The Lazy Way to Cook Squash

I don’t know about you, but I’m always scared I’m going to chop a finger off while cutting a large squash in half. I was bemoaning my fear to my mom at Thanksgiving and she said, “Why do you cut it in half?”

“Because everyone does.”

She said, “I don’t.”

My mom just sticks the whole darn thing in the oven then cuts and scoops out the seeds after it’s cooked.  It takes a little bit longer that way but nothing noteworthy.  It only added about 15-20 minutes which was totally worth saving my fingers.

I took it a step further.  I stick the whole squash (if it fits) in my pressure cooker.  Instead of 1-1.5 hours, it only takes about 15-20 mins.

You can also do this in a slow cooker.

Bigger squash take longer than small squash so you’ll want to test poke occasionally.

The Lazy Way to Cook Squash

Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash, small enough to fit in your pressure cooker (or squash of your choice)
  • 1 cup water

Place water in your cooker, set spaghetti squash on the bracket to keep it out of the water. Bring to pressure and cook for 17 mins.  Quick release the pressure (according to your cookers directions), do not open until the pressure valve is open.  Test squash with a fork.  If it’s not soft enough for the fork to enter easily, bring back to pressure for another 3-5 mins (it’s already hot so it shouldn’t take too long to bring back up to pressure).

Once your squash is soft, cut in half and scoop out seeds.


Whole Cooked Squash in an Oven 

  • 1 squash
  • olive oil or coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat squash with oil.  Place on a cookie sheet. Cook squash for about 1 hour or until soft enough to pierce with a fork.  A larger squash will take longer than a smaller squash.

Once soft, cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.


Whole Cooked Squash in a Slow Cooker

  • 1 squash (small enough to fit in your slow cooker)

Set squash on top of a wire bracket (or anything to keep the squash out of the water).  Add about 2-3 cups water, just enough so that it doesn’t quite reach the squash.  Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

For some great ideas on how to use your squash now that it’s cooked, check out my Winter Squash Round Up.

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44 comments to The Lazy Way to Cook Squash

  • Echo

    At last! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one cooking like this! I cook sweet potatoes and yams in my slow cooker, I bake pineapple/coconut upside down cakes, of course, squash!

  • Tara

    I think I love you! I loathe cutting into the hard squash and scooping out the seeds. I tried to cook it in the pressure cooker already halved and seeded, but can never get it to fit. Thank you!

  • Mary Huber

    This is a great idea. I never thought of it with squash, but I do use it with rutabagas (sometimes known as turnips). Rutabagas are those large, rock-hard yellow-orange guys. Extremely hard to cut. Once, I washed the vise and my husband’s woodchopper’s maul, clamped the rutababa in the vise and, with a mighty swing, I clobbered the rutabaga with the maul. Breaking it into pieces worked very well–TOO well, in fact. We had shards of rutabaga on the garage ceiling!

    Will try your squash trick with the pressure cooker tonight; thank you!

  • Kenwyn

    I’m big on saving time, but are the seed’s still able to planted after cooking them or sprouting. the question is does it kill the seeds or not?

  • Sue

    I have been cooking my squash in the oven for years, but I love the idea of the pressure cooker and/or the crock pot. One other way would be in my 6 qt. Nesco cooker, I bet, for maybe 2 hours on 250. Thanks for the great ideas.

  • Tania

    Ok..I was totally looking to see if anyone had done answered my question. I am delighted and I can’t wait to try this! My hubby just got my an electric pressure cooker and he was so surprised when I told him I could cook our squash this way. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Tammie

    How do you do it in the crock pot and for how long? Also, how do I get started on all the fermenting process? Do I need to biuy specific gadgets or can things around the kitchen work? My 7 yr. old has severe gut issues and I’ve been told to get him on fermented foods and I really just don’t know where to start. We’ve done all the eliminating of foods for a celiac too because he has food specific allergies too. Feeling a little overwhelmed and crazed cause nothing is really helping. Any chance you could email me personally some pointer to get me going? thanks!

    • Beverly

      The celiac diet seems overwhelming at first, but it is definitely doable. I have followed it for years. Once I realized that gluten could actually kill me, well it got easier. Good luck to you! It’s worth it and your child will feel better and as a result so will you.

  • Tammie

    Whoops saw thew slow cooker version, other questions still apply though!

  • Really want to incorporate more squash into my diet so thanks for this. Less work is always better 🙂

  • Patty

    I have always cooked a whole squash and then scooped. Just cooked one the other day. Once cooked, I put it in serving size containers and freeze. Most of the squash I cook are too large for my pressure cooker and slow cooker, but they are never too big for the oven. I do usually put something like a cookie sheet or aluminum foil underneath just in case it drips.

  • Annamaria

    Even better, you can cook one in the microwave!! I poke the heck out of the rind with a fork (kinda deep), put on microwave-safe plate and micro for 10-12 mins. Let set for 5 mins. Then cut, scoop seeds and scrape away!! Don’t forget to use an oven mitt when scooping and scraping!!

  • Ingenious! (smacking my forehead) Why didn’t I think of that!

  • Sue

    you can also bake in micro wave after poking holes with fork

  • Robin

    I have a weighted pressure cooker, what weight should be used?

  • Katti

    i don’t have a rack for the slow cooker. Wonder if I balled up some foil in the bottom just to keep it up off the water? Just a thought. The recipes for a whole chicken cooked in the CP suggested the foil for the same reason.

    • Becky

      I put 3-4 canning lids in the bottom of of the IP or you could use any kind of lid just so they’re the same height. Works great!

  • Barb

    When cutting rutabaga /turnip , I microwave it for 1 minute. I find This makes it so much easier to cut/chop.

  • Dani

    This was WAAAYY too easy!!!! Thanks! I love spaghetti squash, but it is so dangerous! I’ve watch youtube videos just to see if there’s a safe way. It helped, but they don’t compare to this way. I just set the timer to 20 mins and 30m later I had a perfectly cooked squash. Oh another benefit I like is that I get to use the whole thing. When I cooked it in the oven, I seemed to only get 80% of the meat. Now I get 99%! SO this saves $ and time!

  • Kraftymama

    I always microwave my rutabaga…. Melts the wax coating and makes them so much easier to cut up.

  • Kristen

    I use a cleaver & tap the back of it with a rubber mallet. Works great and keeps fingers out of harms way.

  • Kat

    Can you cut one in half I have one that is too big,and how do I keep it out of the water I think foil would let the water get to it !!!

  • Becky Anderson

    How do you handle scraping out the seeds? I did this today and the pulp and seeds mixed in w the actual meat during scraping out seeds.

  • Kim

    Do you need to poke holes in it before pressure cooking?

  • Sally

    I’m like you – terrified of losing a finger for a squash! Those rinds are TOUGH! Now that I’m getting an Instant Pot, I’ll cook mine like this. Thanks for the post.

  • Angela

    What if you don’t have a rack for the pressure cooker? Can you just put it directly in the water?

  • Marcia

    You can use one of the silver foldable strainers that has three peg/legs that holds your vegetables up from the water. (That’s what I used to my regular pots and pans). I add my water and then and put my vegetables on top. Works great!!!!! I just put in 3/4 cup of water and about eight potatoes for baked baked potatoes (of course cut a slice than down the middle) for 17 minutes and they turned out wonderful

  • Betzy

    OMG!!! Just got my IP this past week. First try at IP and at putting the spaghetti squash in IP. Total success on both! Mind blown!!!

  • […] you’re interested, here is the recipe for the spaghetti squash. I cooked mine in the Instant Pot, but if gives directions […]

  • Susan

    Does the squash need to be pricked with a fork or skewer for pressure release? Or is it fine just plopped in the IP as is?

  • Emily

    Would this work with a pumpkin?

  • Sherry Silcox

    I don’t know what happend! I put the whole squash on high for 17 minutes + 5 minutes + 5 minutes + 5 MORE minutes in the microwave and it still wasn’t as done as I’d have liked it. Also, cutting the squash in half while it’s steaming hot then scooping out the seeds was not a fun activity. I’m going to revert to the tastiest (and easiest) way to cook spaghetti squash – in the oven.

  • Vanessa

    I’ve been meaning to try this in my IP. Would it be high pressure? And does it need to be poked with holes before? Thanks!

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