Y'all. I love my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. It was my only Black Friday purchase and I ordered it from Amazon for a third of it's normal cost. I've only used it twice so far- both this week- but it's already surpassed the crock pot as my new favorite kitchen device. Why? My spaghetti squash was cooked in about a third of the time!
Now, squash is not one of my favorite vegetables. I'm really not fond of the taste, but I love spaghetti squash! It's now my go to substitute for wheat noodles, because we all need more vegetables, right?! It is a seriously hard squash, so you're going to want to make sure you have a sharp knife. (Think- cutting a watermelon in half hard, and maybe slightly harder!) It's worth the effort though! Side Note- Most grocery stores put it near the butternut squash and acorn squash. You may have to wander around the produce section or ask for it!
Whether using the oven, or an Instant Pot- the prep work is the same. First, carefully cut the spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out the seeds in the middle like you're cleaning a pumpkin. (If you want, you can save the seeds the roast later. I think they're better than pumpkin seeds!)
If you're using an Instant Pot- I cut my squash into quarters and stacked them face up so they'd all fit in my pot. I added 1 cup of water, plugged in the pressure cooker and manually set the cook time to 5 minutes. (With the preheating and cook time, the squash was done in 20 minutes!) I used the quick release depressurizer when it was done.
If you're using an oven, preheat the oven to 400 while you're cleaning your squash, then place the squash halves face down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cook for 45-75 minutes depending on the size of your squash. To tell if it's done, I like to squeeze the outside of the squash with my pot holder. If it gives, then it's done. You can also go ahead and drag a fork through it and try a few 'noodles'. If they're too crunchy for you, then just cook the squash longer!
Did you know how easy it is to make spaghetti sauce? I love making my own because I can change the flavors or control the amount of salt in the sauce. I can also ensure there's no sugar in my sauce. If you read the labels, many popular sauces have added sugar! There's no need! I hate that sugar is added to EVERYTHING now.
Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Meat Sauce
What Do I Need?
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 1 Box of Pom's finely chopped tomatoes (This stuff is awesome and it's only tomatoes! Nothing added! I stock up when Publix has them 2 for $4)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3 TBSP Basil
- 2 TBSP Oregano
- 3 spoonfuls garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP oil (I used Grapeseed Oil)
- Salt, Pepper
- Optional: Green Chiles, Diced Onion, lemon salt, thyme, sage
What Do I Do?
- Follow the instructions above for cooking your spaghetti squash. If you have an Instant Pot, start the sauce as soon as you put the squash in and it will be done when the squash is finished! Perfect timing!
- In a medium to large sauce pan, Add the grapeseed oil and the ground beef and set on medium heat.
- Add the basil, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper to the top of the meat. Stir to coat and continue to brown the meat. (If you're adding onions and/or chiles, add them now too.)
- Once the meat is mostly cooked through, add the chopped tomatoes. Stir.
- Turn the temperature down to low and allow the pot to simmer. This is when I like to carefully taste the sauce and decide if I want to add any additional spices or more salt to amp up the flavor.
- You can let the flavors simmer while your squash cooks. It's not going to hurt it!
- Once the spaghetti squash is done, hold a section with a pot holder and use a fork to scrape the insides into a bowl. It should come out looking like noodles!
- Add meat sauce and enjoy!
Side Note: the squash does tend to be watery after it's cooked and you've added the sauce! I also end up with more sauce that squash, so I like to top a baked potato with leftover meat sauce for a warm and filling lunch!