After months of summer squash in just about every meal, I’m happy to move on to winter squash. Don’t get me wrong — I love zucchini in just about every way, but as the weather gets cooler, our food choices change, and right now, I’m all about winter squash.

At the farmer’s market last weekend, there was a wide variety of squash (tip: if you want to try a different and interesting variety of winter squash, head to your farmer’s market, where you’ll always find more than just the usual acorn and butternut you see at the grocery store) and I picked up a few, including a spaghetti squash, which I don’t eat very often. After this meal, that may change however.

I recently got an Instant Pot, which I’ve been putting off for a while, and this dish was one of the first few things I’ve cooked in it. Winter squash has never been one of my favorite foods to cook at home, mostly due to how heavy, tough, and unwieldy they are, so I usually either eat my squash out, or buy it prepped and ready to go. My Instant Pot totally changed that, and now I can’t wait to move on to the next one.

This recipe is super simple, yet amazingly delicious. Once you’ve cooked the squash, you just scrape the noodles from the skin, and toss with a quick dressing of Ava Jane’s Kitchen Avocado Oil, cider vinegar and the Pumpkin Pie Spice blend I got from Ava Jane’s Kitchen. Now, this is not just any pumpkin spice seasoning. It’s got your typical pumpkin spices — cinnamon, nutmeg, clove — but it is the freshest, brightest tasting pumpkin pie spices I’ve ever had. When you consider that the pumpkin pie spice you buy off your supermarket shelf in November has probably been sitting there all year, and this one is fresh made right before you get it, it makes a world of difference.

This aromatic fall blend is not just for pies, however, as demonstrated by this spaghetti squash. You can totally use it for savory dishes too, and while I ate this squash as a quick lunch, I’m imagining how delicious it would be with a hearty fall roast or late season grilled pork chops.

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still cook the squash anyway you want, and continue on with the recipe as is. Serve it warm and sprinkle with whatever fresh chopped herbs you have (I used parsley, but sage would be particular good here) for one of the best fall side dishes you’ll eat all year.

Serves 4-6
Prep time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash
1 cup water or broth
1/2 cup Ava Jane’s Kitchen Avocado Oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon AJK Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley or sage, for serving
Colima Sea Salt, for serving

Directions:

Make a few deep cuts into your squash with a sharp knife. Put the water in the Instant Pot, and add the squash. Close the lid and seal the valve, and set to pressure cook for 15 minutes. When done, release the pressure, and remove the squash. Let cool enough to handle.

Cut the squash in half, and discard the seeds. Scrape the flesh from the squash with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.

Whisk the oil, vinegar, pumpkin spice, garlic, and pepper in a bowl or shake in a jar until well combined. Toss with the squash and sprinkle with Colima Sea Salt and parsley or sage before serving.

Easy to download PDF: Instant Pot Pumpkin Spiced Spaghetti Squash