Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Chicken
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Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Chicken is such a timesaver. The squash and chicken cook at the same time, with just 3 minutes of pressure cooking! You will love the garlic parmesan flavour.
If you’re looking for more spaghetti squash ideas, try my Taco Stuffed Spaghetti Squash!
Spaghetti squash used to be reserved for weekends when I would have time to roast it, but not anymore! It only takes 3 minutes to cook spaghetti squash in an electric pressure cooker! And the best part of this recipe is that the chicken cooks with it at the same time. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how few dishes need to be washed after making this meal.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Chicken. See the recipe card below for exact quantities and detailed instructions!
- Spaghetti squash – be sure it fits in your Instant Pot. The ones I’ve used have generally been 3-4 pounds. It’s important to slice it in half before cooking so that it will have the same cook time as the chicken. I find using a grapefruit spoon makes it easier to scoop out the seeds. See my tips below for safely slicing spaghetti squash.
- Chicken breast – 1.5 pounds, or three 8-ounce boneless, skinless breasts. Cut slices a half-inch wide so that they’ll fully cook within 3 minutes of pressure cooking.
- Italian seasoning, salt and pepper – to season the chicken
- Chicken broth – for thin liquid to help the pot come to pressure, while adding some flavour to the chicken.
- Olive oil – for sautéing the garlic. It gets infused with the garlic flavour and coats the spaghetti squash.
- Garlic – I used 8 cloves, but you could even use more if you love garlic.
- Onion powder, sea salt and red pepper flakes – to help flavour the cooked squash
- Parmesan cheese – 1 cup, freshly grated
- Fresh basil or parsley – optional garnish
Step one: Season the chicken
Place the sliced chicken in the Instant Pot insert and sprinkle with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Toss until the chicken is evenly coated and spread it in an even layer.
Step two: Add the broth and squash
Pour in the chicken broth, then place the trivet on top of the chicken. Place the two spaghetti squash halves on the trivet.
Step 3: Pressure cook
Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 3 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure. At the end of cooking time, allow for a 5-minute natural pressure release, then quick release any remaining pressure.
Step 4: Remove everything from the insert
Carefully remove the cooked squash to a large bowl. If you have silicone oven mitts, these can help you securely hold the squash while protecting your hands from the heat.
Then, remove the trivet and transfer the cooked chicken to a bowl or plate. Carefully discard the liquid and wipe the insert clean if there’s any dripping on the outside. Place the insert back in the Instant Pot.
Step 5: Remove the squash from the rind
Use a fork to scrape the squash strands away from the rind and into the large bowl. Discard the rinds and set the strands aside in the bowl.
Step 6: Sauté the garlic and toss with the squash
Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot and add the olive oil. Once the oil is warm, add the garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant and starting to turn golden. Add the cooked squash, onion powder, sea salt and red pepper flakes and mix until well combined. Turn off the sauté function (we don’t want the garlic to burn!).
Step 7: Add the chicken and cheese
Add the grated parmesan cheese and the reserved cooked chicken. Toss until the chicken and cheese are evenly distributed and warmed through. Serve immediately with chopped fresh basil or parsley, if desired.
Tips for Success
Pick a spaghetti squash that fits. Be sure the squash isn’t too long for your pot!
Pick a nice spaghetti squash. You want one that is dark yellow with a nice stem, without bruises or broken skin and is fairly heavy for its size.
Thinly slice the chicken. Half-inch thick slices will cook in 3 minutes under pressure. I always suggest checking that your chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 °F.
Don’t skip the natural release. I find the texture of the chicken is more tender and juicy this way.
Watch the garlic closely. The garlic can go from perfect to burnt very suddenly, so be sure to add back the spaghetti squash just as the garlic is turning golden, then turn off the Sauté function before adding the chicken and cheese. The chicken and cheese will warm in the residual heat.
Garlic parmesan is just one option for flavouring the dish. Here are some other flavour combinations for inspiration:
Sun-dried tomato + basil: sauté the garlic, and add up to a half cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes and thinly sliced basil.
Greek-inspired: sauté the garlic, and add a third of a cup of sliced Kalamata olives, a couple handfuls of baby spinach and enough crumbled feta cheese to make you happy.
Pesto: Skip the garlic completely and stir in half a cup of pesto (or more, to taste). Pesto usually has plenty of flavour on it’s own, so it’s a super easy way to flavour the dish!
How to safely slice spaghetti squash
Spaghetti squash can be tricky to cut. Some tips to slice it safely are:
- Work on a steady surface. Be sure your cutting board won’t slip. You can use a damp dish cloth or towel underneath to prevent it from moving.
- Use a sharp knife. Dull knives can slip and cause accidents. Keep your knives sharp!
- Cut off a thin slice of each end. Once you slice off a small piece from the bottom, place the squash flat end down on the cutting board, standing tall, and cut through the squash lengthwise.
- Ask for help. If you’re having a really hard time and you have the option, ask for help!
More Instant Pot chicken recipes
- Instant Pot Lemon Chicken and Potatoes
- Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice
- Instant Pot Chicken Pad Thai
- Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie
- Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry
- Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Bruschetta Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken
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Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash with Chicken
- 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, ½-inch slice across
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- a few turns freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3-4 lb spaghetti squash, washed well, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds removed (be sure it fits in your Instant Pot! See tips in the post for slicing it safely.)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan (plus more for serving, if desired)
- garnish with thinly sliced fresh basil or chopped fresh parsley
- Place the sliced chicken in the Instant Pot insert. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, then toss the chicken until it's evenly coated in seasoning. Spread out the chicken in an even layer across the bottom of the insert.
- Pour in the chicken broth and place the trivet on top of the chicken.
- Place the spaghetti squash halves on the trivet, with the sliced side facing each other or slightly facing up, depending on the size of the squash.
- Close the lid, set the vent to sealing and cook on Manual High pressure for 3 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure. At the end of cooking time, allow the pressure to release naturally (NPR) for 5 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure.
- Carefully remove the squash to a large bowl (I use clean silicone oven mitts to protect my hands when I pick them up). Remove the trivet and transfer the cooked chicken to a bowl or plate. Carefully pour out the broth and return the insert to the pot (be sure there's no broth dripping down the side, wipe it clean before putting it back, if necessary).
- Using a fork, scrape the squash away from the rind to form strands. Set aside in the large bowl, discard the rinds.
- Turn on the sauté function and add the olive oil. Once warm, add the sliced garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and starting to turn golden. Add the spaghetti squash strands and sprinkle in the onion powder, sea salt and red pepper flakes. Mix until the garlic and seasoning are evenly distributed. Turn off the Sauté function.
- Add the parmesan cheese and cooked chicken. Mix until well combined and let the chicken warm up. Serve immediately garnished with sliced fresh basil or chopped parsley, if desired. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.
- Inactive time indicates the amount of time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure.
- This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please leave a review below!
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Hey, I’m Laura!
Creator of The Recipe Well
If you’re looking for easy meals and Instant Pot recipes, you’re in the right place! I use my nutrition degree to create simple, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.
Yum yummy yum!
This recipe is great how it is, but, of course I had to doctor it up.
I added pesto, a splash of cream and some butter.
Those additions sound delicious!