Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 8 hrs 8 mins
  • Prep: 8 mins
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
7 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 7
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 0g
Calcium 16mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Spaghetti squash is a healthy gluten-free and low-carb alternative to pasta and is super easy to cook in the slow cooker or a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. Preparation is easiest using the slow cooker method, but the Instant Pot has time on its side. 

Using the slow cooker method, all you have to do is poke a few holes in the whole spaghetti squash and put it in the slow cooker with a little water. Set it and forget it. If time isn't a factor, this is an easy method. There's no need to cut into the squash until it's fully cooked and softened. Some spaghetti squashes have a much harder outer peel than others, and they can split and crack as you cut them in half. This method eliminates that mess and hassle. 

Using the Instant Pot, you cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds (or not), and cook the squash for 6 to 8 minutes. If you want your squash in a hurry, this is the way to go. It's even faster than the microwave method. Make sure to use a spaghetti squash that fits in your slow cooker or pressure cooker.

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash (choose a size that will fit in your slow cooker or Instant Pot)
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • Sauce (for serving)

Steps to Make It

Slow Cooker Method

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. With a skewer or large fork, puncture several holes in the squash.

  3. Pour water in the slow cooker and then add the whole squash. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 to 9 hours.

  4. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.

  5. Scrape out the "spaghetti" strands and put them in a bowl.

  6. Serve the squash with your favorite sauce.

Instant Pot Method

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut the ends off of the squash. With a sharp knife, split it in half lengthwise or crosswise (carefully, the squash can roll). If desired, scoop out the seeds.

  3. Place the steaming rack in the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water.

  4. Place the spaghetti squash on the rack, cut-side up. Place the lid on the pot and make sure the vent is on "sealing."

  5. Using the "manual" setting, set the Instant Pot to 7 minutes at high pressure.

  6. Do a quick release and check the squash for tenderness. If necessary, reset and cook under high pressure for 1 to 2 minutes longer.

  7. Scoop out the seeds if you haven't already. Scrape out the strands of squash and serve.

How to Use

Separate the squash into spaghetti-like strands and top with spaghetti sauce or toss with butter and seasonings. A mixture of Parmesan cheese, basil, and olive oil is wonderful tossed with the strands. Or top it with your favorite meat sauce or a creamy Alfredo sauce. Add a basic marinara sauce to the squash, serve it with a Bolognese sauce or meatballs, or toss it with butter, salt, and pepper and pass the Parmesan cheese. Spaghetti squash with a bacon cream sauce is a great way to make it a meal, or serve it with a meat-free tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Tip

Uncooked spaghetti squash will keep for up to a month on the counter. Cooked squash will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.

Can You Overcook Spaghetti Squash?

To avoid a mushy spaghetti squash, don't overcook the winter vegetable. Cook just until knife- or fork-tender and serve with your preferred sauce.