Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

How to make spaghetti squash

Make this healthy & refreshing Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash (Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash) in 15 minutes! Low carb, gluten free, paleo substitute for pasta. A guiltless little treat 🙂

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Are you a squash fan?

Pumpkin, Butternut Squash, Acorn Squash, Kabocha Squash…

None catches my eyes like the Spaghetti Squash.

Spaghetti Squash is so uniquely special because it has the magical abilities to turn raw yellow flesh into golden strands.

The first time I made Spaghetti Squash, I was so intrigued by its magical powers. I felt like a magician pulling strings after strings of scarves out of the small magic hat as I scrape the endless golden strands from the yellow flesh!

Ah, ok! Please excuse my fantasy movie buff moment… 😛

What is Spaghetti Squash?


Spaghetti Squash is a winter squash that turns into thin translucent noodly strands when cooked. It has mild, delicate flavor, with a refreshing light crunch and somewhat watery texture.

It’s low calories, low fat, low carb, rich in protein & antioxidants. Plus, it’s suitable for Paleo & Gluten free diets.

Check out these beautiful golden strands of healthy yum! ?

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash (Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash) in 15 mins! Low carb, gluten free, paleo substitute for pasta.

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How to Buy Spaghetti Squash? 


Here are some tips for choosing and buying Spaghetti Squash:

  • Outer Texture: Dry, firm, with no soft spots or cracks
  • Color: Even pale yellow (it shouldn’t have any green spots)
  • Appearance: It shouldn’t be shiny as that may mean it’s underripe or it’s waxed.
  • Weight: Hold it in your hand to make sure it’s heavy for its size.
  • Stem: Avoid spaghetti squash without stems. Plus, the stem should be firm and dry.

How to Store Spaghetti Squash?


Spaghetti Squash will have longer shelf life with proper storage = less food wastage! 🙂

  • Whole Uncooked Spaghetti Squash: Store in a cool, dry place in a single layer to allow air circulation. Don’t refrigerate uncooked & uncut squash, as it’ll spoil more quickly in the fridge.
  • Cut Spaghetti Squash: Tightly wrap the squash in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash is Great for:


  • Low carb, gluten free, paleo diet
  • Some people enjoy it as a low carb substitute for pasta, but don’t expect spaghetti squash to replace pasta because the textures and tastes are very different. However, the mild, delicate flavor can serve as a side with rich sauces or made into a flavorful main dish.
  • Easy & quick no fuss light, healthy snack or salad

Ingredients for Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash


How to cook spaghetti squash
  • 1 whole (1149g) spaghetti squash*
  • 1 cup (250ml) cold water

*Note: Size of our Spaghetti Squash – Circumference: 15 inches, Diameter: 5 inches

Tools for Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash


Instructions for Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash


Step 1
Cut the Spaghetti Squash in Half


How to Cut Spaghetti Squash

Why Cut the Spaghetti Squash in Half?

  • It cooks much faster & more evenly than cooking it whole.
  • It’s much easier & less messy to scoop out the seeds raw than once it’s done.

Cutting the Spaghetti Squash Lengthwise vs. Widthwise

Pros for Lengthwise

  • Easier to scoop out the seeds
  • You can eat it straight out of the squash – get creative and make a variety of Spaghetti Squash bowls

Pros for Widthwise

  • Easier to cut
  • You can rake out longer strands

So pick your poison. 🙂

How to Cut Spaghetti Squash?

  • First wash the spaghetti squash in cold water, then wipe it dry.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.

*Note: Be careful cutting the squash as it’s hard and slippery.

Step 2
Scoop Out the Seeds


How to Prepare Spaghetti Squash?
  • Scrape out the seeds and stringy bits in the center with a spoon (as shown in photo below).

How to prepare spaghetti squash - scraping the seedsPro Tip: Instead of discarding the seeds, you can roast them like pumpkin seeds! 😀

Step 3
Place Spaghetti Squash in Pressure Cooker


Place 1 cup (250ml) of cold water and a trivet into the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

Place Spaghetti Squash on the steamer rack, close the lid.

Pressure Cooking a Spaghetti Squash

Step 4
Pressure Cook Spaghetti Squash


Pressure cook:

  • Pressure Cooking Method:
    • For Al Dente Spaghetti Squash (with a crunch): High Pressure for 6 minutes
    • For Softer Spaghetti Squash: High Pressure for 8 minutes
  • Pressure Release Method: Quick Release

Open the lid carefully.

Step 5
Scrape Out the Strands


Carefully remove the Spaghetti Squash from the pressure cooker.

Note: the squash will be quite hot, so be sure to use oven mitts.

Here comes my favorite part! 😛

Gently pull the flesh away from the skin with a fork to create long “spaghetti-like” strands (as shown in photo below).

Rake the flesh away from the skin with a fork to create long “spaghetti-like” strands.

Step 6
Serve the Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash


Serve the squash immediately with your favorite main dish or sauce.

Look at these magical strands of goodness! Enjoy~ 🙂

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4.8 from 4 reviews
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
 
Prep
Cook
Total
 
Make this healthy, refreshing Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash (Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash) in 15 mins! Low carb, gluten free, paleo substitute for pasta.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Quick Meals, Side Dish, Snack, Vegetables, Super Easy
Cuisine: World
Serving: 2 - 4
Ingredients
  • 1 whole (1149g) spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup (250ml) cold water
Instructions
  1. Cut the Spaghetti Squash in Half: Use a sharp knife to cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Be careful cutting the squash as it is hard and slippery.
  2. Scoop Out the Seeds: Scrape out the seeds and bits with a spoon.
  3. Place Spaghetti Squash in Pressure Cooker: Place 1 cup (250ml) of cold water and a trivet into the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. Place Spaghetti Squash on the steamer rack, close the lid.
  4. Pressure Cook Spaghetti Squash: Pressure cook at
    a) For Al Dente Spaghetti Squash: High Pressure for 6 minutes + Quick Release OR
    b) For Softer Spaghetti Squash: High Pressure for 8 minutes + Quick Release.
    Open the lid carefully.
  5. Scrape Out the Strands: Remove spaghetti squash from pressure cooker. Gently pull the flesh away from the skin with a fork to create long “spaghetti-like” strands.
  6. Serve: Serve the squash immediately with your favorite main dish or sauce.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 575g Calories: 178 Fat: 3.3g Saturated fat: 0.7g Carbohydrates: 39.7g Sugar: 0 Sodium: 98mg Protein: 3.7g Cholesterol: 0mg
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash (Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash) in 15 mins! Low carb, gluten free, paleo substitute for pasta.
Food Lovers in our 30s who worked directly with Instant Pot CEO, Manufacturers, and 35+ Restaurants. Culinary Families & Food Magazine Publishers.
  1. Some people find it difficult to cut large, hard vegetables in half when still raw. This can be due to arthritis, strength, an inadequate or dull knife, or a combination. If it’s too difficult to cut in half, cook it part way to soften the shell. Then, taking care to protect your hands from the heat, cut it in half now that the shell is softened. Remove seeds then. Put back in the InstantPot and finish cooking. Use a fork to loosen some of the strands in the shell if you want, season and eat. Add more seasoning when you get to the unseasoned strands, loosening, and seasoning. Or, remove all the strands, season, and serve.

    I cannot have oil on my whole foods, plant-based diet. So, I seasoned with low-salt tamari sauce, raw apple cider vinegar with the mother, smoked paprika powder, minced garlic, and fresh herbs. Though I’ve eaten spaghetti squash many times before, this was the first time I had the sense I was eating regular spaghetti with marinara sauce. Delicious!

  2. Hi – I have a question about your nutritional information for spaghetti squash – it says: Nutrition Information
    Serving size: 575g Calories: 178 Fat: 3.3g Saturated fat: 0.7g Carbohydrates: 39.7g Sugar: 0 Sodium: 98mg Protein: 3.7g Cholesterol: 0mg

    Just wondering how that can be right – 178 grams of fat? Where does the fat come from?
    Patricia

  3. Hi there, thanks for the recipe. While you mentioned 8 mins under the HIGH pressure cook, and your cook time says 13 mins excluding 2 mins prep time. Confused me so but I’ll do 8 and then see how it turns out but just wanted to point out. Thanks!

  4. I was wondering if you can cook two squash at the same time, if I would need to increase the cooking time and what not, or if I would ruin both squash and end up ordering take out for the night. My guys are big eaters and I want a little for myself at dinner.

    1. Hi Lori,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Yes, you can cook two squash at the same time. The cooking time will be the same as long as they are not packed too tightly.

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

  5. Thanks for the easy directions, and the pictures! We just got our first Instant Pot and I’m anxious to try spaghetti squash in it.

  6. Great recipe!!! Came out perfect! To help in cutting it in half – I pierce the skin all over with the tip of a sharp knife then microwave for 2 minutes. Remove carefully (it will be hot). Cut the squash in half. It will still be a bit of work to cut it, but much easier than if you didn’t microwave it.

  7. Amy and Jacky- you are THE ONLY “GO TO” site for me for Instant Pot recipes. My husband who periodically does a no carb diet ALWAYS makes spaghetti squash. He has always microwaved it. I couldn’t stand it due to the texture (and I am a vegetarian). The first time I asked him to let me put it in the Instant Pot he said no. Now that he has loved EVERY recipe I have done of yours in the Instant Pot I asked him again last night he said YES. This came out perfect. I even dared to try some and LOVED IT!

    1. Hi Karen,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Sure! You may want to choose a smaller Spaghetti Squash so it can fit in a 3qt IP.

      Happy New Year to you and your family.
      Jacky

    1. Hi LuAnn,

      thank you for your question 🙂

      Steaming on a rack is usually better when we want to keep all the nutrient in the ingredients.

      Cooking directly in water can cause some of the nutrient to leech to the water.

      Unless you are drinking the water, you will lose out on some of the nutrients.

      Happy New Year to you and your family
      Jacky

  8. Thanks for asking. Meal came out great! Chicken skin stuck to pan, thought I browned 3 min, maybe next time I’ll watch time better. Didn’t understand how to get sauté on more setting but on further reading I know understand I think! Clearly I need to do more reading up. Next time I’ll try adding more sherry ?
    Sue

    1. Thank you Sue!! Glad to hear how the meal came out 🙂

      The chicken skin will release itself once it is browned properly. Depending on the heat temperature, it may takes a little longer or a little shorter.

      Have an awesome weekend!!
      Jacky

  9. Thanks Jacky, that’s what I did, now waiting for your chicken breast recipe to finish! On natural release. Our first instant pot meal. Got it for Christmas and finally got brave enough to try it.
    Happy New Years to you!
    Sue

  10. Total newbie here. Your recipe doesn’t say what setting, steam? Manual? This is my first time using and have no idea about settings, thanks.

    1. Hi Sue,

      Thank you for your question 🙂

      Most of our recipes uses the manual/pressure cook button unless specific button is stated.

      Happy New Year to you and your family!
      Jacky

  11. To cut the spaghetti squash in half, I put in microwave whole for 2 minutes before cutting in half as it softens enough for carving knife. I also sprinkle Parmesan on the squash prior to putting in instant pot skin side down

  12. Thank you for this recipe. I do love spaghetti squash and my IP. I like to serve the strands tossed in a bit of butter and grated parmesan. Sometimes, I season it with a dash of powdered garlic or onion.
    I also made a shrimp scampi recipe (used a bit less garlic) and tossed it with the strands. Yummy!
    For help cutting them, I use my ice pick (I’m old school and still have one), and go around the squash making holes thru the skin/pulp, deep enough to reach the seeds. Then cut it using them as help and markers.

    1. So happy to hear from you again Cammy 🙂

      Hope you & your husband are doing well! Thank you so much for sharing your cooking experience with all of us!

      Take care & have a great weekend ahead.
      Jacky

  13. Hi,
    Thanks so much for the recipe.
    I’m away from home and have my IP and a spaghetti squash however, I don’t have a trivet/steam basket with me.
    Think I can still use this recipe with the halves just partially stacked or leaning on each other?

    Also, what are you liking to put on it these days? I need some ideas.

    Thank you again.
    Caryn

  14. Can you please tell me when you put the Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot, is it face up or face down? and does it matter? Thank you very much 🙂 Andrea

  15. Hi Amy,
    I cooked my first spaghetti squash the other day. It was difficult cutting it in half, but the end result was delicious!! Sad to say, I never imagined cooking it in my pressure cooker. I used the microwave. Next time I’ll try the pressure cooker. It will be perfect for Lent’s meatless dinners.

  16. Hi Amy and Jacky! I wanted to share that I use spaghetti squash to make “Sharksfin Soup”. It is so good. I used a sharksfin soup recipe and put in the strands of spaghetti squash instead of the real sharksfins.
    Btw, we have a similar squash like that in Southeast Asia (skin is green, not yellow) and the locals call it sharksfin kwa (local dialect for squash).
    I prepare the spagetti squash the same way as you do in the IP.

    1. Hi Vivien,

      thank you for sharing with us!

      We love Sharksfin Kwa as well. If I remember, the sharksfin squash meat is white in color. 🙂

      Take care & have fun cooking
      Jacky

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