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What is Vegetable Spaghetti?

By Mandi R. Hall
Updated May 17, 2024
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The term vegetable spaghetti can refer to a number of dishes, but there are really two main versions of it. The first is a type of spaghetti using traditional noodles with the addition of vegetable ingredients in the overall pasta dish. The second is a type of dish using a kind of squash called spaghetti squash. The latter type of veggie spaghetti isn’t like traditional Italian spaghetti, though the “noodles” may be used instead of traditional semolina noodles for a unique flavor and texture.

Vegetable spaghetti made with spaghetti squash utilizes the stringy flesh of the gourd. Though it can be boiled, grilled or even microwaved, the gourd is typically baked at about 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) for about 40 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Once the gourd has been pulled out of the oven and cooled a bit, the stringy materials may be pulled from it in handfuls, forkfuls, or strand by strand.

Typically golden in color, though it may also be orange or green, spaghetti squash is a form of winter squash. The vegetable can be purchased at a local farm, farmer’s market, or grocery store. Many people have also found success in growing these gourds on their own farm. In its original form, this gourd has a cavity in the middle full of an abundance of seeds, which are generally discarded though they could be eaten like pumpkin seeds.

Spaghetti squash can be eaten plain as a side dish, or with the addition of seasonings such as salt or even brown sugar and cinnamon. Some people, including many vegetarians, choose to utilize the squash’s strands as the noodles in a pasta dish such as spaghetti. The noodles may then be topped with traditional marinara or meat tomato sauce, or paired with olive oil and even more vegetables for a nice pasta primavera dish.

The other type of vegetable spaghetti is spaghetti prepared with the addition of vegetables. While the term spaghetti actually indicates the kind of noodles used in a dish — that is, noodles made from a combination of semolina or flour and water — most people use the term for the dish based on it that includes both the noodles and some type of tomato-based sauce. Vegetarians or those who choose not to add meat or sausage to their spaghetti may include vegetables in the concoction, instead.

Pasta primavera is another type of vegetable spaghetti dish. Prepared with all sorts of noodles, spaghetti is just one of the noodles choices. Usually prepared with olive oil, garlic, and fresh vegetables — typically snap peas, carrots, bell peppers, and tomatoes, though any crisp veggie may be used — this vegetable spaghetti is a light, summery dish.

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