Spaghetti Squash Salad with Coconut Curry DressingJump to Recipe
Spaghetti squash is sometimes seen as a trick food. Want spaghetti but without the carbs? Use this squash! But, I wanted to use it not as a trick, but in its natural state. So this Spaghetti squash salad was born!
I’m not trying to make spaghetti squash something that it’s not, but instead use it to soak up a creamy coconut curry dressing and carry a few simple crunchy toppings!
Even though there are just a few ingredients, it’s a very flavorful salad and a nice side dish for so many winter meals.
Table of contents
The Coconut Curry Dressing
Spaghetti squash isn’t particularly flavorful, in my opinion, so I like to pair it with a sauce or dressing that has some big flavors.
This coconut curry dressing is wonderful. It has some sweetness, some savory flavors, and some rich curry spices. It’s not hard to whisk together though.
The recipe that I posted for this dressing will probably leave you with some leftovers. That’s fine! You can use it on other salads as well and it keeps well in the fridge for a week or two.
What is Spaghetti Squash and Substitutions
Spaghetti squash is becoming more popular these days. I used to only be able to find it at fancy markets, but these days even my standard grocery store usually carries them.
They are a bright yellow, oblong squash that have one interesting characteristic. When you roast or steam the squash, you are able to shred the squash into strands that look exactly like spaghetti!
You’ll traditionally see spaghetti squash as an entre, like in this Thai Spaghetti Squash recipe or this Spaghetti Squash with cream sauce.
This salad is a lighter course though and not intended to be the star of the show.
If you can’t find spaghetti squash, it’s hard to find a substitution that will act exactly like this squash. You can substitute it for acorn squash or even butternut squash, but you’ll. have to cube the squash. They won’t shred in the same way as spaghetti squash.
How to cook spaghetti squash
You can absolutely roast spaghetti squash in the oven if you have the time. It’ll probably take 40-50 minutes at 350˚F.
Personally, I use my microwave to steam these squash and it works really well.
To do this, cut the squash in half longwise, through the stem. Place the squash, cut-side down, in a microwave-safe dish and poke some holes in the squash. Fill the dish with about 1/2 inch of water to create some steam for the squash.
You will probably need to microwave the squash for 10-12 minutes on high. When it’s done it’ll be fork tender and a fork will easily penetrate the squash. If it’s still firm, then microwave it for another two minutes.
When the squash is cooked and tender, flip it over and let it cool for about five minutes.
Shredding the Spaghetti Squash
Once the squash has cooled a bit, you can shred it! The trick here is to use a fork to shred the squash and be gentle with it. The strands are pretty fragile. As you gently scrape the flesh of the squash, you’ll see that it pulls up into strands.
Finishing the Spaghetti Squash Salad
To finish this salad, I recommend moving the shredded spaghetti squash to a bowl and adding some dressing to it. This will flavor the squash.
Then transfer the shredded squash to a serving plate and sprinkle with sliced sweet peppers, sunflower seeds, cilantro, and a drizzle of extra dressing.
This is such an easy and delicious (and different) salad!
What to serve with this squash salad?
This is a flavorful, but light, salad and can hold up to a wide range of dishes.
The salad also works really well as a weekday lunch salad and travels well. I would just store the dressing separately if you can as it’s best drizzled right on top before eating.
This spaghetti squash salad is a really different take on spaghetti squash, but is easy to make and very delicious. I hope you try it out!
My Spaghetti Squash Salad Recipe
This spaghetti squash salad is a wonderful winter side dish. I like to drizzle it with a slightly spicy coconut curry dressing and top it with sliced sweet peppers and sunflower seeds! So good!
Coconut Curry Dressing:
- To microwave the spaghetti squash, cut the squash in half with a large knife, through the ends of the squash. Turn the squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish and poke a bunch of holes in the squash with a knife or fork. Fill the dish about 1/2 inch full of water, just to create some steam. Microwave the squash for about 10 minutes on high. Repeat with second half of the squash.
- When squash is done in the microwave it should be very tender. A fork should easily go into the squash. If you feel resistance, then microwave for another 2 minutes. When squash is done, flip it cut-side up and let it cool for at least five minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together dressing ingredients. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds from the squash. Then use a fork to shred the squash into thin, spaghetti strands. Move all the spaghetti squash strands to a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of the dressing. Gently toss.
- Spread spaghetti squash out on a serving plate and top with sliced sweet peppers and sunflower. Then drizzle with dressing and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately or chill and serve within a few hours.
For longer storage, don’t dress the squash until right before serving.
Here are a few other great recipes to try!
Hello! My name is Nick Evans and I write and manage Macheesmo. I started Macheesmo 11 years ago when I was just learning my way around the kitchen. I love to cook and love everything food-related, but I have no formal training. These days I focus on fast, accessible recipes with the occasional “reach” recipe!
I’ve posted almost 2,000 recipes on Macheesmo. For each one, I do my best to give full explanations of what I did and tips on what I’d do differently next time. I’ll bring up the tricky parts and the easy parts.
I hope you can find something and cook something!