Can you eat spaghetti squash raw?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you eat spaghetti squash raw?” and discuss how to store spaghetti squash?

Can you eat spaghetti squash raw?

Yes, you can eat spaghetti squash raw. Zucchini and yellow squash are the most popular raw squashes, however, any squash may be eaten raw (2).

Spaghetti squash is an excellent source of high-quality protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, particularly β-carotene, foil acid and other components that are beneficial to health (1).

Cooking increases the safety of food, thus reducing the risks of having foodborne illnesses. On the other hand, cooking changes the organoleptic properties of food. Undesirable changes also occur, such as loss of some vitamins and of water soluble minerals (6).

Is it OK to eat spaghetti squash that hasn’t been fully cooked?

Yes. Zucchini and yellow squash are the most popular raw squashes, however, any squash may be eaten raw. Spaghetti squash, turban squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, and pumpkin are examples of vegetables that can be eaten uncooked. 

Cooking leads to the loss of soluble vitamins in squash. A study showed that cooking squash resulted in the loss of vitamin B1, B2 and B6 in different proportions, depending on the cooking method. Deep frying and shallow frying were reported to better retain the vitamins Bi, B2, B6 and C, in comparison to boiling, steaming and stewing (6).

On the other hand, according to studies, cooking vegetables is related to increased bioavailability of certain carotenoids and the killing of harmful microbes. In addition, cooking vegetables causes an increase in the soluble dietary fiber content of vegetables and tubers and a decrease in insoluble fiber. 

Soluble fiber helps to decrease insulin levels. Insoluble fiber decreases fecal transit time and increases binding and excretion of carcinogens (5).

What are the risks of eating spaghetti squash raw?

The risks of eating spaghetti squash raw is to have a foodborne illness due to the ingestion of pathogenic microorganisms or toxins produced by these microorganisms. 

In addition, the risk of consuming raw vegetables is of gastrointestinal issues due to the high levels of non-digestible carbohydrates, especially in the case of young children and elderly, who have non-optimal digestion capabilities. 

As a high fiber food, squash can cause diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal cramping, when consumed in large quantities by infants.

When you should not eat spaghetti squash raw?

You should not eat spaghetti squash raw when signs or deterioration of the vegetable are noticed. Wilting of the squash, red or white spots on the surface, rotting of the ends are some possible signs that the squash has been infected by fungus. Several notorious fungal pathogens are associated with Cucurbita species (6).

During storage, off-odors may develop resulting from the action of microorganisms. This leads to an increased bitterness of the vegetable after being cooked (7).

People who are particularly susceptible to foodborne pathogens includes people with primary immunodeficiency, patients treated with radiation or with immunosuppressive drugs for cancer and diseases of the immune system, those with acquired immune-deficiency syndrome and diabetes, people suffering from liver or kidney disease or with excessive iron in the blood, pregnant women,infants, and the elderly. These people should not eat raw vegetables, as they may be infected with pathogens (9). 

Squashes and fruit juices that contain non-digestible carbohydrates (fructose, sugar alcohols, pectins) may cause diarrhea, maldigestion and malabsorption of nutrients. Although these non-digestible carbohydrates are dietary fibers which may contribute to improved health, they are not recommended for infants in large quantities (8).

What are the nutrients found in spaghetti squash raw?

The nutrients found in spaghetti squash are minerals: calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamins: vitamin A, B1, B2 and C. Spaghetti squash is a source of amino acids: lysine, isoleucine, leucine, aspartic acid and threonine.

Spaghetti squash also contains functional compounds such as trigonelline and tartronic acid, which are believed to have a protective role against many diseases, including hyperlipemia, diabetes, and cancer, and a role in weight loss (1).

How to cook spaghetti squash?

Spaghetti squash can be cooked by steaming, boiling, baking, microwaving, stir-frying and included in the lasagna to be cooked. As mentioned earlier in the article, deep frying and shallow frying can better preserve the vitamins in the squash.

Before using, wash squash well with running water and trim the ends. Squash does not need to be peeled or seeded unless. Squash may be spiralized to make squash noodles, by using manual or electric processors

Other FAQs about Squash that you may be interested in.

Can you eat yellow squash raw?

How to preserve yellow squash

Can you eat kabocha squash skin?


In this article, we answered the question “Can you eat spaghetti squash raw?” and we discussed how to store spaghetti squash?


  1. Li, Yang, et al. Nutrient evaluation of the seed, pulp, flesh, and peel of spaghetti squash. Food Sci Technol, 2021, 42. 
  2. Salehi, Bahare, et al. Cucurbita plants: from farm to industry. Appl Sci, 2019, 9, 3387.
  3. Burrows, R. Harvesting and Storing Pumpkin and winter squash. 2018. South Dakota State University.
  4. Lucera, Annalisa, et al. Influence of different packaging systems on fresh-cut zucchini (Cucurbita pepo). Inn Food Sci Emerg Technol, 2010, 11, 361-368. 
  5. Link, Lilli B., and John D. Potter. Raw versus cooked vegetables and cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomark Prev, 2004, 13, 1422-1435.
  6. Bognar, A. Comparative study of frying to other cooking techniques influence on the nutritive value. Grasas y Aceites, 1998, 49, 250-260..
  7. Mencarelli, Fabio, Werner J. Lipton, and Sharon J. Peterson. Responses of ‘Zucchini’ squash to storage in low-O2 atmospheres at chilling and nonchilling temperatures. J Am Soc Horticult Sci, 1983, 108, 884-890.
  8. Aggett, Peter J., et al. Nondigestible carbohydrates in the diets of infants and young children: a commentary by the ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition. J pediatr gastroenterol nutr, 2003, 36, 329-337.
  9. Lund, Barbara M., and Sarah J. O’Brien. The occurrence and prevention of foodborne disease in vulnerable people. Foodborne pathog dis, 2011, 8, 961-973.

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