If you’re an Instant Pot fan, get pumped.
I’m excited to share this new recipe for Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash and Lentil Bolognese with you guys today!
This lentil bolognese is rich, thick and meaty, but it’s vegan – and gluten free, too.
Had to have the wine in the photo because this looks like such a fun and fancy dinner!
Looks fancy but is actually easy = totally my jam recipe-wise.
This dish is comforting and cozy but also really light and fresh so you can eat the leftovers for lunch and not need a nap 5 minutes later.
If you love bolognese sauce but want to eat less meat, or if you just want to rock some meatless Mondays, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try.
And if you don’t want to get on board with the fully meatless approach… you can always add some ground beef, chicken, or turkey into the mix here to have a more veggie-packed bolognese sauce than the usual.
There are two especially exciting things about this recipe.
First, dried lentils (and other dried legumes) are awesome in the Instant Pot (<- I have the 6 quart version) because you don’t need to soak them first, and they cook so quickly!
And second, I’m really excited to have discovered how well spaghetti squash does in the Instant Pot.
If you love spaghetti squash but don’t love how long it takes to cook, and how hard it is to cut in half while raw, you will also love this recipe because the spaghetti squash is cooked whole – total win!
Here’s what you’re working with for this veggie-packed feast:
To get this recipe going, you’ll want to start with the Instant Pot in “saute” mode.
Simply use it like a normal pan on the stove to saute your onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms in a little olive oil until soft and fragrant.
Next, pour in the crushed tomatoes, water, and dry lentils.
Then in goes the spaghetti squash!
As I mentioned, you leave it whole for now – just be sure to poke some slits in it with a knife or fork, though, so it doesn’t explode. 🙂
Then set it and forget it!
25 minutes on high pressure and your feast is ready.
Release the steam, open the lid, remove the spaghetti squash, and cut it in half (way easier now vs. when it was totally raw). Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and save them if you want to roast them!
To roast the seeds, rinse them off, coat them in a little oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in a sheet pan for 15 to 20 minutes at 275 degrees F for a yummy snack!
Use a fork to separate spaghetti-like strands of squash, then top it with the sauce and garnish with some parsley and parmesan if desired (and if not keeping this recipe vegan, obviously)!
To make this dish more hearty, you can always mix the spaghetti squash with some regular pasta – you do you, friends!
Here’s the full recipe.
Let me know what you think if you try it!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 1 spaghetti squash
- salt and pepper, to taste
- parsley and parmesan cheese for garnish, optional
- Set instant pot to the Saute function. Add olive oil, onion, celery, carrot, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
- Add tomato paste and Italian seasoning and cook for 1 minute, until tomato paste is incorporated.
- Add crushed tomatoes, water, and lentils, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- Poke slits in the spaghetti squash all over with a knife, then place in the instant pot on top of the sauce.
- Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes, until squash is tender and sauce is thickened. Release steam immediately.
- Remove squash from instant pot and cut in half. Scoop out seeds with a spoon, then use a fork to separate spaghetti-like strands of squash.
- Serve spaghetti squash topped with sauce and garnish with parsley and parmesan if desired.
Interested in more vegetarian comfort food? Check these recipes out:
- Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese
- “Cheesy” Mushroom Quinoa (vegan, gluten free)
- Shepherd’s Pie (vegan, gluten free)
- Walnut and Mushroom Vegetarian Enchiladas (vegan if omit cheese)
- Watermelon Rind Curry (vegan, gluten free)
- Sweet Potato & Black Bean Veggie Enchiladas (vegan if omit cheese)
- Sweet Potato Lentil Chili (vegan, gluten free)
Ready to make more Instant Pot creations?
Here are the previous Instant Pot recipes I’ve shared:
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup (gluten free)
- Instant Pot Maple Mustard Chicken (gluten free)
- Instant Pot Quinoa Fried Rice (gluten free with GF soy sauce)
And lastly, if you like this recipe but want to try a vegan meatball variation instead, here’s a recipe from a fellow blogger to try: easy vegan meatballs.