Spaghetti squash is a truly amazing vegetable. Standing on its own two legs amongst the other varieties of fall and winter squash, this little ball of sunshine has a little something different going on inside. It gets its name from its uncanny ability to basically turn into spaghetti with a little heat, and that alone is pretty darn cool. Here are some tips on how to make Instant Pot spaghetti squash.
Most other winter squash are considered a starchy vegetable, but spaghetti squash isn’t so much. In fact, it’s very low in carbohydrates and calories while being high in fibre and nutrients. Whether or not you’re cutting carbs, there’s no denying that it’s delicious! We’ve talked before about how we adore pasta because, well… we’re human. Pasta is good and there’s no denying it! You can see our favourite Instant Pot pasta recipes and take some saucy inspiration whether you opt for squash or the real thing.
Sometimes, it’s good to opt for lighter fare though. Spaghetti squash can take on the flavours of just about any classic pasta dish while cutting back on carbs and calories big time. Beyond that, it’s grain-free and gluten-free, so it’s suitable for a paleo diet, gluten-free eaters, and vegan recipes too. It hits ALL the notes. Finally, you can make it in the Instant Pot.
The quickest spaghetti squash recipe ever
Spaghetti squash is typically made in the oven. While it works out just fine for the most part, it takes a long time! Another option is nuking it in the microwave, but I think we can all agree that things taste better when they’re not made in the microwave, not to mention the controversy around using one in the first place.
The other option is – you guessed it – making spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot. It’s even faster than the microwave, and the results are perfect. Let’s talk technique.
First, let’s talk about some pro tips! You can always cut your spaghetti squash lengthwise like in the photo above, but you’ll end up with shorter strands. This is fine as it doesn’t impact taste at all, but it will impact how much the squash resembles spaghetti. If you’re going for the most authentic pasta substitute, cutting it crosswise (as shown below) is ideal for long noodles you can twirl on your fork.
Another tip is NOT to cook the spaghetti squash whole. First and foremost, it takes longer. You’ll likely want to double the time, aiming for around 13-14 minutes on ‘HIGH’ pressure for a whole squash. Secondly, while you’ll skip out on the arm workout from cutting the squash beforehand, you will likely be frustrated when the seeds are baked into the squash. This makes it difficult to scoop them out. You’ll also end up wasting some of the precious flesh in the process of doing so. Now, on to the recipe!
You’ll need just TWO ingredients!
- Spaghetti squash
- 1 cup of water
1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half down the middle – crosswise, not lengthwise! This will help you remove the strands so that they resemble spaghetti better later.
2. Remove the seeds and stringy squash from the middle of the squash.
3. Use a steamer basket or the trivet that comes with your Instant Pot, and insert into the Instant Pot.
4. Fill the Instant Pot with the cup of water.
5. Place the squash halves into the pot.
6. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and set the Instant Pot to ‘HIGH’ on manual for 7 minutes.
7. When the pressure cooker is finished doing its thing, release the pressure manually to prevent further cooking a.k.a. mushy squash!
8. Let the squash cool enough to safely handle, then “shred” with a fork to serve.