Quick and easy instructions for how to make Instant Pot spaghetti squash. Ready in less than 20 minutes, it’s a low carb dream come true!

bowl of Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with keto meat sauce

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite, low-carb substitutes for spaghetti and other noodles. But when you bake it in the oven, it can take 45 or more minutes to cook. During the summer that can really heat up the house. And no thanks to that.

But if I make spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot, I cut the time down to less than 20 minutes. This turns the spaghetti squash into a great meal option even on busy week day nights.

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Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash to make keto spaghetti

What You’ll Need

You really don’t need much to make spaghetti in the Instant Pot. You’ll need the following items to make this recipe:

  • 6 Quart Instant Pot – for spaghetti squash, I use the 6 quart size Instant Pot. If you use a bigger size, you may need to increase the amount of water you use to avoid getting the burn notice and so it can come up to pressure properly.
  • Water – nothing fancy here, just plain old tap water. You’ll need about a cup. But if you really want to get fancy, I suppose you could use bottled water.
  • Spaghetti squash – For the recipe you’ll need to cut the squash in half. I recommend using a firm, whole squash and avoid getting ones that are precut as they can go bad faster. Also, store your spaghetti squash in the fridge for a prolonged life.

New to using an Instant Pot? Make sure you read our beginner’s guide on “How to Use an Instant Pot” to get started!

How to Make It

how to cut a spaghetti squash to make Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Cut the spaghetti squash – Before placing the spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot, you need to cut it in half widthwise. You should use a sharp knife on a stable cutting surface. The outside shell can be tough, so it is often easiest to get a small cut going and apply pressure evenly.

Prep the squash – Once the squash is cut in half, you need to remove the seeds from the center. I often use a medium to large spoon to scoop the seeds out. Be careful to not remove too much of the meat of the squash. Also, now is a good time to check for labels on the squash, many stores place them on the outer skin.

Add the ingredients to the Instant Pot – Once you prepare the squash and all the seeds are removed, measure a cup of water and pour it into the inner pot. Next, place the trivet into the pot. Place the squash, cut side down, onto the trivet. You may not be able to lay it 100% flat depending on the size of the squash you selected. But keep the cut side down to avoid too much moisture collecting in the squash.

Pressure cook the spaghetti squash – Once the water and squash are inplace, secure the lid on the pot and make sure the vent is set to sealing. Set the pot to pressure cook on manual high pressure for 8 minutes. Once the timer goes off, do a quick release.

how to make Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Prepare the cooked squash – Before shredding the spaghetti squash into noodle like pieces, let the squash cool down a bit to avoid getting burned. Once you can safely pick up the squash, place the squash on a plate or cutting board. Use a fork to scratch the meat of the squash, forming “noodles” as you start to pick it apart. Serve the squash hot with your favorite sauces, meats or sides.

bowl of Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
How to Choose a Good Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is naturally firm and has a tough skin or outer coating. You should look for a squash with a firm feel all the way around. Make sure to check all around the squash for soft spots, cracks, or other discolorations that could indicate it is starting to rot. 

Also, check the stem. If the stem is firm, it is good. If it is soft or squishy, you should avoid that squash.

When you pick up the squash, it should have some heft to it. It will feel almost heavier than you think it should.

How to Cut It

If you want longer “noodles” to replace spaghetti or linguine, you should cut the squash in half widthwise. The strands run in a circle around the squash, so this type of cut helps give you the longest possible noodles. 

But, you can also make a boat out of your spaghetti squash, like this Chicken Parmesan Spaghetti Squash Boat recipe. If you want to make a boat, cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise.

If you prefer, you can also cook the spaghetti squash whole. I don’t often do it this way. When you cook it whole, it is very difficult to get the seeds out from the center of the squash. It is  much, much easier to cut it in half and remove the seeds before cooking.

What to Serve it with

Spaghetti squash is a low carb substitute for noodles. It has a soft texture and slightly sweeter taste than traditional noodles. But often whatever sauce you choose can over power or compliment the slightly sweeter flavor.

People following a keto diet should use some caution when serving spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash accounts for about 6 net carbs in 1 cup. Keep an eye on your serving size and you should be able to work it into your diet.

For simple pairings, you can use butter or olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

If you want a more traditional sauce, you could pair with this Instant Pot Spaghetti Sauce recipe or with pesto or other Italian flavors. 
For an Asian flair, you could turn it into pad Thai and substitute it for zoodles in our Keto Pad Thai.

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash is the best pasta substitute

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Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Instant Pot spaghetti squash is fast! Ready in less than 20 minutes, and it’s a low carb dream come true!
how to make Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
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  • 1 whole Spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup Water


  • Cut the spaghetti squash in half widthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
  • Pour water into the pot of your pressure cooker.
  • Place trivet in the bottom of the pot and set your spaghetti squash on top of it with the cut side down. This helps to keep the moisture from collecting in the squash as it cooks.
  • Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to SEALING. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
  • When the time is up do a quick release and remove the lid.
  • Let the squash cool enough to handle and then use a ford to shred the inside of the squash to create noodles.
  • Serve with your toppings of choice.


Serving: 4ounces, Calories: 25kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 17mg, Potassium: 87mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 97IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 19mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot spaghetti squash
Handwritten signature for Kat & Melinda