Spaghetti squash is a popular vegetable, and if you’re a big fan of this low-carb but satisfying and healthy option, you might be wondering how to store it to maximize its longevity.
And if you’ve ever wondered about the name, according to JovinaCooksItalian, there’s a good reason for it, which you can probably guess from the strand-like flesh that looks a lot like spaghetti, especially when cooked. Spaghetti squash took a while to become popular in America, but by the 1980s, it had a firm foothold, and it’s a particularly good dieting food.
So, how do you keep your spaghetti squashes fresh and good to eat for as long as possible? Squashes come in all shapes and sizes and some last much better than others. Usually, those with tough skins are the kings of storing well, while softer squashes need a little more care and attention.
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How To Store A Spaghetti Squash Properly
Spaghetti squashes should, ideally, be stored whole. If you want to store cut squash, skim down for instructions on how to do that.
Storing whole spaghetti squashes takes advantage of their skins to preserve them and keep the soft inner flesh good for longer. When you’re buying a spaghetti squash, pay attention to any big cuts or bruises on the outer flesh; this will affect its longevity. If the skin is broken, it won’t keep well, although slightly damaged squashes are usually fine if you plan to use them up quickly.
Once you’ve got a good spaghetti squash chosen, store it in a cool, dry place as soon as you get home. A cupboard may be suitable. They don’t need to be kept in the fridge and may suffer from the moist conditions there.
If you have a lot of vegetables to store, try something like these Titan Mall Stackable Storage Bins. They allow airflow and let you put lots of vegetables all together in a convenient stack.
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If you store your spaghetti squashes near the bottom, they should be kept reasonably dark, and you can always cover the opening with a cloth if you want to minimize the light in there.
For those who don’t have freestanding space, consider something like this Hanging Fruit Basket, which neatly slots over a cupboard door and gives you three sections with a good amount of airflow. When the cupboard is shut, the squash will be stored in the dark, so this should be fine.
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Ideally, you should choose a cool cupboard, as this will maximize the lifespan of the squash. Colder than room temperature is best. Aim for around 55° F, and your squash will last really well.
That option may not be available to you; don’t worry if not as the squash should still keep reasonably well at room temperature.
What about if you’re storing spaghetti squash that has been peeled or sliced? If it doesn’t have its protective skin on or the skin has been broken, transfer the squash straight to the fridge. You can use any sealed container to keep it fresh, but don’t let it sit exposed to the air for too long; it will start to deteriorate and turn moldy.
If you have a humidity controlled drawer in your fridge, store the cut squash there and it will last much better than on a shelf. Spaghetti squashes don’t like high levels of humidity and will mold quickly if left unwrapped or exposed to a lot of moisture.
How Long Can A Spaghetti Squash Be Stored For?
In the absolute best conditions, with cool storage, the right humidity, and no skin damage, a spaghetti squash might last three months. However, you are more likely to see your squash last about a month, especially if you are only able to store it at room temperature.
You should try and check on your squash from time to time. If you notice any signs of deterioration such as shrinking or shriveling, use it up quickly – and discard it if it’s no good.
Squash that has been stored in the fridge after being cut will usually only last for about five days at the most. It will need to be used fast if you want to avoid wasting it. Even in the humidity controlled drawer, it’s unlikely to last for much longer than five days.
If you notice any bruising on your squash, it’s best to cut this part out immediately and then store the remainder in the fridge. It may not last so well as a result of being cut open, but bruising invites bacteria and mold, so a bruised squash doesn’t belong in the cupboard, and won’t keep well whatever you do.
How To Tell If Spaghetti Squash is Bad
Spaghetti squashes may leak if they have gone rotten inside. If you pick up a whole spaghetti squash and find that it is sticky and leaking juice, it’s time to throw it away. If the skin feels soft instead of firm, it has also gone past the point where it is edible.
For cut squash, inspect the flesh. Usually, if it is no longer edible, you will see signs of mold. This often takes the form of black, white, or blue spots on the surface of the squash.
You should avoid any squash that has gone mushy or that smells bad, even if you can’t see visible signs of mold. Odor is a good indicator of freshness, so discard squash that has an unpleasant smell.
Avoid These Spaghetti Squash Storage Mistakes
- Don’t buy damaged squashes if you want to benefit from long storage.
- Don’t store your squash anywhere damp, whether it has been cut open or not.
- Don’t store your squash in warm conditions; room temperature or colder is best for longevity.
- Don’t store cut squash outside the fridge, and minimize moisture in the fridge.
Keep Your Spaghetti Squash Fresh
Spaghetti squashes can keep really well if stored properly, so make the most of their tough skins and keep them in the cupboard until you are ready to use them. Plan to use any “opened” squash within the next few days to avoid waste.