, and cilantro.

Leftover spaghetti squash can be transformed into fritters or patties: Mix with cooked rice, flour, and an egg, form into patties, and pan-fry in neutral oil (like grapeseed or canola) over medium heat for about 5 minutes a side or until golden. Serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime.

To make a lemon-parsley roasted spaghetti squash: Toss the shredded spaghetti squash with 2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil, a heaping half cup of grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly cracked pepper to taste, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley. Toss, taste, and adjust with more salt, pepper, and lemon to taste. —Alexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 3 pounds spaghetti squash (about 1 squash)
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 hot chile, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus more to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Place squash in a buttered baking dish or sheet pan. Use a sharp knife to puncture the skin in several places—this will prevent it from exploding in the oven. Roast for 60 to 75 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool briefly.
  2. Meanwhile, place the onion and chile in a small bowl and cover with 2 tablespoons of the lime or lemon juice. Season with a pinch of kosher salt.
  3. When squash has cooled slightly, cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and reserve for another use. Drag a fork across the flesh of the squash, pulling up the strands. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. You should have about 3 cups. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Pour the macerated onion and chiles over top. Pour over 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil and all of the cilantro. Toss and taste. Add more salt, if necessary, and another tablespoon of lime or lemon or coconut oil to taste.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cheryl
  • Panfusine
  • Alexandra Stafford
    Alexandra Stafford
  • cwmartin
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

9 Reviews

Cheryl April 19, 2017
I loved this. Instead of marinating the onion and chile, I sauteed them in the coconut oil with chopped red pepper and tiny broccoli florets--then mixed all with the spaghetti squash. Delicious hot, room temp or cold. Can be added to a salad/grain bowl.
cwmartin January 30, 2017
Poke the squash with knife and microwave for 5 minutes while the oven heats. Transfer to dish and regular oven. Greatly reduces the bake time.
Alexandra S. January 30, 2017
Thanks for the tip! I'll try that next time.
Molly March 1, 2017
Great tip! I cut the squash in half, microwaved for 5 mins and then baked at 400 for about 30. I also ended up using the whole squash, scallions instead of red onion, and 2 chiles. I added steamed broccoli to make it more of a meal. I'm not good at following recipes, but it came out great and I would definitely make it again.
catydid November 24, 2016
Fantastic recipe! Similar in flavor and texture to some Thai salads I have had, but even better! I dont like cilantro, so added cumin as a spice and flat leaf parsley for color. Did extra limes, of course! Delicious - best spaghetti squash recipe ever!
Alexandra S. November 25, 2016
Yay!! So happy to hear this!! I love this treatment to all winter squashes and sweet potatoes, too. My recent discovery has been delicate squash:
Panfusine September 22, 2016
love this, sounds like a fantastic candidate for making a complete vegetable 'Semiya Upma' South Indian style! like Cauliflower 'rice / couscous ' is used to make a vegetable 'upma' of sorts.
Alexandra S. September 22, 2016
yes, absolutely! I feel like this preparation could be taken one step farther and easily be turned into a meal. I've never had upma — sounds/looks delicious from the quit bit of googling I just did!
Alexandra S. September 22, 2016
*quick not quit