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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Fast

This is how to cook spaghetti squash fast, in just 7 minutes to be exact! Tender squash noodles are a healthy alternative for pasta and gluten free too. We made Ninja Foodi and Instant Pot squash, microwave and oven directions too, and roasted spaghetti squash seeds for a snack when done.

pressure cooker squash

This is how to cook spaghetti squash fast in Instant Pot. We share several ways including our favorite Instant Pot spaghetti squash recipe. Find 101+ other easy Instant Pot recipes here. 😉 (affiliate links present)

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

I was given this spaghetti squash by a relative out of her garden. Since I never let anything go to waste I wanted to see what all the stuffed spaghetti squash noodles hype was about. I am totally a believer now!!

Like I said there are a few different methods to soften the inside flesh quickly I will share below but this is the easiest. You can use any brand you have at home. IP is the most known but our Ninja Foodi and Crockpot Express pot works great too.

If you are new to pressure cooking we have a lot of easy one pot meal recipes for you here. To begin with let’s start with a few basic tips:

For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have (a 6 quart) and use for all recipe creations.

star wars instant pot

Ninja Foodi Spaghetti Squash

This is what ours looked like….. Fresh out of the garden remember, of course you can find squash pretty much year round in the store too.

There’s really no other way to cook squash fast anymore, now that I have my handy pressure cooker around. 😉 You can easily pierce it once it is done and takes less than 20 minutes. I would say the weight should be about 3 lbs. and no larger than about 4 so it will fit.

Of course it depends on how large your pot is but ours is a 6 quart and it was a tight fit. Ideally you want the slice it ahead of time so the inside can get really nice and tender. If you can’t scrape the “pasta” out with just a fork when done then it hasn’t cooked long enough.

how to cook spaghetti squash 2

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash Time

Like I said, the timing is for a 3-4 pound piece. You can kinda’ eye it to know whether it will fit nicely. All you really have to do is cut the squash in half lengthwise so it will fit.

  1. Slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds before resting both sides of squash cut sides facing up on a trivet inside your Instant Pot
  2. Pour 1.5 cups of water into the bottom so it can create very hot steam to soften the flesh.
  3. Close lid and steam valve and set to pressure high for 7 minutes cooking time.
  4. Do a quick release, remove pieces from the pot and set on a cutting board.
  5. Allow to cool a bit before making spaghetti squash noodles so you don’t turn your fingers.
  6. Or hold one half with an oven mitt and use a fork to carefully scrape the insides out so they look like noodles.
  7. Put them in a bowl and when all are scraped out drain the liquid out of that bowl and add in your other ingredients like spaghetti sauce to coat your noodles and cheese if you want to make “spaghetti”.
  8. Fill halves of squash with this mixture, top with cheese and put in oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or put under air fryer lid at 400 degrees for about 5 min. or until cheese melts.

If you’ve never cooked a squash like this they aren’t long like traditional spaghetti noodles. This is nice because it makes it way easier to eat anyway.

instant pot spaghetti squash

How to Cook Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash

Seriously when you use spaghetti squash noodles as an alternative to the traditional style and load it with all the sauce and cheese you typically would you CANNOT tell the difference!!! I’m serious.  I was very surprised by it myself and now we love spaghetti squash.

  • So after scooping out the insides we mixed it with spaghetti sauce.
  • Then added parmesan cheese and a few spices we would normally add to our spaghetti.
  • Next we put it back into our “squash bowls” and topped everything with more cheese.
  • Threw it on to a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Added mozzarella, parmesan, and green onions, then just melt it all in the oven for a bit and that’s it. 
  • Sprinkle with salt and YUM!

Either way you decide to do it I will say that the insides are totally Amazing!!! Surprisingly my kids knew there was something different but nonetheless said it was pretty good and wondered what it was. Learning it was in fact vegetables instead of starch blew their minds and asked for me to make it again soon.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Fast 2

How to cook spaghetti squash in the oven:

Here’s the entire recipe for baked spaghetti squash if you would rather slice and then bake it in your oven. This by far takes a lot more time than this and will heat up your entire house which isn’t fun during the summer months but possible.

  1. Follow direction #1 below cutting in half and removing seeds.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Put on baking sheet with cut side facing up, rub a bit of olive oil on the edges so they don’t dry out and stay nice and moist.
  4. Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on size
    1. Check after 30 minutes to see if it is tender enough, larger squash will take longer.

How do you soften spaghetti squash before cooking?

Your best bet is to use the microwave. If you just pop it in there for about 3 minutes it will soften the outsides just enough to be able to slice it open with a sharp knife. Another plus is that it decreases the overall cook time no matter which way you choose to do that. We will do that to make air fryer butternut squash often.

How to Cook Squash in the microwave

We make and share a lot of easy microwave recipes on our site because well they are so simple and quick to do. This one is very similar to how to cook acorn squash in the microwave. Only real difference is that typically this variety is larger so it needs a few more minutes.

  • Cut squash in half and remove seeds
  • Place cut side down in a microwave-safe dish
  • Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water
  • Cover and microwave 9-12 minutes (check after 9 to see if it’s tender enough)

You can then scrape the middle out like we did here or add a little more time so it is really tender and blend. Add into the mix of our creamy butternut squash soup for another night full of YUM. Mixing a few varieties not only adds to the flavor and texture but offers different nutritional values to your dish.

instant pot spaghetti squash

Spaghetti Squash in Ninja Foodi

Like I said this is just another brand that has the same function as your Instant Pot. Biggest difference with this one is you can air fry with it too. Not necessary other than if you want to melt some cheese over the top if you’re making it twice stuffed with sauce and all.

  • Follow the same directions below using a trivet and your pressure cooker lid for the Ninja Foodi.
  • To continue on and make stuffed “spaghetti” you could skip the oven and melt the cheese using your air crisp lid!

This is the way we make it the most often.

  • You will have to only do one half at a time as you want the entire cheese filled top facing up.
  • Just place on a trivet, close air fryer lid and set to 400 degrees for about 5-6 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
    • You can use their newest Instant Pot air fryer they have to crisp the top too if you have that machine so you don’t have to buy a whole new pot for that function.

Then go on to make Ninja Foodi spaghetti squash pasta with pepperoni and air fryer acorn squash too!

Why is my spaghetti squash so hard to cut?

The outside is quite firm. If you don’t have a really sharp knife and a steady hand you may need some suggestions of how to slice a squash easily. The bet way is to poke the outsides a few times and place it inside your microwave oven for 3 minutes. Check, and it should help. You could add another minute if needed too.

How long does spaghetti squash take to cook?

That depends on what cooking method you choose. Baked whole will take the longest followed by sliced or in the air fryer. The fastest way to cook squash is in a pressure cooker and we will explain step by step how to do it this way.

spaghetti squash spaghetti

How long can you keep cooked spaghetti squash?

If you do have leftovers, keep the halves in tact for saving. The outside acts as a nice bowl that will keep it nice and moist in the fridge until you are ready to reheat it. Make sure you put it inside a gallon freezer bag and suck all the excess air out. Store in the fridge for up to about 3 – 4 days.

When you are ready to reheat it you can place on a trivet in your machine again with some water on the saute function to steam until warm or just nuke in your microwave for about 1 minute. I hate wasting food and there is no need to do so as long as you know how to save it properly for the next day to enjoy again.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

And there are so many other possibilities you can make with this. I mean just think of them as regular noodles and what you make with those throughout the week. Tossing with butter for a quick snack all the way to adding alfredo sauce with shrimp. The list goes on and on. Other pressure cooker dinner recipes you should try next:

Ninja Foodi baked spaghetti is beyond amazing with a layer of browned melted mozzarella on the top of your pasta Or our traditional Instant Pot spaghetti with “real” noodles is fabulous and so cheap to feed a crowd.

It’s one of our favorite cheap Instant Pot recipes, and so healthy too! Now if you don’t have this duo and you just have have a singular unit no problem. We make air fryer spaghetti squash all the time too. Follow those directions if you want a bit of crisp on the edges.

Air Fryer Spaghetti Squash

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Fast

This is how to cook spaghetti squash fast, in just 7 minutes to be exact! Tender squash noodles are a healthy alternative for pasta and gluten free too. 
Course Entree, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword fast, fresh, instant pot, pressure cooker, spaghetti, squash, steamed
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 149kcal
Author The Typical Mom

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and remove the middle from both sides that includes the seeds and “gunk” you’d find inside a pumpkin. Just remove the stringy portion and seeds and leave as much of the inside of the squash in tact.
  • Put your trivet in the bottom of your pressure cooker with 1 cup of water.
  • Put cut squash on trivet with cut ends facing up and overlapping as little as possible.
  • Close lid and steam valve and set to pressure high for 7 minutes.
  • Do a quick release, remove from pot and set on a cutting board. Allow to cool a bit before making spaghetti squash noodles so you don’t turn your fingers.
  • Or….use as you wish. If you want to make “spaghetti squash noodles” hold one half with an oven mitt and use a fork to carefully scrape the insides out so they look like noodles.
  • Put them in a bowl and when all the noodles are scraped out drain the liquid out of that bowl and add in your other ingredients like spaghetti sauce to coat your noodles and cheese if you want to make “spaghetti”.
  • Fill halves of squash with this mixture, top with cheese and put in oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or put under air fryer lid at 400 degrees for about 5 min. or until cheese melts.

Video

Nutrition Facts
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Fast
Amount Per Serving (4 oz)
Calories 149 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 88mg4%
Potassium 521mg15%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 580IU12%
Vitamin C 10.1mg12%
Calcium 111mg11%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Recipe Rating




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Kasey Schwartz

Thursday 13th of June 2019

I LOVE spaghetti squash! THANK for the tips to cook it FAST!

Julie Evink

Thursday 13th of June 2019

I hate how long it takes to bake Spaghetti Squash when I need a quick meal. This is such an easier way. I'm going to be doing it like this all the time!

The Typical Mom

Thursday 13th of June 2019

It has been a game changer for us too

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