Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter and Parmesan

February 15, 2010 | By andrea | Filed in: Christmas, Holidays, Recipes, Side Dish, Thanksgiving, Vegetable, Vegetarian.

Here’s a fun way to eat your yellow veggies: cooked spaghetti squash drizzled with browned butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. It’s simple and makes a good side dish for chicken.

Instead of boiling the whole squash, I microwaved it (saving 30 minutes of cooking time). To do this, carefully cut the top off the squash off an inch or so below the stem, split the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place both halves cut side down in a microwaveable dish (overlapping is fine), add about 1/4″ of water to the pan, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 15 minutes (or until the squash is cooked to your liking). Now proceed with the recipe.

After browning the butter, I added a dash of ground nutmeg to it (didn’t have fresh nutmeg). I then scooped the cooked squash strands into a bowl, separating it with a fork so it looked spaghetti-like and tossed with the brown butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. For serving, I mounded the squash back into one of the squash shells and sprinkled more Parmesan on top. Yumm!

Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter and Parmesan
-recipe from

Spaghetti squash derives its name from the nature of its flesh: Once it is cooked and cut in half, the flesh can be separated into strands that recall the famed Italian pasta. The squash has a delicate flavor so requires only subtle enhancement.

1 spaghetti squash, 2 1/2 to 3 lb.
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place the whole squash in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the squash can be easily pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and cook it until it turns brown and just begins to smoke, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove immediately from the heat and stir in the nutmeg.

When the squash is done, drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and, using a fork, scrape out the seeds and discard. Place the squash halves, cut sides up, on a serving platter. Using the fork, scrape the flesh free of the skin, carefully separating it into the spaghetti-like strands that it naturally forms. Leave the strands mounded in the squash halves. If the butter has cooled, place over medium heat until hot.

To serve, drizzle the butter evenly over the squash. Sprinkle with the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Autumn, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).

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One comment on “Spaghetti Squash with Brown Butter and Parmesan

  1. joanne Weir says:

    Thanks for including my recipe on your blog. I completely forgot about this recipe!