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Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash + FAQ

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash is healthy, low carb, nutrient-dense, and super simple and fast thanks to the Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker!

Spaghetti Squash on a napkin with parsley and pepper

I was a freshman in college the first time I made spaghetti squash. I had never tasted or made it before, so I had no idea what to do. It was crunchy and disgusting, even after baking it in the oven for what felt like an eternity!

Here’s my comprehensive guide on pressure cooking spaghetti squash in your Instant Pot! It’ll save you the heartache I experienced, and you’ll be completely prepared and armed with the information you need for a perfectly cooked spaghetti squash (and what the heck to do with it!)

Like getting your questions answered? Check out my Instant Pot Broccoli FAQ and Instant Pot Yogurt FAQ!

What is Spaghetti Squash?

Spaghetti Squash is a yellow, ivory, or orange vegetable that looks like a small football. They are similar to pumpkins or butternut squashes because they have a thicker flesh with a hollow center filled with seeds.

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash

Cooked Spaghetti Squash turns into long “noodles” or strands, hence the name (similar to the strands you might notice in the inside of a pumpkin).

What does Spaghetti Squash Taste like?

Spaghetti Squash does NOT taste like Spaghetti noodles/pasta/anything resembling our carby friend!

Spaghetti squash has a super mild, almost bland squashy taste. It isn’t nearly as pronounced as pumpkin or butternut squash. It’s kind of like the La Croix of squash, if you know what I mean.

It doesn’t taste like spaghetti, but it has a TON of great nutrients and is super low carb. Because it has so few carbs, I ate it all the time with alfredo sauce when I had gestational diabetes. I mix half of it into the kid’s spaghetti noodles and they don’t know the difference!

How to pick Spaghetti Squash

a whole, uncooked spaghetti squash
My spaghetti squash has a few blemishes, because I didn’t cook it for about a month after I purchased it.

First, pick a bright and clean looking spaghetti squash at the store. Spaghetti squash are smaller, gourd-like vegetables that can be found in the produce department. It shouldn’t have any squishy or moldy parts. Look for one that has the stem attached and feels heavy for its size (the same applies for watermelons)

cooked spaghetti squash on a red napkin in the shell

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash

Pressure Cooking is the only way I will EVER make spaghetti squash. The first time I made spaghetti squash took over an hour in the oven and was STILL undercooked! Ugh!

Making Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot takes less than about 20 minutes total! You can use any pressure cooker brand for this or any of my recipes.

How to make Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash

two spaghetti squash halves in an instant pot pressure cooker
  • Rinse Spaghetti Squash under cold, running water to remove any dirt and dust. Remove any stickers.
  • Take the sharpest knife you own, and firmly cut the spaghetti squash in half.
    • Vertically, through the stem: This is my preferred cut and is pictured above. You’ll have shorter strands, but I think they’re still plenty long. It’s also easier to get the pulp and seeds out from the center this way.
    • Horizontally through the center: the stem is completely untouched on its own half.
  • Using a spoon, scoop out all the seeds and strands. Sometimes I’ll use a pair of kitchen shears and snip out any stubborn strands.
  • Place the trivet in the Instant Pot liner with one cup of water. I prefer to use my pressure cooking sling, because it’s much easier to remove the HOT spaghetti squash after it is done.
  • Place both pieces of the spaghetti squash onto the trivet/rack/sling, cut side up. If you place them cut side down, you risk all the spaghetti squash falling out into the pot after cooking.
  • Lock the lid, turn the sealing knob to SEALING, and cook on manual high pressure for 9-12 minutes, depending on the size. 10 minutes is what works for me almost all the time for a 3lb squash.
  • Perform a quick release after the 9 minutes is up.
  • Carefully remove the squash from the Instant Pot and remove any additional seeds or strands from the center that look stringy and not like the noodles.
  • Take a fork and start fluffing the strands of spaghetti squash “noodles.” The noodles will come right off the skin and there should not be any resistance. If it is crunchy or hard, pressure cook the spaghetti squash again for 2-3 minutes.
  • You can dump the noodles into a bowl or plate. Do not squish, mash, or stir the noodles too much.

How to Pressure cook spaghetti squash whole

If you prefer, you may pressure cook spaghetti squash whole.

Pressure Cooker spaghetti squash with parsley, and pepper
  • Rinse Spaghetti Squash under cold, running water to remove any dirt and dust. Remove any stickers.
  • Place the trivet in the Instant Pot liner with one cup of water. I prefer to use my pressure cooking sling. It’s just much easier to remove the HOT spaghetti squash after it is done!
  • Place the spaghetti squash onto the trivet/rack/sling.
  • Lock the lid, turn the sealing knob to SEALING, and cook on manual high pressure for 12-15 minutes, depending on the size.
  • Perform a quick release after the 9 minutes is up.
  • Carefully remove the squash from the Instant Pot.
  • Carefully use a knife to to cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the center seeds and pulp. It’s incredibly hot, so please be careful!
  • Take a fork and start fluffing the strands of spaghetti squash “noodles.” You can dump the noodles into a bowl or plate. Do not squish, mash, or stir the noodles too much.

What goes with Pressure Cooker spaghetti squash?

I do not love eating spaghetti squash plain, and prefer it with a flavorful sauce. I eat spaghetti squash as a substitute for spaghetti noodles. That said, pressure cooked spaghetti squash can simply be served with browned butter, salt, pepper, and cheese!

Pressure Cooker spaghetti squash with cheese, parsley, and pepper

I’ve also mixed it into vegetable stir fry, macaroni and cheese, or pretty much anything else that has a yummy sauce.

Substitute cooked spaghetti squash in my Olive Garden Chicken con Broccoli recipe! All you do is cook the chicken without the noodles, then add the cooked spaghetti squash and broccoli before the sauce.

What to do if your spaghetti squash is crunchy?

After pressure cooking spaghetti squash properly, the noodles will come right off the skin and there should not be any resistance. If it is crunchy or hard, pressure cook the spaghetti squash again for 2-3 minutes.

cooked spaghetti squash
Properly cooked spaghetti squash will be tender and not crunchy

How long will spaghetti squash keep?

Uncooked and stored in a cool dry, dark pantry, spaghetti squash keeps for a month or longer. Cooked and stored in the refrigerator in a covered container, pressure cooked spaghetti squash will keep for about a week.

How do you know when spaghetti squash goes bad?

You’ll know your spaghetti squash is bad if the outside of your uncooked squash is squishy, dark, soft, or smells fermented or moldy in any way. Cooked spaghetti squash that has gone bad will be very slimy andy may be white and milky.

Pressure Cooker spaghetti squash with parsley, and pepper

Is spaghetti squash healthy?

I’m not sure what your definition of “healthy” is, but I personally do think spaghetti squash is healthy. It is low calorie, low carb, low fat, and has many vitamins and nutrients.

Is spaghetti squash a vegetable?

Technically and biologically, spaghetti squash is classified as a vegetable; however, spaghetti squash is almost always prepared and referred to as a vegetable.

is spaghetti squash low carb? is spaghetti squash keto?

Spaghetti squash is naturally low in carbs. It has about 5.5 net carbs per one cup serving! Check out this super delicious, keto Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Lemon Cream Sauce Recipe.

closeup of Instant Pot spaghetti squash with lemon cream sauce

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti squash recipes with chicken

I actually like making this recipe for pressure cooker spaghetti squash with chicken at the same time and use both to make a faux chicken alfredo. I add a piece of frozen chicken thigh or a thin cut breast underneath the spaghetti squash in the pressure cooker, and use the same time.

Check out my Olive Garden Chicken con Broccoli one pot Instant Pot meal!

They both cook for the same amount of time, at the same time! So then I’ll just cut up the chicken, place it on top of the fluffed up spaghetti squash, and top it with alfredo sauce! So low carb/keto/high fat, and yummy!

Spaghetti Squash on a fork with parsley and pepper cooked in the instant pot pressure cooker. a strand of spaghetti squash
Spaghetti Squash on a fork with parsley and pepper cooked in the instant pot pressure cooker. a strand of spaghetti squash

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash

Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash is healthy, easy to make, and fun to eat!

Ingredients

  • 3 lb Spaghetti Squash

Instructions

  1. Rinse Spaghetti Squash under cold, running water to remove any dirt and dust. Remove any stickers.
  2. Take the sharpest knife you own, and firmly cut the spaghetti squash in half.
  3. Vertically, through the stem: This is my preferred cut and is pictured above. You'll have shorter strands, but I think they're still plenty long. It's also easier to get the pulp and seeds out from the center this way.
  4. Horizontally through the center: the stem is completely untouched on its own half.
  5. Using a spoon, scoop out all the seeds and strands. Sometimes I'll use a pair of kitchen shears and snip out any stubborn strands.
  6. Place the trivet in the Instant Pot liner with one cup of water. I prefer to use my pressure cooking sling, because it's much easier to remove the HOT spaghetti squash after it is done.
  7. Place both pieces of the spaghetti squash onto the trivet/rack/sling, cut side up. If you place them cut side down, you risk all the spaghetti squash falling out into the pot after cooking.
  8. Lock the lid, turn the sealing knob to SEALING, and cook on manual high pressure for 9-12 minutes, depending on the size. 10 minutes is what works for me almost all the time for a 3lb squash.
  9. Perform a quick release after the 9 minutes is up.
  10. Carefully remove the squash from the Instant Pot and remove any additional seeds or strands from the center that look stringy and not like the noodles.
  11. Take a fork and start fluffing the strands of spaghetti squash "noodles." The noodles will come right off the skin and there should not be any resistance. If it is crunchy or hard, pressure cook the spaghetti squash again for 2-3 minutes.
  12. You can dump the noodles into a bowl or plate. Do not squish, mash, or stir the noodles too much.
  13. Serve with your favorite spaghetti or alfredo sauce, or with butter/cheese/salt/pepper.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 100 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 31Total Fat: .6gSaturated Fat: 0.1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1.5gSugar: 2.8gProtein: .6g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me @tried_tested_true on Instagram!

Kelly

Sunday 20th of September 2020

I am so glad I came upon this. I always cook spaghetti squash every fall. I love to just mix it with butter, salt a little bit of cinnamon & nutmeg!

Lisa Childs

Monday 21st of September 2020

i've never done it that way but it sounds delicious! thanks for stopping by! - Lisa

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Monday 25th of November 2019

[…] to easily lift up spaghetti squash! I’ve even used it under cake pans to easily lift cheesecake, spaghetti squash, or carrot cake out before I had my next […]

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