This Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash Recipe is tossed with garlic, herbs, parmesan cheese, and olive oil, and cooks up in only a few minutes in your pressure cooker! This is the perfect low-carb alternative to pasta or a delicious vegetable side dish for any occasion.
If you haven’t hopped on the spaghetti squash bandwagon yet, I suggest you get on board. The humble spaghetti squash is so versatile and delicious. And it’s AMAZING how much the little strands of squash resemble its namesake- spaghetti!
Spaghetti squash makes a great alternative to pasta if you’re looking to add more veggies to your diet or want something low carb. You can toss cooked spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, bolognese sauce, pesto, or any other pasta-type fare.
Spaghetti squash cooks in the instant pot in only 7 minutes! You can stop there, and use the cooked squash however you want.
But in this recipe, I’ll explain how to sauté some pine nuts and minced garlic right in your instant pot, with plenty of olive oil and fresh herbs, tossed with the spaghetti squash and parmesan cheese for a complete one-pot side dish or light meal. Yum yum!
And if you don’t have an instant pot, never fear: you can roast it or slow cook it and then add the other ingredients to the squash on your stovetop.
How to prep and cut spaghetti squash
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise CAREFULLY! It’s round and slippery and dense, so it’s easy to make a mistake. I usually stick the tip of my knife right in the center and then press down on the handle. Then, I repeat on the other side to get an even cut.
After you cut the squash in half, use a spoon to scoop the seeds out. Alternatively, this is another great way to use that pumpkin seed scoop you usually only take out for pumpkin carving, or even an ice cream scoop.
How to cook spaghetti squash in your instant pot
All you need is a cup of water and a cut, seeded spaghetti squash, along with your wire rack/trivet that came with your pressure cooker.
- First, add the cup of water to the bottom of the instant pot (I use a 6 qt. Instant Pot). Pressure cookers don’t work unless there’s some kind of liquid to create steam/pressure in the pot.
- Then, place the wire rack/trivet that probably came with your instant pot inside.
- Place the spaghetti squash halves on top of the wire rack (this is so they don’t get too waterlogged by sitting right in the water in the bottom). I had to place them at a bit of an angle to get them to fit (see photo below).
- Cover and close your instant pot, making sure the vent is set to the “sealed” position.
- Set it to cook on manual on high for 7 minutes.
- When it’s done, quick release the pressure and wait for the float valve to depress. I use a wooden spoon to flip the vent because it scares me :-) Then, you can safely open the instant pot and your spaghetti squash will be perfectly cooked!
How to remove the strands of squash
It’s easiest to remove the spaghetti squash “noodles” using the tines of a fork. This causes them to stay apart and not smush together, and you’ll be able to separate them easily as you scoop them out.
Scoop them out using a fork right down to the edge of the peel- there’s a lot in there!
Making spaghetti squash with garlic and herbs in your instant pot
Just sauté some pine nuts and garlic in olive oil, then toss with the cooked spaghetti squash, fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper! It’s so easy. Here are some tips for success:
- Scoop the spaghetti squash noodles into a colander placed over a glass bowl. Then, press down with your hands or with the back of a wooden spoon to squeeze some of the water out. Let it sit there until you need it. This will make it less waterlogged/soggy.
- Remove the water and trivet from the instant pot and add some olive oil, pine nuts, and minced garlic. Then, turn the sauté function on and cook for about 1-2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant and just starting to turn golden and pine nuts get slightly toasted. The sauté function gets HOT on an instant pot, so you don’t want to be too aggressive here and burn the garlic and nuts!
- Turn the sauté function off, add the cooked spaghetti squash to the garlic oil mixture, and stir to coat.
- Finally, stir in some fresh basil and parsley and parmesan cheese, along with some salt and pepper to taste. Done!
But I don’t have a pressure cooker!
Then, just sauté the pine nuts and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat for about a minute, and add the remaining ingredients to stir to coat. Easy peasy!
What to serve with instant pot spaghetti squash
Other low-carb vegetable side dishes
- Mashed Cauliflower with Butter and Herbs
- Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon
- Greek Green Beans (Fasolakia)
- Mexican Roasted Zucchini
Here are all my instant pot recipes.
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Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Herbs
- 1 spaghetti squash about 3 lbs.
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts or slivered almonds, plus more for serving
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise (carefully!). Scoop out the seeds and plup and discard.
- Place 1 cup of water in the bottom of your instant pot, then place the wire rack or trivet in. Place the spaghetti squash halves on top of the rack, cover and close, and make sure the vent is turned to "sealed." Cook on manual, high pressure for 7 minutes. Quick release the pressure when it's done, and open once the float valve has depressed.
- Scoop the spaghetti squash "noodles" out of the peel using the tines of a fork and place in a colander over a bowl. Press down on them with your hands or a wooden spoon to gently squeeze some of the liquid out. At this point, you can use the cooked spaghetti squash for whatever you want, or proceed to make garlic and herb spaghetti squash.
- While the squash is sitting in the colander, remove the wire rack and discard the water from the pressure cooker. Add the olive oil (2 tablespoons), pine nuts (2 tablespoons), and minced garlic (2 cloves) to the instant pot. Turn the "sauté" function on and sauté for about 1-2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant and only just turns golden, stirring constantly.
- Turn the sauté function OFF and immediately add the spaghetti squash to the pot. Stir to coat in the garlic, olive oil, pine nut mixture. Add the grated parmesan (1/4 cup), basil (2 tablespoons), parsley (2 tablespoons), and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine, and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Serve with more cheese and pine nuts, fresh cracked pepper, and an extra drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
- Inspired by Pinch of Yum's Garlic Spaghetti Squash.
- If you don't have an instant pot/pressure cooker: You can cook the spaghetti squash any way you want (like in the slow cooker or roasted) and sauté the garlic, oil, and pine nuts together in a large skillet on the stove, then add the squash, herbs, and cheese to it.
- Make it vegan (or paleo) by omitting the parmesan (or using a suitable replacement).
- Traditional parmesan cheese may not be suitable for a strict vegetarian diet because it contains animal rennet. Look for a suitable vegetarian substitute, such as a parmesan made with plant rennet.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.