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Tips for Keeping Spaghetti Squash from Becoming Watery?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I enjoy spaghetti squash - it is not the most flavorful gourd out there, but it is fun, tasty, and a healthy alternative to pasta in this first few weeks of the year when I still pretend I'm going to eat better.  Problem is, I roast it, seed it, scrape it, then whether I toss it with a little butter or oil, or whether I treat it more like actual pasta and use a sauce, it ends up yielding a good bit of water.  

 

I searched this forum and the interwebs, and though I found several references to this problem, no one has weighed in with a solid solution.  A few that have been suggested or that occurred to me are: (1) undercooking the squash so that it finishes the cooking process in the sauce (some people attribute the release of water to overcooking); (2) allowing it to sit in a cheesecloth for a while after cooking and scraping; (3) pour the sauce over it once its plated rather than tossing it in the pan (based on the same theory of overcooking); or (4) once you have the scraped strands, salt it lightly and let that draw out moisture before using.  

 

Of all those, (4) seems like it makes the most sense to me but before wasting several squashes on trial and error I thought I'd submit the question to you all.  As always, any input is welcome!  Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 11

The seeds and pulp surrounding them are the most moist part of the squash.

 

You need to halve it, scrape out the seeds and pulp all the way down to the strands being sure to remove any softer parts.

 

Lightly oil, salt  and pepper to taste, place cut side down on a sheet pan for best heat circulation.

 

Roast at 350 for 45-60 minutes depending on size.  To test, give it a poke it should yield to firm pressure.

 

Remove and let rest on a rack cut side down for about 5-10 as you finish the sauces and final touches to the other dishes.

 

Shred with a fork into serving bowl and serve as is or topped with a few toasted crumbs, shaved parm and drizzle of good olive oil.

 

(it can be roasted at a higher temp but then you have to baby-sit it more and preferably cut into quarters or eights and roast cut side up to get more charring)

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hmm, I've never heard of scraping the seeds and pulp out before cooking, rather than after - ill give it a shot! Thanks!
post #4 of 11

Jay, what did you find out was the best method to reducing watery squash? I have had the same issue, and finally landed here. Seems to me that scraping seeds or salting it would be best, just curious if you have had any success with one method over others.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

BJ - I'll admit I never tried scraping the seeds before hand.  I didn't find a material difference between simply using a cheesecloth, and salting prior to straining, so to avoid over seasoning, I just cook it, scrape out the seeds, shred the strands, then strain out most of the water using a cheesecloth.  It's not perfect, but it removes most of the excess moisture.

post #6 of 11

Roast it split upside down on racks in a pan.  Let it cool remove seeds, use fork to take inside out put into steam table pan with holes and excess water will drain out, I  prefer to prep  day ahead and it drains out pretty well.

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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN View Post
 

Roast it split upside down on racks in a pan.  Let it cool remove seeds, use fork to take inside out put into steam table pan with holes and excess water will drain out, I  prefer to prep  day ahead and it drains out pretty well.

I recommend this, but I ain't no pro chef. 

 

I'd also put it back on the rack over the sheet pan cut side down after removing the inside (who has steam table pans with holes?). I would also salt it right before pouring the sauce on it to avoid moisture extraction until the last minute. 

post #8 of 11

This is my new favorite vegetable and I just roasted 3 of them.  I've always scraped out the seeds and guts (so to speak) from them and roast them for 60 minutes.  I found that if I roast them for about 45-50 minutes and let 'em cool for about 10-15 minutes, they are easier to handle and the strands are firm.

 

Spaghetti squash has a large amount of moisture in it, no matter how you try to dehydrate it.  I did an experiment the other, wherein one of mine came out really soft and watery, so I made the dish (singapore noodles) and laid it out on two sheet pans in a very hot 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Now mind you, they were already overcooked, but I wanted them to resemble real pasta/vermicelli.

 

After 30 minutes, THEY WERE STILL MOIST!  The only difference was the bottom of the sheet pan was toasted and lent a nice caramel, sweet flavor to them.

 

Try roasting them for 45-50 minutes and resting.  See how that turns out.  Don't do the oven thing.  I'm still eating caramel "noodles".

post #9 of 11

I always scape all my seeds out first as I roast them to make squash seeds.  When making spaghetti with zucchini I sprinkle it with salt and let it sit for a few minutes to drain the water.  I made a spinach, mac and cheese using spaghetti squash last night and it yielded lots of water.  Was still awesome but I had to use a turkey baster to pull lots of water off.  I'm thinking salting and letting it sit like I did the zucchini would drain it for the next time I try this dish.  I think that would probably be the best way to get the water out. 

post #10 of 11

Have not encountered the problem.  There are several ways of cooking same.  The short answer, if it's too watery, is to cook, remove seeds, and drain in a colander.

post #11 of 11


salting and letting it set then squeezing it sounds like the best idea to me. A lot of people with do that with eggplant before cooking it. I saw a suggestion that if you just let the squash cool before plating it with a warm or hot sauce that it will reduce the water content. I never mix my squash sauce, always plating first then adding sauce but that has never reduce excess water problem.

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