On busy weeknights, this plant-based meal is ready fast. I am much more likely to make spaghetti squash cooked in the pressure cooker instead of the oven where it takes 45 minutes. It cooks perfectly in just 7 minutes. Technically, you need to account for time for the pressure cooker to “come to pressure” (just like an oven needs to preheat). Even with that, pressure cooking a spaghetti squash is a huge time saver and could not be easier. And, no oil or salt is needed to cook it in the pressure cooker – just water.
While the spaghetti squash cooks I quickly pull together this simple and easy vegan chickpea bolognese. A typical bolognese has celery and carrots but to make life easier (read: less chopping) I make it by simply sautéing shallots and garlic with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. I then add in a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas, mash a bit with a potato masher to create nice texture and let all the flavors mingle. Last, I add a jar of marinara sauce and let that simmer for a bit. I finish with fresh parsley, taste and adjust seasonings if needed. You can add red pepper flakes for heat if desired or hemp seeds for added protein. This sauce has robust flavor and pairs well with regular pasta or in this case, spaghetti squash. It is hearty, satisfying, and can be made in less than 10 minutes. It is perfect for fall nights when you are craving something comforting but not too heavy.
Spaghetti squash offers fiber and vitamins A and C. It is a fun way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet if you are in the mood for pasta. It is mild in taste so it pairs with just about anything. In addition to this yummy chickpea bolognese sauce you could try spaghetti squash topped with homemade vegan pesto, roasted red pepper sauce, Alfredo, plain marinara sauce or simply butter, salt and pepper.
This recipe is vegan, soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free. You could also use basil in place of the parsley if you prefer.
If you give this recipe a try, please let me know! Leave a comment below, rate it above, and tag a photo @eatingbyelaine and #eatingbyelaine on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so I can see your spaghetti squash!
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved crosswise, seeds and stem removed*
- 2 large shallots, diced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 24 ounces marinara sauce
- 1, 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
- Place spaghetti squash in the steamer basket or rack of your pressure cooker along with 1 cup of water beneath the steamer basket. Close the lid, turn the valve to sealed and manual cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.
- While the squash is cooking, saute shallots in oil, salt and pepper over medium-low heat until translucent and fragrant (about 3 minutes). Add in garlic and saute for another minute. Add in the chickpeas and gently mash half of them with a potato masher (this creates a varied texture and is not required but is recommended). Stir everything together and saute for another minute. Pour in the marinara sauce and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- When the squash is finished in your pressure cooker press OFF and manual release. Safely remove the lid to allow the squash to cool before handling. Use a fork to gently shred each half of the squash until thin translucent spaghetti-like strands appear. Place the squash in two bowls. Top with a generous amount of the chickpea bolognese and garnish with more fresh parsley or basil. Enjoy hot! Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to five days.
When you cut the spaghetti squash crosswise as opposed to lengthwise, it yields longer spaghetti-like strands.
Other add-in ideas: basil, sliced mushrooms, hemp seeds for added protein.
This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot. I have not tested it in other pressure cookers.