Instant Pot Bolognese With Spaghetti Squash

Once you’ve had real Bolognese sauce, you never look at spaghetti sauce the same again. Bolognese has a richly nuanced, deeply umami flavor that satisfies in a warm, homey (and foodie) way. Paired with lower carb, higher nutrient spaghetti squash, this meal makes for a true Primal favorite everyone at the table can enjoy. And with the convenience of an Instant Pot, you’ll be out of the kitchen in around 20 minutes, with dinner on the table in about 45 total. Simply cook the squash while you’re busy prepping the sauce ingredients for the ultimate in efficiency. The end result? A rich and meaty Bolognese dish that tastes as good as sauce that simmers for hours.

Time in the Kitchen: 20 (with additional 30 minutes cook time for sauce)

Servings: 8


  • 2 spaghetti squash (for double batch)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (15 ml)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds ground pork (900 g)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (10 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (10 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (30 ml)
  • ½ cup beef bone broth (120 ml)
  • 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes, and their liquid
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Garnish: fresh basil and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Cut spaghetti squash in half (lengthwise makes shorter noodles and crosswise makes longer noodles). Scoop out the seeds in the center.

Add a cup of water to the Instant Pot. Place a steaming trivet in the bottom of the Instant Pot and set the squash halves on top. Cover and make sure the pressure release valve is set to “sealing.” Select the “manual” setting and set the cooking time for 20 minutes on high pressure.

After cooking time, do a quick release by moving the pressure release valve to “venting.” Remove squash and pour out any liquid that has collected inside the squash. Use a fork to pull the squash apart into “noodles.” Set aside.

While the spaghetti squash is cooking, prep the sauce ingredients.

When you’re ready to make the meat sauce, select the sauté setting on the Instant Pot, and heat the olive oil. Cook the pork about 10 minutes until fully browned, then remove and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Leave a tablespoon or two of pork fat in the bottom of the pot (draining the rest to discard or save for other cooking uses).

Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic and sauté about 5 minutes to soften the veggies. Add the cooked ground meat back into the pot, and season with oregano and salt. Break the meat up into small pieces.

In a bowl, whisk together the tomato paste and bone broth. Pour into the Instant Pot with the diced tomatoes and bay leaf. Mix well.

Cover and make sure the pressure release valve is set to “sealing.” Select the “manual” setting, and set the cooking time for 30 minutes on high pressure. Move the pressure release valve to “venting” for a quick release.

Store half of the Bolognese in a food storage container.

Serve the other half on top of the spaghetti squash (if needed, reheat the squash briefly in the microwave) with fresh basil and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Nutritional Info (per serving—8 servings from doubled batch recipe):

  • Calories: 450
  • Carbs: 13 grams
  • Fat: 28 grams
  • Protein: 33.5 grams

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11 thoughts on “Instant Pot Bolognese With Spaghetti Squash”

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  1. Just want to mention a super-easy way to cook spaghetti squash. This method doesn’t require that you cut the squash until it’s cooked and super-easy to cut.

    pierce the top of the squash about 3 times with a knife. Bake in the toaster oven on 375F for 1 to 1.5 hours. (or you can put it in a real oven). I usually don’t even bother to preheat the oven!

    When done, you can cut off the ends, then slice down the middle and scoop out the seeds.

  2. Thanks! Great recipe. I only cook my squash on manual for 7 minutes as per Nom Nom Paleo.

    1. I also cook the squash for 7 minutes. I’m wondering what is the difference between cooking it for 20 minutes and only for 7 minutes ?

      Any thought about that ?

  3. I am ready to make the kitchen easier! Do you recommend a particular instant pot and what is the quart size of the one you use?

    1. Carmen, I love hearing that. I’ll share more on this in tomorrow’s post, but for home cooks I think the Instant Pot Duo is a great choice. You’ll find that most recipes are written for the 6-quart model, and unless you’re feeding a large family or using it for event cooking, I think the 6-quart is a good fit for most people.

  4. Recipe is confusing: brown the ground pork. Remove and leave some for sautéing. Then add ground meat… pork?

    1. Carl, I like to saute vegetables in meat fat, so I prefer to cook ground meat first and set aside. The grease that’s left at the bottom of the pan (or, in this case, Instant Pot) is perfect for softening up the vegetables. After that’s done, just put the cooked meat back in.

  5. Delicious, didn’t have ground pork so I used ground veal. I halved the recipe. The bolognese came out wonderful. Spaghetti squash was a little overdone. Definitely a do over

  6. The secret to a bolognese ragu is a small amount of very finely diced proscuttio added to finish the sauce…

  7. How does this translate if I’m using a slow cooker and not an instapot?