If you love spaghetti squash, but don’t love how long it takes to bake in the oven, you’ll love how much faster it cooks in the Instant Pot! It doesn’t get much easier than this.
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
You can cook spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot in just 7 minutes, plus the time it takes to come to pressure (which is usually an extra 10 minutes or so).
I feel like the Instant Pot isn’t always a time-saver, but in this case, it totally is. It normally takes me 45-60 minutes to bake a spaghetti squash in the oven!
Now, I’m sure you could probably bake the spaghetti squash whole if you wanted to, but I much prefer to slice it in half first, so that it cooks faster and so I can scrape the seeds out easily. When you try to scoop the seeds out AFTER the squash is cooked, I feel like you lose too much of the good, cooked squash in the process.
How to Cut Spaghetti Squash
I like to use a sharp knife to slice this hard squash in half lengthwise. Typically my knife gets “stuck” in the hard shell, so when that happens I’ll lift the squash by the knife handle and then hit it on the cutting board, so that the knife will continue the cut through the shell. Once you get most of the shell cut, the rest of the shell can be split in half by pulling the halves apart with your hands.
Tip: For longer “spaghetti” strands, cut the shell the other way, crosswise.
What Does Spaghetti Squash Taste Like?
Spaghetti squash is a relatively bland vegetable, so it’s mild flavor can go well with a number of seasonings and sauces. It’s more hydrating and not as starchy as other winter squashes, like butternut or acorn, and it’s also not as sweet in flavor. I prefer to pair it with savory seasonings, like in my Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole or Spaghetti Squash Enchilada Boats.
When is Spaghetti Squash in Season?
Spaghetti squash is harvested in the Fall but it can last for months when stored in a cool place, so it’s usually available from Fall through Winter, and sometimes into early Spring.
How Long Can You Store Spaghetti Squash?
You can store the uncooked squash for months in a cool location. After you cook the squash, I’ve kept it stored in the fridge for up to a week with good results! I find it’s slightly more moist after storing it pre-cooked, but it can be a time-saver when making a casserole like the Spinach & Artichoke Casserole in No Excuses Detox, or the Cheesy Jalapeno Casserole in Everyday Detox.
Spaghetti squash can be a great side dish, or act as a pasta or shredded potato substitute. I hope you’ll enjoy it more often now with this fast cooking method!
Can you cook a whole spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot?
Yes! Simply pierce the spaghetti squash with a knife to vent, and then place it on the trivet with a cup of water in the pot. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes for a 3-pound squash. (If your squash is larger, I’d add 3 more minutes to the cook time.)
Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before manually turning the pressure release valve to venting, then use heat-proof oven mitts to remove the squash. You may want to let the squash cool slightly before slicing it in half and removing the seeds with a spoon.
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash (in 7 minutes!)
- 1 spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
- 1 cup water
- Slice the spaghetti squash in half and then scoop out the seeds in the center.
- Place a trivet or steamer basket in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add a cup of water into the bottom. Arrange the cut squash halves on top of the trivet and secure the lid. Make sure the steam release valve in the lid is turned to the Sealing position.
- Use the pressure cook or manual button to set the pressure cooker to cook at high pressure for 7 minutes. It will take roughly 8-10 minutes for the pot to build pressure before the cooking cycle begins, so make sure to consider that extra time when planning your meal.
- When the timer goes off, carefully turn the steam release valve to Venting, to quickly release any remaining steam pressure. (Make sure your hand isn't over the vent, so that you don't get burned by the steam.)
- When the floating valve in the lid drops, it's safe to remove the lid. Use a fork to check the squash to make sure it's cooked to your liking. I like my squash to be tender, but not mushy. If there is water collected in the center of your squash, drain it before serving.
- To serve the squash, use the tines of a fork to separate the cooked strands into spaghetti-like pieces and remove them from the hard shell. Use the cooked squash in your favorite recipe and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Per serving: Calories: 74, Protein: 1, Carbohydrates: 16, Fat: 1
- If you’d prefer to cook a WHOLE spaghetti squash, without cutting it in half first, follow the directions above but cook at high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to venting and remove the lid when the floating valve drops.
- If you don’t have an Instant Pot, here’s how to cook spaghetti squash in the oven.
As always, if you have additional cooking tips to share, please leave them in the comments below so we can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite way to serve spaghetti squash?
Questions and Reviews
If you have to wait 10 minutes to open the pot, that’s part of the cooking time. This takes 17 mi utes to cook.
The 10 minutes is waiting for the water to come to a boil– not after the cooking process, but yes, it is roughly 17 total minutes, which is why I mentioned the extra 10 minutes for people who might need to plan the timing. MUCH faster than baking it for an hour!
Oh dear lord woman get a life!
Great recipe thanks.
My Instapot Mini Lux is supposed to default to high for pressure cooking, but it always says it’s on low, and I can’t change it. How much longer should I cook it on low?
What size Insta pot do you have?
Here’s the exact one I have: http://amzn.to/2yYLPEm
I just stumbled across your website and I’m in love! Can’t wait to make all of your vegan recipes!!!
This is how I do it too. Comes out perfect every time! I could never get it right in the oven. If your squash is a little bigger, you can add a couple more minutes to the time. Super easy. 🙂
So glad you posted this, I wasn’t sure if doing a spagetti squash in an Instant Pot was a good idea. It cooked up beautifully and what a great time saver for sure.
You dont do 10 min natural pressure release after the cooking time? Thought I read that somewhere in your article.
You do a quick release if you cut the squash in half and cook it for 7 minutes. You only need the 10 minute natural release if you cook the squash whole, without cutting it. (And in that case it cooks for 15 minutes.)
The cooking times in the lead in are different than the times in the recipe. I am confused. Help?
In the paragraph above the recipe I give you timing if you want to cook the spaghetti squash whole, which takes longer. I prefer to cut it in half so that it cooks faster, so that’s the directions in the recipe card, but you have both options this way!
My spaghetti squash came out extra mushy and a ton of water. I cut in half and cooked for 7 minutes with quick release, and I used 1 cup of water. When i cook it in the oven, it is more noodle like texture. Any suggestions? Don’t get me wrong, 7 minutes spaghetti squash vs. 1+ hour in oven is AMAZING 😍
I live and work in a standard size OTR semi truck. My instant pot is my best friend. THIS SQUASH was perfect! Thank you!
Tried this with a GIGANTIC squash (4.5 pounds) that we got in our CSA, whole, 18 minutes and it was so soft and squishy, I couldn’t believe it! It did take a long time to get up to pressure but other than that, everything worked just as described in the recipe. All in all, I’m not sure I saved that much time than baking it (probably because this baby was so huge) but being able to throw it in whole definitely made it easier! And now I have oodles and oodles of spaghetti squash to last me through the week! THANK YOU!
I tried. this for the first time in the instapot. One half was done, the other side…not so much. Did I do something wrong?
Hmm… that’s unusual! Were the halves similar in size? I’d just put the under-done one back in the Instant Pot to cook for a few extra minutes until it matches the other side!
AMAZING!!!!!!! So simple. I would give it 10 STARS
Perfect the first time!
Your recipes are always spot on! This Instant Pot recipe for spaghetti squash is is definitely the only way I’ll be cooking this wonderful vegetable from now on. I ended up cutting the squash in quarters to fit better in my 6 qt IP. It cooked perfectly in 7 minutes. Thank you for showing us healthier ways to cook!
The “recipe card” section says cook for 7 minutes but your written article says cook for 15 minutes. Which is correct for a 3 pound squash?
When the squash is cut in half it cooks for 7 minutes. If you want to cook it whole, it cooks for 15 minutes. Hope that clarifies it for you!
Love this recipe. Worked like a charm.
I cooked a small spaghetti squash in my mini instant pot. I overcooked it, and it got squishy. I also made the mistake of letting it cool down naturally\ which added to my problem.. Won’t do any of these mistakes again. I like to fry mine gently in a skillet with olive oil and bacon and salt. At the last add some parmesan cheese. Delicious alone or with spaghetti sauce on top.
I love the idea of frying with the olive oil, bacon, salt, and Parmesan cheese. I’m trying this tonight! Yum!
Try adding some ground oats, garlic, & onions and a beaten egg pan-fry patties..add-ins sweet or hot peppers, sundried tomatoes, mush, ground meat etc…
So if you were re-doing it, how much time would you cook it? I have a 3 qt Instant Pot in our camper, and we love spaghetti squash. I was thinking I could cook 1/2 of of one, cut in half crosswise instead of length wise.
How do you drain it after cooking? Mine always turns out watery and mushy.
I have the same question! I’ve done this twice, with very “wet” and mushy squash. Am I overcooking it?
Second time I’ve made this recipe.. I cook the butternut in instant pot too.. and beets.. sure does save alot of headaches..
Arent people funny with the way they read stuff.
Oh. My. God. I can cook the squash without cutting it first. Bless you!
Ha ha, yes, it’s such a life-saver!! Hope you enjoy it.
It worked! After I got the Instant Pot figured out, it was smooth sailing
Actually trying this tonight!
I can’t wait to try this in my Instant Pot!
I know a lot of people say baking/roasting is the only way to cook a spaghetti squash but I must say I’m a microwave girl.
I slice mine in half length-wise, remove the seeds then place the halves open side down in a casserole dish with about 3/4″‘ of water. I put it in the microwave for 12 minutes.
When I hear that “ding,” I get my oven mitts out, turn over the halves and scrape out my spaghetti squash “noodles.”
Excellent! This was very good. We followed the recipe exactly as written and it definitely came up a winner. We tried it with just butter, butter and parmesan cheese, olive oil and parmesan with pepper. It was all good and twirled it on the fork like spaghetti. A big hit here! This beats baking it in the oven, and it was an easy no-mess cleanup. Thanks for the recipe.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂
This is the easiest way to cook spaghetti squash. And it comes out perfect every time.
Did for 7 mins mine came out mushy would recommend less time
How long would you cook a WHOLE spaghetti.squash in IP that only weighs 1.2 pounds
Tried this tonight. It worked great. Next time I will drain the “noodles” more as they leave a bit of water on the plate. My sauce was savory enough but will be sure to drain thoroughly. Great sub for pasta.
This comment is only on the time. 7 minutes was NOT nearly enough!
I agree. I did 7 minutes and its still hard. This spaghetti squash is smaller than normal.
I did 8 minutes high pressure and wasn’t enough for me either. 🙁
Are you at high altitude? That will affect the cooking time. I live near The Mile High City, and have to multiply all Instant Pot cooking times by 1.15. (That number varies based on where your elevation.) 🙂
My 2lb squash was still rock hard. I added an additional 5 min and it was still hard. Where could I have gone wrong? I cut mine in half
My best guess would be that your Instant Pot didn’t seal properly, if a cut squash is still rock hard after 12 minutes of pressure cooking. Did you watch to see if the floating valve in the lid popped up? Sometimes there can be an issue with the placement of the sealing ring in the lid, since it expands with heat and can move around each time you use the pressure cooker. Otherwise it could just be a particularly tricky squash! Since spaghetti squash is usually harvested at the end of the summer– maybe the older the squash is, the more time it needs? I’ll report back if I hear any more about that.
I haven’t made this yet but want to confirm that not only do you not have to cut it in 1/2, you don’t have to pierce it for ventilation? Is that right?
You only pierce it if you’re cooking it whole. Otherwise cutting it in half will suffice!
I tried this but the time for the pressure to release was almost 30 mins. Am I doing something wrong?
I always manually release the pressure by moving the steam release valve to the “Venting” position after the 10 minutes of natural release time has passed. You don’t have to wait for it to naturally release completely on its own.
Turned out perfect!! Thank you for the instructions/recipe. I used to cook mine in the crock pot 6 hours, lol. I added spaghetti sauce and some frozen meatballs. Delicious!
Mine came out nothing but mush. Followed directions exactly. Maybe less time?
Thank you for this recipe! I love the detailed instructions and since I’m a newbie to InstaPot, super helpful. The squash is in the IP now!
Horrible recipe. Followed it exactly and the squash was still extremely hard. Had to put it back in which takes a long time since the pressure has to build back up. I should’ve just done it in the oven – way more reliable.
Thank you Megan for this perfect guide! I didn’t weigh my squash but it was a pretty good sized one, and I’m guessing it was probably well over 3 lbs. I halved it and cooked it for 7 minutes. It ended up being tender (al dente perhaps?) like you said. Will try an extra minute the next time I make one and have a big squash like I had.
I will never go back to baking them in the oven 🙂
you can put the squash in the microwave for 30 seconds and is much easier to cut in half. No changes from that and perfect.
I cut squash in half and placed openning up in machine.
needed a total of 11 minutes.
Delicious. I make slicing a spaghetti squash easier by placing the whole squash in my instant pot, adding 1 cup of water, cooking on high pressure for 3 minutes and quick release. The skin is soft enough to slice, but the inside is still cold. I then remove the seeds, add another 1/2 cup of water and return the squash to the iPot for 4 or more minutes to finish cooking it.
Ps.The seeds will germinate and you can grow tasty, cute spaghetti squash.
Perfect! Turned out perfect. In the hot summer months, I hate heating up the kitchen with the oven. One more reason to love my Instant Pot! Thank you for this
So if I did not watch the video this time I would not have seen that I did it ALL WRONG last time!I had the trivet upside down, and cut the squash the wrong direction. Hope this comment helps someone else. No wonder I couldn’t fit both halves the first time. Thanks for the recipe!
When cooking the spaghetti squash whole, do I need to puncture it with a knife before cooking?
This was so perfect and so easy!!! Thank you for letting me know this was a thing and how to do it!
The squash was impossible to cut without microwaving it first. You can instant pot it only partially cut for 4 minutes then it cuts easily. It will come to pressure again quickly for the final minutes once cut since it’s still hot.
Spaghetti squash comes out perfect with this method. Love it!
Hi, I tried this and the spaghetti squash was not even close to being done after 7 minutes. I use my pressure cooker all the time and am not a novice at all. I was surprised at the time being only 7 minutes in your blog, but gave it a try and then was disappointed because it wasn’t cooked through and so I had to bring the pressure cooker back up to pressure and go through the whole process again. I have an Instant Pot Ultra and so I have no idea what type of pressure cooker would cook half a spaghetti squash in 7 minutes.
I’m so sorry to hear that! I’ve seen other recipes that call for 8 minutes, but this timing almost always works in my 6-quart DUO. How long did it end up taking for your squash to cook?
It was so quick and easy to make the spaghetti squash in the insta pot. I was amazed at how I was able to get all of the squash out of each half! Thanks for a great tip on making this yummy squash.
Super easy and squash was cooked perfectly. I then sauteed half with shallots, garlic and parsley and served with parmesan.
Love love not having to slice open the squash first. Turns out so well.
I cut mine in half and it was still quite hard after 7 min at high pressure. I cooked another 3 and still too hard. It’s want a very big squash either. I wonder if it’s the type of instant pot?
I have the 6 quart Viva.