This easy Instant Pot spaghetti squash recipe involves steaming a whole spaghetti squash in an Instant Pot pressure cooker until tender. The cooked squash strands or noodles are perfect for adding your favourite pasta sauce, pesto, or peanut sauce.
How to Choose the Right Spaghetti Squash
There is nothing quite like in-season spaghetti squash with a mild and slightly sweet taste. If you would like to serve squash to family members or friends who are less than enthused by it, this is the perfect squash to choose. It doesn’t have the same robust flavour as something like butternut squash, so it may be much more palatable for those who are new to squash.
Spaghetti squash are firm and oblong in shape. Moreover, when they are cooked, the inside can be separated into spaghetti-type strands. Spaghetti squash, like zucchini noodles, is perfect when you need a low carb pasta or simply would like to get another serving of fruit/veggies in.
When shopping for spaghetti squash at the grocery store or farmer’s market, look for one that is a beautiful yellow colour. If there is any green on it, it likely isn’t ripe and won’t have as sweet of a taste. You should also look for a squash that doesn’t have any cracks or disfigurations if possible.
Spaghetti squash will keep for quite a while, so you may want to stock up on a few when they are at their peak in the fall. In fact, they should stay fresh for up to 3 months in a dark environment that is cool.
How to Make Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
To make this Instant Pot spaghetti squash recipe, you should start by poking holes all over the squash. This helps the squash cook more evenly by allowing the steam to penetrate.
Next, you place 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot bowl and place the trivet inside. The spaghetti squash should fit perfectly on the trivet. (Extra large spaghetti squash will only fit in an 8 quart pressure cooker model)
Once the lid is closed, you should ensure that you set the valve to the sealing position so that the pressure cooker comes under pressure. You can use either a small, medium, or large spaghetti squash for this recipe, so you should adjust the timings accordingly. A medium to large squash should take a total of 25 minutes in the Instant Pot.
Once the squash is cooked, you should release the steam via quick release. This is where you push the valve from the sealing to venting position to release the steam. If you are uncomfortable with this step, wearing oven gloves can help ensure you don’t burn your hands. I also recommend that you operate your Instant Pot in an open space so that you don’t get steam all over your cupboards.
Once you have removed the squash to a cutting board with tongs, you can leave it to cool a little before handling it. The next step depends on how you will be serving your squash. For example, you can cut the squash in half along the width to scoop out the strands for spaghetti. Alternatively, you can cut the squash in half lengthwise to serve as squash boats.
In this case, simply use a fork to shred the squash while leaving it in the squash hollows. Then, you can top it with your favourite sauce. In both cases, be sure to remove the seeds. While edible, they may not be very appealing to eat.
The Benefits of Steaming Squash Whole
While you certainly could cut the spaghetti squash in half before steaming, steaming a whole squash is much easier. For one thing, you don’t have to attempt to cut through a firm uncooked squash if that makes you uncomfortable. For another, the interior stays protected from the steam, which can make the spaghetti squash watery and less appealing to eat.
The one disadvantage is that the whole squash will take longer to cook than squash halves. However, a lengthier cook time is a reasonable trade-off for easier prep and less watery results.
How to Serve Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
At its simplest, you can scoop the spaghetti squash strands out of the squash halves into a bowl, and simply season them with some salt, pepper, nutmeg, and olive oil or butter if desired. This combination is great as a side dish on a Thanksgiving table or just a regular meal alongside roasted chicken.
Another way of serving spaghetti squash would be on a plate and dolloped with pasta sauce, like Bolognese, pesto, marinara, or even peanut sauce for an Asian spin. You can also add the shredded squash to casseroles, replace traditional potatoes with the squash for latkes, or bake it with cheese for a gratin. The possibilities are endless when you have a food as good as this!
Other Squash Recipes You’ll Love:
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
This easy Instant Pot spaghetti squash recipe involves steaming a whole spaghetti squash in an Instant Pot pressure cooker until tender. The cooked squash strands or noodles are perfect for adding your favourite pasta sauce, pesto or peanut sauce.
- 1 spaghetti squash small to medium-large
- 1 cup water
With a small sharp knife poke holes all around the outside of the spaghetti squash.
Pour 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot. Add a trivet and place the spaghetti squash on the trivet.
Close the lid and turn the valve to sealing. Cook on high pressure. 20 minutes for small ones, 25 for medium-large. The pressure cooker will take about 8-10 minutes to pressurize before the timer starts to count down.
Once the pressure cook cycle has finished, turn the valve to venting position to quick release the pressure. Open the lid.
Use tongs or let the spaghetti squash cool a little until you can comfortably handle it. Transfer it to a cutting board.
Cut the squash open - cut along the circumference to scoop out the longest noodle strands; cut lengthwise if making spaghetti squash boats topped with sauce.
Scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Use a fork to pull out the noodle strands or add sauce & toppings right into the spaghetti squash boats halves.