Beware: Exploding Spaghetti Squash Ahead

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this important public service announcement.  Our regular All About Offal series will resume next week.

Did you know that spaghetti squash can explode?  With enough force to get it on your kitchen ceiling?  And that it’s very hot when it explodes?

Unfortunately, I am now very well aware of these properties of spaghetti squash.

A few days ago I decided to roast some spaghetti squash as a side dish for dinner.  When I went to pick some up at the grocery store, they were all pretty small.  So I purchased two small ones and thought that would give me about the same amount as one larger one.

Now, I’ve roasted lots and lots of squash since starting the GAPS diet.  So without thinking about it too much, I turned on my oven to 375 degrees, washed off my squash, stuck them on a baking sheet, and into the oven they went.

Just before I stuck them in, I thought that maybe I should try to poke them a bit before roasting them.  I’ve heard people do that pretty frequently.  I tried with my fork, but the outside was way too tough.  I didn’t bother to get a knife out and just stuck them in the oven as usual.

I should have noticed the foreshadowing taking place right in front of me.  But I was too busy trying to get a few things done in the kitchen.

Yep, that's spaghetti squash on my ceiling.

I set the timer for an hour, which is generally how long it takes squash to roast.  Forgetting that these were quite a bit smaller than the ones I typically bake.

Once the timer went off, I wanted to check to see if they were done by sticking them with a knife.  I was having trouble getting the knife to go in, so I decided to take it out of the oven to make it easier.  I poked it with the knife.  It was rather difficult to get it to go in and when it did, it hissed pretty loudly at me.

Yes, I missed even more foreshadowing of what was to come.  If you hear hissing squash when you poke it, pay attention!

Then I tried to poke the one on the left.  I couldn’t get the knife to go in easily and it kept rolling away from me.  I decided to give it one forceful jab to see if I could get it to go through.  (Why I thought this was a good idea, I really don’t know.)

So I lifted my knife high, plunged it straight into the spaghetti squash, and POW!!

Loud explosion and spaghetti squash everywhere!  I screamed rather loudly (as my poor husband heard from upstairs) and then dropped everything and ran upstairs to our bathroom.

Heart pounding wildly, I jumped into a cold shower as quick as I could to help reduce any burns.  I wasn’t really sure how much had actually gotten on me, but I wanted to get it off as quickly as possible.

Ashley's Hideout

Oh, and my poor little dog, Ashley, was also completely terrified.  She didn’t want to leave the bathroom for quite some time.  Our other dog, Abby, on the other hand, was enjoying quite the feast in the kitchen.  She was more than happy to take care of the mess on the floor for us.

As shaken as I was by it, I was very fortunate to only receive a few minor burns.  I ended up with a couple of blisters on my hand and wrist, a slight burn on my cheek, and a small layer of missing skin on the upper part of my right eyelid.  Altogether, not so bad, and I’m very grateful it wasn’t my eye that got hit with the steaming squash.

My kitchen, however, was in quite another state.  Spaghetti squash was everywhere!  The ceiling, countertops, knives, pots and pans, utensils, spice rack.  Everywhere.

It's everywhere!

The great thing about using wall space for storage in a small kitchen becomes quite the detriment when you have a squash explode.  My hope is that this will never happen again!

My plan going forward is to always, always, always cut open, or at least pierce with a knife, any squash I’m going to roast.  I’m not sure what happened with this one in particular.  Whether it was because it was so small with such a hard skin, because it was too close to the element (I noticed it had started to burn a bit), or if I just cooked it too long.  Whatever the reason, I don’t plan on letting it happen again!

What’s the worst kitchen disaster you’ve experienced?  Have you ever had squash explode?

P.S.  One more recommendation – don’t ever grab the handle of a just-out-of-the-oven stainless steel skillet.  Ask me how I know about that one.

This post is part of Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Real Food WednesdaySimple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Freaky Friday, Sunday School.


  1. Amanda says:

    Oh my gosh- I am glad you are ok! Its funny since no real damage was done. Oh the memories. :)

    I was wondering- were you at the WAPF denver chapter meeting this weekend? I wanted to introduce myself as one of your readers but I forgot to figure out what you looked like first. :)

    • Mindy says:

      I know – it’s funny now and will always be a great story!

      I had planned on going to the meeting, but the had the squash explode the night before which messed up all of my cooking plans. I ended up spending a couple of hours cleaning my kitchen instead. I’m hoping to make it to the next one and would love to meet you!

      I’m also going to the Boulder chapter meeting in April. Do you ever come to that one? I’ve missed the last two meetings unfortunately.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Meghan says:

    Wow. What a story! I have never had a squash explode. I always cut them in half before roasting just because that’s how my mom does it. I guess I’ll keep doing it that way. :)

    Our worst kitchen disaster was when a bottle of raspberry vinegar exploded in our pantry. Literally exploded – there were glass shards EVERYWHERE. Naturally there was also pink vinegar everywhere. And by everywhere I mean on every shelf of the pantry, all over the pantry door and on the carpet. We had to take everything out, wipe everything off and then clean all the shelves and door before we could put anything back in. It was terrible! Partly because it happened sometime after midnight, when we were already asleep, so we were woken up by this loud bang and then had to spend the next two hours or so cleaning everything up. Fun times. :)

    • Mindy says:

      Oh, that’s crazy about the vinegar! What a mess! Don’t you love when stuff like that happens in the middle of the night??

  3. Jen says:

    Oh my. I have never heard about that happening before. Thanks for the warning. BTW, love your writing style. I feel like I was right there when it happened. Hope you come back to visit us again on FF!

    • Mindy says:

      It was pretty crazy! I had no idea it could happen either.

      Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it! I’ll be sure to come back next week for Freaky Friday. :-)

  4. I am the MASTER spaghetti squash roaster as I roast 6 a week… (or sometimes more) – what I always do is cut them open and seed them FIRST and then roast them – NO explosions reported! LOL!!!

  5. CJ says:

    Okay, so this just happened to me last night. I microwaved mine and did poke it with a knife beforehand (albeit halfheartedly), but otherwise, my story is much like yours. One burn over my eye and a couple of good ones on my hands, but mostly it was the kitchen (and my clothes) that got it. I was glad I was wearing my glasses. I found your post when I googled “exploding spaghetti squash” because a friend told me there was an entire site devoted to spaghetti squash and I couldn’t quite believe it (I’ve still not found it, but I think I’ll stop looking).

    I have to admit, I find it somewhat comforting that someone else had the same experience.

    • Mindy says:

      Oh, wow! I’m sorry it happened to you too, but it is comforting to know it’s just not me! I wonder if anyone else has had a different type of squash explode or if spaghetti squash tends to do that more easily!

      Glad you just had a few burns, too. But it’s such a pain to clean it off of everything! I’m still finding occasional strands…


  1. […] revealed that it’s a somewhat common occurrence, at least among bloggers. In fact, Mindy at Too Many Jars in My Kitchen! wrote about her exploding squash just a few days ago. If only I had found her blog before I made […]

  2. […] Sarah over at Nourished and Nurtured has an unusual, but delicious looking recipe: Bacon and Liver Spaghetti Squash with Capers.  How can liver not taste good when combined with bacon, spaghetti squash, and capers?  They’re all some of my favorite foods (just be careful with that spaghetti squash!). […]

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