Acorn Squash in the Instant Pot

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Cooking squash in the Instant Pot is easy and quick! Below you’ll see how I do it. To make it even easier, consider getting an extra inner pot and glass lid. That way, when the squash is done, you can just remove the entire pot, set it aside covered with the glass lid, and continue cooking something else yummy in the Instant Pot.  🙂

See my post on Instant Pot Accessories if you want more info on the extra pot, lid, silicone rings or even what I use under my Instant Pot!

Happy cooking!


Acorn Squash in the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot, or other pressure cooker is a great way to make acorn squash! It's fast, doesn't use a lot of energy and the squash turns out great!
Course Side Dish, Vegetable
Appliances Instant Pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Tina


  • 1 acorn squash


  1. Put the rack in the Instant Pot and add a cup of water.
  2. Thoroughly wash off the acorn squash. (I use water and a vegetable brush.) Set the squash on the rack.
  3. Secure the lid, push the "Manual" button and set the timer for 15 minutes. (I live at 7,000 feet in elevation so it takes longer for things to cook. If you live at a lower elevation, then set the cooking time for about 8 minutes.) This is not all the cooking time that will be's about half the cooking time. But you'll see later why I do it this way!
  4. When the time is up, do a quick release. Open the lid and let the squash cool for about 5 minutes. You don't have to do a quick release if you aren't immediately available to do so. The squash will continue to cook for a bit but that's fine.
  5. Remove the squash from the pot. Cut it in half and remove the seeds with a spoon. Assess how much the squash has it half way done? More than half way done? That will help you decide how much longer to cook the squash for. Put the squash back into the Instant Pot.
  6. Continue cooking the squash for however much longer you feel it needs based on how done it is after the first cooking session. It may need the same amount of time or less. This is where you decide the cooking time!
  7. When finished, do a quick release....or not if you aren't available. That's what is so great about the Instant don't have to tend to it all the time! Take the squash out and serve as desired.
  8. You can drizzle a little maple syrup on it.....
  9. Or top it with some chopped apples tossed in maple syrup and microwaved until crisp tender. Yum!
  10. However you serve it, season it with lots of love!

Recipe Notes

Remember to adjust your cooking time to what altitude you are at. Since I live at 7000 feet it takes me 1/4 to 1/3 longer to cook things then it will for you. Once the squash is done cooking for the first time, I look at it and decide if it will need about the same amount of time, or a minute or two more or less. Larger squashes take longer to cook. For information on the Instant Pot see my blog post here.

9 thoughts on “Acorn Squash in the Instant Pot

  1. I see that you wrote this on my 65th birthday. Cool!

    I’m so delighted to have found this way of cooking winter squash I love my electric pressure cooker!

    I’m pretty sure that you can tell how long to cook the squash by hefting it in your hand before putting it in the cooker and deciding on the time to cook or let sit under pressure.

    I’ve recently cooked 4 or 5 different kinds of squash, and I’ve found that butternut and dense ones take longer and taste better close to 20 minutes, while those that are mostly shell, like pumpkins and turban style. take less.

    I love squash soup, with apples and spices added to the basic stock with the squash. Curries are my favorite flavorings for this, both Indian and Thai. Yum!

    1. Hi Jane! How fun that this post was written on your 65th birthday!! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your insights on cooking winter squashes!!

      Your additions of apples and spices sound wonderful!! Thanks for sharing and may the New Year be filled with health for you and lots of fun Instant Pot cooking!!

  2. Why would it take longer to cook at lower elevations ? Doesn’t instant pot go to the same pressure regardless ?

    1. Hi Danny~ I think you meant to type “Why would it take longer to cook at *higher* elevations?” I don’t really know the answer to your question as far as the pressure inside the pot being the same whether at a low or high altitude. I do know that it takes me way longer to cook food at my elevation (7000 ft) than when I take my IP on road trips and cook, for example, sweet potatoes. Whole sweet potatoes take me 25-35 minutes (depending on the size) at 7000 ft. It takes around 15 minutes elsewhere.

      Legumes take MUCH longer at 7000 feet. Way longer than the charts suggest for increased time for elevation. When I cook legumes, I always soak them (to reduce cooking time) and I’m making my own time chart for reference (which can be found in this post). Thanks for asking!!!!

      1. I talked your question over with my son and husband. Their thoughts are that the pressure inside a pressure cooker is relative to the atmospheric pressure. So, for example, the working pressure (according to the manual) at the high setting is 10.2 -11.6 psi….so it is that much at sea level and at 7000 feet. But since there is less atmosphere at 7000 feet (say 6) than at sea level (say 10), there is less overall pressure (10.2 + 6 (at 7000 feet) vs 10.2 +10 (at sea level). So the food takes longer to cook at 7000 feet because there is less overall pressure.

        At least that’s what they think. 😉

  3. I’ve been enjoying my instant pot… and your blog. I’m a single guy and not always preparing a feast for dozens. It’s super helpful to know how to cook a single food (vs a full recipe). Lots of great stuff – thx

    1. I think that would be fine. I haven’t done that, but I have cooked a large butternut squash in the Instant Pot, that I had to cut into pieces to make fit and had no problem with that. I’ve also cooked as many sweet potatoes as can fit in an Instant Pot with no problems. Happy cooking! 🙂

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