A Zesty Spaghetti Squash Salad Even Squash Haters Love

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This Spaghetti Squash Salad is tossed in a zesty dressing for an easy healthy side dish that’s a cinch to make and guaranteed to please. It tastes great warm or cold–perfect for a dinner side, or to take along to a picnic or potluck. Really anything goes!

And it’s the truth. This dish is so tasty that even squash haters will love it. Read on….

Spaghetti squash salad in a bowl

I’m a busy mom, so I am always on the hunt for quick and easy recipes….and for new things to shake up our mundane meals.  This Summer Spaghetti Squash Salad totally fits the bill.

It’s easy to throw together, tastes amazing, and if you cook your spaghetti squash in a pressure cooker (I LOVE love love my pressure cookers), or crock pot, then you can make this dish without heating the kitchen up at all.  And since the temps where I live are hitting 90 degrees this weekend, you can bet I won’t be heating up the oven — no way!

This recipe comes from my friend, Candace, who used to write at Candida-Free Candee.  Her blog is gone, but her fabulous recipe lives on.

ingredients for spaghetti squash salad

Even Squash Haters LOVE This Recipe

So this dish is so good that both squash haters AND squash lovers love it.

Our youngest is a squash lover and he literally danced around the kitchen after trying it for the first time, singing, “This is the BEST! This is the Best!” meaning is was best dish I’d ever made, next to My Most Requested Recipe — Pakistani Kima (Ground Beef Curry), and I agree.

As for squash haters, we once took this dish to a friend’s house for dinner. The husband detests squash, but as we were leaving, his wife told me that he asked her to get the recipe. Now THAT’s a compliment.

pouring dressing on spaghetti squash salad in glass bowl
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The Problem(s) with Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is kind of a funny thing to get personal about, but — here goes.

I’ve always had a love – hate relationship with spaghetti squash.

I love that it’s low carb, and I love thinking about how good it’s going to taste when I put some salt and olive oil or butter, or spaghetti sauce on it, but…once I cook it, I quickly get sick of it.

I buy too much of it if it’s on sale.  And secondly, I’ve never had any fantabulous recipes for it.

I keep thinking I’ll cook a bunch of this amazing low carb “pasta”, and then freeze it for future eating, but I never do it.

What happens instead is that I end up making the spaghetti squash, and really enjoying it…

For about 1. meal. total.

Then I’m stuck. In a big Spaghetti Squash Rut.

Not to mention the fact that it’s hard to cut it — and hard to cook it.

You can cook it in the oven, but I don’t like heating the oven up just for one squash, and cooking a spaghetti squash in the oven takes a LONG time.

The Fast Cooking Solution for Spaghetti Squash

Using the pressure cooker (or Instant Pot), you can literally cook spaghetti squash in just minutes!

Just quarter the squash.

Cook on high for about 8 minutes and then quick release.

and you’re done–lickety split!

spaghetti squash salad in a glass bowl with wooden serving spoon

Recipe Notes


This recipe is so flexible. While I love the add ins in this post, I’ve made this recipe in a number of other ways, and the possibilities are truly endless.

Try swapping out the pepper and sun-dried tomatoes for any of the following, or you can just add more extras as well. Just keep in mind that if you add more veggies and other things, that you might want to increase the dressing as well.

  • cut or diced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • crumbled feta cheese (or vegan feta or this sunflower seed cheese)
  • peas
  • chopped green beans
  • diced cucumbers
  • chopped greens
  • diced raw or cooked carrots
  • chopped mushrooms

One variation that I made and loved was cherry tomatoes with real feta. So delicious!

Special Diet Options

  • AIP: Use approximately 2 cups more onion instead of the peppers.
squash salad in plate with bell peppers on the side

Other Healthy Sides

Following are some more healthy side dishes you might (make that “will”) enjoy.

Sugar-free Maple Baked Beans–ready in less than an hour!
Moroccan Carrots–a great make ahead side everyone loves
Cauliflower Fauxtato Salad–no one will know it’s not the “real” thing!

collage of spaghetti squash salad in glass bowl with dressing pouring
squash salad in a bowl with wooden spoon

Spaghetti Squash Salad – low carb, gluten-free, AIP

A tangy dressing coats this Spaghetti Squash Salad for a kid-friendly side dish that’s allergy-friendly, low-carb, paleo, and has AIP options.
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: AIP, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Vegan, whole30
Keyword: spaghetti squash salad
Servings: 6
Calories: 178kcal



  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (approximately 4 cups of flesh)
  • 1 small red onion (diced)
  • 1 red pepper (diced)
  • 1 yellow pepper (diced)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (reconstituted and chopped)



  • Slice squash in half, lengthwise, and remove the fibrous strings and seeds. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place facedown on a foil–lined baking sheet. Bake at 400° F for 30-40 minutes or until the squash pulls apart in “spaghetti” strings. Cool. Alternatively, cook the spaghetti squash in a Pressure Cooker for a much faster (and cooler) alternative (see notes above).
  • Using a fork, remove the squash’s flesh and place in a medium bowl.
  • Add in all other Salad Ingredients.
  • Place dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to mix well.
  • Pour over salad, then toss and serve.



Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 606mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 987IU | Vitamin C: 71mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg | Net Carbs: 16g

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

How about you? 
Do you like spaghetti squash, or have a favorite way to eat it?

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Recipe Rating



    1. YAY! We literally took this to a friend’s house for dinner tonight. The host said he never has liked squash but really liked it and said “YES” when I offered to leave it the leftovers there :). Such a good feeling!

  1. Haven’t made it yet, but wanted to comment on cooking spaghetti squash. Poke a few holes with sharp knife, put in microwave to cook. When the outside shell starts to deflate, it’s done! Been doing it this way for years.

    1. Thanks for reading and for commenting! I hope the recipe works out for you! That is for sure handy! My only concern is the potential health risks of microwaves. We actually stopped using ours a little over 5 years ago—-have you looked into that? We used to use ours all the time but now ours is an expensive timer for the most part :).

  2. This is a five star recipe. I added some fresh chopped cucumber and celery. White beans along with this for protein, delicious!!!!!
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks!! I’m so glad to hear this! Were you unable to see where you could leave a 5 star rating? There’s a place to do that in the recipe card. Thanks again!

    1. Hi there–sorry for the delay. Been dealing with a ton of personal and professional things here. I think 6. I hope to update the nutrition information soon. It really depends on how much you want to eat of it!

  3. This salad looks so simple, and I like easy! It sounds like a warm salad, if you’re serving the squash immediately after cooking. That sounds interesting.

    1. Thank you–we love it! Sorry but I don’t allow self promotion on my site so I needed to delete the link to your spaghetti squash salad. Thanks for understanding.

  4. 4 stars
    You can cook your spaghetti squash in the microwave. Poke holes in it with a knife and microwave on full power 5 minutes. Now it’s easy to cut in half with out hurting yourself. After cutting it in half scrape out the seeds and put face down in a microwaveable rectangular dish. Add about an inch of water and microwave until it can be pierced easy with a fork, let cool a little and scrape out the squash

  5. I love it hot with plain greek yogurt on it & salt & pepper. I put grrek yogurt & marinara sauce as well. Glad to find your salad recipe, was looking for one more alternative, sounds great!

    1. Hi there. We are working on getting nutritional information for the recipes but we’re running into a lot of technical difficulties so please use another calculator that you like. Thanks for your patience.

  6. Hi Adrienne! Thanks for the recipe. I really like spaghetti squash. I cook mine in my pressure cooker without cutting it first. (Before I had the cooker I did the same thing in the oven.) I poke holes all around the outside, and put it in my pressure cooker for maybe 20 minutes. I pinned some instructions and have to look it up every time. It’s so much easier to cut and clean out after it’s cooked. I’m going to try it with a butternut squash today.

    1. You can cook butternut squash in the IP without cutting and peeling it first? That’s the hardest part so I don’t cook it often. Ineed to learn this!

  7. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite, go to, recipes. It is so easy change it up to what you need. I add chicken or shrimp to it to make a main dish. My family inhales it! It does NOT last long in our home. Thanks for the great recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    Hi, Adrienne
    It’s been a while since I last stopped over your awesome blog. Hope all is well! I am loving this recipe, since I have a squash and I have no idea what to do with it. I am going to make it for Father’s day for sure. Have a great week.

  9. I just wanted to pipe in about the PC. I don’t even quarter mine–just halve them (and do take out the seeds and strings). If you don’t like yours crunchy you may like 9 or even 10 min more than 8. One beauty of the PC though is that you can just put it back in for another minute or so if it is t cooked enough at 8 min.

    1. Great tip – thanks!! I have never tried them only halved. And you are right about putting it in again. It’s pretty quick to get it up to pressure again. Glad to meet another pressure cooker addict :).

  10. Could you detail exactly how to cook the squash in a pressure cooker? I have an electric one but not an Instant Pot. Do you slice and reseed it first just as if oven-baking it? How much water is needed (if any) and is the 8 min time about right to get it tender? I dislike crunchy or too-wet spaghetti squash and my family likes it even less that way (because I’m the only one that likes it much). Thanks!

    1. Sure. I quarter mine and cook on high for 8 minutes on a trivet in the cooker. I put 1 cup in the bottom of the cooker. I would assume directions could be different depending on the cooker’s manual. Hope it works for you!