Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

It’s fast and easy to cook this popular veggie in the pressure cooker. Instant Pot spaghetti squash takes half the time of baking and comes out perfectly al dente!

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

The words “life changing” are a little overused these days. But if you happen to have a pressure cooker and love eating spaghetti squash…well, this method might change your life. (Sorry, we had to.) Gone are the days of waiting over 1 hour to roast spaghetti squash in the oven. This Instant Pot spaghetti squash method cuts the time in half! The cook time is only 8 minutes. With the 5 minutes to preheat and 10 minutes to let the squash drain afterwards, you’re still only looking at about 25 minutes total. To us, that’s…er…life changing. Keep reading for a tutorial!

Instant pot spaghetti squash in a pressure cooker

How to cook Instant Pot spaghetti squash: a tutorial

What’s the easy way to make Instant Pot spaghetti squash? It’s all about the way you cut it! Instead of lengthwise, you’ll cut the spaghetti squash in half width-wise. It makes a big difference! Keep reading for why, or head to the recipe below.

Step 1: Cut the squash in half width-wise and remove the seeds.

Here’s the trick to getting the longest spaghetti squash strands: and it also makes the squash easier to cut! Cut the squash in half width-wise instead of lengthwise. This is because the strands of the squash actually run around the width of the squash, not the length. It’s also easier to cut this way so the knife doesn’t slip. Here’s how to cut a spaghetti squash (see the video below):

  1. Find a small sharp paring knife. Yes, a small knife can cut this large squash! This is the safest method because it helps to prevent the slippage that can happen with a large knife.
  2. Cut around the middle width-wise (not lengthwise!). To cut it, pierce the knife into the squash and swing down, making small slices around the squash until it breaks in half. Cutting it this way makes the longest strands or “noodles”.
  3. Remove the seeds. Use the knife to cut around the seeds. Then scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
How to cut spaghetti squash

Step 2: Place the squash in the Instant Pot with 1 cup water.

Place the trivet in the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the pot. Place both halves into the pressure cooker. Lock the lid of the Instant Pot (linked is the one we use). 

Note: Because spaghetti squash are so large, you can only cook one at a time in a pressure cooker. If you’re looking to cook more than one, go to Roasted Spaghetti Squash.

Step 3: Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes, then quick release.

Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time. It takes about 5 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking, so this process will take about 15 minutes total.

When it’s done, do a quick release and carefully release all the steam from the pressure cooker (see instructions in the recipe below).

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Step 4: Scrape the squash into spaghetti strands.

Allow the cooked spaghetti squash to cool slightly. Then use a fork to scrape out the squash into “spaghetti” strands.

Scrape the spaghetti squash into strands

Step 5: Drain to remove any extra moisture.

Place the noodles in a colander or strainer and rest for 10 minutes to remove any extra moisture.

Drain the spaghetti squash

And that’s it! Perfectly cooked spaghetti squash in under 30 minutes using a pressure cooker! What do you think…life changing?

What people are saying

Because all Instant Pots are variable, we wanted to test this pressure cooker spaghetti squash method before sharing it with you. It received rave reviews! Here’s what people are saying about this method:

  • “The Instant Pot cooking of the spaghetti squash was awesome! It was perfectly cooked, not over. I even had a large spaghetti squash (almost didn’t fit in) and it was thoroughly cooked! I’ll make spaghetti squash spaghetti like this always! Way better than roasting for an hour.” -Kristi
  • “The spaghetti squash still had a bit of “crunch” or al dente taste in a good way. It was very easy for me to shred/scoop out after getting it out of the Instant Pot. I will put it in the Instant Pot rotation!” -Claire

What’s the best Instant Pot to use?

All pressure cooker brands vary! Here’s the brand we use: an Instant Pot 6 Qt Programmable Pressure Cooker. We have been using it for about 2 years and love it! It’s just the right size and works great. We also have 2 Instant Pot sealing rings and use one for savory recipes and one for sweet recipes.

This recipe is customized for a 6 quart pressure cooker. We also can’t speak to other brands and types of pressure cookers. For example, Instant Pot Mini works differently, so use it at your own risk!

Spaghetti squash spaghetti
This method is perfect for our Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti!

How to serve Instant Pot spaghetti squash

Before we get to that recipe, let’s talk about how to serve that delicious pressure cooked spaghetti squash! Here are the best ways to eat spaghetti squash:

  1. Add pesto: With a little Parmesan and pesto, this Pesto Spaghetti Squash is the perfect side dish.
  2. Go classic spaghetti & marinara: Oh yes, you need Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti! Top with your favorite marinara, or our Easy Marinara Sauce.
  3. Turn it into pad Thai: This Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai is just like your favorite Thai takeout, but with spaghetti squash.
  4. Make it into mac and cheese: Try our Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese where the squash serves as a bowl.

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.78 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

It’s fast and easy to cook this popular veggie in the pressure cooker. Instant Pot spaghetti squash takes half the time of baking and comes out perfectly al dente!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash (23 pounds)
  • 1 cup water
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the spaghetti squash: Using a small sharp paring knife, cut the spaghetti squash around the middle width-wise (not lengthwise!). To cut, pierce the knife into the squash and swing down, making small slices around the squash until it breaks in half. Use the knife to cut around the seeds, and then scoop them out with a spoon. (You’ll do it this way because this is the way to get the longest “noodle” strands.)
  2. Place the squash in the Instant Pot: Place the trivet in the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the pot. Place both halves into the pressure cooker. Lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Place the pressure release handle (vent) in the “Sealing” position.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes: Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time. Note that it takes about 5 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. (During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
  4. Quick release: Vent the remaining steam from the Instant Pot by moving the pressure release handle to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. Open the pressure cooker lid. Pierce the squash with a fork: it should be tender but still “al dente”.
  5. Scoop out the noodles: Allow the squash to cool slightly, then use a fork to scrape out the squash into “spaghetti” strands. Place the noodles in a colander or strainer and rest for 10 minutes to remove any extra moisture.
  6. Season: Season with salt and pepper, or use our Pesto Spaghetti Squash or Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti.

  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash, Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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