What’s your comfort food? Mine has always been pasta! But since changing my diet to be gluten and grain free, pasta alternatives are the new comfort food. And one of my favorites is spaghetti squash! So today I’m sharing a super easy 20 minute Instant Pot spaghetti squash recipe with you.
Spaghetti squash is such a wonderful pasta alternative. To begin with, it’s almost the color of spaghetti! But it’s also fun because it actually twirls just like spaghetti. However, it’s a pain to make for a few reasons. The first is that it takes forever! And the second, it’s impossible to cut without hurting your shoulder, or almost chopping off a finger!
And since Black Friday has come and gone and the holiday season is upon us, the Instant Pot is a gift that everyone has gotten, wants, or is waiting for you under that tree! So I’m sharing my favorite way to use my Instant Pot and that’s to make spaghetti squash.
The Instant Pot is an amazing meal prep tool because lets face it, I live in NYC and there’s only so many things I can cook in my oven at one time. But having the Instant Pot gives me the option to cook an additional dish at the same time and speed up my meal prep! You can cook anything from stews to chicken to veggies in it. And it’s also a slow cooker which is incredible! But back to the Instant Pot!
Now, it does take about 5 minutes to pressurize and the cook time doesn’t include that. And unlike an oven, you can also leave the Instant Pot on after it’s done cooking (just like a slow cooker) and the pressure will slowly release and your food won’t be overcooked. This is great for me because if I’m in the middle of making another dish, I don’t have to drop everything to release the pressure on the Instant Pot. I just let it sit and know that my food will still taste great.
So most spaghetti squash recipes require you to either roast it whole for an hour! Who has time for that! Or to cut it in half and then roast it (or microwave). I can’t tell you how many times I almost cut off a finger trying to cut a spaghetti squash raw.
But with the Instant Pot, I just throw it in with the steamer rack, add 1/2 cup water…
close it up…
set the time using the manual setting…
and let it cook. And 20-30 minutes later, I open it up (I usually let it sit on low for about 15-20 minutes and let is manually release the pressure, but you can turn it off and release the pressure and then open the pot up once the steam has finished releasing)…
cut it, remove the threds…
and eat it!
This is also a big time saver if you’re making a recipe with the spaghetti squash like PaleOMG’s spaghetti squash pie which calls for an additional hour of cook time once all of the ingredients are combined. This used to take me 2 hours to make because of that damn 40-60 minute roasting of the squash first. But not anymore!
There are 2 ways to cut the squash depending on the type of spaghetti strands you want. If you’re eating the squash with meatballs or a tomato sauce and want to twirl it around your fork like it’s fettuccine, then I suggest cutting it crosswise because you get longer strands.
But if you’re cooking it in a casserole, then lengthwise works well because it’s short strands and easier to mix around with other ingredients in a baking dish.
Spaghetti squash is pretty bland on it’s own so make sure you top it with your favorite meatballs, pesto, or veggies! It’s an extremely versatile base for any recipe. I hope you enjoy this pasta alternative as much as we do and especially the ease and speed of cooking it in the Instant Pot!
10 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1/2 cup water
- Place the steamer inside the Instant Pot and add the spaghetti squash inside.
- Add 1/2 cup of water to the pot.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure that the steamer valve is closed.
- Plug in the Instant Pot (it will beep and say OFF). Then click MANUAL (it will automatically say 30 minutes) and use the negative sign (-) to reduce the time to 20 minutes. The Instant Pot will beep and say ON once it is set.
- Walk away and let the Instant Pot do it's thing. Once the pressure is reached, the timer will start counting down.
- Once it has finished cooking, you can manually release the valve for a quick pressure release, or you can let it sit for any additional minutes (I usually let it slowly release for about 15 minutes). Before you release any pressure, press "KEEP WARM/CANCEL" to turn off the Instant Pot.
- Open the top and carefully remove the squash from the pot (it will be hot)!
- Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and threads.
- Use a fork to shred the squash into spaghetti strands!
- Enjoy with your favorite sauce and protein!