The BEST method for Instant Pot spaghetti squash: cook it whole! No cutting into tough spaghetti squash, easy prep (1 minute!) and perfect, long noodles every time (never soggy)
I love using the Instant Pot for meal prep! These perfect Instant Pot sweet potatoes and Instant Pot chickpeas (no soak) recipes are my go-to's to make ingredient prep super hands off, as is this spaghetti squash recipe.
Most pressure cooker spaghetti squash recipes involve cutting the squash in half, and while this cooks through quickly, I always found the noodles to be very wet and often mushy.
One day I decided to cook the squash whole and I've never looked back! No cutting into a raw squash means you can get it cooking quickly, and the seeds are so much easier to scoop out after it cooks through.
Not only that but the noodles have the perfect texture: soft, but not mushy and not wet at all. Yay!
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Reasons you'll ♡ this Instant Pot spaghetti squash recipe
- no need to cut a raw spaghetti squash (which can be really challenging!)
- it takes a fraction of the time the oven does
- keeping it whole prevents it from getting filled up with water and getting soggy
Want a good step by step tutorial on how to cook spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot? Watch the 1-minute video below! You can find more of my recipe videos on my YouTube channel.
How to cook spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot
Rather than cutting the raw squash, we are cooking spaghetti squash whole in the Instant Pot. While this does take longer than halved, the results are so worth it: perfectly cooked squash, and the 'noodles' have the perfect texture.
- place a cup of water in the stainless steel insert of your Instant Pot.
- place the trivet on top.
- Poke spaghetti squash all over with a paring knife. Note: you can only fit small (2 lb) & medium (3 lb) spaghetti squash in a 6 quart model.
- Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes (small) or 25 minutes (medium). Release the pressure immediately and check to see if your squash is cooked to your liking.
How to know if your spaghetti squash is cooked through
When the pressure has released, you can test if your spaghetti squash is done by gently pressing a paring knife into it. If the knife slides in easily, you can go ahead and cut into the squash. If you feel resistance, you can put it back into the Instant Pot and cook for another 5 minutes (the pot will come back to pressure quickly).
I cut my spaghetti squash in half (as shown below), scoop out the seeds, and shred with a fork.
Since we are often using our spaghetti squash in a second recipe which requires cooking, we like to cook our squash noodles to be a bit 'al dente' and have a small bit of crunch to them. You can certainly add a few minutes to the cook time in the Instant Pot if you'd like them to be completely soft.
Models that work
This recipe has been tested in both a 6 quart Instant Pot and an 8 quart Instant Pot. The only limitation is whether you can fit the squash into the Instant Pot.
- small (2 lb) and medium (3 lb) spaghetti squashes have been tested; larger than 3 lb may not fit in a 6 quart model
- all sizes should fit in the 8 quart
Cut your spaghetti squash across the middle
So often I see people cut their spaghetti squash into two long halves (or 'boats), but this always makes tiny 'noodles'. Since spaghetti squash strands run around the middle of the squash, if you want long noodles, you should cut it across the middle (see photo below).
Once cut, allow to cool slightly, then scoop out the seeds. Using a fork, gently work the noodles out from the squash and enjoy!
How many cups of noodles do you get from a spaghetti squash?
Spaghetti squash come in many different sizes, so it really depends on the size of your squash. In general, this is what you can expect:
- 2 lbs spaghetti squash yielded roughly 6 cups of cooked squash
- 3 lbs generated roughly 8 cups
You might be surprised to hear that spaghetti squash can be stored for meal prep! Cool completely before transferring to an air tight container.
- fridge- store in an air tight container for up to 4 days.
- freezer- spaghetti squash freezes well! You can expect it to be slightly softer and to release some water upon thawing. Freeze in a freezer bag or reusable silicone bag for up to 3 months.
- reheat- heat in a frying pan over medium heat, using tongs to stir it up until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and top with a sauce.
Meal prep tip- if you plan to use your spaghetti squash for meal prep, undercook it slightly.
Spaghetti Squash Recipes
- How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (the easy way!)
- Low Carb Lasagna Skillet
- Lemon Chicken Spaghetti Squash boats
- Baked Meatball Meal Prep with Spaghetti Squash
- Mexican Spaghetti Squash Casserole
This post was originally published in 2018. It has been republished in 2020 with extra photos, tips and a new recipe video.
Did you make this? Tag me on social @sweetpeasandsaffron and be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe!
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash (Whole)
- 1 cup water
- 1 spaghetti squash (2-3 lbs)
- Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot insert. Add trivet on top.
- Prick a 2-3 lb spaghetti squash all over with a paring knife.
- Place the whole spaghetti squash on the trivet in the pot. Put the lid on, set valve to 'sealing' and cook on high pressure for:20 minutes- 2 lb squash *25 minutes- 3 lb squash *
- Do a quick pressure release (carefully turn the valve to 'venting' immediately after the Instant Pot timer beeps).
- Test if spaghetti squash is cooked through by carefully inserting a paring knife. If the knife inserts easily, the squash is ready. If you feel resistance, put the lid back on the Instant Pot and cook for another 5 or so minutes (the pot will come back to pressure quickly).
- Allow spaghetti squash to cool a few minutes until it is safe to handle. Cut in half across the middle. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Use a fork to fluff out the spaghetti squash 'noodles'.
- Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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