One of the best features of the Instant Pot pressure cooker is when vegetables like butternut squash can go from gourd to gourmet in just 3 minutes cooking time. Who doesn’t have time for that?
You guys asked for more Instant Pot recipes besides those in my archives, and I’m here to deliver.
This Instant Pot butternut squash is a staple in my meal prep, and a recipe I make all of the time. Sure it tastes great, but even more, it’s so incredibly quick and easy to cook, there’s simply no excuse NOT to make it.
Easy side dishes give life to any meal. They’re that extra something that rounds out the plate and should add a bit more healthy to it too. I’ve always been one who would rather have a dish of three sides than anything else on the menu. Give me a bite of everything, because I can’t stand to leave any taste out.
This ridiculously easy butternut squash recipe can be a simple side to the main meal, or added to salads, rice or grain bowls, or used in recipes like these beef and butternut enchiladas.
Either way you cube it, smash it, blend it, or beat it, butternut squash cooked in the pressure cooker is the quick and easy way to go.
How Long Does It Take to Cook Butternut Squash in the Pressure Cooker?
Everyone knows pressure cooking is a time saver. But there isn’t more truth to that than when it comes to cooking squash.
In the oven, cubed butternut squash typically takes about 30 minutes to cook, with halved butternut squash clocking in at nearly an hour. Roasting certainly has it’s place, and produces more caramelized, crisped pieces when cubed. Steaming your squash is quicker, but still takes twice as long than the pressure cooker.
Compare those times to the Instant Pot’s, where to it takes just 3 minutes cooking time for cubed and about 12 minutes for halved pieces. Sure, there’s a few minutes to be added for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, but in my mind there’s not much to compare.
see more: 31 Instant Pot and Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes
How to Serve Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is packed with Vitamin A, with just 1 cup of cooked squash provides 457% of the recommended daily allowance. And like most veggies, it’s fat-free and a good source of fiber, potassium, and magnesium.
While I tend to love my butternut squash served with a generous pinch of kosher salt to bring out it’s inherent sweetness, butternut squash is totally versatile too, and easily melds with so many other ingredients.
If you’re thinking of serving it a side, you can easily customize your bite, with simple ingredient additions like:
- Smash it with maple syrup and bacon and minced rosemary
- Mash it with yogurt, curry powder and sautéed onions
- Add chile powder, a squeeze of lime, and top with chopped pistachios
- Sneak plain mashed butternut squash into macaroni and cheese with crispy sage, pasta sauce, burritos, quick breads, and even oatmeal
Or simply add a pat or two of butter, and call it a day.
see more: 31 Fast and Easy Instant Pot Dinner Recipes
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
How to Turn Instant Pot Butternut Squash Into a Meal
- Beef and Butternut Squash Enchiladas
- Butternut Squash Lasagna with Shiitake Mushrooms
- Chopped Mexican Kale Salad with Butternut Squash
- Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Tahini Dressing
How to Cook Instant Pot Butternut Squash
- 1 2 ½ pound butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes , (about 6 cups)
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Wash the outside of the squash well and trim the peel from the outside. Scoop out the seeds and cut into 1 inch cubes.
- Place the cubes into the insert of a 6-quart Instant Pot with 1 cup of water. Set the Instant Pot pressure to HIGH and set time for 3 minutes if you want your squash to hold it's shape, or 4 minutes to make it even softer easier to mash.
- When time is up, quick release and carefully remove the lid. Transfer the squash to a bowl, season with kosher salt and mash with a fork or a potato masher and season with butter or other flavorings if you like. Or, keep cubed and use in other recipes as suggested above.
More Instant Pot Recipes You’ll Want to Make Too
- How To Cook Instant Pot Chicken Breasts (From Fresh Or Frozen)
- Creamy Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese Five Ways
- Baby Back Ribs In the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe for Steel Cut Oats or Rolled Oats
- Beef Stew with Butternut Squash (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)
Tools Needed to Make This Recipe
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Thanks for the recipe! LOTS of winter squash getting big in the garden and this is much easier than roasting, though there are times when that works well too. We not only love it ourselves but we make homemade food for our Boykin Spaniel and he is healthy and happy cause his food is made with something so healthy and tasty.
If you are in a hurry, this is the only way to cook Butternut Squash. I went for the soft version as that is the way my man loves it. After the pressure cooker, I tossed it with equal parts cumin, garam masala and coriander. Sprayed a bit of olive oil on it to create some adhesion for the spices. It was delicious. I prefer it roasted but who has the time when you are in a hurry.
Fall greetings. Thank you for the recipe, explaining about how to get the desired texture and the great ideas on how to use butternut squash in more creative ways. I also appreciate you pointing out the nutritional value of eating this true gift from nature.
Thanks Juliana, I’m glad you found the info helpful and hope you make this recipe often.
Thank you for this. We are camping and I needed to cook some butternut squash for our veggie burrito filling. This was just what I needed. Love the instant pot!
Such a good idea Nora, for making ahead to take with you.
How long would I cook a bag of frozen squash in the ip.
Sorry Vicki, I haven’t cooked frozen squash in the IP so not sure, but I bet it would only be 1 or 2 minutes more.
You do not need to add time for frozen foods ever in the IP because the timer doesn’t start until it comes up too temperature (i.e. is not frozen anymore).
Thank you Heidi. I wanted a quick and easy way to cook my squash and I found it. Easy to mash and flavour. Thanks so much for sharing.
So glad you liked it Theresa!
Going to try butternut squash in the pressure cooker for the first time. But I have frozen cubes… any suggestions for cook time if it’s frozen cubes? +1 or +2 minutes?
I would cook it for the same amount of time. Let us know how it works Cory!
Carolyn R Meyer
I just got my instapot and am looking for quick, basic meals for hubby and myself. Thanks.
This recipe was perfect, thank you! I needed to cook butternut squash cubes for a sweet butternut squash soufflé. I did four minutes on high pressure with a quick release. This saved me so much time and effort. Much appreciated.
If you like roasted squash this is awful. Quick, yes. But lacking in flavor.
Instant Pot is great for some things. But you will never get the flavor or carmalizing you need for others. It’s great for rice or a quick meal.
Sorry Heidi, not sure you cook “real good”.
Ashley @ Foodie Crush
Sorry you feel that way Jessica!
Here’s another way to say what you said, but not sound like a know-it-all asshat: “While I like my instant pot for things like rice or to prepare a fast meal, I feel butternut squash is much better when baked in the over where it can get caramelized. Just my opinion! Have a great day!” See how easy that was?
Not nice Jessica. The Instant Pot is great for quick meals. You can easily get a roasted effect by putting the squash under a broiler for a few seconds. Just because you don’t like the recipe does not mean you have to criticize whether Heidi “cooks real good”. There are ways to give constructive criticism and demean someone.
Correction. And not demean someone
Precook in the instant pot finsh off in a casserole dish add butter cinnamon and brown sugar for bake for about 30 minutes in the oven.
What an incredibly rude person you are. Just leave your review without personal attacks. Geez. I bet you’re one of those people who gives a good review and then writes a paragraph of how you changed the recipe.
A simple way to “carmelize” the squash in the IP is to saute in oil or butter to add flavor then steam … easy/peasy …
Great idea Darris.
If you like roasted pumpkin then roast the damn pumpkin, don’t shit on people’s recipes because you’re bored.
Thanks for the recipe, used it to make pumpkin puree
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