Spaghetti squash has never been easier! It cooks in less than 10 minutes thanks to the Instant Pot and is simple as can be (not to mention healthy and delicious!).

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

I heart spaghetti squash big time. Whenever Costco starts selling their 2-packs of spaghetti squash, it finds its way into my cart every visit (and is on my garden plan for next year – although planning a garden seems outside of even my most far-reaching dreams right now thanks to the pummeling we’ve taken this winter with snow and ice).

There are a lot of recipes starring spaghetti squash, but most of the time, I’m making it to serve alongside recipes that call for a topping served over rice or potatoes or noodles.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll give you one guess how many people at the table actually reach for the spaghetti squash over the rice.

Not very many. Mostly, me. But, occasionally my vegetable-loving 11-year old grabs a helping, too – and so will Brian if I shoot him the side-eye encouragement to be-a-good-example-for-the-kids.

But honestly, I don’t personally choose it as an option just because it’s low-carb and healthy; I legitimately love the stuff.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Does it taste like spaghetti? Heck, no.

But its unique texture and ability to adapt to almost any flavor makes it tasty enough to pair with my favorite spaghetti sauce, stroganoff,  quick curry, stir fry, and a million other things.

Spaghetti squash for the win…especially now that I can make it in the Instant Pot with zero hassle.

Seriously, it’s amazing. Quite similar to the pumpkin puree in the Instant Pot method I posted last fall with just a few minor changes.

For the step-by-step tutorial below, I’m using the popular 6-quart Instant Pot. Unless you have a particularly small spaghetti squash, it will need to be cut in half lengthwise to fit in the Instant Pot.

As a quick sidenote, my 8-quart Instant Pot and stovetop pressure cooker can fit a whole spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds and 17 inches circumference at the thickest part). This is an advantage in that you don’t have to battle through cutting the tough squash in half before cooking. Just toss it in with water, and once it’s cooked, it’s like cutting through butter to slice it in half get to the good stuff. Just keep in mind you’ll have to remove the seeds and stringy center after cooking. If you do it this way, pierce the skin a few times with a paring knife and increase the cooking time to 11 minutes.

Ok, on to this quick little tutorial. 
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise (notice my very even, exact, beautiful cutting technique – ha! Don’t worry, I won’t quit my day job). Scrape out the seeds and strings, taking care not to cut too deeply into the smooth flesh (which will become the sought-after strands of spaghetti squash after it is cooked!).

Place the rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot and pour in one cup of water or broth.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Place the cut and scraped spaghetti squash halves on the rack, nestling them in so they fit well below the top of the pot. Secure the lid and make sure the valve is pointing up to “sealing” and not down toward “venting.”

Select Manual. Then dial up or down using the – or + buttons to get to 7 minutes (this is for ultra-tender squash; if you like it a bit more toothsome, decrease the time to 5 minutes). The Instant Pot will start doing it’s thing – first showing ON and then counting down the time once pressure is reached.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Once the cooking time is done, the Instant Pot will beep and show L followed by some zeros. This just means it will continue keeping the food warm inside the Instant Pot (while still releasing pressure slowly) and will count up the number of minutes you got distracted watching Netflix instead of remembering your Instant Pot.

Hit Cancel. And then using a long-handled spoon or other device that will prevent you from getting in the way of hot steam (a little too intense for a morning facial, I’m afraid), flip the knob down to “venting.” Steam will rush out until the pressure is released, the silver float valve will drop, and you can safely open the Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

The squash will be piping hot. Using tongs or a fork jabbed into the side of the squash, remove the squash to a cutting board. Let it cool a bit (or not) and then scrape the tender squash away from the sides to form a jumble of spaghetti squash strands (you can scoop it entirely out of the “shell” into a tupperware or other container and use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week).

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

There you have it! Easy peasy spaghetti squash.

Now if you don’t have a pressure cooker, never fear! While you add an Instant Pot to your wish list, keep in mind you can also make spaghetti squash in the oven.

For oven baked spaghetti squash:
Cut it in half just like in this tutorial and place cut-side down in a 9X13-inch baking dish. Pour in about a cup of water, just to cover the bottom of the pan and the squash and roast at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or so, until a fork can easily pierce the outside of the squash.

This simple “recipe” today is serving as a placeholder because next week, I’m going to be sharing a real, live recipe for a main dish dinner that is so delicious, it’ll make you cry, and it involves spaghetti squash (obviously).

7-Minute Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot

Yield: Makes about 4 to 5 cups of cooked spaghetti squash

7-Minute Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 3 to 3 1/2 pound spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup water

Directions

  1. Carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and strings, taking care not to cut too deeply into the smooth flesh (which will become the sought-after strands of spaghetti squash after it is cooked!).
  2. Place the rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot and pour in one cup of water or broth.
  3. Place the cut and scraped spaghetti squash halves on the rack, nestling them in so they fit well below the top of the pot. Secure the lid and make sure the valve is pointing up to "sealing" and not down toward "venting."
  4. Select Manual. Then dial up or down using the - or + buttons to get to 7 minutes (this is for ultra-tender squash; if you like it a bit more toothsome, decrease the time to 5 minutes).
  5. The Instant Pot will start doing it's thing - first showing ON and then counting down the time once pressure is reached.
  6. Once the Instant Pot beeps to signal end of cooking time, hit Cancel.
  7. Quick release the pressure by using a long-handled spoon or other device to flip the knob down to "venting." Steam will rush out until the pressure is released, the silver float valve will drop, and you can safely open the Instant Pot.
  8. The squash will be piping hot. Using tongs or a fork jabbed into the side of the squash, remove the squash to a cutting board. Let it cool a bit (or not) and then scrape the tender squash away from the sides to form a jumble of spaghetti squash strands (you can scoop it entirely out of the "shell" into a tupperware or other container and use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week).
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/spaghetti-squash-instant-pot/

Disclaimer: this post contains a few Amazon affiliate links for products I’ve bought there; feel free to shop around for the best deal!

24 Responses to 7-Minute Spaghetti Squash {Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker}

  1. […] this InstantPot hack for cooking spaghetti squash. I tried it last week and it was fantastic! So great for a last minute, healthy […]

  2. Alicia says:

    Ha — never mind my previous question. I just saw your response in the comment thread. 😉 I’ll have to get creative and come up with a recipe on my own!

  3. Alicia says:

    OK, Mel, I’m wondering if I missed the “real, live recipe for a main dish dinner that is so delicious, it’ll make you cry, and it involves spaghetti squash (obviously)”. I spent a week in Hawaii earlier this month (happy 25th Anniversary to my hubby and me), but have checked around and haven’t spotted the afore-mentioned recipe. Inquiring minds want to know! Especially because I bought a few spaghetti squash just so I could be prepared. 😉

  4. Jayne says:

    Even with a quick release, 4 minutes resulted in some very soft squash. For my al dente friends, you will want to do even less time in the instant pot.

    Mel, this website rocks!! I love everything you make, and my family loves you too. You bring joy to the world! Thank you!!

  5. Lura says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! I totally love spaghetti squash but seldom make it due to how long it takes to cook. I just recently got my instapot (thanks totally to your recommendation) and I am looking forward to trying all your recipes for this little marvel…

  6. Angela says:

    I have a spaghetti squash waiting patiently on my counter for the main dish recipe you mentioned 😉

    • Angela says:

      The yum yum bowls were great with the squash!

    • Mel says:

      Ack! I know…I seriously under delivered on that one but for good reason. I had this amazing recipe in my brain for a spaghetti squash/rosemary chicken number…and it was awful. Like, really bad. So, I need to go back to the drawing board. Sorry!

  7. I bought an Instant Pot in October and I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for the recipe!!

  8. Sheila says:

    Spaghetti squash is nice. And a great excuse to make roasted squash seeds. Mmmmm…..

  9. Heidi says:

    Love your blog. I have a question about instant pots. I have been debating on getting one but couldn’t decide on the 6qt or 8qt. I use my 6 qt Crock Pot all of the time and it is generally big enough but there are times larger would be nice. Can you make smaller portions in the large one? If not I will just go with the 6 qt.
    Keep posting your fabulous recipes!!

    • Mel says:

      If price isn’t an issue, I would definitely recommend the 8-quart, especially because you usually can’t fill a pressure cooker as full as a slow cooker (only halfway in a pressure cooker if cooking beans and rice). You can do very small quantities in any size of pressure cooker. Does that help?

  10. Monica says:

    Weird fact: my non-vegetable kiddo loves spaghetti squash! I have a new pressure cooker and am glad to be able to cut the squash cooking time (vs oven time). I learned that if you cut the squash in half cross-wise you can scoop out even longer strands of “spaghetti”.

  11. Lisa says:

    Thanks Mel! I just made spaghetti squash the other night before this post – I am a complete fan too. Thank you for the instant pot instructions. If anyone needs a method for cutting the squash in half, this works really well. Use a smaller knife (not the mallett!) to pierce the squash deeply in a dotted line all the way around – about an inch apart between each deep pierce – where you plan to eventually cut it. Stick in the microwave and cook on “hi” for about 4-5 minutes. Carefully remove with oven mitts, and now cut along your dotted line. Should cut easily and smoothly.

  12. Kath says:

    I LOVE cooking spaghetti squash in my Instant Pot! Like PJ Carson commented, I use a large knife (my cleaver, actually) and a mallet to cut it in half. I’ll look forward to seeing what else you make in the IP.

  13. Lisa says:

    So excited to try this!! I love spaghetti squash! So delicious in its own right. And now it’ll be even easier 🙂

    Also did you mean 17 inches circumference? 😉

  14. PJ Carson says:

    I haven’t done this in the pressure cooker, will try it now, thank you! My hint to share is about cutting that rock in half. I stick my big, sharp French knife into the side and use a 10 pound rubber mallet to tap it in most of the way. Then I work my way around till the knife is more horizontal as it should be, and tap with the mallet on the handle. (I got this idea from Julia Child doing something similar to crack lobster claws.) What do you think?

  15. Jennie P says:

    Thank you for these very detailed instructions! I am excited to make spaghetti squash this way!

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