An Easy Instant Pot Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Do you find yourself making the same handful of recipes every time you get out your Instant Pot? If you're only using it to cook rice or basic meat-and-vegetable dishes, you're not getting the most out of the appliance.
To help you break out of the Instant Pot rut, we're sharing a delicious, out-of-the-box recipe for cacio e pepe spaghetti squash from The Lighter Step-By-Step Instant Pot Cookbook by Jeffrey Eisner, reprinted with permision. You've probably had cacio e pepe pasta before, but we promise the recipe is just as good with veggies in place of starchy noodles.
Eisner's recipes focus on making healthier versions of popular comfort foods; if you're looking for a cheesy, filling dish, this recipe will do just the trick. And for more lightened-up takes on your favorite comfort-food classics, check out The Lighter Step-By-Step Instant Pot Cookbook, out April 13, 2021.
Nutrition: 258 calories, 17.9 g fat, 143 mg sodium, 24.7 g carbs (0.4 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4.3 g protein
1 (3-4-pound) spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp ghee (store-bought or homemade)
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese or additional Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
How to Make It
- Using a sharp chef's knife, slice the spaghetti squash lengthwise in half. Then scoop out the stringy, seedy center and discard. (I find an ice cream scooper works best.)
- Place the trivet in the Instant Pot, pour in 1 cup of water, and place the squash halves on top, cut side up.
- Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel, and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes. Quick release when done, then hit Keep Warm/Cancel to turn off the pot.
- Using tongs, carefully remove the squash and use a fork to shred it into spaghetti.
- Transfer the shredded squash to a bowl and discard the squash skins (or save them to serve the finished dish in for extra "wow!" factor). Empty the liner pot, wipe it completely dry, and return it to the Instant Pot.
- Add the oil and ghee to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté, and adjust so it's on the More or High setting. Once the oil's bubbling and the ghee's melted (about 3 minutes), hit Keep Warm/Cancel to turn off the pot again.
- Return the shredded spaghetti squash to the pot and toss with the ghee and oil while adding both cheeses and your desired amount of black pepper. Toss to combine.
- Serve topped with additional black pepper.
Jeff's Tip: If you want to add some protein, such as shrimp (peeled and deveined) or bite-size pieces of boneless chicken, go for it! Add them in Step 5 and sauté until fully cooked (shrimp will curl and become opaque, and chicken should be fully white, with no sign of pink).