how to tell if spaghetti squash is ripe

How to tell if spaghetti squash is ripe and what to do if it isn’t!

Growing a green spaghetti squash

Earlier in the year I read a blog post somewhere about spaghetti squash.  It is a type of squash that has flesh that once cooked can be separated out to look like spaghetti.  I hadn’t heard of it before and got a little bit excited about the whole idea of squash that could act as a rice or pasta substitute. I decided that we (i.e. my husband) should grow some in our veg garden.

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So my lovely husband went off and bought some seeds, planted them, nurtured them and watered them. You get the idea! A few months later ta-da we had two spaghetti squashes.  I’m not sure that was a particularly great result, however two squashes are better than none. 

How to tell if spaghetti squash is ripe

I did a bit of reading on when to harvest them. Everything I read said that if you want to know how to tell if spaghetti squash is ripe look for these two things:

  1. Wait until they have turned a yellow/ orange colour.
  2. Check to see if you can scratch the surface. If you can leave a scratch mark it isn’t ripe.

We waited and waited and the entire plant died.  The squash was still green though and didn’t look like it had any intention of going orange. Our ones scratched easily and definitely weren’t ripe.

Can you eat unripe green spaghetti squash?

Not to be deterred I googled whether you can eat green under-ripe squash or not and I came across a couple of blog posts which said yes – you can (On food you can’t buy at the grocery store and how to cook spaghetti squash as summer squash)!  You just treat them like summer squashes which are usually things like courgettes, patty pan and marrows.  They are softer than winter squash and you can eat the whole thing.  

Roasted green squash

As usual I’m not great at following instructions i.e. a recipe.  I chopped my squash up into chunks and roasted them in the oven with a little olive oil.  I decided not to add herbs this time as I wanted to see what the squash tasted like.  Unripe squash might not sound very appealing, but actually it was really delicious.

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If you want more ideas about how to use up a squash or pumpkin (ripe or not), take a look at this blog post: How to eat a whole pumpkin or squash with nothing wasted

Do you have any other foods that you aren’t sure how to use up? Check out my round up of use it up ideas! Also if you have any questions about how to use up food that you have grown come and join my Eco Thrifty Kitchen Club (a free to join Facebook group). The group is a friendly community with the aim of helping people to waste less in their kitchens!

how to tell if spaghetti squash is ripe