So you have a butternut squash you were thinking about cooking in your instant pot. Great! This post covers the different ways one could approach cooking a butternut squash in their instant pot. I wanted to see which method worked out best for me going forward, which led to me I cooking about 8 pounds of butternut squash in one weekend. It made for a nice freezer stash, and I learned a lot about how a butternut squash takes to an Instant Pot. Some potatoes or squashes peel easier than others. Sweet potatoes cook quite easily and allow their skins to peel right off, magically! Spaghetti squash cooks in halves and lets you scoop the spaghetti strands out super easily, and even acorn squash cleans out of its shell easily when cooked in the Instant Pot, yet the butternut squash is different. The butternut skin isn’t ever going to come off that easy. I always end up having to finish cleaning the skin off with a paring knife, and you can lose some of the meat that way.
Whole – This is by far the slowest and messiest option. Cooking it whole takes too long, and if you factor in the time spent removing the shell, you don’t save much, if any time vs peeling the squash before you cooked it. It simply does not save you the time it takes to cut a squash in half and clean it out.
Cut into halves and cleaned out – This option is the quickest and easiest. About 25 minutes in the Instant Pot total [10 minutes to warm up to pressure, 12 minute cooking window, and a few minutes before quick releasing.] The skin still takes some effort to remove, again making the time spent removing the skin comparable to the time it would take to peel the squash in the first place. This recipe is for about 2 pounds of squash. If any section of your squash is more than a few inches thick, it is going to require a few extra cooking minutes. If you decided to take the time to peel your halves, you can drop a couple minutes off of the cooking time.
Peeled and cut into 1″ cubes – The quickest way to cook your squash, yet you do have to do the peeling and cutting. That is, unless you just happen to purchase those bags of pre-cut butternut squash 1″ cubes, that just happen to come in 2 pound bags. The recipe for the cubes only requires 6 to 8 minutes with a quick release. Remember that cooking times will vary slightly due to personal preference.
What you need:
- Instant Pot pressure cooker – I use the 6-Quart IP-DUO60 model.
- Instant Pot trivet insert or a steamer basket
- Mixing bowl for cleaning the squash after cooking
- One 2-pound butternut squash, cut in half and cleaned out -or- 2 pounds of peeled 1″ cubes
- One cup of water
How you make it:
- Place your trivet or steamer basket into your Instant Pot. Add water and squash. Close lid and set valve to sealing.
- To cook butternut squash halves, set your Instant Pot to manual mode, high pressure for 12 minutes.
- Once the manual cooking program finishes, wait 5 minutes before you perform a quick release of the pressure. This adds up to about 25 minutes time spent in the Instant Pot as it can take up to 10 minutes for the pot to reach pressure.
- Carefully remove your squash halves to a large mixing bowl, and remove the shell pieces carefully with either a spoon, paring knife, or by hand.
- To cook peeled butternut squash 1″ cubes, set your Instant Pot to manual for 6 minutes, and perform a quick release. This is the cooking time I recommend you start with, and you can always adjust the cooking time to personal preference.