This Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash is super easy to make and cooks in just 5 minutes under pressure! Serve with meat sauce for a full meal.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Spaghetti squash – you can try using butternut squash instead, but you’ll need to add a couple minutes onto the cooking time as its denser than spaghetti squash.
- Olive oil – or another neutral cooking oil like avocado or canola oil.
- Yellow onion – white onion or shallots would also work here.
- Carrot – swap out for another vegetable like zucchini or bell peppers.
- Celery – leave this out altogether or add in some more carrot.
- Garlic – fresh minced garlic or jarred minced garlic would both work.
- Ground beef – you could also try making this recipe with ground turkey or chicken.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
- Tomato sauce – I like the Classico brand but you can use your favourite jarred tomato sauce.
- Mozzarella cheese – swap out for some parmesan or leave this out altogether.
- Basil – you could also garnish with some fresh parsley or oregano.
How to cook spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot
- Assemble your ingredients.
- Cut the squash in half.
- Scoop out the seeds.
- Add the trivet to the Instant Pot.
- Place the squash on its sides.
- Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Make the meat sauce.
- Serve and enjoy!
How to cut spaghetti squash
The exterior skin of the spaghetti squash is very difficult to cut. To make it a little easier, microwave the entire squash for two minutes. This is an optional step but it will make slicing so much easier and safer! A sharp chef’s knife is always recommended for this step.
Once microwaved, you will easily be able to cut the squash in half. For this recipe, cut the squash in half lengthwise, from the top to bottom. If you want to make the squash into spaghetti-like strands and ditch the shell entirely after it’s cooked, it’s best to cut horizontally through the middle.
Scoop the seeds out before making your Instant Pot spaghetti squash. You can even roast the seeds and eat them, just like pumpkin seeds!
Frequently Asked Questions
Spaghetti squash doesn’t taste exactly like spaghetti, but it’s a great low-carb substitute. It has a mild and slightly sweet flavour, so it goes perfectly with this homemade meat sauce.
Yes! Spaghetti squash is packed full of vitamins and nutrients including vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants. Plus, it’s low in calories and carbs!
Cooking spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot pretty much guarantees perfect squash every time. The water at the bottom of the Instant Pot will ensure it doesn’t get crunchy and stays nice and moist. By pressure-cooking it, you’ll get amazing tender spaghetti squash. If you roast it in the oven, it’s easy to over-cook it so it gets all crunchy.
Spaghetti squash is a great low-carb alternative to traditional pasta noodles. This Instant Pot spaghetti squash recipe has about 22 grams of carbs per serving, whereas a traditional pasta recipe would have double or even triple the carb amount.
Storing and reheating
Everything in this spaghetti squash Instant Pot recipe is great for meal prep. It can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. You can reheat this in the microwave for a couple minutes, but it will keep its texture better if you reheat it in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 375° Fahrenheit.
If you haven’t yet cooked the spaghetti squash, it will last in a cool dry location for 1-2 months or in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Freezing this recipe
You can freeze spaghetti squash either with or without the meat sauce for up to 3 months. If you are freezing the halves, make sure they are tightly sealed before freezing them. If you have limited space, use a fork to take the flesh out of the shell before freezing.
Thaw the spaghetti squash in the fridge overnight before eating. Be aware that spaghetti squash does have a high water content, so you’ll need to drain some of the water from it before reheating. Just lay it on a kitchen towel or paper towels and let it drain out some of the excess water.
More Instant Pot comfort food recipes
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
- Healthy Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Buy an extra trivet online in case you lost yours.
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on storing the leftovers.
- I get all my grass fed ground beef from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Use these Ziploc bag holders if you plan on freezing the sauce.
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months.
Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 medium-sized spaghetti squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb extra lean ground beef
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- 1 (690mL) jar tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated (optional)
- Chopped fresh basil, for garnish (optional)
- Microwave spaghetti squash for 2 minutes to soften it – this will make it easier to cut. Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place trivet on the bottom of Instant Pot and pour in water. Add spaghetti squash halves on their sides.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 5 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook the 5 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Remove spaghetti squash with gloves and scrape into strands with a fork. Serve and enjoy, or continue by making meat sauce with instructions below.
- Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set to saute. Add ground beef, sauteeing 3-4 minutes until browned. Add onions, carrot, celery, garlic, salt & pepper and cook until veggies soften, about another 3-4 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, then simmer for 10 minutes. Remove sauce from pot and serve over cooked spaghetti squash, adding cheese and basil if desired. Enjoy!