Don’t Know How to Tell When Spaghetti Squash Is Ripe? Here’s How

Written by Food Gardens

Spaghetti squash is loved by millions of people all over the world. Not only is this food extremely tasty, it also offers quite a few healthy benefits. However, if your spaghetti squash is under- or over-ripened, the quality of it will suffer greatly. In fact, some even say it’s inedible. To truly enjoy spaghetti squash, you need to understand how to tell when it’s ripe.

When a spaghetti squash is perfectly ripe, it’ll have a nice, crispy outside that comes off in strings. This stringy layer is typically used in spaghetti dishes of all kinds. Not only does this food serve as a substitute for your traditional styled pasta, it’s also a much healthier option than the traditional pastas. One thing is for sure, ripe spaghetti squash is a delicious food.

What’s the best way to tell if a spaghetti squash is ripe?

There are a few different ways to tell if your spaghetti squash is the perfect ripeness. When you see a squash at the grocery store you think might be a good pick, try using a combination of these tools to make sure you choose the right spaghetti squash.

 Inspect the color

You want to make sure that you look for a squash that has a skin with a bright yellow color. Squash that has a yellow and green skin wasn’t given enough time to fully mature. On the other hand, squash with a yellow and orange skin should have been picked sooner.

 Use your fingernail

You can also use your fingernail to see if a squash is ripe enough. If you press your fingernail against the skin, and you can break through it, then the squash is not ripe enough. When a squash has fully matured, the skin will be tough, and you will not be able to break the skin with your fingernail without extreme force.

 Check for quality in the skin

Inspect the skin of the squash for black dents, holes or even bruising. If you see any of these things, the squash is probably over-ripe or has been damaged. Perfection is what you want to look for. That’s how you get the best taste.

 Feel the skin of the squash

Check to make sure that the skin of your squash is firm. When you press your finger on an over-ripe squash, your finger will begin to sink into it. However, if the squash is perfectly ripe, it’ll have a very firm feel to it. You can even roll it around in your hands, so you know whether or not the squash is ripe.

When should you pick spaghetti squash?

In order to pick spaghetti squash at the right time, you’ll want to inspect it while it’s still on the plant. When you see a bright yellow skin, then you’ll know it’s ripe. Once you know that it is ripe, pick it right away. It’s essential that you don’t delay the picking process, so the spaghetti squash will stay good for a while.

How to harvest spaghetti squash

If you’re interested in harvesting your own spaghetti squash, it’s important that you choose a day that’s both sunny and dry. After you pick your squash, you’ll want to store them each in a box and put them in a place that’s not only dark but cool as well. This can include a basement, a refrigerator or even a cellar. Squash can last up to two weeks if left in the fridge.



Allison Cartwright has been writing professionally since 2009. Cartwright has published several eBooks on craft and garden-related subjects. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas.

Last modified: September 12, 2017

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