You’ve bought one too many spaghetti squash, and you don’t want it to go bad. That makes you think: how long does spaghetti squash last?
Or maybe you went a bit crazy on a sale and purchased a whole bunch. Now you’re left wondering what’s the best way to store this winter squash so that it lasts as long as possible.
If either sounds like you, you’re in the right place. In the article below, we’ll cover:
- the shelf life of spaghetti squash
- where you should keep yours
- how to tell if that old vegetable spaghetti is okay to eat or not
Sounds interesting? Go on.
How Long Does Spaghetti Squash Last?
Raw whole spaghetti squash lasts for up to two months in a cool and dark place. Once you cut it open, it keeps for 5 to 7 days.
Cooked spaghetti squash stays okay to eat for about 4 to 5 days.
That’s the long story short. Now, let’s get into details.
Winter squash, a group spaghetti squash is a part of, grows thick skin. That helps it stay fresh longer ([UNL]), and that’s why its storage period is much longer than most other veggies (and summer squash, such as zucchini).
The same is true for butternut squash storage, in case you were wondering.
To get the longest possible storage time, start with choosing the best ones. Choose spaghetti squash that ([UNL, HGIC]):
- is heavy for its size
- has a firm stem that’s rounded and dry
- the rind has a dull sheen and is intact
Minor discolorations are not important – ignore them.
When it comes to max storage time, many sources say it’s about three months.
The issue here is that’s true when you store spaghetti squash in a place between 55ºF and 60ºF (about 13ºC to 16ºC) ([UNL]). And most folks don’t have access to a root cellar (or any other space) that maintains such temperature.
That’s why I stick to the safer recommendation of two months.
|Whole spaghetti squash||2 months|
|Cut-up spaghetti squash||5 to 7 days|
|Cooked spaghetti squash||4 – 5 days|
How To Store Spaghetti Squash
Store spaghetti squash in a cool and dark place, like a pantry or cold cellar. Once you cut it up, keep the leftovers in a freezer bag in the fridge.
Put cooked spaghetti squash in an airtight container and in the refrigerator.
As you’ve already learned, the best temperature for storing spaghetti squash is between 55ºF and 60ºF (about 13ºC to 16ºC). If you have a root cellar (or a similar place that’s dry and cold), store the squash there.
If not, a cupboard in the kitchen is okay-ish. Just remember to let the squash sit in a place that’s well-ventilated and that the max storage period might be closer to a month. Maybe a month and a half if you’re lucky.
When it comes to cut-up spaghetti squash, freezer bags work best for me. And scrape the seeds so you don’t have to do it later.
They take only as much space as the leftover squash does, whereas a container takes much more real estate. And if you’re anything like me, fridge space is scarce and in demand in your household.
Cooked spaghetti squash, and any dishes it’s a part of, should sit sealed tightly in an airtight container.
Wait until cooked spaghetti squash or dish cools down to about room temperature before you transfer it into the fridge. Make sure it’s no longer than about an hour and a half after you’ve finished cooking, though.
The same storage rules apply to storing pumpkins.
How To Tell If Spaghetti Squash Is Bad?
Signs of spoiled spaghetti squash include:
- Mold. Spaghetti squash can go moldy after being cut up and stored in the fridge for a few days.
- Low weight. That means the squash feels light or hollow, has a cracked rind, is oozing water, or the whole veggie is soft. It lost quite a lot of water already, and its quality isn’t good enough at this point.
- Too long storage time. If your spagetti squash is cut-up and refrigerated for more than 7 days, or cooked and refrigerated for more than 5 to 6 days, it’s time for it to go. Enough is enough, even if the squash seems to be just fine.
Minor damaged or sunken spots on the rind are okay. Make sure you cut them out before you cook the squash, though.
Since spaghetti squash lasts quite a while, you have ample time to cook and eat it. That means your squash most likely won’t spoil before you can get to it.
What’s more probable is that its quality won’t be all that great after more than a month in storage.
The flesh will be on the softer side, and the seeds and gunk will dry out and become more stringy. That area looks pretty gross at this point, but that’s about it.
When you’re at that point, the spaghetti squash is still fine to eat and should taste okay after cooking. Remove those disgusting seeds, and get cooking!