Monday, 11 May 2015

Spaghetti Squash - Newly Tested Food

By CK Yao (Dietitian, PhD Candidate)

Spaghetti squash
- 1 serve (1 cooked cup) ; 155 g or 5.5 ounces 
- ½ serve (½ cooked cup) ; 77 g or 2.7 ounces

Spaghetti squash is a type of fruit typically found in North America, Central America and can also be found in some parts of Australia. It has a yellow to orange skin, with a similar yellow to orange flesh. It is a good source of folic acid, potassium, dietary fibre and moderate source of vitamin A (Beany et al. 2002).

It is often used as a substitute for spaghetti (as its name specifies) or noodles due to the stringy nature of its flesh. It can also be used as a side vegetable dish. To cook this squash, we have boiled the whole (or portions of the large fruit) for 30-40 minutes. The fruit is then halved lengthwise and the flesh will come off the shell like spaghetti. It can now be served with your favourite onion- and garlic-free pasta sauce or baked in the oven with some garlic infused olive oil, salt and pepper.

Spaghetti squash has been given an overall rating of green. The serving sizes specified here are low in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS. Larger serves (≥2.5 cups)contain moderate amounts of fructans; intake should be limited.
For this blog, we have included a recipe written by one of our US dietitian collaborators, Kate Scarlata. This recipe has been analysed and is low FODMAP per serving.

1. Beany et al. 2002. “Production, Fruit Quality, and Nutritional Value of Spaghetti Squash”. Trends in new crops and new uses. 2002. J. Janick and A. Whipkey (eds.) ASHS Press, Alexandria, VA.

Tomato Basil Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seeds 

Recipe by Kate Scarlata

Serves: 4x 1 cup servings 


1 medium spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons of garlic infused oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup diced tomatoes, drained of juice
¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
8 large basil leaves, chopped


·         Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. (? 190 C)
·         Cut unpeeled squash in half horizontally.
·         Using a spoon or fork, scrape out the seeds and attached strands. 
·         Brush the inside of each squash half evenly with garlic oil.
·         Place the sliced side of each squash down on a cooking sheet and place in pre-heated oven.
·         Bake for 45 minutes or until you can easily pierce with fork. 
·         Remove squash from oven and let cool until easy to handle.
·         With a fork, scrape out the spaghetti-like strands into a medium size bowl.
·         Fold in diced tomatoes.
·         Evenly distribute squash into serving dishes and garnish with pumpkin seeds, Parmesan and basil leaves.

Nutrient analysis per serve:

Amount (g)
Energy (kJ)
Protein (g)
Total fat (g)
Dietary fibre (g)
FODMAP content


  1. Can't eat tomatoes. Would red pepper or? be a substitute for the tomato?

  2. Hi Lauren,
    We have tested both green & red peppers, they are classified as low. This means that they should be tolerated by most individuals with IBS. So do give them a try!
    Not sure if you are aware, Monash University has created an app that has a comprehensive list of all vegetables that we have tested & suggested serving portions. That can help you to try to incorporate more vegetables into your diet if you are having difficulties.
    Kindly, Emily
    The Monash University low FODMAP team

  3. Why not just use the seeds in the spaghetti squash, they are wonderful! I roast them all the time when I prepare the spaghetti squash. =)

  4. At what amount would they be medium or high fodmaps? Is a little over a cup okay?

    1. A little over a cup may be fine - here is a blogpost we have written about consuming untested foods or extra servings which may be helpful

      Best Wishes,

  5. This is brilliant! I just had spaghetti squash at a restaurant last night – and I couldn’t think of how they cooked it so well! This must be how! So glad to have read this – perfect timing!

  6. I've made this a few times. Love it!