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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash – And The Secret To Long ‘Noodles’

This time of the year, we get many questions about the best way to cook spaghetti squash.

If you head to any apple orchard, pumpkin patch, or even the local grocery store, you will find spaghetti squash in full abundance in the Fall.

spaghetti squash with pasta sauce
Spaghetti squash noodles with pasta sauce.

And they are becoming more popular as there is an increase in those that are eating Keto-friendly or low-carb diets.

They make a great substitute for recipes that call for traditional spaghetti noodles, including being served with traditional pasta sauce.

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

So what is the best way to cook spaghetti squash?

If you ask 10 different people, you are likely to get 10 different answers. But for us, the answer is simple.

Our favorite method is to cook it in the Instant Pot pressure cooker. Or, of course, any electric pressure cooker.

We own both the Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi. And they both work fantastic to cook spaghetti squash.

cook spaghetti squash in instant pot
If you have a large spaghetti squash, you can cut your halves in half again to allow them to fit in your pressure cooker.

And it only takes 7 minutes of cooking time! However, you must allow extra time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. It usually takes 5-6 minutes for our 6 quart Instant Pot to come to pressure for this recipe.

Then after the cooking process has been completed, allow the pressure to naturally release for 7 minutes. Release any remaining pressure, and your spaghetti squash is cooked!

However, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can easily cook spaghetti squash in the oven. It will just take a little longer.

oven baked spaghetti squash
Oven baked spaghetti squash.

Most ovens take about 10 minutes to preheat to the desired temperature. Then allow for it to bake for about 40 minutes, depending on how tender you like your ‘noodles’.

So when cooked in the Instant Pot your spaghetti squash will be ready in about 20 minutes.

And for the oven, it will be on the table in approximately 50 minutes.

The Secret To Long Noodles

You can choose not to cut your spaghetti squash and cook it whole. However, that will require a longer cooking time.

For us, time is of essence, and we prefer to cut our squash in half prior to cooking.

cutting squash for long noodles
Cut your spaghetti squash in half through the center, leaving you with a top and bottom section.

Plus, I find it easier to scoop the seeds out while the gourd is hard and uncooked.

Once the spaghetti squash his cooked, the seeds adhere to the spaghetti-like strands. Although they will scoop out, so will some of the ‘noodles’.

So what is the true secret to getting long, spaghetti noodles?

You must cut your squash in half through the middle. This means that you will have a top and bottom section.

Most people cut the spaghetti squash in half from the stem to the bottom. However, by doing this, you will have shorter stands of noodles.

cutting spaghetti squash
For short noodles, cut your spaghetti squash in half this way.

To get the truly long noodles that resembles spaghetti noodles, you must cut it through the center.

Then serve it with your favorite pasta or Alfredo sauce. Or you can even keep it in the skin and use it as a built in bowl!


Mary and Jim

Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time.

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How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash

How to cook spaghetti squash in the oven or if you want it done even faster, in a pressure cooker. And the secrets on how to get long spaghetti-like strands.


  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup water


Instant Pot

  1. Cut spaghetti squash in half crosswise so that you have a top and bottom piece and clean out the seeds. Add water to the liner of the Instant Pot and insert trivet.
  2. Add spaghetti squash halves, face cut side up on top of the trivet.
  3. Lock the lid in place and set valve to sealing position. Pressure Cook/Manual Pressure, High for 7 minutes.
  4. Once the cook time is up, allow for 7 minutes of natural pressure release, then carefully quick release the remaining pressure.
  5. Remove squash with tongs and let cool enough to handle. Remove strands with a fork.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut and clean out spaghetti squash as instructed above.
  3. Add water to a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place squash, cut side down in the baking dish.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until desired tenderness.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool enough to be handled. Remove strands with a fork.


If you prefer your spaghetti squash noodles firmer, decrease cooking time to 5 minutes for the Instant Pot. Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
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