What Is The Best Way To Cook Butternut Squash
There are many ways to cook butternut squash, but our favorite way is in the Instant Pot!
You just cant beat how easy it is to prepare butternut squash in the Instant Pot. Butternut squash can be ready to eat or ready to incorporate into any of your favorite butternut squash recipes in under 10 minutes. Can you believe it?
First things, first. You can cut your butternut squash two ways before placing it in the Instant Pot and it all depends on what you are using your butternut squash for.
If you are planning to use the butternut squash as a side dish or in a meal prep recipe then cubbing the butternut squash is the way to go.
To cube butternut squash, start by cutting both ends of the butternut squash off. Then, use a vegetable peeler to peel the rind off of the butternut squash.
Next, cut the butternut squash lengthwise and dig out the seeds and cut the butternut squash into cubes.
Option 1: If you want the butternut squash golden brown, use the saute function to fry up the cubed butternut squash , remove, and then place the cubes into a microwave and oven safe bowl and place the bowl onto the trivet in the bottom of the instant pot.
Pour water into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Set pressure to high and cook for 1 minute.
Remove from the Instant Pot and use in your favorite dishes!
Set pressure to high and cook for 8 minutes.
Remove from the Instant Pot and enjoy!
How To Roast Butternut Squash Halves
This method is perfect for mashes and soups. Its easy and doesnt require any peeling, which is a huge bonus. You can roast a butternut squash cut side up or cut side down. If you do it cut side down, it will likely get a little more browned. Theres great flavor there! Cut side up is perfect if you want to add any flavorings like brown sugar and butter. My mom always made it that way and it was sooo good.
Roasting the squash halves is also a great method if you plan to make stuffed squash. This stuffed butternut squash is amazing .
It takes a little longer to cook a squash this way than it does to cook cubed butternut squash, so take that into consideration.
How To Roast Butternut Squash Cubes
The best way to roast butternut squash cubes is with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Of course, you can add any seasonings you like. Roasted butternut squash cubes are a fantastic side dish to any meal, but are also perfect on salads. They are tasty on a vegetarian taco or this fall-inspired flatbread. Roasting the squash brings out the flavor, so you can also use this method of cooking squash if youre making squash soup. Its an extra step, but its often worth it its amazing in this roasted butternut squash soup.
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Pressure Cook Butternut Squash
Pour 1 cup cold water, then place steamer rack in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
Layer the cut butternut squash on top of the Instant Pot Trivet .
Lock the lid, then turn Venting Knob to the Sealing Position.
- Pressure Cooking Method: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 8 11 minutes, then Quick Release.
*Pro Tip: The best butternut squash cooking time depends on the size of your butternut squash and how tender you like your butternut squash . For reference, a 4lb butternut squash with a circumference of 19 will take 9 10 minutes to fully cook in the Instant Pot. So, adjust your pressure cooking time accordingly!
Turn off the heat. Release all the pressure by turning the Venting Knob to Venting Position.
Open the lid carefully.
How To Cook Butternut Squash
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Learn how to cook butternut squash more than 4 ways! Slow cooker, Instant Pot, roasted in cubes, roasted in half, and more!
Isnt squash season the greatest?
My site already includes many many ways to prepare butternut squash, from soups , to salads, to mashes, and even healthy queso dip!
You have also loved my tutorials on how to cook acorn squash, how to cook delicata squash, how to cook spaghetti squash, and most recently, how to cook kabocha squash, so I figured it was due time for butternut squash to get its moment in the spotlight.
After all, its arguably the most popular variety of squash.
As with the other squash varieties, there are a few different ways to cook butternut squash.
Buckle up, theres a lot of info here! I outlined it the best I could so that you can scroll to whatever information you need!
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Tools For Instant Pot Acorn Squash
First, rinse and pat dry the acorn squash.
Then, with a very sharp knife cut the acorn squash in half.
*Pro Tip: Acorn squashs skin is a bit hard to cut in at first, so be careful! If necessary, you can stabilize the acorn squash by forming a ring with a kitchen towel at the bottom.
Finally, with a spoon, scrape out seeds and stringy bits in the acorn squash.
*Pro Tip: You can save the acorn squash seeds for later if you want to roast them in the oven.
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Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac And Cheese With Brown Butter Garlic Sage Breadcrumbs
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This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is ultra-creamy, super cheesy, and loaded with veggies too! Top it all off with the most addicting Brown Butter Garlic Sage Breadcrumbs and fall in love with your new favorite mac and cheese recipe.
When I started this blog nearly 5 years ago, I proclaimed loudly that I passionately disliked fish and butternut squash.
Well, apparently an adult’s palate can keep growing and stretching too because butternut squash is now one of my favorite things ever. Fish, on the other hand still warming up to it, but I’m trying.
Roasted, pureed, steamed . . . gimme all the butternut squash!
In fact, one of my favorite recipes on the blog is the Butternut Squash Nacho Cheese Sauce, which, if you’ve been around here long, you’re aware of, because I talk about it way too much.
If fact, it was this Squacho cheese sauce that got me thinking one day: Hmmm . . . how could I turn this sauce into an easy one pot mac and cheese?
So I got to work, tweaking spices here, testing different cheeses, and finally took a little inspiration from thisInstant Pot Cauliflower Mac and Cheese to create what I have for you today:
ONE POT BUTTERNUT SQUASH MAC AND CHEESE!
Sound like a party?
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How To Flavor Butternut Squash
- Classic: Butter + salt and pepper
- Fancy: Brown Butter + salt and pepper
- Sweet: Butter + cinnamon + sugar, honey, or maple syrup
- Thanksgiving Style: Butter + sage, thyme, and rosemary
Whew! That was a lot of butternut squash info there! I hope my research and experiments have been helpful to you.
If you have any favorite recipes for butternut squash, let me know! I’ve got a wheelbarrow full of it and I don’t want a drop of it to go to waste.
Oh, hey there, cute little photo bomber
How To Freeze Chopped Butternut Squash
- Line a sheet pan with nonstick foil or a Silpat liner. Scatter cooked or uncooked cubes of squash on the pan and place it in the freezer. Once frozen, put them in a freezer-safe ziplock.
- For cooked squash, let it thaw in the fridge. For uncooked squash, you can throw them frozen into the Instant Pot and cook for 9 minutes with a quick pressure release.
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My Squash Is Too Firm / Too Mushy
Let me be real with you: one of the drawbacks of Instant Pot cookery is not being able to stop and check the food along the way.
Much like my experiments with Instant Pot Mung Beans, it definitely took some trial and error to get a handle on Instant Pot Butternut squash.
I definitely recommend cooking your squash in the Instant Pot when youre making a soup or planning to mash it. If youre looking for a firmer squash, like making my Hasselback Butternut Squash, you can try a shorter cook time but its a bit of a gamble.
If your squash is not tender enough, you can always add a bit more water to the Instant Pot and pressure cook it for another 2-3 minutes. However, you cant take it back if your squash is too mushy. So proceed with caution.
How To Cook A Butternut Squash In The Instant Pot
Everyone is asking about how to cook squash in the Instant Pot. Well the answer is exactly the same way you cook a pumpkin in the Instant Pot or the same way you cook a spaghetti squash in the Instant Pot. Once you have cooked one squash in the Instant Pot you can cook them all!
Follow these simple steps to cook a butternut squash in the Instant Pot. Or any other squash for that matter.
How To Cut Butternut Squash
The hardest part about making butternut squash is cutting the squash. It can be a workout!
The easiest way to cut the squash is to cut in half lengthwise and then cut each of those into half widthwise.
Scoop out the seeds in the center cavity of the squash and then cut those halves in half againleaving you with a total of 6 sections that are similar in size.
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Cooking A Whole Butternut Squash In The Instant Pot
Butternut squash are known for their difficulty to chop and peel. In fact, one of our contributing writers often enlists the help of a rubber mallet when trying to cut one.
For that reason, if you can find a butternut squash that will fit in your Instant Pot, this may actually be the best way to cook this hard to chop veggie!
By increasing the time under pressure, you can thoroughly cook the squash to be used as a puree. Just use the manual button to set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 30 minutes.
Or if you would rather cube the squash to roast it later or use it in other recipes in its still solid form, you can cook it just long enough to make the chopping and peeling WAY easier to do.
I love this genius hack manual setting, high pressure, 8 minutes, and voila butternut squash that doesnt require garage tools to chop.
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Steamer Basket For Instant Pot Butternut Squash
You are probably wondering about the steamer basket that you need for cooking instant pot butternut squash.
A while back I wrote a great post of the best instant pot steamer baskets and I recommend you read through it.
It includes the steamer basket we used in this instant pot recipe and one that I use almost every day with my instant pot.
Why You Will Love Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac And Cheese
- ONE POT: Okay, I’m bringing it up again. But in this one pressure cooker pot, you’re cooking your pasta, butternut squash, and making your cheesy sauce too. I realize then you’ll have to dirty a blender to puree the sauce . . . whatever, you won’t be mad after you taste it.
- VEGETABLE MAC AND CHEESE: When you can eat your carbs and cheese and get a serving of vegetables at the same time, it’s a good day.
- RICH ORANGE COLOR: Step back fake orange Velveeta cheese, this sauce is bright orange with no dye, just good ol’ naturally occurring carotenoids. Thanks again, Butternut.
- BROWN BUTTER BREADCRUMBS: If you love a good crunchy topping on your mac and cheese, you will not want to skip this extra step. Browning butter brings out a unique nutty flavor which then elevates the sage, garlic, and panko to a whole new level too. If you can resist eating it all straight from the pan, it’s worth making extra, and then storing it in the freezer for topping all kinds of meals.
- FEELS LIKE FALL: Sweet butternut squash plus rosemary, thyme, and sage has me dreamin’ of my favorite season!
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Cooking Butternut Squash Cubes In An Instant Pot:
Honestly, if youre going through the trouble of chopping up the squash, it will be way more flavorful if you roast itbuuuuut if you want to do it in the pressure cooker, you can!
- Wash, peel, de-seed, and chop squash .
- Place a steamer basket in the bottom of Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of water.
- Add squash and cook for 5 minutes. Quick release pressure. Squash will be perfectly tender, ready to make into a delicious soup.
What To Serve With Butternut Squash Mac And Cheese
- ADD PROTEIN: Grilled steak or chicken tastes amazing atop this pasta. Chicken Sausage is easy to fry in a skillet while the pasta cooks and really elevates the dish. This Instant Pot Chicken is also yummy. Crispy bacon is simply divine.
- MORE VEGETABLES: Roasted vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, etc. make a quick and easy addition.
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Quick Release And Serve
When the cook time has elapsed, quick release the pressure, making sure to stand far away enough from where the steam valve to avoid accidentally burning yourself. Remove the squash and let cool for 5 minutes before easily peeling away the skin. Each as is with some butter and salt, add to a dish, or make a soup or sauce out of it! No matter how you use it, itll be ready in a jiff and delicious.
- 1 cup water or broth
Can You Cook A Whole Spaghetti Squash In The Instant Pot
Yes! Simply pierce the spaghetti squash with a knife to vent, and then place it on the trivet with a cup of water in the pot. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes for a 3-pound squash.
Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes before manually turning the pressure release valve to venting, then use heat-proof oven mitts to remove the squash. You may want to let the squash cool slightly before slicing it in half and removing the seeds with a spoon.
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When The Butternut Squash Is Finished:
We love to use butternut squash in other recipes but also often eat it straight out of the Instant Pot in a puree with cream and butter added. My new favorite way to use the puree is in Butternut Squash Risotto!
Why You Need This Recipe
- Butternut squash is such a delicious fall and winter vegetable, but it is a huge pain to peel and chop. In fact, because its so dense, it can also be very dangerous to try and chop it when it is uncooked. I am always so scared of cutting myself.
- But, with this recipe for Instant Pot Butternut Squash cooked whole, you dont have to worry anymore about the potential danger of cutting into it raw. You can cook a whole butternut squash right in the electric pressure cooker for the absolutely easiest way to do it.
- Then, when you take it out of the pressure cooker, the squash is absolutely tender and so easy to cut. In fact, you could literally slice through a cooked Instant Pot Butternut Squash with a butter knife.
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How To Make It Your Own:
- Try using a different type of oil. Coconut oil is a perfect choice and avocado oil also works well.
- Add spices! Cinnamon is a great choice, but you can also go more savory with some sage or cayenne. Try this spicy sweet roasted butternut squash!
- If you cut the squash smaller or larger, it will change the cooking time. Plan on a longer cooking time if you left the squash in large cubes, shorter cooking time for small cubes.