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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Diet: Vegan


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!


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


  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.


* 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.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Category: Vegetable
  • Method: Pressure Cooker

Keywords: instant pot spaghetti squash