Making spaghetti squash in the air fryer yields perfect results every time. Tender strands of squash with a lovely subtle roasted flavor are seasoned simply with parmesan, salt and pepper. Enjoy it as a low-carb base for an Italian meal or as an easy side dish for dinner.
I used to give spaghetti squash a hard time. People everywhere are always trying to pass it off as a healthier pasta option and that just annoyed me. Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s squash. Not pasta.
Once I looked at it that way, however, I kind of started liking it more. It’s all about realistic expectations I guess. Will strands of a winter squash taste like pasta? No, they will not. Does that have to mean it’s not delicious for what it is? Also, no.
This air fryer spaghetti squash recipe is simple and unassuming, just like the squash itself. It takes half the time to cook compared to a typical oven method and with just some simple seasonings and parmesan cheese, it’s transformed into a comforting and flavorful side dish that you can enjoy however you like.
Whether that’s pretending it’s pasta and making pesto spaghetti squash noodles or just a regular side dish to your meal.
Why you’ll love making spaghetti squash in the air fryer
- It takes about half the time as the oven.
- While some tout the benefits of microwaving spaghetti squash, air frying offers so much more flavor.
- You get a lot of food for minimal effort — 1 squash can easily feed four to six people as a side dish.
- Air frying spaghetti squash is quick, easy and a cinch to clean up. You won’t need to use aluminum foil or worry about messy drip trays.
- Easy to prepare — just slice, season and air fry!
- Spaghetti squash is incredibly filling with minimal calories. It’s also super versatile. It can be used as a base to a short rib chili or even turned into latkes!
Ingredients for making air fried spaghetti squash
The ingredient list is simple but feel confident to use this as a base to season however you like.
- Spaghetti squash
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Parmesan cheese
*Pro tip — Make sure to choose a spaghetti squash that’s not too large or it might not fit in your air fryer. You can always trim down the sides if necessary.
How to air fryer spaghetti squash
Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. They can be saved to roast for a tasty snack. Brush the olive oil onto the squash, covering any cut area.
*Pro tip — If the squash is exceptionally difficult to cut, you can soften it by poking holes in the exterior with a fork and microwaving it for 2-3 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut from the top to bottom.
Place the squash, cut side up, in the air fryer and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove the squash from the air fryer and let it cool enough to handle.
Generously season the cavity of each half of squash with salt and pepper, then using a fork, rake the sides of the flesh into a pile in the center. Add the grated cheese and toss to combine.
Season with fresh parsley before serving.
How to serve
The tender parmesan spaghetti squash noodles are great alongside almost any meal. When enjoying this as a side dish, I like to serve it with air fryer ribeye (which can be made while the squash cools) or glazed pork chops and apples.
But there are so many other great uses for this simple parmesan spaghetti squash. Enjoying it alongside venison meatballs, as a base for a hearty bolognese or serving alongside your favorite beef stew are just a few suggestions.
Tips & suggestions
- Base the cooking time off the size of the squash. The best way to check for doneness is to pierce with a fork or knife. It should easily move through the squash when fully cooked.
- Add seasonings to your liking such as an Italian blend, herbs de Provence or even a seasoned olive oil. A five-spice powder like used in this air fryer butternut squash recipe is also a great pairing with spaghetti squash.
- Get cheesy — add another cheese like grated mozzarella or double up with parmesan and pecorino for extra indulgence.
- Don’t overcook — this can lead to mushy squash instead of the stringy separated noodles you want.
Leftover spaghetti squash can be kept in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. It can also be frozen for a few months.
Reheating is best done in the air fryer or toaster oven to keep the texture of the roasted squash. Microwaving will lead to more mushy noodles.
Tips for picking the best spaghetti squash to air fry
Besides making sure the squash fits in your air fryer model (2-3 pounds is about the max weight), you want to select a spaghetti squash that’s firm on the outside with no soft spots.
The more yellow in color it is, the riper the squash. Avoid choosing a pale yellow squash. The stem should be dry and firm and there shouldn’t be any major blemishes or cracks on the outside of the squash.
More ideas for spaghetti squash
While twice baked spaghetti squash takes a little longer than this simple air fryer method, it’s stuffed and baked with a mouth-watering filling that you’ll love!
Want to combine Mexican flavor with winter squash? Try this enchilada spaghetti squash recipe made with chicken sausage.
This spaghetti squash baked ziti uses the squash noodles in place of pasta and combines flavorful Italian sausage and vegetables for a hearty casserole perfect for this time of year.
If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! I’d love to know how it goes. Leave a comment below if you have any questions. Tag @runningtothekitchen on Instagram & Facebook.
Parmesan Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash 2-3 pounds
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese or pecorino romano
- salt & pepper to taste
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees.
- Cut off the ends of the spaghetti squash and slice in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds with a spoon. Brush the olive oil onto the squash, covering the entire cut surface area.
- Place the spaghetti squash in the air fryer side by side with the cut side up. If necessary, trim the long sides of the squash down if needed to fit.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Remove the spaghetti squash from the air fryer and let cool enough to handle.
- Season with salt and pepper and rake down the sides of the squash using a fork to create spaghetti-like strands. Add the parmesan or pecorino cheese and toss to combine.
- Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.