Once you make Spaghetti squash in the Instant pot, you will never make it another way. Eight minutes under pressure, without even cutting the squash, and you have the perfect low carb or vegetarian side dish.
If you've never tried spaghetti squash before, prepare for a deliciously unique experience. It has a very neutral flavor to it. That makes it the perfect vessel for flavorful dishes like this Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash recipe!
Why Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash?
First, let me tell you WHY you should use your Instant Pot for making Spaghetti Squash.
Most people find that the biggest problem they face with spaghetti squash is cutting through the really tough skin. I have come dangerously close to slicing my fingers off more than once.
I love making spaghetti squash in my pressure cooker for a few different reasons:
- Little prep. It takes about 2 minutes of active time to set up
- 23 minutes of total cook time. About 5 minutes to pressure, 8 minutes under pressure, and 10 minutes of NPR
- Safer. You do not have to cut it! This to me is the biggest advantage.
Cooking A Whole Spaghetti Squash In The Instant Pot
So, here's how you would make that Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot.
The advantage of cooking spaghetti squash, or any hard-skinned winter squash in a pressure cooker, is that you do not need to slice it before cooking. Yup. You read that right.
Many people suggest trying to cut it in half before cooking but if you have limited hand strength (or just prefer to keep all of your fingers) you should really try my method of keeping it whole. It's a much safer approach and it cooks up just the same.
There's no need to cut it before cooking. Simply pierce holes in the skin of the spaghetti squash and cook intact.
How to Make Spaghetti Squash in the Instant Pot
- Pierce the squash. Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the squash in several places. You are doing this to allow the heat to penetrate, and to keep the squash from exploding in your pressure cooker.
- Add water to the pressure cooker. Place 1.5-2 cups of water in the Instant Pot. Place a steamer rack in the pressure cooker.
- Cook for 8 minutes at high pressure. Close the lid and allow the pressure cooker on HIGH PRESSURE for 8 minutes. Yes I know that doesn't sound like enough time, given that you could be baking spaghetti squash for up to an hour. But this works unless your squash is super ginormous.
- NPR for 10 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to rest undisturbed for 10 minutes. These 10 minutes count toward the cooking time, so do not rush it.
- Cut and prepare the squash. When you remove the squash, you can either cut it lengthwise for easy-to-manage strands or crosswise for really long strands.
- Remove the seeds. You will need to remove the seeds from the squash now. This can be a messy job. I find that using a grapefruit spoon really helps with this process so that you can just scoop them out.
- Creating the spaghetti squash strands. Then, using the tines of a fork, pull along the squash to get long, thin strands.
- Season to taste. You can just eat it as it is, with butter, salt, and pepper.
How To Make Spaghetti Squash In the Oven
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Cut the squash. Cut the squash lengthwise for the fastest cooking time.
- Pierce the skin. Using a sharp knife tip, poke the squash skin in a variety of places.
- Bake. Place the squash face down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 40 minutes
- Test for doneness. Your squash is ready when a fork scraped on the inside of the squash easily yields strands. Bigger squash will take longer so prepare accordingly.
- Remove seeds. I find it a lot easier to remove seeds once the squash is cooked. A good grapefruit spoon is the best way to do this.
- Make strands. Use the tines of a fork to make spaghetti-like strands.
- Season. I prefer to season my squash after it is baked, as I can then use it for either savory recipe like this Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash or just have it with butter and cinnamon.
What to look for when buying Spaghetti Squash
- Hard rind. Poke the squash skin lightly with a fingernail. If your nail doesn't poke through the skin, the squash is ripe.
- Dark yellow color. Ripe squash is usually a beautiful yellow, with no white spots.
- Heavy squash. It should feel heavy for its size, although I realize this is subjective.
- Intact Stem. This is just really so that you don't have an easy entry for bacteria where the stem could have broken off.
- Unblemished. No soft spots allowed! You want a clean, unblemished, hard squash.
- Properly Stored. Kept in a cool, dark pantry, you can store spaghetti squash for up to 2 months.
These same suggestions can also be used when picking an acorn squash. I have tips and tricks for how to cook acorn squash too!
How Many Net Carbs Are In Spaghetti Squash?
Well, it depends on how much you eat. With the high fat and protein content, you should feel full with less than you would imagine.
One cup of spaghetti squash only has 5.5g of net carbs! Don't let the overall carb count intimidate you.
It is packed with fiber, which brings the net carb count down to a totally acceptable low carb level.
As someone who has lived a keto lifestyle for quite some time now, I can tell you that one of the hardest things to give up is pasta--but not any longer!
Is Spaghetti Squash Healthy?
Spaghetti squash actually has many health and dietary benefits. One of the main benefits is how low carb it is in comparison to pasta.
One cup of spaghetti squash yields only 7 grams of carbs, with 1.5 grams of that being dietary fiber. That means only 5.5g of net carbs per cup!
In contrast, regular spaghetti has a staggering 43 grams of carbs, with only 2.5 grams being dietary fiber. That's over 6 times the amount of carbs as spaghetti squash!
How Long Does Spaghetti Squash Last?
Depending on the context of the question, you could get two different answers. So, I will answer them both:
- How long does spaghetti squash last? Once a spaghetti squash is harvested, it can last for up to three months before it is no longer fit to eat.
- How long does spaghetti squash last after you cook it? After you cook your spaghetti squash (no matter the method of cooking) it can last up to a week in the refrigerator while still being safe to eat.
Can You Freeze Spaghetti Squash?
Yes! It's hard for us to eat a whole squash before it goes bad, so we're practically pros at freezing them.
Put the strands into a ziptop bag, and squash the bag flat. Not only does this make for easier stacking in the refrigerator, but it also helps the squash defrost more evenly than if you had a large hunk of squash.
Looking For More Great Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes?
- Spiced Butternut Squash is a delicious side dish made fast in your air fryer.
- This easy Keto Tabouli recipe uses hemp hearts for a delicious, vegetarian keto side dish. Eat it as a salad, or use it as a savory fat bomb and enjoy a wonderful, fast salad.
- Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti squash is so easy, and a great keto vegetarian side dish.
- You can serve this spaghetti squash with my Mushroom Mascarpone sauce made in your air fryer.
- This Low Carb Broccoli Cheese Soup is an effortlessly easy take on a delicious classic.
- This Instant Pot Vegetarian Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms is so delectably savory.
- This Instant pot Mushroom Stroganoff is a delightfully comforting, warming and filling dish.
- Make this Farro Risotto With Butternut Squash easily in your Instant Pot with minimal effort.
- Mushroom Mascarpone Pasta - One of the creamiest, tastiest pastas I've ever had.
- Instant Pot Greek Green Beans - A deliciously hearty vegetarian-friendly dish.
Frequently Asked Questions about Spaghetti Squash
How can you tell if a Spaghetti Squash is still good?
Can I make spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot?
Why is my spaghetti squash bitter?
Is Spaghetti Squash truly low carb?
So the next time you get the craving for a spaghetti dish, save yourself the calories and carbs and make this delightful vegetarian Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash recipe!
And make sure to share this recipe with your friends on Pinterest and Facebook so they can enjoy it as well!
- 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
- 1.5 cups Water, for the Instant Pot
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
- Using the tip of a sharp, short knife, pierce the spaghetti squash in 7-8 places.
- Put 1.5 cups of water into the Instant Pot. Place a steamer rack into the pot. Place the pierced spaghetti squash on the rack.
- Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 8 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the pot to rest undisturbed for 10 minutes.
- Remove the squash and cut it open lengthwise, for more manageable strands or cross wise for longer strands.
- Drag a fork along the squash to get long strands of spaghetti squash. Save the squash shell if you will be serving your elegant creation in it.
- Season with salt, pepper and butter, or butter and cinnamon or use in a different recipe.
Watch The Video
Tips And Tricks For Making Spaghetti Squash
- Don't skimp on flavorings. Spaghetti squash by itself can be rather bland. Flavor it well to enjoy it.
- If the strands are too crunchy for you, I find it fastest to place them in a ziptop bag and microwave briefly.
- Spaghetti Squash can be frozen. Put the strands into a ziptop bag, and squash the bag flat. Not only does this make for easier stacking in the refrigerator, but it also helps the squash defrost more evenly than if you had a large hunk o' squash
- Baked Spaghetti Squash. See the post for instructions on how to make Spaghetti squash in the oven.
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