My husband will never live down his inquisitive wonder when he first tasted this dish. He ate it with the gusto and loud appreciation of a newly-married man and innocently asked, “Wherever did you find the time to make pasta from scratch?!?” I showed him the squash skins with a few remaining strands and introduced him to this “exotic” American vegetable.
Spaghetti squash is a hybrid cross between two varieties and has yet to be discovered or grown in Italy. Its flesh is so fibrous that it resembles home-made pasta. It can be baked, microwaved or boiled but pressure cooking is faster and, in my opinion, gives the best results.
Although most vegetables need about 5 minutes at pressure – don’t let the size of this squash fool you into thinking it needs more. The three minutes I recommend are plenty. Pressure cook this squash for too long and its long spaghetti-like strands break into an unimpressive shaggy pulp. The only time you should pressure cook Spaghetti Squash more is if the strands do not easily tease apart when lightly scraped with a fork.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|6 L or larger||none||3 min.||High(2)||Normal|
- Serves: 4
- Serving size: ¼th
- Calories: 88.6
- TOTAL Fat: 4g
- TOTAL Carbs: 13.8g
- Sugar Carbs: 5g
- Sodium: 616.8mg
- Fiber Carbs: 3g
- Protein: 1.5g
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (about 4 pounds)
- 1 cup water
- 1 small bunch fresh sage (about ½ cup fresh sage leaves)
- 3-5 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg (a few swipes on the grater)
- Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds.
- Add water into the pressure cooker and lower the squash halves facing up - stacking them one on top of the other, if needed.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. For stove top pressure cookers, turn the heat up to high and when the cooker reaches pressure, lower to the heat to the minimum required by the cooker to maintain pressure. Cook for 3-4 minutes at high pressure.
- In the meantime, in a cold saute pan add the sage, garlic and olive oil. Cook the oil mixture on low heat, stirring very occasionally to fry-up the sage leaves. The leaves will turn dark green when they're crispy - keep an eye on it to ensure the garlic slices do not burn.
- When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure.
- Tease the squash fibers out of the shell using a fork and plop them into the saute' pan.
- Once all of the squash is there turn off the heat, sprinkle with salt and nutmeg, then swoosh everything around to mix well.
- Serve as-is or with a generous sprinkle of Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese.
Franchi sells spaghetti squash seeds and they are extremely popular here in Spain.
That said, this recipe looks delicious and very easy to make. Thanks.
Great suggestion! I kept meaning to bring seeds back with me from the U.S. and not finding them at the local seed racks. However, I just ordered some one ebay will see if I can grow them.
I used to have a whole vegetable garden in my front yard in California – but in Italy I just have a large tiled patio.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way!!
Good luck with the growing.
By the way, have just bought the Kindle edition of your cookbook. Congrats. Lovely looking recipes, though the layout on Kindle for Windows 8 is a bit odd in places. Don’t wish to criticise, because it is a mammoth achievement, but just to let you know in case you get an opportunity to make changes to the Kindle editions.
Thanks for the feedback, I have forwarded it to the publisher so the can make the proper changes!
Your general timing charts (on this site and in your book) say 5 minutes for spaghetti squash, but the recipe here says 3 minutes. I compromised with 4 minutes (Instant Pot), but is there a reason to cook it for a shorter time than the charts for this particular recipe? Thanks ….
From time to time I will adjust cooking times if I find I can get a better result in less time. Spaghetti squash is particularly tricky for me because I’ve only been able to test it while I visit the U.S. Nothing terrible will happen if you pressure cook the squash in 5 minutes – but I found that it cooks just as well in 3-4 minutes (and there is less chance of over-cooking it)! I have updated the cooking time in the chart to reflect this, now.
Thanks for your note!
Is this squash supposed to be so crunchy? I’m new to eating it. I cooked it 4 minutes and tried the first half, decided it was noisy-crunchy, so I then cooked the other half 3 minutes, and although the strands were easier to scrape out the squash was still pretty crunchy.
Finally I took that second batch and microwaved a serving for 2 minutes and that was more to my liking.
So fans of this squash, is it supposed to be so crunchy?
BTW, the two halves fit nicely side-by-side in my KR 5-qt braiser, which is wider than it is tall.
I found the Instant Pot took 5 minutes for my spaghetti squash. I love it! I served it with a thick sauce (pressure cooked, too). Thank you so much for the fabulous book and the charts!
I actually steamed mine with the seeds in and then removed them quite easily when it was done.
Happy to find this recipe–never thought of doing it in the pressure cooker!!
For those hunting for spaghetti squash, especially those outside the US, keep in mind that all spaghetti squash varieties are not yellow, even though that is what Americans are used to seeing!
I’m an American living In Germany and I passed by them many times in the grocery store because they just had a bunch of varieties in one huge basket with no labels. One day I went to a different store and they posted a list of the squash varieties in their basket and spaghetti was in the list! But I didn’t see any yellow squash! By process of elimination, I finally figured out that the green striped squash must be the spaghetti and took it home to try! It was! Now I see them everywhere—typically in my town they are usually variegated striped (dark green/light green–a little like a watermelon– or dark green/light yellow striped).
Great tip! Thanks for sharing. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for that watermelon looking squash in Italy.
I belong to a CSA farm share program in San Diego, CA (quarterly subscription for weekly boxes of fresh, organic, seasonal produce from a local farm). Spaghetti squashes have been in the share boxes for the past few weeks, but past attempts to prepare spaghetti squash with a tomato sauce weren’t very well received, so I’ve been giving the squashes away. Not any more!
Last night I used your spaghetti squash cooking instructions from the Everything Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook on page 64. I cut the squash in quarters to fit in my Instant Pot DUO and cooked it 8 min (6-8 suggested in the recipe).
While the squash was cooking, I made a variation of your sage sauce but with browned butter instead of olive oil and dried sage from my garden. I heated 3 Tablespoons of deep yellow grassfed butter in a stainless steel skillet with medium heat until the butter was nutty and turning brown, then removed the pan from the heat to prevent over-browning/burning. 2 finely minced cloves of garlic went into the hot brown butter, then I rubbed a generous couple of pinches of dry sage between my palms into the garlic butter. I grated nutmeg & black pepper into the butter, and then a sprinkling of sea salt flakes completed the aromatic nutty, garlicky sauce.
When the squash was done cooking, I removed the liner pan from the Instant Pot housing to speed the cooling process. When quarters were cool enough to hold in my palm (with a folded paper towel for a little insulation) I shredded and scraped the strands with a long-tined fork right into the skillet with the sauce, then tossed the squash well to distribute the sauce. I left the pan partially covered on the lowest temperature setting to stay warm while I finished making the salad.
Mmmmmm! This was such a hit with my family that I might even make it again tonight with the other spaghetti squash that was languishing on my countertop. I think it would also be very good with a simple porcini mushroom & butter sauce,
I cooked a whole spaghetti squash today in My Instant Pot. Was about 7 inches long..
Cooked for 8 minutes high Pressure, quick release.
Then I cut it in half cross ways (not stem to tip) and snipped around seed with scissors so they came out easy.
I used a fork to twirl out ‘spaghetti’ .
Whole ‘noodle’ extraction process took less than 5 minutes.
The squash was cooked (for me) perfectly. Slightly al dente. The strands were nice and long because they seem to run around the.squash side to side, not stem to tip.
After I removed most of the ‘noodles’ I put some butter, salt and pepper into the shells and just ate the remaining noodles on the spot. Was lovely so I had a bit more. Had to save some for dinner guests dammit.
My mother grew spaghetti squash one year and they were very prolific. We all got heartily sick of it. I was delighted at how much I enjoy it now.
Helen, what a great idea to cook it whole – thanks for sharing the process with us!
Did you stab it a few times before putting the whole thing in the pressure cooker?
I want to try cooking it whole, do you think I should stab it a few times before cooking? Wondering if it will explode in the pressure cooker
I do not recommend cooking it whole: it will take much longer as the heat will have to penetrate through the skin to get to the “spaghetti” pulp, also the seeds will be more difficult to remove as well. I don’t see the benefit of doing this. Perhaps someone who has already tried this can share their experience and benefits of pressure cooking the squash this way.
I’ll ask Helen from the post above, she cooked it whole
Sorry probably too late but I didn’t stab it
Hey Laura, hope you’re well.
I finally added real weight pressure cookers to my collection (of Nutricooks) : got 2 x 23 quart Prestos and 1 x 16 qt Prestos. I’m going to use those big ones today rather than the Nutricooks because I need to process about 15 kg of spag squash in a hurry. Trying to decide between doing spag squash using the 10 lb weight or the 15 lb weight. At the top of this spag squash page you have a table, saying PR Level High(2) but it doesn’t link to anything explaining it (though the OPEN does.) I’m in bit of a rush cause I have to cook and freeze it all (and then get on with canning other stuff) so maybe I’ll go with 10 lbs… but so I know for the future, is there a table in the site explaining the PR Levels? Update: just went into the kitchen and checked your Hip book, and it’s a bit different, it says 5 minutes on high. So maybe I’ll do 5 minutes at 15 lbs? (I’m at sea level.)
Randal I can’t really advise you on the cooking time of spaghetti squash in a 23 and 16 quart pressure cooker. However, as you know, the food is cooking while the cooker is coming up to pressure, too. My recipes are written assuming that a 4-10L cooker operating at 15psi will take approximately 10 minutes to reach pressure. I’m pretty sure your full canners will take longer than that. So for every 2 additional minutes (after 10) the canners take to reach pressure subtract 1 minute from the recommended pressure cooking time.
This is the first Spaghetti Squash emergency I’ve ever had – I hope things turn out well!
coming to the party a bit late – BUT, better late than never, eh? :)
quick note on spaghetti squash “handling” – while i’m at the grocers,
i always ask them to halve this cool veggie for me – BUT, i ask that
it is cut across the ‘short’ way [it’s “waist”, so to speak], as the
strands are longer, and it’s easier to handle regardless of how i
end up preparing it.
needless to say, i’m DEFINITELY going to use my pressure cooker
next time! i can’t wait!
thank you for sharing your expertise – most of us grew up being a
bit afraid of pressure cookers, i’m afraid – so this is my new future!
hahaha! have a great day!! ciao…ardith :)
Ardith, thanks for sharing your Spaghetti Squash cutting technique. I’m glad that you found this recipe useful!
Nice to be here
Thanks for the below message.
I am from Oakley
Hi Laura : thanks to you I tried the spaghetti squash recipe and fell in love. I traditionally cook butternut and pepper squash but never ventured to the spaghetti squash. Your recipe is so good I can’t believe I had never tried it before and your 3 minute cooking time is right on .The slight taste of garlic and al dente is spot on. As with your husband, my daughter thought it was angel hair pasta. Your recipe Is a great hit. Thanks again.
Hi Laura the star rating just doesn’t seem to attach so I will try again.
One more try.
I give the recipe 5 STARS just in case it doesn’t attach again.
Mil’s rating… it works now!!
Hi Laura. Thanks for getting back to me. I always want to rate your recipes because they deserve praise. Thanks again.
I don’t remember who gave me this tip but if you pop a whole spaghetti squash (poke a few holes to keep it from exploding) into the microwave for 5 minutes, it doesn’t cook it at all inside but it does soften it enough so you can cut it in half easier. AND the seeds come out a bit easier too.
Thanks for sharing this, Tammy!