Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

VeganGluten-FreeDairy FreeRefined Sugar-FreeNut-FreeEasyPaleoVegetarianSoy-Free

Cooking an entire squash can be intimidating and incredibly time-consuming…unless you use this Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash recipe! This is how I create tender, flavorful, perfectly cooked spaghetti squash that shreds instantly with a fork. Use it in all of your favorite pasta dishes and enjoy an extra serving of veggies!

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

If you’re craving both veggies and comfort food, spaghetti squash is where it’s at! Cooking an Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash is my favorite way to create a gluten-free pasta night. Using your pressure cooker gives you a cooked spaghetti squash in the same amount of time it takes to make a pot of pasta! Spaghetti squash works perfectly in place of pasta because it’s so mild in taste, and it pairs with just about anything. I love it topped with sauces like marinara, bolognese, pesto, Alfredo…or simply butter or olive oil, salt and pepper (my kid’s favorite!).

You can also roast spaghetti squash in your oven with the cut side down on parchment paper at 400 degrees. But it will take you about 45 minutes or longer. With the Instant Pot it cooks in 15 minutes. It takes about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure so the total cooking time is 25 minutes. In this case the Instant Pot is saving you 20 minutes. In my world, 20 minutes matters when it comes to getting dinner on the table!

All About Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is low in calories, high in fiber, and filled with potassium and antioxidants such as vitamins A and C. It’s my favorite way to add a couple servings of vegetables to Italian night while also keeping it totally and naturally gluten-free (and grain-free/paleo)! If you’ve never tried spaghetti squash before you may be a little skeptical that it actually has a pasta-like consistency. Once it’s cooked, the flesh of a spaghetti squash easily scrapes out into perfect spaghetti strands. It’s actually a little crazy! No spiralizer needed. Give it a try!

Selecting a Spaghetti Squash

Choose a squash that feels heavy for it’s size, has hard skin, and is generally free from blemishes. A green spaghetti squash is not yet ripe, but a gorgeous lemony color means it’s ready to cook. In addition to incorporating lots of different types of vegetables into your diet, you should also aim for a variety of colors. If you haven’t tried a yellow vegetable recently, give canary-colored spaghetti squash a try!

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

My fave method for cooking spaghetti squash…a pressure cooker! It takes very little effort and you get a perfectly cooked squash every single time. Add a cup of water into your Instant Pot and place a halved squash (with the seeds scooped out!) in the rack or basket. Close the lid, seal the valve, and cook it for 15 minutes on manual high pressure. Friends…that is IT! Once it’s done manually release the steam and as soon as your squash is cool enough to be handled you can scrape it into long, noodly strands.

Make sure the spaghetti squash you purchase will fit in whatever size instant pot you own. I own a 6-quart one currently and haven’t had any issues but wanted to mention that just in case. One time I had to chop off the stem because the lid wouldn’t shut. If for some reason it won’t fit in your Instant Pot you can cook each half in two separate batches.

I also like to halve my spaghetti squash crosswise rather than lengthwise. I have found that it yields longer strands of spaghetti squash this way. And it usually fits better in the Instant Pot too.

Let’s Put Your Perfecty Cooked Spaghetti Squash to Good Use!

Most of the time, I simply toss cooked spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. I absolutely love it this way. You can add your favorite herbs and seasonings too. Sometimes I sprinkle with some vegan parmesan cheese. It doesn’t need much and is as versatile as any spaghetti noodle!

These are my favorite vegan spaghetti squash dishes:

Creamy Vegan Spaghetti Squash with Marinara

Vegan Chickpea Bolognese Spaghetti Squash

Vegan Baked Cheesy Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli

I also love to toss it with my favorite homemade pesto sauce.

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Cooking an entire squash can be intimidating and time-consuming…unless you use this Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash recipe! This is how I create tender, flavorful, perfectly cooked spaghetti squash that shreds instantly with a fork. Use it in all of your favorite pasta dishes and enjoy an extra serving of veggies!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, no need to peel (about 3 pounds)*
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Halve the spaghetti squash crosswise and scoop out the seeds and guts. When you cut the spaghetti squash crosswise as opposed to lengthwise, it yields longer spaghetti-like strands.  Cutting it crosswise also avoids the stem.  
  2. Place spaghetti squash in the steamer basket or rack of your pressure cooker along with one cup of water beneath the steamer basket.
  3. Close the pressure cooker lid, turn the valve to “sealed” (not “venting”) and manual cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.  It will take 5-10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure before the 15 minute cook time countdown begins.  
  4. 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.
  5. Use a fork to gently shred each half of the squash until thin translucent spaghetti-like strands appear. Keep shredding until your fork hits the skin of the squash.  The spaghetti strands should easily come apart with a fork. If they do not or if the strands are hard then you can cook in the Instant Pot with a bit more water for another 5 minutes or so. The cook time will vary based on the size of your spaghetti squash.  Another option is to put the spaghetti squash back in the Instant Pot with the lid on and the valve on sealed.  Select the “Keep Warm” function and allow it to steam until the strands are perfectly tender.  You want the spaghetti squash strands to be tender but not overcooked and mushy.  
  6. Use spaghetti squash in your favorite dish in place of spaghetti noodles (see blog post above for suggested recipes) or simply toss with olive oil/vegan butter, salt and pepper or pesto sauce.  In general, spaghetti squash pairs well with Italian savory sauces (marinara, pesto, Alfredo, etc.).  
  7. Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to five days.  Do not freeze.

Notes

* This recipe should work for spaghetti squash that is 2.5-3.5 pounds.  If your spaghetti squash is larger you will need to increase the cooking time or let the pressure naturally release to give it more time to steam.  

To cut a spaghetti squash I recommend a large sharp knife.  See equipment below for my favorite 8-inch chef knife.  

The Instant Pot cook time is 15 minutes but it takes 5-10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure which is why I listed the total cook time as 25 minutes.

  • Category: Vegetable
  • Method: Pressure Cooker

Keywords: instant pot spaghetti squash

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