Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash is a quick and easy way to cook spaghetti squash. Use it in your favorite spaghetti squash recipes or enjoy it as an alternative to pasta.
Cooking spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to prepare this nutritious vegetable. Spaghetti squash cooks in just 8 minutes in the Instant Pot. You also need to allow for about 15 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize, but still, pressure cooking the squash is fast.
This Instant Pot spaghetti squash recipe yields tender strands of spaghetti squash that are cooked to al dente, so that they have a little bite to them. No mushy squash here! If you prefer your spaghetti squash softer, you can cook it a few minutes longer.
Use a fork to scoop the strands of squash out onto a plate and top with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese, or use the squash halves as “bowls” and fill them with your favorite toppings. We also love to enjoy spaghetti squash as a healthy side dish, topped with a little butter or olive oil, salt and pepper.
If you are new to Instant Pot cooking, read my simple Instant Pot instructions for help with getting started, and then try this Instant Pot spaghetti squash recipe. It’s a great simple recipe for beginners to pressure cooking! You can find all of my Instant Pot recipes here.
Want to know how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven? See my how to cook spaghetti squash recipe.
What Does Spaghetti Squash Taste Like?
Spaghetti squash has a very mild flavor. Since it doesn’t have much flavor on its own, it’s great for using in a variety of recipes with different flavors. Topped with marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese, I find it to be a delicious substitute for spaghetti pasta.
The main difference that I find between spaghetti squash and spaghetti pasta is that the squash has more of a bite to it, while pasta is softer.
How to Cut Spaghetti Squash
For the longest strands of spaghetti squash, you’ll want to cut it crosswise, not lengthwise. You’ll need a sharp knife. I find that a large serrated bread knife cuts through the squash most easily. A sharp chef’s knife also works well.
Securely press the knife down into the center of the squash, being careful to keep your hands out of the blade’s way. Once you get the knife through to the center of the squash it should cut easily.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot
I’ve cooked both whole spaghetti squash and halved spaghetti squash in my Instant Pot. I prefer to cook spaghetti squash that has been cut in half before cooking. When you cut the squash in half, you can remove the seeds before cooking, which I find easier to do. With a whole spaghetti squash you’ll have to wait for it to cool some before you can cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Spaghetti squash halves also cook much faster than a whole squash.
If you do want to cook your squash whole, you’ll still have to slit it through to the center of the squash to allow steam to escape, which in my experience is not much easier than just cutting the squash in half to begin with.
To cook halved spaghetti squash:
- Use a sharp knife to carefully cut the squash in half, crosswise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the center of each half.
- Put 1 cup of water in a 6 quart Instant Pot, or 1 1/2 cups in an 8 quart pot.
- Put the metal trivet in the pot.
- Fit the squash halves into the pot, on top of the trivet. It can take some trial and error to find the best way to fit them in, but two halves of a medium squash should fit in a 6 quart pot. If your squash is very large you might need an 8 quart pot to cook both halves at once.
- Pressure cook for 8 minutes at high pressure for al dente squash, or 10 minutes for softer squash.
- Quick release the pressure by turning the steam release valve to venting as soon as the cook time ends.
- Open the Instant Pot lid. When the squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to separate the strands of squash.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Whole
To cook a whole squash in your Instant Pot, first pierce it with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape as the squash cooks. Make sure that the knife cuts all the way through to the center of the squash.
Cook the whole squash in your Instant Pot using the same method as squash halves, increasing the pressure cooking time to 20 minutes at high pressure for al dente squash. If you like your squash softer or if it is very large, add a few minutes to the cook time. Quick release the pressure when the cook time ends.
Let the squash cool slightly and then cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds before separating the spaghetti squash strands.
How Long Does Spaghetti Squash Last?
When stored in a cool, dry place, such as your pantry, an uncut spaghetti squash will last for 1 to 3 months. Avoid storing uncooked spaghetti squash in the refrigerator, as that can change the flavor of the squash and may make make it spoil faster.
A spaghetti squash should be firm and free of soft spots or dark spots. The stem should be intact and dry.
After cooking, leftover spaghetti squash can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash Cooking Tips
- If your spaghetti squash is very large it will take longer to cook. Try adding 3 to 5 minutes to the cook time, depending on the size of your squash. A very large spaghetti squash may not fit in a 6 quart Instant Pot.
- If you open your Instant Pot after cooking and the squash isn’t cooked enough for your tastes, you can pressure cook it for a few more minutes. Check that there is enough water left in the bottom of the pot before doing a second pressure cooking cycle. The pot should come to pressure faster the second time, since it will already be hot.
- When serving, you can use a fork to scoop the strands of spaghetti squash out onto a plate or bowl, or you can add toppings to the squash and serve it right in its skin.
Spaghetti Squash Recipes:
- Use spaghetti squash in place of pasta, topping it with marinara sauce or meat sauce, Parmesan cheese, meatballs, etc.
- Spaghetti Squash Casserole
- Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
- 7 Ways to Stuff a Spaghetti Squash
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash
- Put 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot. (Use 1 ½ cups of water in an 8 quart pot.) Put the metal trivet in the pot.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the spaghetti squash in half crosswise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp from the center of each half. Put the squash halves in the Instant Pot, on top of the trivet.
- Close the lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Set the pressure cook time to 8 minutes at high pressure for al dente squash, or 10 minutes for softer squash. The Instant Pot will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will start counting down.
- When the cook time ends, quick release the pressure by turning the steam release valve to the venting position using the handle of a long spoon. Once all of the steam has escaped and the pin drops down, carefully open the Instant Pot lid.
- Let the spaghetti squash cool for a few minutes. Then pour out any liquid that may have accumulated in the squash halves and use a fork to separate the squash into strands.
- To cook spaghetti squash whole: Use a sharp knife to pierce the squash, making sure that the knife goes all the way through to the center of the squash. Follow the recipe above, placing the whole squash in the Instant Pot, but increase the pressure cooking time to 20 minutes for al dente squash. If you want your squash softer, add a few extra minutes to the cook time. Quick release the pressure when the cook time ends. Let the squash cool for a few minutes and then cut it in half and scoop out the seeds before serving.
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