Do you grow spaghetti squash in your garden? If you’ve never tried growing it I highly recommend you grab yourself some seeds and give it a spot in your garden for your next growing season. Not only is it easy to grow, but it’s also versatile and super delicious!
I grew up hating vegetables. Well, I guess that was not entirely true. I grew up hating cooked vegetables. My mother loves raw vegetables. I remember her peeling the broccoli stems, sprinkling them with a little salt and pepper, and giving them to us as a before dinner treat. So I love raw carrots, broccoli, and celery. Take all of those and cook them and, well, I wouldn’t use the word love, although I have grown to appreciate some dishes over the years. I don’t know, maybe it was the boiling or the microwave or whatever else my mom did to them. They were tasteless and overcooked. Then don’t get me started on the frozen vegetables. I won’t eat any kind of mixed vegetable medley to this day, which makes chicken pot pie difficult.
But squash is a different story. I guess, now, looking back my mom didn’t cook a lot of squash so I’m not sure if there is any correlation, because really, my mom is not that bad of a cook. I came to appreciate spaghetti squash back in the 80s and 90s when low-calorie diets were recommended. They still fit nicely into our menu plan now that doctors advise watching your carbohydrate intake. They are actually low in both calories and carbs and loaded with nutrition. They have vitamin A, several B vitamins (including folic acid), vitamin C, potassium and trace amounts of minerals like zinc, phosphorous, iron, calcium and magnesium.
Since most squash come originated in North America you might assume that Spaghetti Squash was developed here as well. Spaghetti Squash actually originates from China, no doubt a hybrid of some other squash that had been introduced to that area earlier. In any case, it was discovered there in the late 1800’s. In the early 1900’s a company took it and developed the seeds further by creating an improved strain. Read more about the history and how it became known as vegetable spaghetti in World War Two here.
Needless to say, this is one vegetable that is worth growing, cooking and preserving. Let’s take a quick look at how to cook it quickly in the Instant Pot.
Cooking Spaghetti Squash In The Instant Pot Step-by-Step
Be sure to wash your squash.
Then take a fork, knife or something else sharp. I like to use an ice pick and pierce the squash. This will help the steam move through the squash evenly.
Place the squash on the steaming rack.
Add 2 cups of water to the bottom of the inner pot.
Place the top on and make sure the steam release hand is set to sealing (not venting).
Press manual and navigate to 16 minutes.
When the Instant Pot beeps the squash is done. Remove the squash and cut in half. Remove the seeds. Scrape out the noodles and serve.
Cutting Your Squash Before You Cook
You can cook the spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot if you cut it in half first, and you might need to do this with an extra large squash especially if you don’t have a 6 quart instead of the 8 quart Instant Pot. The advantage is that it will cook in less time, but you’ll need to cut through the hard squash and take out the seeds before cooking which can be harder and more time-consuming. (Some people don’t bother taking out the seeds but I like to do it to prevent a mess.) If you cut your spaghetti squash in half before you cook it, cook on manual for 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. Small to medium (2.5 lbs) starts at 7 minutes then add a minute for each pound.