Spaghetti Squash Versus Zucchini Pasta: A Healthy & Friendly Comparison

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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39 comments

Rocky says:
Great comparison chart :)
Anonymous says:
Received all the information I was looking for and then some!
judy says:
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!
Marcy says:
YAY!!! I knew there had to be a way to microwave the squash!!! Thank you!!
Mitch Gibbs says:
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)!
saritatwo says:
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!
Steven says:
I agree...wish it could be more "solid"
pontoosuc says:
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.
Anonymous says:
I have a spiralizer and hardly ever use it. Instead I use my mandolin and LOVE it! Makes the best zuchini noodles and is fast and easy to clean up.
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!
Julia says:
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!
Julia - hope you liked the recipe!
Kathy says:
I'm with you Ali! Spaghetti squash to me doesn't really read as pasta, while zucchini noodles do.
Joanne says:
Zoodles! I love that word. Definitely going to say it at least once a day.
Dawn MH. says:
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 :)
Anonymous says:
I have my Spiralizer and can't wait to try it. Your comparison is great. Thank you!
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!
jb says:
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!
Cristian says:
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.
Amelia Heatherly says:
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 says:
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.
carol says:
How do you measure a portion?
Nicole says:
This comparison is skewed. 196g vs 155g makes a difference-you cant say 'theres a 3g carb difference'
Jim says:
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.
Janine says:
But when taking into account you must wash a spiralizer, whereas with spaghetti squash you just wash a knife, how can you say that zucchini take 1-3 minutes? Take it out and wash it, then spiralize it, then wash the spiralizer, must take more than that I would think? I take into account all the time involved, and to me spaghetti squash prep time is simply less. Correct me if I am wrong?
EJ Hewitt says:
The "new" spiralizer now has five blades and much sturdier and heavier than the 3-blade spiralizer. I am still learning the blades - wish there were a better description of the blades when I opened the tool for my first try. And, I might add - sweet potatoes are not the easiest veggie to start with - especially when using the blade for slicing. I thought I was having spirals since the A blade was loaded onto the spiralizer - live and learn. I will give it a few more tries - especially after reading my Bible - Pinterest!
Meaghan says:
You need to get the Inspiralizer! It tackles sweet potatoes with no problems!!
Gabrielle says:
Wishing I had made a zucchini tex-mex bowl instead of a spaghetti squash one for more than just flavor reasons now. Next time for sure. I don't even like spaghetti squash!
Meaghan says:
Sweet potato noodles would also be great in a tex-mex bowl!
Frances Arriaga says:
I pressure cooked a whole 2# spaghetti squash in my instant pot. First I poked it about a dozen times with a sharp knife, a cup of water in the pot. Cooked on high pressure for 15 minutes. Quickly release the pressure. Cool for 10, then cut and scrape. There's still a wait time but half of conventional.
Jayaraj MS says:
Nice recipe. Looks so good and healthy. Thank you so much for the simple and nice recipe.
Ian says:
You really should compare nutrition facts for equal weights - this comparison is not accurate. Just fyi!
Tom Collins says:
Great post highlighting zucchini noodles, thanks! This chart needs some improvement though. The amount of each vegetable are not equal! There cannot be a comparison of the nutrients in each food if you have different quantities of food. Look at the sizes of each serving in grams. Please improve this. Excellent post otherwise.

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