Friday, June 23, 2023

How to Grow Spaghetti Squash + Instant Pot Recipe

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite squashes to eat. We love to bake it or cook it in the Instant Pot (see recipe for this below!), and top them with a chunky marinara, parmesan cheese and ground beef. You get all of the deliciousness of a big bowl of spaghetti, without the overstuffed feeling, or massive carb load, bloating and need to take a nap afterward. Growing them in the garden can be an easy way to get a lot. Check out how to grow them below, and scroll down a little farther to see a quick Instant Pot recipe for cooking the squash to a perfect al dente pasta texture.


Location: Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-draining soil. Spaghetti squash plants require at least six hours of direct sun each day.

Planting: Plant spaghetti squash seeds directly into the ground after the last frost date for your region, or plant starts as soon as you can after last frost. They require a decent length of time to harvest, so you'll want to make sure you have enough time to harvest if you're in an area with a shorter growing season, like we have here in Utah. 

Dig a small hole about an inch deep and place two to three seeds in each hole, spacing them about three feet apart, or plant your starts with similar spacing. It can be helpful to add a layer of organic mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and slow down weed growth. Spaghetti squash vines tend to be very lengthy, so providing a trellis or sturdy cage can save space and keep the fruit off the ground, reducing the risk of fruit rot or pest damage.

Water: Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during the flowering and fruiting stages. Water deeply but avoid overwatering. Squash plants are susceptible to root rot.

Pests/Disease: Check plants regularly for squash bugs (the absolute worst!) Make sure to check under the leaves for egg clusters, remove and destroy any you find, and be sure to check the base of plants for the adults. Squash bugs are the worst and will destroy your plant VERY quickly. Also, watch out for vine borers, and powdery mildew. 

Harvest: Your spaghetti squash is ready for harvest when the skin turns a deep yellow or orange and has hardened. Cut the fruit from the vine, but leave a small stem attached. The fruit will stay good for much longer if you keep the stem on. Allow them to cure in a warm and dry place for a couple weeks before storing.


Baking spaghetti squash is usually my go to method for eating them, but, recently, I discovered an even easier method after testing a few different recipes online. This method usually helps me get the more firmer al dente pasta texture when the squash is shredded up. (I tend to over-bake my squash.)

  1. Place a tray in the bottom of your Instant Pot, add a couple cups of water (the Instant Pot cup). 
  2. Slice your Spaghetti Squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. 
  3. Place both halves inside the instant pot however they will fit. 
  4. Close the lid and seal the pressure valve. 
  5. Cook at high pressure for 7 or 8 minutes. (It will take about 10 to build pressure, then cook for 7-8 minutes.) 
  6. When the timer goes off, immediately release the pressure valve. 
  7. Once all the pressure is done being released, remove the squash halves carefully (they'll be soft and very hot), drain off any excess water, and shred the squash with a fork.
  8. Serve with whatever you're eating.

What are your favorite ways to eat Spaghetti Squash? Do you have any tips or tricks for a successful harvest?

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