Spaghetti Squash Versus Zucchini Pasta: A Healthy & Friendly Comparison

Spaghetti Squash vs Zucchini pasta

When I first started Inspiralized, many people’s respond to my “I make pasta out of vegetables!” was, “Oh that’s cool, I love spaghetti squash!”

That respond just excited me, because when I then starting showing pictures of what I was making and how truly revolutionary it is, their response was…. speechless.

Having said that, I do really like spaghetti squash. Actually, I love it! It’s got it’s own wonderful taste, it’s own nutritional benefits, and of course, it’s not nice to neglect any vegetables. They all have their pros and cons, but since this is a blog that focuses a lot on “pasta alternatives,” I figured I’d look into their differences.

For the sake of today’s blog post, I’m comparing spaghetti squash and zucchini pasta on all different levels. But, needless to say, I’ll always favor my beloved zoodles.

I’d pick zucchini noodles over spaghetti squash for taste alone, but there are many other reasons why I favor the spiralized veggie. How did I come to this decision? Well, like any informed voter, I gathered all the facts to arrive at my final decision:

It takes significantly less time to prepare zucchini noodles than spaghetti squash. On average, it takes about 45-55 minutes to make a spaghetti squash, from start to finish. For zucchini, it takes about 1 minute (although, if you want it cooked, it can take up to 5 minutes at the most). That’s a 50 minute difference.

The consistency and texture of zoodles is more pasta-like. Spaghetti squash is very limp and “squishy.” Zucchini pasta has that al dente pasta texture – and, if you peel a zucchini before you spiralize it, it has the same look as regular spaghetti.

They are more versatile – when spiralizing, zucchinis can be turned into 3 different types of pasta shapes. Because the spiralizer has 3 blades, you can make different types of pastas, which beats the boredom of your only choice with spaghetti squash (bake and scrape).

They stand up better to thick sauces, as they are tougher in texture than spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash becomes extremely liquidy when sauces are added to it. It can quickly become very mushy. Zucchini noodles are sturdier, even when heated up in a skillet and pair better with proteins and heavy sauces like a pesto.

They can quickly be prepared in advance for the week, unlike spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash can be prepared in advance, but it loses its taste and does not reheat as well as zucchini noodles do. Plus, it would take hours to prepare as much spaghetti squash as you’d need for a week, whereas zoodles would take no more than 5 minutes.

Most importantly, they offer slightly more nutritional value than spaghetti squash. Just interesting to know!

NOTE: I am NOT a certified nutritionist, so all of these findings are through my own research. I’m not making any nutritional or dietary recommendations, just offering up information I found!

Spaghetti Squash vs Zucchini Pasta Comparison

From the above comparison, you can tell that:

Zucchini Pasta is lower in carbohydrates (3.361 g), in sodium (9 mg), in sugars (0.581 g), in total fat (0.084 g) and in calories (10 cals).

Zucchini Pasta has more protein (1.371 g), more potassium (333 mg) and more dietary fiber (0.013 g).

A look into essential Vitamins & Minerals, shows that Zucchini Pasta outdoes Spaghetti Squash on every one, except for Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium and Selenium.

Vitamin and Mineral Comparison between Spaghetti Squash and Zucchini Pasta

Information found from SELF’s Nutrition Data calculator.

Here’s the official comparison, by yours truly:

Zucchini Pasta and Spaghetti Squash Comparison

What do you think of this comparison? 

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Comments

  1. Great comparison chart :)

  2. Thanks for the great comparison – FYI you can prepare spaghetti squash in the microwave in about 10-12 minutes. Step 1: poke with fork, whole, micro on high 1 min. Remove, cut in half, remove seeds, put cut halves face down in some water in a micro-safe dish, micro on high for about 10 min or til tender. Then let cool to handle, scrape into strands as usual.

    • Judy – I don’t like using the microwave to prepare my foods, but that’s a very very valid point! Microwaving is a great option for those of us who are pressed for time or simply, don’t want to wait!

  3. I just discovered zucchini pasta (I found out it existed, discovered your website, bought a spiralizer and made zoodles – all yesterday). After one use, I’m hooked. It was easy, quick, fun and the texture and taste were great. I just sautéed the zoodles in a little olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper and it was really great. I’ve never been thrilled by spaghetti squash, for many of the reasons you identify. Frankly, I was never even that big of a fan of zucchini – I like it better as a noodle than as a vegetable by itself. While I won’t completely abandon spaghetti squash (my wife likes it), I’m ready to spiralize the world (of vegetables)!

  4. I’m glad you did this comparison. I was erroneously thinking spaghetti squash was easier and less time consuming. You can walk away from it baking or steaming, true, but there is that wait time: waiting for it to cook, waiting for it to cool down enough to use. And then there’s the mushy factor I sort of ignored that is very real and less than noodle-ish. This article really made me more aware of why I like the “zoodles” more. You’re GOOD!!!

    I have a question about the inspiralizer. It’s so cheaply made w/ plastic. I’m always afraid it will break one these times I’m cranking on it. Do you think “they” are going to be making a higher quality one soon? I’d like to purchase a better one if so!

    • I agree…wish it could be more “solid”

    • The end of my “crank” fell off after about 3 uses. Don’t get me wrong, I love the spiralizer, but it would be nice if it was a bit studier.

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m glad you liked the comparison.

      As for the spiralizer – make sure that you have the right one. There are many copycats out there, so if you didn’t order directly through my blog or go to the Williams Sonoma stores, I can’t vouch for any other purchase methods. The plastic of this one is much better than a lot of others out there on the ‘net.

      I’m not sure if the company will be choosing to do that – although they do have a very heavy-duty one for kitchen-use (commercial kitchen), but it’s in the $100s!

  5. Boy this is timely! I’m sitting here making your quinoa bolognese over sweet potato noodles while staring at the spaghetti squash I just bought!

  6. I’m with you Ali! Spaghetti squash to me doesn’t really read as pasta, while zucchini noodles do.

  7. Zoodles! I love that word. Definitely going to say it at least once a day.

  8. I am with you, I LOVE zucchini pasta and really dislike spaghetti squash! And even more now that I know the health info behind them!!! But I have never been a fan of spaghetti squash :)

  9. I have my Spiralizer and can’t wait to try it. Your comparison is great. Thank you!

  10. I actually find the zucchini noodles to be very watery when cooked, I prefer them either raw or just very lightly cooked (recipes like your pad thai, or coconut crusted chicken on blueberry yogurt zoodles) – I prefer butternut squash noodles for a heavy sauce like spaghetti or alfredo.

    I still use spaghetti squash as well though. I just like a variety :) Also, one thing either squash has over zucchini – you can roast the seeds!

  11. Your site came up when I googled yellow squash vs zucchini spiralized, which is better. Have you tried spiraling yellow squash instead of zucchini? I am not referring to spaghetti squash.
    Thanks!

  12. I used a Julianne peeler. My son loved helping. Aaaand he ate it! I can’t believe it. Yum. I feel that a spiraler is going on my bday list.

  13. Amelia Heatherly :

    I have the Veggetti…$14.95…2 sizes of pasta can be made…easy, sturdy, and feasible for anyone to purchase…was skeptical, but thought if it didn’t work I would return it. You can get it at Walgreens, Wal-Mart, and stores of the like! I make zuchini pasta at least twice a week…you can get full, eat a lot, add your protein, and not feel guilty…while getting necessary vitamins and minerals without the bloated feeling after real pasta!

    • Amelia Heatherly :

      I microwave in a pampered chef microwave steamer and then drain well in a colander. Usually about 3 minutes for 10-12 oz of spiraled zucchini.

  14. How do you measure a portion?

  15. This comparison is skewed. 196g vs 155g makes a difference-you cant say ‘theres a 3g carb difference’

  16. I really appreciate the comparisons. Thanks for all that work. I would point out that if you do the math to compare gram for gram there is about a 20% disparity between serving sizes. When those are squared up the differences are minimal for most things except some very important minerals and vitamins where Zucchini holds an impressive edge. Thanks again. Gotta go get out my spiralizer.

Trackbacks

  1. […] warm the marinara sauce and serve with the meatballs over pasta, or like I did with zucchini noodles. Sprinkle with grated parmesan […]

  2. […] Examples of Zucchini Pasta and Spaghetti Squash (Source: Google Images) […]

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