In this article, I’ll help you understand why your spaghetti squash is watery and what you can do to fix the issue. I’ll also answer some other questions that you may have about making spaghetti squash.
To fix watery spaghetti squash, you should remove the seeds and pulp before roasting the squash. Alternatively, you can try undercooking it a little, ensuring you don’t cook it with the sauce, salting the scraped strands, or letting the squash strands sit in cheesecloth after cooking.
Why Is My Spaghetti Squash Watery?
Your spaghetti squash is watery because you cooked it with the seeds and the pulp. The seeds and the pulp are where most of the water in the squash is, and cooking it with them still in transfers the water to the strands.
You may also have watery spaghetti squash because you cooked the squash with the sauce you’re serving alongside it. Cooking with the sauce means your sauce cooks in too much liquid, leading to it becoming watery.
Can You Dry Spaghetti Squash?
You can dry spaghetti squash – as long as you haven’t added the sauce to it. To dry the squash, you can either salt the strands and allow them to sit or weigh them down to draw out the liquid.
Fixing Watery Spaghetti Squash
If you’ve already finished cooking your spaghetti squash and realized that it’s turned out watery, don’t worry – it’s possible to fix it as long as you haven’t added the sauce yet. If you’ve already added the sauce, unfortunately, there’s no solution.
Here’s what you can do:
Salt the Strands
To do this, you should first scrape out the strands from the squash’s body using a fork. Once you have the strands that you’ll be using as your pasta replacement, place them on a paper towel on a plate.
The paper towel will absorb a portion of the excess moisture in the squash, kickstarting the drying process. However, this generally won’t dry out the squash enough.
To fully dry out the squash, lightly sprinkle it with salt. The salt will draw out the moisture in the squash, transferring it to the paper towel and plate.
It will take about 10-20 minutes for the salt to finish doing its job. Once this is done, you can transfer the squash strands to your main serving dish, top with the sauce of your choice, and serve (or dig into it yourself).
Weigh Down the Strands
When people think of drying something, they think of first squeezing the water out of it. While this isn’t possible with food like spaghetti squash, weighing down the strands is the closest approximation you can find.
Here’s how to properly weigh down the strands:
- First, allow the cooked strands to sit in a cheesecloth for a while. The cheesecloth will collect the excess liquid, allowing you to get rid of a lot of the moisture before you move on to the next step.
- Once you have drained the liquid that’s collected under the cheesecloth, transfer the strands to a sieve. Use a weight of some kind (an empty and clean soda bottle or a rolling pin would do) to weigh down the strands, and allow the liquid to drain out. Leave the weight on the spaghetti squash for about 10-15 minutes — this should get rid of most of the liquid.
- If your squash is still watery, you can combine the two methods. First, weigh down the squash and then salt it to get rid of as much of the excess liquid as possible. Once that’s done, you can add some sauce and serve.
Can You Fix Mushy Spaghetti Squash?
If your spaghetti squash isn’t too watery and only mushy, you may wonder whether it can still be fixed. Luckily, the answer is yes.
You can fix mushy spaghetti squash by weighing it down. However, unlike watery spaghetti squash, you don’t need to use a weight or leave it for 10-15 minutes — using your hand to weigh it down for 2-5 minutes should do the trick.
All you need to do is place the squash strands in a colander or sieve and cover it with a paper towel to protect your hand. Then, press down with your hand and let the excess water drain out. Dry on a paper towel or cheesecloth before serving.
Preventing Watery Spaghetti Squash
While fixing watery spaghetti squash is all well and good, the ideal option is to ensure it never reaches that stage to begin with. Luckily, there are steps you can take during the cooking process to prevent it from getting too watery.
Remove the Seeds and Pulp
As mentioned above, the primary reason that spaghetti squash turns out watery is that people cook it with the seeds and pulps still inside. This is where most of the moisture is stored in the fruit, and this moisture transfers to the squash strands you use as your spaghetti substitute.
The solution to this issue is simple – half the squash, remove the seeds and pulp, then roast your squash according to your recipe.
When roasting, ensure you don’t add water to the bottom of the pan since this will make the squash watery even though the seeds and pulp have been removed.
Undercook the Squash
While this may seem counterproductive, undercooking the squash a little is actually a great way to prevent watery squash.
Instead of completely cooking it in the oven, allow your hot sauce to finish cooking the strands. Pour the sauce over the strands and wait for a few minutes before serving. If you pour the sauce over fully cooked squash, there’s a chance it will end up cooking a little longer than required.
Don’t Cook the Squash and Sauce Together
If you cook your squash with the sauce, there’s a chance that some of the moisture from the sauce could transfer to the squash, leaving you with watery squash and an altogether unsatisfying meal.
Instead, cook them separately, making sure to undercook the squash a little. Then, pour the hot sauce over the squash once it’s done roasting.
How Do You Know When Spaghetti Squash Is Done Cooking?
Watery spaghetti squash is a sign of overcooking, which is why you need to know when the squash is done cooking. But how can you tell this?
You can tell when spaghetti squash is done cooking by checking the squash strands with a fork. When your fork can easily pull out squash strands, it’s a sign the squash is done cooking. The strands themselves should be slightly firm, or al dente, in texture.
How Can You Tell if Spaghetti Squash Is Good?
If your spaghetti squash is watery after cooking, it’s a sign that something’s gone wrong during cooking. However, things are different if the squash itself is soft and mushy.
You can tell if spaghetti squash is good by checking to see if it’s firm to the touch and is yellow all the way across. If it feels hollow or squishy to the touch or has any discolored, dark yellow or dark brown spots, it’s a sign the squash is starting to go bad and should be discarded.
If the discolored spots are very small, you may be able to cut them away. However, if the discoloration has permeated into the squash, you’ll need to discard it. Similarly, if the squash smells after you cut into it, or the inside isn’t evenly colored, it’s a sign the squash isn’t a good choice to cook with and should be thrown away.
The main reasons people end up with watery spaghetti squash are because they cook it with the seeds and pulp still inside, or they accidentally overcook it. However, following the tips above will ensure you have perfect spaghetti squash the next time you’re looking for a healthy pasta substitute for your meal.
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For more, don’t miss The 7 Most Similar Substitutes For Squash In A Recipe.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.