One-Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meat Sauce (Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker)

Jump to Recipe
Save ItSaved!

Make this easy, healthy Spaghetti Squash AND Meat Sauce all at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes when made in the pressure cooker or slow cooker! This is the easiest way to make spaghetti squash whole, no cutting before it’s cooked, just poke some holes all over and cook it!

Make this easy, healthy Spaghetti Squash AND Meat Sauce all at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes when made in the pressure cooker or slow cooker! This is the easiest way to make spaghetti squash whole, no cutting before it's cooked, just poke some holes all over and cook it!One-Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meat Sauce

More spaghetti squash recipes I love to make are Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese, Turkey Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats and Spaghetti Squash with Bacon and Parmesan.

Make this easy, healthy Spaghetti Squash AND Meat Sauce all at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes when made in the pressure cooker or slow cooker! This is the easiest way to make spaghetti squash whole, no cutting before it's cooked, just poke some holes all over and cook it!

To be completely honest, my kids don’t care for spaghetti squash. That’s why I boil some pasta on the side for them to serve with the meat sauce – everyone’s happy! I’ve been getting tons of requests for more Instant Pot (affiliate link) recipes so my goal is to share one new pressure cooker recipe per week. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, this can also be made in the slow cooker 6 to 8 hours on low.

And since so many are asking, although I have and love my Instant Pot, I still love my slow cooker! I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker (affil link). I love it because you can adjust the time you want it to cook. It also automatically turns to warm when it’s done. It also has a probe for meat that automatically shuts off when done. I hated my old crock pot, it burnt everything and my food had a weird taste. This slow cooker is so great, I actually own several!

How to cook a spaghetti squash whole without cutting:

I was experimenting a few weeks ago to see if I can make the spaghetti squash in the Instant pot without having to cut it and it came out perfect. Here’s what I did:

  • First I poked some holes all over with a sharp pairing knife about 15 times.
  • Then I set it on top of my sauce without letting it mix too much.
  • After it cooked, I carefully removed it from the pot, let it cool and cut it open. Remove the seeds then use a fork to remove the spaghetti like strands from the shell.
  • Discard the shell and place the spaghetti squash in a colander to drain as there will be a lot of liquid. You can also squeeze it with a cheesecloth to remove excess water.
  • Serve hot with your sauce on top.

I always save my cheese rinds when I buy Parmesan or Romano cheese, and keep them in my freezer for soups and sauce. They are flavor bombs, I highly recommend but omit for dairy-free, paleo or Whole30! Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Make meat sauce AND Spaghetti Squash at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes!

More Spaghetti Squash Recipes:

Make meat sauce AND Spaghetti Squash at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes (if using a pressure cooker)!
Print
3.7 from 13 votes
Did you make this recipe?

One-Pot Spaghetti Squash and Meat Sauce (Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker)

2
2
3
SP
210 Cals 19.5 Protein 21 Carbs 6 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 6 Servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: Italian
Make this easy, healthy Spaghetti Squash AND Meat Sauce all at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes when made in the pressure cooker or slow cooker!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 93% ground beef
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, I LOVE Tuttorosso
  • bay leaf
  • pecorino romano cheese rind, optional, omit whole30
  • 1 Large, 4 lb spaghetti squash (makes 6 1/2 cups cooked)
  • grated cheese for topping, optional, omit whole30

Instructions

  • Sauté the beef with onion, garlic, salt, pepper. Added crushed tomatoes, bay leaf and cheese rind, stir. Pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a knife and place over the sauce. Cook high pressure 15 minutes, or until the skin of squash easily gives when pressed with a spoon. Let the pressure release, discard bay leaf and rind and transfer the squash to a bowl to let cool.
  • When cool enough to handle, cut in half with a large knife, discard the seeds and scoop the strands out with a fork. Place in a colander to drain well (I use paper towels as well to soak up any excess moisture) then serve sauce over squash with grated cheese if desired.
  • For the slow cooker, saute meat as above in skillet, transfer to slow cooker with remaining ingredients as listed above and cook low 6 to 8 hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup squash, 2/3 cup sauce, Calories: 210kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 19.5g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 549mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8.5g
Blue Smart Points: 2
Green Smart Points: 2
Purple Smart Points: 3
Points +: 5
Keywords: easy spaghetti squash recipe, healthy spaghetti squash, how to cook whole spaghetti squash, one pot spaghetti squash and meat sauce, spaghetti squash recipes

Make meat sauce AND Spaghetti Squash at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes!Make meat sauce AND Spaghetti Squash at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes!Make meat sauce AND Spaghetti Squash at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes!Make meat sauce AND Spaghetti Squash at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes!Make meat sauce AND Spaghetti Squash at the same time with this delicious one-pot meal ready in under thirty minutes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this Recipe:




158 comments

  1. I just tried to make this in the Ninja Foodi and it cooked the spaghetti squash but burned the sauce. Unfortunately it’s burned so bad you can’t even eat it. Next time I would stick to the oven for the spaghetti squash and stove for the sauce. Really bummed about this! 

  2. Made this tonight and it turned out perfect! I love that it’s all in one pot. I’ll definitely be making this again. 

  3. Love the sauce for this one. Think the Parmesan rind made all the difference.

  4. If I wanted to make this meat sauce entirely on the stovetop (and the squash roasted in the oven—my preferred method), how long would I simmer the sauce for on the stove? 

  5. I didn’t get to every try this, unfortunately. My IP would read BURN before getting to pressure. Complete waste of ingredients, because it was burned to the bottom of the pot.  🙁 

  6. I have an older Instant Pot and this recipe worked great for me – I even mixed in the tomato sauce with the meat (I used ground turkey). Since the turkey needed some fat to cook in, I add a little Trader Joes  Roasted Garlic and Herb butter spread – delicious! I counted the extra points…

  7. This did not work for me using my instant pot. The instant pot would read “burn” after being in for 5 minutes. I don’t know what I did wrong and I was super excited about being able to do this as spaghetti squash is a regular in our home.

    • So I know some of you are having issues with my IP recipes. I never get the burn message when I test a recipe, so trust me I am as frustrated as you are. After doing some research, this is what I found- The newer IP models have a hair trigger burn sensor that can’t tell the difference between a slight caramelized residue, which is good, and totally burnt. To avoid this, when using the saute button always deglaze the pot after sauteeing with a tablespoon or two of water or broth before adding your other ingredients.”

  8. I tried this but unfortunately, I kept getting the burn notice on my IP. So I had to abort the mission and bake the spaghetti squash in the oven.

  9. I tried this yesterday – it was ok. I just don’t think I like the squash steamed as much as I do in the oven. I understand now why you said to drain and even squeeze out the liquid.

  10. My instapot kept on turning off before it got up to pressure. The manual said the browning feature made it too hot, so I cooled it down & tried again. It wouldn’t work!

  11. Turned out great! I loved being able to put the squash right in with the sauce. Next time I will cut the squash in half first, and scoop out the seeds before cooking it. And there really is a lot of liquid in the squash — I will use a cheesecloth to squeeze it next time. I used half turkey, half beef, tasted great.

  12. I made this turned out good except I have a question, was I supposed to drain fat from the hamburger after sautéed!? Please advise thanks!

  13. I made this recipe in my instant pot according to the directions and now I feel stupid but I’m guessing I should have drained the grease out of the hamburger after sautéed? I did not and it turned out good except I can tell it’s rich with the added grease,  do you drain the grease out or leave in?

  14. My husband just bought me a shiny new Instant Pot for my birthday (I convinced him to give it to me a week early.) I’ll be using it for the first time tonight, and decided on this recipe. I’m so excited, and extra nervous. Instant Pots seem intimidating….

  15. I think I figured out the reason a lot of people are getting burn errors, because I got one trying this recipe in my new IP tonight too. I didn’t understand that I should NOT mix the tomato sauce in with my meat, and instead should have layered the sauce on top of the meat and tried to avoid them mixing. Per several IP user blogs I now am guessing that this was almost definitely the issue. Disappointed, but love Skinnytaste and determined to try again!

  16. Was about to make this as sounds awesome for WW person who likes Spaghetti 🙂 Could you tell me if I need to grate cheese rind or just plop in sauce and remove?? Tried to find if anyone asked but went halfway down and no luck….need to get at it so thought I’d shoot this out there! Thank You!!

  17. The recipe calls for 93% lean ground beef. A pound of that is 21 Points. In order to get the 12 points referred to in the comments above, you need to use 95% lean ground beef. With 93% ground beef and 6 servings, each serving is 4 points. 

    • The SmartPoints® calculator isn’t meant for recipes and will often give you the wrong points (usually higher) because it’s counting 0 points foods such as eggs, chicken, fruits and vegetables. So if you see a recipe with a SmartPoints® value that’s different from what the calculator tells you, that is why.

      The only accurate way to determine any recipe’s SmartPoints® value is to plug the ingredients into the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website (Click on “My Foods,” select “Recipe,” and click “Create a recipe.”)

  18. I cooked Spaghetti squash in the Instapot. Cut in half & scooped out seeds. Put halves on rack with 1 cup of water in bottom. Cooked 8 min (after pressured) & did the slow release pressure. Was perfect! I am sure you could do the same thing just poking holes in the squash & avoid cutting it.

  19. This turned out PERFECTLY!!!! Thank you for posting more Instant Pot recipes!

  20. This recipe is great. And it made a lot. On the new Weight Watchers program it will be a great one to make. I used ground chicken breast and thought the taste was great. Thank you!!

  21. I wonder if I am doing something wrong? I have tried this recipe as written, and in both tries I get. “Burn” message on my machine. Any suggestions??

  22. Hi Gina,

    We made this recipe meatless last night -it was delicious! We had it with garlic bread. (I know it is not low cal but the dinner had no points! )

    Tonight we are making the Pumpkin MAC and Cheese with brussel spouts! Looks yummy! 

    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! I shared this one on the Facebook IP Community page. 

  23. What if I also add mushrooms at the same time as everything else? Do you think this would still turn out ok? Is this quick release or natural release? 

  24. I just got my instant pot and this was the first recipe I made for my family of 4. It was delicious! I ate the squash and I boiled spagehetti for my hubby and kids. The sauce had good flavor and was the perfect consistancy. Thanks for this clever recipe that helps me stay on track and feed my family something they love!

  25. I have a software cookbook and would prefer to put the recipe into that cookbook rather than print out. Why can’t I copy and paste into my software?

  26. Gina…I usually love your recipes but this one was a fail all around and I’m so disappointed 🙁
    Wanted to post this in case anyone else had the same experience. My instant pot seemed to never come to pressure (after the first 20 minutes), squash no where near cooked and sauce turned super watery.
    Second 15 mins, a bit more progress on the squash and sauce burnt to the bottom (but still watery).
    Ended up having to cut the squash and bake and thicken up the sauce with some paste..what a bummer! A quick dinner took me over an hour to make 🙁

    • Not sure why it didn’t work for you!

    • Try to make sure that your rubber seal on your instant pot lid is on correctly. For awhile I had trouble getting my instant pot to come to pressure, but it was because the rubber seal on the lid was not on correctly, therefore the lid was not getting a proper seal. The first time it happened I burned rice because all of the water evaporated as the instant pot wouldn’t seal.

      Now, if it takes awhile for my instant pot to seal, I take off the lid, and adjust the rubber ring and it usually seals right up after that!

  27. Any recipe that allows me to use my instant pot and is easy to follow is my favorite thing! My husband even loved this recipe and I had so much sauce left over that I put it in the freezer for future uses.

  28. Can I leave the recipe the same if I leave out the squash or do I need to add water? 

  29. This was a pretty easy recipe to make. I actually pressure cooked the squash for 20 minutes.
    Nice and garlicky

  30. This recipe looks awesome! I’ve been trying to find one in which I can do the spag. squash at the same time, so thank you! But, I’m wondering. . .The other recipes I’m seeing suggest adding water. Is that only if you are cooking pasta noodles? Will the sauce be enough liquid to cook the squash? If you couldn’t tell, I’m very new to cooking with my pressure cooker. Thank you for your advice!

  31. It was fabulous but had to skip out on the spaghetti squash. My pressure cooker would not pressurize with it in it. I have a 6 quart and used a 4 lbs squash.  

  32. This looks great, my only question is, is it a Quick Release or a Natural release on the pressure cooker?

    Thanks.

  33. Do you think this would freeze and reheat well after cooking it? I am thinking meal prep and it would be a great lunch to grab for work.

  34. Gina, My husband and I bought a travel trailer and are planning on doing a lot of camping. I have been making recipes up and freezing them in food saver bags to take along camping so that we can have Weight Watcher friendly food and stay with-in our points. (You know how easy it is to give up when your are on the move.) I was wondering if the spaghetti squash would freeze well. I’ve done others like the chicken Parmesan, along with soups and chili. They freeze great. I have frozen raw zucchini for zucchini bread and it’s turned out good.

  35. This might be my all-time favorite recipe of yours, which believe me is saying a lot since almost my entire meal plan is based on your recipes. I make it and package it up for lunches for me for the week. I can quite literally eat this every single day and never tire of it! I too am obsessed with my IP – I have two, often both going at the same time. 

  36. How about in the instant pot?  I cant check the spaghetti squash. Any suggestions?

  37. What size InstaPot do you use out of curiosity? Preferences?

    • I can’t speak for Gina but I use a 6 quart DUO and it is plenty big enough for my needs! I do have two, however. 🙂 

  38. What size of IP do you use?

  39. Would love to see some more one pot recipes with spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot!

  40. Made this tonight in my Instant Pot. Followed your instructions exactly. Added 1 tsp each oregano, thyme, and basil. Absolutely fantastic!!

  41. I would love to try this recipe. What pressure cooker do you recommend? I have a slow cooker but would like to invest in a pressure cooker and there isn’t one listed in the store link.

    Love your recipes!!

    Daniela

  42. Are you doing natural release, or quick release at the end of 1t minutes?

  43. It worked well in  the pressure cooker ( my first recipe in my new pressure cooker). Needed more seasoning & I thickened it with tomato paste. The spaghetti squash is a wonderful low carb substitute for pasta and holds up well with the meat sauce. I’ll definitely make this again & again!  Love it!!

  44. I too was weary of the squash but just pierce it with a knife and add it right on top of the meat sauce and cook for 8 hours on low, super delicious and when you cut open squash after, the squash falls easily off the skin! I used a 3 pound squash as my crock pot isn’t a big one, it fit perfectly!

  45. i am horribly confused, so I am hoping that whoever sees this comment first can help me out. I just bought a pressure cooker (Farberware 7 in 1) on a Black Friday deal and I am totally unsure how to use it for this recipe. I get that you put the squash and the sauce in at once. but do you have to saute the meat separately? as in prep it, run it thorugh a saute cycle, depressurize, then put in the squash for 15 mins? in that case how long do you saute the meat for?? Gina or anyone -please help – I’m dying to make this recipe because it looks so good and I need to use up the squash I bought soon. thanks!

    • Sauté the beef with onion, garlic, salt, pepper…in the Instant Pot (no lid), Add crushed tomatoes, bay leaf and cheese rind, stir. Pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a knife and place over the sauce. Put lid on and set. Cook high pressure 15 minutes, or until the skin of squash easily gives when pressed with a spoon. Let the pressure release, discard bay leaf and rind and transfer the squash to a bowl to let cool….Hope that helps!

  46. First, this was delicious! My family gave it big thumbs up. Second, it takes far longer than 30 minutes. I set my instant pot for 20 minutes, and the squash was still too firm. Had to set for almost another 10 minutes. Between that, the sautéing, and the pressure build-up and release time, it took well over an hour (about an hour and a half to get it on the table). Just FYI for others. 

  47. Anybody else have issues with their pressure cooker coming to pressure with this recipe? 

    • I had issues the first attempt, but as soon as the timer started counting down even though my instant pot wasn’t up to pressure, I hit cancel, opened it up, and mixed in about 1/2 cup of water. Restarted it for 15 minutes at high pressure and it was able to get up to pressure and cook the squash just fine. I’m guessing the crushed tomatoes I bought didn’t have enough liquid in them, plus the squash took up the majority of the pot. A cup of water all on its own is all it takes to get mine up to pressure, so I made sure to add less than that so the sauce at the end wouldn’t be too thin. You can also keep the lid off and set the pressure cooker to saute and reduce the sauce while the squash is cooling.

  48. I made this tonight in the slow cooker and added the cheese rind as instructed.  The taste was okay but the smell!!!  My whole house smelled like stinky feet or when the janitor came around at school with the saw dust.  Skinnytaste I love your recipes but I think if I try this again it will be without the cheese rind. I just could t get past the smell to thoroughly enjoy this one.

  49. Keep the pressure cooker recipes coming!!!

  50. Hi Gina,

    I’ve had the problem with the squash coming out in a weird consistency-not for this recipe but for another where I used the oven method. I’m wondering if this has something to do with the ripeness of the squash? If it is past being ripe or is not ripe enough maybe you end up with different textures? When they are like mush I just toss it because I feel like it was rotten or something and I didn’t know. If it’s not soft enough I feel like it wasn’t ripe? 2’y tips for picking a squash at the store to avoid getting a less than preferred ripeness? Any thoughts you have might be helpful and solve some of the issues where people say the squash had a weird consistency 🙂

  51. Ok, that one was definitely worth the trouble of unloading the cabinet to get to the pressure cooker 🙂   Really yummy and super easy. 

  52. Just finished eating this delicious meal… so good! My husband and I both had seconds. We went the slow cooker route, cutting the squash in half for space. We took all the seeds and stuff out before chucking the halves in the slow cooker. Seriously so easy! It felt too good to be true but oh man am I glad it wasn’t! Thank you, Gina!

  53. I made this tonight but I feel like I must have cooked the squash too long in the slow cooker (7hrs on low) because it fell apart as I was pulling it out and instead of spaghetti consistency, it has more of a mashed potato consistency. Not sure what I did wrong but next time I’ll try the other method.

  54. I made this and it was delicious… i did it in the slow cooker and followed the recipe which clearly states to pierce the squash with a knife then place on top of sauce in slow cooker. I do have to say, I had mine on low for about 10 hours and the squash was so cooked it looked like actual squash (a butternut squash kind of consistency) NOT like the crunchier spaghetti like texture I am used to. Next time I will cook longer or use a much larger squash. My 11 yr old daughter liked it though so thats a plus. THANK YOU GINA.

  55. Hi Gina! First, I wanted to tell you that my best friend and I love your recipes and use them all of them time. The baked oatmeal is a hit every single time!! Thank you for making our single, healthy lives easier every day!! We love the enchilada squash, but would like to do a crock pot… think that would work? if I used more sauce? We are vegetarians so I would normally swap out boca, do you know how this would effect the calorie count? We leave it out generally but I’m nervous about the sauce burning on the bottom if I did enchilada sauce instead. Just curious for your thoughts! Thanks again!!

  56. I made this in the InstaPot and loved it.  I have not cooked spaghetti squash in many years because I could not cut it open, so this was perfect.  My meat did not burn or stick, the squash was fully cooked with an additional five minutes.  I used a spoon and spatula to lift the squash out.  Do you think I could cook just spaghetti squash whole on the trivet with a cup of water?  When I Google searched a recipe for just the squash, all I found were recipes where cutting it was needed.  This is my second try of a pressure cooker recipe of yours, Gina.  Both are on my list to repeat because both were delicious and in my comfort zone.

  57. My new favorite way to cook spaghetti squash….fantastic….might have to try cooking other winter squash this !!!! love love love your recipes and tips!!!! Thank you

  58. Will leaving out the bay leaf greatly impact the flavor? Or are there any other spices I could use to substitute? I’m not a fan of the flavor of bay leaves. Other than that, can’t wait to try!

    • You can leave it out.

    • FYI I made this AGAIN tonight (I make it almost once a week) and forgot I was out of bay leaves. I looked it up and Google said 1/4 tsp dried thyme or oregano is a good substitute. And I had fresh thyme so I used 3/4 tsp. This is truly my favorite recipe of hers and I love all of them!

  59. I used my hot pot but a code kept coming on saying check for food burning and the sauce kept sticking to the bottom before the pressure built up. Not sure what I was doing wrong but I had to finish it in microwave. I’m still new to using the instant pot and its probably something I did wrong. 

  60. I made this last night with a traditionally (stove-top) pressure cooker and 15 minutes was too long – the squash completely collapsed!

    Do you have any tips for removing the squash? I’m thinking of including an aluminum foil sling under it next time…

    Also I added Italian sausage spices to ground turkey and it was delicious!

  61. Gina,

    I only have an ancient crock pot from my wedding 35 years ago. I am confused about hot pot and pressure cooker/crock pot and chili settings. Can you maybe recommend what to get and to replace my old crock pot that has only two setting low and high?

  62. I made this the other night and the bottom of the spaghetti sauce burned, just wondering if anyone else has experienced this in the pressure cooker? The flavor of the sauce was still amazing, surprisingly there was no burnt flavor, and the squash was cooked perfectly. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Hmm, I wonder if using 3 minutes less would help?

    • I made this tonight and the sauce burned,  but the squash wasn’t cooked through! I ended up using the sauce anyway, and then microwaving the squash till it was cooked. The flavours were great.

    • I made this tonight and my sauce burned but the squash was done. I can’t believe how quick and easy it was to cook the squash in my One Pot. I thought it was a little bland so added a lot more garlic and Italian seasonings. 

  63. Made this tonight.  Loved the convenience of having the squash cook with the sauce!  

  64. If you don’t have a Parmesan rind what can you substitute instead?  Thanks!

  65. Bummer, we did this instapot per instructions for 15 minutes and the squash wasn’t cooked at all. I even used a 3 lb squash.  Anyone else have this issue?

    • Sorry, typing while running after toddlers! Meant to ask how much longer folks cooked the squash. ????

      • Update: We cooked it for 30 minutes (so 15 additional minutes) and it was great. Probably one of the best recipes I’ve ever had from Skinnytaste in terms of ease! (And I make your stuff all the time, Gina!) Thanks!

  66. IS the insta pot cooking time equivilant to an Old school pressure cooker? I want to make this tomorrow!!!!!

  67. Two thumbs up!
    I already had sauce made so I just used my Instant Pot to cook the squash. It worked awesome! I need to get more adventurous with my Instant Pot.

  68. I love and use your recipes all the time but found this one very confusing. Please show more detailed instructions when having two different ways to do a recipe. Totally do not understand how to cook the spaghetti squash for it in the slow cooker. Your recipes have always been easy to follow. i can not invest in buying another small electric appliance. Thanks

    • After you saute the ingredients and add the sauce to slow cooker, just pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a knife and plop it on top of the sauce. If it doesn’t fit, cut it in half to make it fit.

  69. This turned out perfectly. Nice to have recipes to take advantage of my pressure cooker. Spaghetti squash cooked up perfectly. Sauce was wonderful. Used 96 % lean ground turkey and was still wonderful. Thank you!

  70. I tried the One-Pot Spaghetti Squash ands Meatball Sauce in the crock pot. My sauce burned and so did the squash. I put it on low and went to class for 5 to 6 hours. Next time I try this I’ll going set it for 3 hours plus try it when I’m home. I’m saving for a One Pot; since the recipe stated you were using a pressure cooker.

    • I have a feeling your lid was off on the crockpot or has a leak or even might be broken.  just a tip because that seems very fast for anything to burn.  The crockpot should keep all the moisture in so that no steam is escaping, that is what keeps the food moist.  Just wanted to share in case it helps! it can be so sad to come home to a burned meal you worked so hard to prepare.  

  71. What the heck, this is so cool! I would have never thought you could just stick a squash in a slow cooker like that. I also would have never thought of eating squash as a pasta alternative – I’ll definitely have to give this a try myself!

  72. This was a genius idea!!! Thank You so much for sharing. I did my own sauce (had veggies I wanted to use up). It turned out perfect. 

  73. I am trying not to scream like a girl at a rock concert right now (I am at my desk!) but I am beyond excited to make this! I HATE wrestling with the squash (even with the microwave) then roasting it. I will make this soon!

  74. This is pure genius.

  75. Like you, tuttoroso is by far my favorite brand of tomatoes but j can never find the crushed without the added spices. Are you able to find a plain can of crushed tomatoes or do you use the seasoned one? I’m from LI as well, so please feel free to mention a specific store name. Thank you! 

  76. I made this tonight in my slow cooker and also was leery of cooking the squash with the sauce. I was afraid the liquid from the squash would leak from the slits into sauce and make it watery. I almost didn’t add the squash but then my husband told me to just “trust Gina”. He was right!! It did not change the taste of the sauce nor make it watery. The sauce came out nice and thick! This is perfect if you have a busy day or if you don’t want to heat up the house by using the oven to cook the squash. Thanks, Gina!! I promise to never doubt you again! ☺️ 

    • Aww thank you for trusting me and how sweet your husband would say that! I too was worried as I did it as an experiment but was happy with the results!!

  77. Sounds great, but I am confused about what to do with the squash. I assume I should wash it first? The pierce it well all over. Now, do I put the entire squash on top of the meat sauce and cook on low for eight hours? What I find confusing is cooking the whole squash this way. I am concerned it will affect the taste of the sauce or explode.

    • It never gets in the sauce, I am just laying it on top to cook at the same time. You can of course cook it separate in the microwave if you wish.

  78. Brilliant  Thanks 

  79. I love your recipes!!  I’m a Weight Watchers member and find your recipes very helpful. I bought an Instant Pot on your recommendation and am glad that you will focus on more recipes using it.  Thank you for making healthy eating so delicious!!

  80. For slow cooker:

    Do I JUST sauté the meat with the onion, garlic, salt, pepper.. then mix in the rest in the slow cooker?

    Then I just plop the squash on top? Or pierce? Im confused….

    I understand the instant pot thing, but for htose of us with a slow cooker this is confusing 🙁

    • Correct, after you saute the ingredients and add the sauce just pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a knife and plop it on top as shown in the photo. No need to cut it.

  81. Yum this looks delicious! I’ve made it in a slow cooker before but not a pressure cooker!

  82. Yum – this looks excellent. Thank you!

    I look forward to more Instant Pot recipes from you, Gina. Your healthy recipes are helping me get back to healthy eating – without sacrificing flavor.

  83. What a clever idea! I just have too ask though, does the sauce take on the taste of the squash? Only half of my family would eat the squash and I wonder if I could do this without the other half tasting it with their pasta. Thanks so much!

  84. What is Spaghetti Squash supposed to like? I’ve cooked it twice and it was crunchy. The flavor was good, but I wasn’t sure about the texture.

    • You probably didn’t cook it long enough. If it’s cooked properly, it is actually very similar in appearance and texture (although more veggie like :)) to spaghetti pasta. Properly cooked, you should be able to easily pierce the skin/flesh with a fork.

      Hope that helps!

  85. Recipe looks amazing but 2 SP? Is that correct? I plugged the ingredients into a WW SP calculator and it came out to 6SP, based on 8 servings. I’d love it to be 2SP, are you able to explain how you got that figure? Thanks!

    • Use the recipe builder, the calculator is wrong since spaghetti squash is 0. The only accurate way to get smart points on the new plan is plugging the ingredients into WW recipe builder. 1 lb lean raw ground beef is 12, all the other ingredients are 0. I just double checked my WWRB.

      • And if you use 99% lean ground turkey, this meal will be 0 SP! Sprinkle a little nutritional yeast on top (like parm cheese) and you will never feel like you are missing out on flavor!

  86. This is awesome! Did you use your instapot? I just got one and can’t wait to try! 

    • I did this last night using the slow cooker function of the instant pot (my first time, and I was anxious as I got rid of TWO slow cookers when we bought the IP). It was yummy! Toddler actually ate some of it, which is a small miracle in our house these days.

  87. I’m confused. I understand prepping the meat sauce but  I only have a slow cooker. Do I just cut the squash in half or do I have to prep it first, before putting it in to the cooker with the sauce?

    • Yes, I usually cut it in half if it’s too large to fit depending the size of your slow cooker.

      • Awesome! Do I need to gut it/remove seeds or anything before I put it in the crock pot or literally just cut it in half and put it in the pot? Sorry if these sound like silly questions! I’m just a 20-something graduate student, trying to eat right. Hahah

        Your recipes are amazing!

    • I too can’t figure out how to cook the cut in half squash.  Just lay it on crock pot? Water ? And for how long ?

      • Yes, it will cook on top 8 hours on low.

      • Guys. I am seeing this post really late in the game, but to cook a squash, you can poke holes in the squash and microwave it for about five minutes to make it a little soft for cutting down the middle. Next, scoop out the seeds and drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on the flesh parts of both halves. Flip them over and place them on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for an hour at 400 (I think). The squash comes out perfectly each time.

    • Remove the seeds and such first.

  88. Hi, I like the idea of a pressure cooker to speed up dinner time, but I do not own one…can you suggest what to purchase? Thank you, Tammy

  89. How timely. I just got an Instant Pot. So far, I’ve boiled water and made rice.  I’m ready for something a little more…adventurous.

    Do you put the squash directly in the sauce, or elevate it on the little trivet that comes with the Instant Pot? Not surfeit would make much difference, though.

    Thanks for the recipes.

  90. Looks great and I am looking forward to trying it. Did you do a quick release of the pressure or a slow release?

  91. Hey Gina,

    This looks so good. I found I love spaghetti squash. I am going to make this for sure. I wonder how it would taste with ground turkey breast ?
    Love your recipes so much !!
    Thanks for all you do …in keeping us all healthy !!

    Diane D