Simple Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce is the comfort food you’re craving, slow cooked in a 21 Day Fix approved meal. And newly updated with Instant Pot instructions, too! This post contains affiliate links for products I’m obsessed with.
Confession #61- I used to be terrified of leaving the crock pot on while at work.
I know. It’s the whole freaking point, right?
I never said my fear was rational!
And so I used to cook my crock pot meals overnight. I guess I figured a fire breaking out while I was sleeping was better than it happening while I was at work.
Great idea, right? Until about 2 am.
Have you ever tried to sleep with a delicious pork roast or pot of tortilla soup cooking down the hall?
It’s not easy, people.
So I decided to face my fear in the name of a full night sleep and I haven’t looked back since.
Last week I tried a new slow cooker recipe, and I have been SO excited to share it with you. It’s inspired by Skinnytaste’s Crock Pot Sauce, which I make a lot, but I put my own spin on it, using ground turkey and spaghetti squash.
And I cooked my spaghetti squash RIGHT IN THE CROCKPOT!!!!
Yes, I yelled that last line.
I want to shout it from the rooftops!!
You can cook a spaghetti squash in a CROCKPOT!!!!
Ok. I am done now. I hope you are as excited as me, because this simple Crock Pot spaghetti squash with meat sauce was easy, delicious, and my new favorite way to make spaghetti squash. And for those of you who aren’t fans of turkey sausage (can we talk about why?), using ground turkey for this was perfect. My husband actually thought it was sausage.
Looks much better finished, huh?
I hope you enjoy this simple crock pot spaghetti squash and meat Sauce recipe!
Simple Spaghetti Squash and Meat Sauce
- 1 medium to large spaghetti squash washed
- 2 teaspoon olive oil I used my Tuscan Herb EVOO from The Bodacious Olive
- 5 cloves garlic crushed
- 1.5 lb organic ground turkey ground chicken, or ground beef
- 56 oz crushed tomatoes 2 large cans
- 2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese optional
- Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook the garlic until golden on both sides. Be very careful not to burn it! Remove garlic from the pan and add your turkey. Cook through and season to taste with Italian Seasoning and Crushed Red Pepper.
- Add garlic and turkey to the crock pot and cover with both cans of crushed tomatoes.
- Carefully cut your spaghetti squash in half around the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and membranes. Place cut sides down in crock pot. If your cover doesn't fit over tightly, place some foil under it to ensure the squash can steam.
- Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours. Check on the squash by sticking them with a fork. If it goes in easy, it's done! Let them cool in a separate bowl for a bit or risk some crazy burns.
- Remove squash from shell using a fork; discard the shell. Drain in a colander if squash seems watery. You can even use a cheesecloth to strain further. If your sauce is on the thin side because of the squash, cook it uncovered in the crock on HIGH for a bit to thicken it up before serving. Serve squash with sauce from Crock Pot and top with Parmesan.
- Turn IP to saute. Add olive oil and cook the garlic until golden on both sides. Be very careful not to burn it!
- Remove garlic from the IP and add your turkey. Cook through on saute and season to taste with Italian Seasoning and Crushed Red Pepper. Deglaze your Instant Pot (aka scrape the bottom to release anything that might be stuck) with 2 tablespoons of water.
- Return garlic to pan and cover meat with both cans of crushed tomatoes, but do not stir.
Add squash whole or cut in half:
- To cut: Wash your spaghetti squash well, then carefully cut your spaghetti squash in half around the middle. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and membranes. Place squash in your Instant Pot on top of sauce or place your trivet on sauce and place your squash on trivet. Lock IP and turn to manual, high pressure and cook for 7 minutes. Switch to quick release after cook time is finished.
- To cook whole: Pierce the spaghetti squash all over with a knife and place over the sauce. Cook high pressure 20 minutes. Switch to quick release after cook time is finished.
- Remove squash from pot and let cool for a bit before handling. If needed, cut squash and remove strands from shell using a fork; discard the shell. If your sauce is on the thin side because of the squash, turn it back to saute and cook uncovered in the IP for a bit to thicken it up before serving. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Hi, Love your recipes. I know it will increase the fat content, but do you think this would work with mild Italian sausage? I have some in the freezer to use up. Would you change any of the liquid ratio?
This would totally work as a 1:1 swap with no changes! YUM!
Ray S says
How much ricotta should I add for the full red.
This recipe has been updated and now is a full red!
I just wanted to double check.. you need 2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes?? Thanks!
Emily M says
Are you from Pensacola?!? Oh I miss the bodacious olive/brew ♥️♥️♥️
I am not, but my mother in law lives there! We visited the Bodacious Olive and I fell in love! I want to cook in that demo kitchen!
Hi! No – my mother in law is, though! I love the Bodacious Olive!
I just tried to make this in the IP and my sauce burnt to the bottom two different times. I couldn’t get it to pressure up because it kept burning. Any advice or tips? I added some water to it to try to get it to not burn but that didn’t work either. 🙁
First question – what size is your Instant Pot?
It is an 8 quart
Ugh…ok. I am have seen several burn messages on different recipes with 8 quart pots. I am going to need to figure out why that’s happening. Did you ever get it to work?
I did not. After two attempts i just cooked the spaghetti squash and threw the meat sauce on the stove. I added 2 cups of water the second time and it still did it. Not sure why either. Kind of crazy that some people have no issues. I washed and dried the burned parts off, then added the sauce and water.. i thought for sure that would have solved it. I’m going to do some investigating and see if I can figure it out!
I will do the same! I am so sorry, Megan!
No worries! I cooked it separate and it was still delicious!! I’m new to IP so it’s all a learning process!
I also got the Burn notice 2 times in my * quart. When I opened the pot it wasn’t burnt or stuck at all. So I decided to try it on LOW PRESSSER. It was perfect!
Late joiner – love your recipes!!!! Found you by searching google for “21 day fix, recipes, grocery list” 🙂 Thank you so much for helping me keep my family happy & leading us to a healthier path!!!
1 Tip I recently found on spaghetti squash. After you cut in half, cover liberally with salt & let sit for 15 minutes. The salt will draw a lot of water out. After 15, wipe off all the salt & water. Complete recipe. No more soggy spaghetti squash ?
Yay! I am so glad you found me and that the blog is helping…nothing makes me happier! And thank you for sharing that awesome tip – I can’t wait to try it!
Janet Marie says
This may be a dumb question, but I don’t cook much. If I wanted to freeze this recipe for later, what ingredients can freeze and what can wait until cook time? Could I put it all in a baggie together pre-measured?
Hi! So I haven’t done it, but I researched and it seems like you CAN freeze spaghetti squash. I would maybe separate the sauce into baggies and then measure the spaghetti squash into a separate baggie so it doesn’t water down your sauce. Make sense?
Cheryl Vanicek says
You didn’t cut the squash before cooking in the Instant Pot? Just pierced it? Did you scoop out the seeds after cooking, when you cut it in half?
How would you do this in the instant pot?
I just updated the directions for IP! Great idea 🙂
Heather B says
Pinned it! Wish I could find organic ground turkey! Thanks for sharing your recipes and container break down.
Hi! Do you have a Costco nearby? They always have it!
Heather B says
Hmmm. I’m Heather B too. Hope I’m not responding to my own post. Heh heh. Anyway, I found organic turkey at Target last night.
LOL! I think you might be! 🙂 And yay – I hope you love this dish!