Exploring a mostly whole foods, mostly allergen free diet
Butternut Squash in the Instant Pot
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!
Butternut Squash in the Instant Pot
The Instant Pot, or other pressure cooker is a great way to make butternut squash! It's fast, doesn't use a lot of energy and the squash turns out great!
Put the rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot and add a cup of water.
Thoroughly wash off the butternut squash. Cut the squash if necessary so it fits into the pot. Don't take the seeds out yet. That's easier to do once the squash has cooked for a short time.
Sometimes you don't have to cut the squash because it fits in nicely without cutting!
Secure the lid, push the "Manual" button and set the timer for 17 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 10 minutes.) This is not all the cooking time that will be needed....it's about half the cooking time. But you'll see later why I do it this way!
When the time is up, do a quick release. Open the lid and let the squash cool for about 5 minutes. (It's hot--so it is easier to let it cool than to try to handle it right away.) Or if you can't get to it right away, don't worry about it. Even if all the pressure releases naturally the squash will be fine.
If you cut the squash in half so it would fit in the pot, take out the bottom part of the squash. Cut the bottom of the squash in half and take out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the top half of the squash in half lengthwise. This will help it cook as quickly as the bottom half.
If you put the squash in whole, cut it in half cross-wise where the squash starts to bulge out. Cut the bottom half in half and take the seeds out. Cut the top half in half lengthwise. Put all pieces back into the inner pot.
Now, here is where you will do some assessing of your squash. Is it half way done? Then cook it for the same amount of time. If your squash is mostly done, it may need just a few minutes longer. It all depends on how long the squash cooked the first time and how done you want it. If you want it very soft (for soups or mashed squash) then it can sit in the pot longer and cook longer and not be an issue because you want it soft. If you want it cubed, then keep that in mind for the second cooking time and do a quick release so the squash won't be too cooked. Basically, assess where you are at after the first cooking time and adjust the second cooking time for the consistency of the squash that you want.
Put the squash back into the Instant Pot. Set the timer according to how done the squash was after the first cooking time and how much more it needs to cook. If I've done 17 minutes and a NPR (natural pressure release) the first time, it just needs a few more minutes of cooking time. If I did 17 minutes and quick release, it will often need another 17 minutes and quick release.
When finished, do a quick release. Take the lid off and take the squash out of the pot. Here you can see that I didn't cut the top part of the squash in half...that's fine too. But in general, I like to have the squash in four pieces (two top pieces and two bottom pieces)...it seems to cook more evenly that way.
Now you can use the squash in your favorite recipes! You can mash it......adding your favorite liquid and seasonings......
You can drizzle some maple syrup on it.....
You can add cubed butternut squash to a salad....
Or you can toss it with olive oil and salt and put it in the oven for a few minutes to "roast" it.
Just remember to season and serve it with lots of love!
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.
I'm not always near my IP (Instant Pot) when the squash finishes the first cooking. Today, for instance, I got to the IP 22 minutes after it beeped. When I checked the squash, it was almost totally done. I took the bottom out, cut it in half and seeded it. The top was done so I took it out too. I ended up cooking the bottom part for 3 more minutes. So, if you end up using the natural release, your second cooking time can be significantly shorter....or maybe even not needed!