Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite winter veggies! It’s super versatile, nutritious, and easy to cook. The only problem is how short spaghetti squash season is. They’re usually harvested in the fall, which is when they taste the best. Which leads to the question: can you freeze spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash that, when cooked, has a stringy texture similar to spaghetti. It’s delicious and full of nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. It’s also low in carbs and calories! Even though it’s usually available in stores throughout the year, there’s no beating in-season spaghetti squash.
But if you have too many or want to save some for later, you’re probably questioning – spaghetti squash can you freeze?
Can You Freeze Spaghetti Squash?
Yes, you can freeze spaghetti squash. Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of this fall-time favorite. However, it must be prepared properly before freezing, as it can become mushy if not done correctly.
Can You Freeze Cooked Spaghetti Squash?
Spaghetti squash only becomes ‘spaghetti’ once it’s cooked, as it needs to be soft enough for a fork to separate the strands.
So, can you freeze spaghetti squash after it’s cooked? The answer is yes! In fact, I highly recommend you cook it before freezing. The cooking process stops the cell walls from breaking down during freezing, resulting in a better texture when thawed. Raw spaghetti squash can become very mushy, so it’s best to cook it before freezing.
Can You Freeze Spaghetti Squash in The Shell?
You can freeze spaghetti squash in the shell, but there are some things to keep in mind. As mentioned before, raw spaghetti squash doesn’t freeze well and can become mushy. This applies to whole spaghetti squash, too.
An average spaghetti squash contains around 89% water. When frozen, the water inside the squash expands, causing damage to the cell walls. This results in a watery texture once thawed.
While freezing whole spaghetti squash in the shell is possible, I prefer to cook it first so I can easily scrape out the flesh and freeze it in portions.
How to Freeze Spaghetti Squash
No one wants mushy spaghetti squash! Here’s the exact process to properly freeze your spaghetti squash:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (~180°C).
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds using a spoon, but don’t throw them away! They can be roasted and eaten later.
- Put the squash halves on a baking tray with the cut side facing up.
- Cook for 30-45 minutes until the flesh is fork-tender.
- Once cooled, use a fork to scrape out the flesh into strands.
- Put the spaghetti squash strands into a colander and place it over a bowl. Cover the colander in plastic wrap and let it drain in the refrigerator overnight.
- Once drained, pour away the excess water and transfer the spaghetti squash into freezer-safe bags or containers.
- Label and date the bags/containers, then place them in the freezer.
How Long is Frozen Spaghetti Squash Good For?
According to the USDA, frozen food is safe to eat indefinitely, but texture and flavor will change over time. Use your frozen spaghetti squash within 6-8 months for the best quality!
How to Thaw Frozen Spaghetti Squash
When it’s time to enjoy your frozen spaghetti squash, there are a few ways to thaw it out:
- In the Refrigerator: Leave your frozen spaghetti squash in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. This is my preferred method as it doesn’t alter the texture, but does require some planning ahead.
- In the Microwave: You can use your microwave to defrost spaghetti squash if you’re in a hurry. Place it in a covered microwave-safe dish and microwave on the defrost setting for 45 seconds. Repeat until the squash is thawed.
- With Cold Water: Run the bag/container of frozen spaghetti squash under a cold tap until thawed.
Final Thoughts on Can You Freeze Spaghetti Squash
Freezing cooked spaghetti squash is a great way to preserve its freshness and enjoy it all year round! Whether you’re meal prepping, looking for a quick dinner option, or trying to save some money on groceries, freezing spaghetti squash is a simple and convenient option.