Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
Coming at you with another delicious and easy instant pot recipe! My Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash makes eating healthy easy and quick. Serve it just like pasta and enjoy it with whatever vegetables, sauce and/or protein you like!
Spaghetti Squash 1
Nature has really outdone herself when it comes to a vegetable that looks like a melon on the outside and when cooked turns into pasta! Squash is native to Central America and traveled the world via land and sea. Spaghetti squash was first noted in 1850, in Manchuria, China. It is unknown how it arrived in China, but it made its way to Japan in 1921 and then to the rest of the world!1
It made its way to America in the 1930s and was first known as “vegetable spaghetti,” and it was not an instant hit. It took many years to gain popularity and was helped by a pasta shortage during World War II.
If you have never tasted or seen spaghetti squash, it has an oblong and cylindrical shape and ranges in size, but is about the size of a small cantaloupe. It typically weighs 4-8 pounds. The color transitions from green when it is growing in the field to a vibrant canary yellow to a creamy yellow color.
Spaghetti squash along with butternut, delicata, and acorn squash are known as “Winter squash.” This can be confusing because they are grown, harvested and sold in the late Summer here in New York state. They get their name because of their hard outer skin that allows them to be stored and enjoyed all Winter long.
Nutrition: Spaghetti Squash vs Spaghetti 2
The squash when roasted is able to be scooped out of the skin into thin strands that resembles angel hair pasta. The taste of spaghetti squash is distinctly different then wheat pasta, it maintains a bit of a crunch and has a much higher water content.
If reducing calorie intake is your thing, then enjoying my Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash is for you! A cup of cooked spaghetti squash has about 40 calories, and spaghetti has around 200 calories (depending on variety and brand). Spaghetti squash is definitely paleo-friendly with about 10 grams of carbohydrates and the same serving of real spaghetti has about 40 grams.
When it comes to protein, real pasta provides about 7-9 grams per cup and spaghetti squash has only about 1 gram. Fiber content of real pasta is also higher with 3.5 grams from white pasta and up to 10.5 grams from whole wheat pasta. The squash has only about 2 grams of fiber per cup.
Spaghetti squash is a nutrient-dense food, it is low in calories and rich in micronutrients. It is a good source of vitamin C, which provides immune support and is an antioxidant. Manganese is also found in the squash which helps support brain and nervous system function.
Spaghetti Squash Meal Ideas
My favorite thing about my Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash is that it is super moist and light! That high moisture content means that it does not require a heavy red or cream sauce like spaghetti does. It is so good with just a few pats of butter and fresh parmesan, salt and pepper. If you are looking for more Instant Pot recipes check out my new cookbook, Mediterranean Pressure Cooking!
Of course it also makes for delicious spaghetti and meatballs! If you need some meatball inspiration check out my Vegan Meatballs or for a meat option, try out the quickest meatballs in the world, my Microwave Meatballs.
It also is great with a fresh pesto like my Pumpkin Seed Pesto or my Nut Free Kale Pesto. If you want put a little more work into the recipe you can make the Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash ahead of time and then use it to make a yummy casserole with sausage, red sauce and mozzarella.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Now that you know everything about spaghetti squash lets gets cooking––on high pressure! Cutting any winter squash in half is challenging. You need to safely cut it in half vertically, stem to butt using a sharp knife or with a serrated bread knife, using a saw-like motion. After scooping out the seeds, make sure to place it skin side down and angle the halves to not completely cover one half with the other. Add your preferred accompaniments. Enjoy!
- Spaghetti Squash. Accessed December 3, 2020. https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/Spaghetti_Squash_4145.php
- Nutrition of Spaghetti Squash vs Pasta. Healthy Eating | SF Gate. Accessed December 3, 2020. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutrition-spaghetti-squash-vs-pasta-1817.html
- pressure cooker
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 spaghetti squash 3 to 3 ½ pounds, halved and seeds scraped out
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- In the pressure cooker pot, add the water then add the spaghetti squash skin side down and angled so as not to completely cover one half with the other half. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- After cooking, quick release pressure. Unlock and remove the lid. Carefully remove the spaghetti squash and place on a cutting board.
- Using a fork, scrape the flesh out of the squash halves, It should come out easily and look similar to spaghetti. Place squash strands in a large bowl and toss with salt and pepper.
- Note: serve with pesto, marinara, raw or roasted vegetables, etc. Whatever you like!