Instant Pot spaghetti squash recipe that cooks in half the time compared to roasting. Pair this tasty vegetable dish with your favorite sauces or add-ons for a hearty meal.
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When you’re looking for a grain-free, vegetable-packed carb, spaghetti squash is your answer! Cutting open the tough outer skin reveals magical strand-like noodles when cooked. I often like to roast them because it develops a flavorful surface. However, when I’m short on time, I grab my electric pressure cooker.
The only thing you need is water to cook the flesh in an Instant Pot quickly. The enclosed vessel tenderizes the stringy interior in under 10 minutes. Perfect for those days when you’re short on time but want to make a wholesome meal.
Prepare the spaghetti squash
The outer skin of the spaghetti squash is thick, and so are the walls of the flesh. I like to use a rocking motion with my sharp chef knife to cut the squash lengthwise. I always cut through the stem last because it’s very tough, or just pull the halves away from each other to separate. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. You can rinse, dry, and roast them for a healthy snack.
Electric pressure cooking
I use a 6-quart Instant pot for cooking the squash. Make sure to add the metal trivet on the bottom first. This gadget helps elevate the pieces above the water for better air circulation. All you need is one cup of water to generate enough pressure and steam.
Add the squash halves on top of the trivet with the cut-side facing up, this ensures that the moist heat will cook the raw vegetable all the way through. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, then quickly release. There will be some water that pools in the bowl of the squash. Use tongs to tilt and drain the excess back into the pot.
I like to use a fork or large spoon to scrape the flesh away from the skin. You can then separate the strands to create noodle-like pieces. Season it simply with salt and pepper or a drizzle of olive oil.
For extra flavor, grate some fresh parmesan cheese or pecorino romano to make a gluten-free cacio e pepe. Use the flesh to make a spaghetti squash casserole or eat them right out of their built-in bowl.
What to serve this with:
Adjusting the cooking time
For a slightly more firm, al dente texture, cook for 7 minutes. I recommend reducing the cooking time to 6 to 7 minutes for squash 2 pounds or less. The vessel’s elevated temperature will continue to cook the flesh quickly, so it’s crucial to quick release. Leaving them in a pressurized environment for too long will make them mushy. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes if needed after the initial cook time.
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Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash, about 2 1/2 pounds
- 1 cup of water
- Wash and dry the spaghetti squash. Carefully cut it in half lengthwise. It’s easier to start at the bottom using rocking motions. Then cut through the stem last or pull apart the squash to separate at the stem.
- Place the wire rack/trivet inside a 6-quart Instant Pot and then add water. Place the halves inside the pot, cut-side facing up. Slightly overlap if needed to fit.
- Make sure that the release valve is in the "Sealing" position. Place the lid on then turn and lock.
- Press the "Manual" button on the Instant Pot on high pressure, and then set the timer to 8 minutes using the "+" or "-" controls. It will take about 10 to 15 minutes for the pot to heat and build pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display. See note section for a firmer texture.
- Once cook time is complete, carefully quick-release the pressure. Use an oven mitt to slowly and carefully twist the steam release handle on the lid to the "Venting" position. You can also cover the valve with a towel to prevent splatter. The initial release will spray some moisture around so be careful. Remove the lid, opening the top away from you as steam will release.
- If there is any water sitting on the squash, use tongs to tip and drain it into the pot. Transfer spaghetti squash to a plate. Use a fork to separate the strands from the skin. Serve hot with desired seasonings.
- Recipe Yield: A 2 ½ pound spaghetti squash yields about 4 cups. Select a squash between 2 to 3 pounds, any larger and it will not fit in the pot.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Firmer Texture: For a slightly more firm texture, cook for 7 minutes, and quick release. Cook a 2-pound squash for 6 to 7 minutes.
- Storing: Cool the squash entirely and store it in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Reheating: Reheat in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Heat on high power in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
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