Do you love spaghetti squash, but wish cooking it took less time? Try making this extra-fast Instant Pot spaghetti squash!
Guys, I love winter squash.
Cooking it can be SO SLOW!
And honestly, sometimes that’s fine. Sometimes I enjoy slowly roasting winter squash in the oven, and letting the edges of the squash caramelize and become even more delicious.
But other times– other times I simply need to get dinner on the table.
This Instant Pot spaghetti squash has become a dinner staple in my home.
It’s a vegetable and faux-pasta all wrapped up into one, it’s on the table in less than 30 minutes, and we love it.
Can I Cook the Spaghetti Squash Whole in the Instant Pot?
I do not recommend it.
I’ve seen a lot of recipe sites that recommend leaving the spaghetti squash whole, piercing it with a knife, and cooking it for about 15 minutes with a natural release.
I tried this over and over and over again, and this method almost always failed me.
I’ve found that leaving the spaghetti squash whole is not a reliable cooking method, and definitely recommend cutting it in half before cooking in the Instant Pot.
Plus, in my opinion, it’s a lot harder to scoop out the seeds and membrane after the spaghetti squash is cooked.
How to Cut Spaghetti Squash
Since I’m telling you to cut the squash in half, here’s how to do it.
Lay the squash on a cutting board, and insert the tip of a large chef’s knife into the squash.
Rock the knife back and forth to wiggle it into the squash, and then cut downward through half the squash. Turn the squash and cut it all the way in half.
I prefer to cut the squash lengthwise from end to end (because I think the seeds are easier to remove this way), but if you cut the squash across the waist (across the narrow middle) you’ll get longer strands that more closely mimic pasta.
Once you’ve cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and membrane.
Does It Matter How Big or Small my Spaghetti Squash is?
This recipe is for an “average-sized” spaghetti squash that weighs about two or three pounds. If you’re using a larger squash, check the recipe card for tips on adjusting the cook time.
I recommend weighing your spaghetti squash on a kitchen scale (either a digital kitchen scale or an old-fashioned kitchen scale like this one). If you don’t own a scale, make sure to weigh your squash at the grocery store.
Don’t have a scale, and also forgot to weigh your squash? If you’re winging it, go by the size.
If the squash seems extra-large, follow the adjusted cooking time tips.
How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
Start with a halved spaghetti squash, seeds and membrane removed.
Place the metal trivet inside the Instant Pot, and add a cup of water. Set the halved squash on the trivet.
Close the Instant Pot, turn the valve to the sealing position, and press pressure cook (or manual).
Set the timer to 7 minutes.
Some Instant Pots models have a pressure cook button, and others have a manual button. They do exactly the same thing.
It will take about eight to ten minutes for the Instant Pot to build pressure, and then it’ll start counting down.
When the countdown finishes, your pot will beep.
Use a long-handled spoon to turn the valve from sealing position to venting.
Take the spaghetti squash out of the Instant Pot, remove the trivet, and drain the water from the pot.
Use a fork to scoop the spaghetti strands out of the squash skin.
If you prefer your squash steamed (a little bit wet), go ahead and serve it now!
If you prefer seasoned squash with a drier texture, press the sauté button on the Instant Pot.
Add oil, the squash, and a little salt.
Cook off some of the water, and then scoop out the spaghetti squash.
Want more Instant Pot ideas? Check out all of my Instant Pot recipes.
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
- trivet (I use the one that came with my Instant Pot)
- 1 spaghetti squash (2-3 lbs) See recipe notes for larger squash
- 1 cup water
- 1 TB olive oil (optional)
- 1 tsp sea salt (optional)
Pressure Cook Spaghetti Squash:
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half, and scoop out the membrane and seeds.
- Add trivet to the Instant Pot, set squash on top, and add 1 cup water.
- Seal the lid and turn the steam valve to the sealing position.
- Set Instant Pot to pressure cook/manual, high pressure. Set the cook time for 7 minutes.
- The Instant Pot will take about 8-10 minutes to come to pressure, and then will start counting down the cook time. After the cook time is finished, carefully quick release the remaining pressure by using the handle of a long spoon (I use a wooden spoon) to turn the steam valve to venting.Tip: Quick release can be messy– the vent will shoot some liquids out with the steam. Lay a kitchen towel over the top to keep your kitchen clean.
- Wait for the steam to escape and the pin to drop down. Then, carefully remove the lid.
- Remove the squash from the Instant Pot, and discard the water. Set the trivet aside.
- Allow the squash to cool slightly. Use a fork to scoop the squash out, pulling the strands apart as you go. Discard the skin.
- Serve the spaghetti squash as is if you prefer steamed squash (with a wetter texture), OR continue for a drier, more flavorful squash.
Sauté Squash (Optional):
- Add the olive oil to the empty Instant Pot basin. Press the sauté button. Leave the adjustable temperature setting at normal.
- Add the cooked squash and salt to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to stir the squash into the oil, and let the squash cook for about 5 minutes.This step helps remove any excess water from the squash and adds a little extra flavor.
- Serve immediately.Make Ahead:Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a 4 days.