How to Make Spaghetti Squash in an Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is the easiest, quickest way to cook spaghetti squash. All you need is a squash and water to make this swap for a lower-carb meal!
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: This simple recipe makes it effortless to cook a delicious, sweet squash with no mess.
We’ve tried every way to cook spaghetti squash, and using the Instant Pot / pressure cooker is by far our favorite for speed and simplicity.
If you’re looking for more fast and easy Instant Pot vegetable dishes, try our Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Corn on the Cob and Instant Pot Carrots with a Maple-Butter Glaze.
Update: We love making Instant Pot spaghetti squash, so we’ve updated this post with new step-by-step photos and tips to make this recipe even easier.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED
You really only need one ingredient for this recipe: spaghetti squash. (Plus the water to steam it with.) I recommend choosing a squash that’s on the small to medium side, so it will fit inside the pressure cooking pot.
How to Make Spaghetti Squash in an Instant Pot
✅ This easy recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
Step 1: Start by preparing your squash. First, cut off the stem end.
Step 2: Next, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a large spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds and inner membrane.
Step 3: Now add a cup of water to the pressure cooker pot. Place a trivet in the pot. Place the squash on the trivet, then lock the lid in place. Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes, then release the pressure with a quick pressure release.
Step 4: When the valve drops, remove the lid and let the squash cool until it’s cool enough to handle. Then remove the squash from the pot and use a fork to scrape the strands of spaghetti from the skin. Enjoy!
Important Tips for Making Spaghetti Squash
When you’re prepping the squash to put in the pot, it’s important to use a very sharp knife. These squashes can have a thick skin, so be careful when cutting!
Also, don’t forget to add the water to the pressure cooking pot. This creates steam to cook the squash. Without it, you may get a burn notice.
Frequently Asked Questions about Spaghetti Squash in an Instant Pot
You can serve the squash as a side dish on its own, seasoned with salt, pepper and butter. Or use it to replace pasta with any of your favorite sauces, such as this quick Marinara Sauce in our Penne recipe. (Just cook over 1 cup water and follow the pot-in-pot directions as written.)
Here’s a great recipe for Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter. Or, try delicious cheesy Spaghetti Squash Parmesan from How Sweet Eats.
Yes, you can freeze fully cooled squash in a freezer-safe container for up to six months. Defrost in your Instant Pot or in the fridge overnight, then reheat in the microwave.
Store cooled squash in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
Before I started cooking it in the pressure cooker, I followed my Baked Spaghetti Squash recipe from Barbara Bakes.
More Instant Pot Vegetable Recipes
Try these other healthy vegetarian Instant Pot recipes next:
- Curried Carrot Soup is warming and spiced with curry flavors.
- Green Beans make a super fast side dish for anytime of year.
- Creamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes are our go-to side dish for Thanksgiving, cookouts, and more.
Do you LOVE this recipe?
Leave us a review below to tell us why!
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
- 3 lb. spaghetti squash
- 1 cup water
- Cut off the stem end of the squash, cut the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon.
- Add water to the pressure cooker pot. Place the spaghetti squash on a steamer basket or rack in the pot. Cook 8 minutes on high pressure. Use a quick pressure release.
- When squash is cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrap the strands of “spaghetti” from the skin.
If you have trouble cutting your squash in half lengthwise, you can also cut it in half in the center, which is usually much easier.
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Hi Barbara & Jenn,
This was a great & very easy way for me to use a spaghetti squash, just loved it.
I also made your recipe for Pumpkin Cheeecake, being this past Monday was our Thanksgiving here in Canada, loved the way it came out.
Question? Do you have a recipe for Lwmoncello CheesecakeK
I enjoy your Pup updates
Take Care Ruth
Thanks for subscribing to our emails Ruth! So nice to hear you loved this spaghetti squash and our pumpkin cheesecake recipe. I have a great lemon cheesecake recipe https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/meyer-lemon-cheesecake/ I haven’t tried it with Lemoncello, but you should be able to sub limoncello for the lemon juice in the cheesecake. Let me know if you give it a try.
I have made spaghetti squash this way for a few years now and it always turns out great. I use the “spaghetti” with various recipes, the latest being a squash and meatball casserole. It is a great alternative to both store bought “real” spaghetti and rice. But do be careful cutting the raw squash (as you have warned). It may help to soften the whole squash by par-cooking for five or six minutes in the microwave. But be careful not to overcook it.
Thanks Stephen – sounds like a delicious casserole. You can also cook spaghetti squash whole in the pressure cooker if it’s a small one, you you have trouble cutting it. https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/spaghetti-squash-with-roasted-balsamic-cherry-tomatoes/
Since I have an Aluminum stovetop pressure cooker and quick release is not an option ( not advised) , Since the cooking time is so short ( 8min) should I just bring the pot to pressure and then let it natural release which takes about 15 min with my stovetop pot?
Hi Valeria – that sounds like it would work. Let me know.
when i used my older pressure cooker i used to run water over the top to reduce pressure quickly ..
of coourse, leaving the jiggler on while running water over the top
I’ve read they no longer recommend that type of quick release. http://www.hippressurecooking.com/now-release-pressure/
I have found that cutting squash is risky with some of the ways I have read about. I have found that a bread knife, though long, cuts through very nicely. Use a sawing action and moderate force to start. When it gets going easy-peezy, and a whole lot safer. I start over the sink to get started then move to counter to finish.
I think I’ve come to like cutting it in the middle the best. I really like using my long bread knife to watermelon knife too.
I take my knife and juat stab little holes around it where I want to cut it and then just microwave it for 5 minutes. Cuts SO much easier!
Tim, you can also use a French knife and a rubber mallet.
Barbara, love this website. Spaghetti squash: the strands of squash form around so if you cut it in half not length-wise, the strands can be started with fork but can be separated by hand. It is remarkable and quick.
thanks for your site. If you choose to not cut the squash or can’t before pressure cooking, be sure to cut in rings after cooling.
Thanks Michele – did you know that some spaghetti squash the strands grow around and some grow length-wise. Usually the ones available in my area the strands grow length-wise.
I wonder if the difference is the way they are grown. Some grow squash on a trellis and let them hang while others grow them flat on the ground.
It would be interesting to know why. That’s a possibility 🙂
I just tried this tonight and I found that 8 minutes was not long enough to be able to scrape all the meat out of squash.. I had to do it in halves as my 8 quart express cooker was not big enough for both halves.. I didnt put slits in the 1st half like I do when I cook in oven with oil, but I did the 2nd half and upped time to 10 minutes and it was still hard to pull apart with fork.. so in they both go for another 5 minutes, we will see how it turns out (currently waiting for it to finish)
Going to try this now! For those that have difficulty cutting the squash, I took my meat tenderizer, dish towel and a large santoku knife and used the tenderizer to hammer the knife through the squash (towel over the knife to protect it). Worked great, was super fast and a clean cut!
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I knew there just had to be another pressure cooker user out there in the world that had figured out how to use it to cook spaghetti squash. I have an antique microwave so that was out. I don’t use a full-sized oven – only a GREAT toaster oven that is wonderful for most things but a little small to bake squash face down. So, it seemed reasonable that I should be able to use my great pressure cooker to do the job. Just plugged in the question and up you popped! Thank you so much for posting this great time-saving process. MUCH appreciated!
Hi Mary Kay! So glad I could help 🙂 I think you’ll love the way the spaghetti squash tastes cooked in the pressure cooker too.
Thank you for the wonderful instructions on cooking the spaghetti squash. Tonight, I prepped the squash as you’ve detailed, and then I sautéed some spicy Italian sausage, red peppers, onions, serving it over a garlic Alfredo sauce. It was divine!
Thanks Iris! That does sound like a divine way to serve it.
The spaghetti squash are just starting to get ripe in my garden, tonight I am pressure cooking the first one. Going to do a tomato garlic basil sauce inspired by Gennaro Contaldo to put over it.
Sounds like a perfect end of summer sauce. Enjoy!
I don’t have a pressure cooker, is there a way to cook it in a crock pot?
Hi Amee – I have never cooked it in a crock pot. You can do it in the oven http://www.barbarabakes.com/2008/07/spaghetti-squash-with-quick-pasta-sauce/ or in the microwave.
Thanks so much!
Electric pressure cookers are more affordable now. It’s like a slow cooker only faster. If you can make it in a slow cooker or pressure depending on time you have. Enjoy both, comes out the same.
Hi Rich – and many of the new electric pressure cookers now offer a slow cooker option. Eventually I think you’ll just need one appliance.
I have cooked spaghetti squash in a crock pot. If you cut the squash in half, either direction, scoop out seeds, salt and pepper, put in crock pot with 1 cup water. Cook on high for 4 hours.
I don’t have any insert that came with my pressure cooker. Will any kind of rack work? Is the key just to keep it up off the bottom?? Thank you!
Yes, the key is to keep it off the bottom and out of the water so it steams and doesn’t boil. Here’s a link to the Cuisinart website that shows you what the rack/trivet looks like. http://www.cuisinart.com/parts/specialty_appliances/cpc-600.html I assume any kind of similar sized metal rack would work too.
LOVE pressure-cooking spaghetti squash — so quick. I actually toss the entire squash into the pressure cooker whole (on a trivet). Once it cools, it’s easy to cut in half and scoop out the seeds (to roast later).
I hate trying to hack into a raw gourd — my hands aren’t strong enough. 🙂
Thanks for the tip. Next time I’ll try it without cutting it in half.
I tried the posted recipe for cooking spaghetti squash in a pressure cooker last night. It was so easy and tasty! The hardest part for me because of weak wrists is cutting the raw squash in two. Please share details about cooking it whole and then cutting — Do you pierce raw squash? How long to cook per pound? High or low pressure? Any other tips?
Hi Betty – I haven’t tried it, but in a Facebook pressure cooking group that I’m a member of Jill Nussinow posted this:
you don’t need to puncture the squash. I just put it in with a cup of water.
Spaghetti squash only take 4 to 8 minutes at pressure. So easy and no need to cut before hand.
It can be hard to cut. I usually have my husband cut it. I prefer to cut it and remove the seeds because I think it’s easier to remove the seeds when it’s not hot. If I’m cutting it, I cut the top (stem end) and bottom a bit so I have a flat surface to cut on, before cutting it in half.
I’m going to try it this way next time too! I thought about doing it but worried about it exploding in the p/c because actually one time we cooked one in the microwave and must not have poked holes in it good enough because it exploded and actually broke the seal to our microwave so we had to get a new one…but if it’s worked for you, then maybe I’ll be brave enough to try it…
I *almost* tried this tonite, then chickened out, thinking about a blown up PC from the whole squash. Thanx for the info!
I’m excited to try this Barbara! We have a whole bunch of spaghetti squash from our garden this year!
Great! You’ll have to let me know what you think.
Made spaghetti squash this way last night for dinner. My husband wondered if I had added sugar to it – it was so sweet and delicious! Thanks for sharing a great technique.
Oh and I didn’t remove the stem or the seeds – just washed it off, cut it in half and stuck it in the p/c. It’s actually easier to remove the seeds after they have cooked…
Hi Heather – thanks for coming back and letting me know you tried it. Makes me want to make it again soon. What did you serve with it?
Your black bean chili looks excellent! Can’t wait to see that recipe! 🙂
Can’t wait to try this!
I love spaghetti squash!!
Oh, shucks! I threw out a spaghetti squash my sister gave to me (shhh!) just three days ago because I simply didn’t know what I was going to do with it! Had I known about this, however . . .
Thanks such a shame. Wish I’d posted it a few days earlier 🙂
This looks amazing, can’t wait to try this!
Oooh, Spaghetti Squash is one of my favorites. I didn’t know it tasted different microwaved (I don’t have microwave).
When I came to the U.S. this summer I pressure cooked spaghetti squash and then sauteed it briefly in sage butter sauce. My husband, who was out of the kitchen during the whole operation, imagined me making and cooking home-made pasta with squash pulp- how did you get each noodle so perfect?!?
Shhhhh! It’s our secret. ; )
Such a fun story Laura – sauteing it in sage butter is a great idea.