Just say no to cutting into a rock hard butternut squash! Save your fingers with this Instant Pot trick for cooking a whole squash with absolutely zero prep work.
We already discussed how to cook a Whole Spaghetti Squash in the pressure cooker, but since I use butternut squash more than any other squash, we simply MUST cover that! Plus, I’ve got a recipe coming later this week that will have you buying butternut squash like a crazy person!
Butternut squash and I have a complicated relationship. I really want to love it, but unless it’s drowning in butter and salt, I just can’t. Kind of like the college boyfriend I wanted to love, but unless he was playing the guitar and singing me love songs, I just couldn’t. Can you relate? To either scenario?
Lucky for all you butternut squash lovers out there, this method of cooking will make it that much easier to quick roast it, add it to stir-frys, or eat it with a bit (or a bunch) of butter.
For those like me who want to love butternut squash, this recipe is the bomb for making an easy puree. I’ll hook you up with some great recipes to use your puree below.
WHY WE SHOULD ALL LOVE BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Let me count the ways . . .
Butternut Squash is Nutritious
- Adding it to your meal won’t add a lot of fat and calories, but it will add a load of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A (hello lovely locks of hair), and potassium
- Eat it plain, roasted, pureed, or diced in soups and stir-frys. It can handle it all
- If you like your food to look as good as it tastes, this bright orange veggie will guarantee you “pretty points”. Put that tip in your back pocket for your next cooking competition and shoot me an email when you win it for said points
HOW TO EASILY COOK AND PEEL A WHOLE BUTTERNUT SQUASH
This is how your squash will look once it has cooked and cooled a bit: So soft and tender you could cut it with a butter knife
- Now to cut it, slice it right across the neck of the squash (where the thinner top meets the rounded bottom)
- Scrape out the seeds, peel it with a knife or vegetable peeler
- Chop into uniform cubes
This whole process is a breeze because the squash is already cooked and tender. If you’ve suffered through this process many times with uncooked butternut, prepare to be dazzled.
HOW TO COOK CUBED BUTTERNUT SQUASH IN THE INSTANT POT
If you want to take “easy” one step further, grocery stores often carry already chopped butternut squash in the produce section and this cooks up just as fast and easy in a pressure cooker. I cook it at high pressure for 8 minutes with a quick pressure release. More details on that in the recipe card below.
HOW TO COOK A HUGE BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Okay, party’s over. You’re gonna have to cut into that bad boy. I suggest carefully cutting it in half or quarters and scraping out the seeds. Cook it for 8 minutes at high pressure with a 10-minute natural release. Poke it with a fork to see if it’s tender. If it needs more cook time, just restart the pressure cooker and add 3 – 5 minutes.
HOW TO EASILY PEEL AND CUT A BUTTERNUT SQUASH
This tip is for the times you want cubes of butternut squash that are still firm for sauteing, roasting, grilling, etc. Cook the whole butternut squash for 8 minutes at high pressure, then quickly release the pressure. The squash will be just soft enough that it will be a breeze to peel and chop.
EXTRA BUTTERNUT SQUASH TIDBITS
If your gardens are overflowing with squash or you’re going to stock up on them while the price is right, here are some great tips:
- HOW TO PICK OUT THE RIGHT SQUASH
- Look for one that has hard skin, is blemish free, and heavy for its size
- If you’re looking to store your squash long-term, buy or harvest the squash late September or early October. The longer it sits on the vine, the thicker the skin will become and the longer it will store
- HOW TO STORE WHOLE BUTTERNUT SQUASH
- Store in a dry, cool place (not the fridge!) for 2 -3 months (a few of you have told me they store it 3-6 months!)
- 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.
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 🙂
EASY BUTTERNUT SQUASH RECIPES
Healthy Butternut Squash Soup with a Twist (Best soup EVER!)
Magic Sunshine Soup (the name says it all!)
Healthy Mac and Cheese from Pinch of Yum
If you happen to have my Master the Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook, go to page 133 and make the Cheesy Butternut Squash Ravioli Soup as soon as humanly possible. My entire family goes CA – RAY – ZEE for this soup.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT BUTTERNUT SQUASH
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How to Cook a Whole Butternut Squash in the Instant Pot
No prep whatsoever, just throw your butternut squash into the Instant Pot and just see how much easier it is to cut and peel!
- Prep Time: 1 minute
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4-5 cups chopped 1x
- Category: Side
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 1 small to medium butternut squash (look for one the right size and shape to fit in your pressure cooker pot whole)
- Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker pot. Place a low rise trivet inside, place butternut squash on top.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 25 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release for 10 minutes and then release any remaining pressure (could also use a full natural release if you don’t mind it getting really tender).
- Let squash cool slightly, peel with a knife or vegetable peeler.
- Cut squash in half at the neck. Cut rounded bottom in half and scoop out seeds.
- Chop into desired size and shape.
- Use immediately, refrigerate, or freeze (see notes).
- To cook uncooked cubed squash, add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker pot. Place a steamer basket inside, add your squash. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes. When complete, quick release the pressure, done!
- If the butternut squash is too big for the pot, I suggest carefully cutting it in half or quarters and scraping out the seeds. Cook it for 8 minutes at high pressure with a 10-minute natural release. Poke it with a fork to see if it’s tender. If it needs more cook time, restart the pressure cooker and add 3 – 5 minutes.
- If you need cubes of butternut squash that are still firm for sauteing, roasting, grilling, etc., cook the whole butternut squash for 8 minutes at high pressure, then quickly release the pressure. The squash will be just soft enough that it will be a breeze to peel and chop.
- Chopped butternut squash freezes beautifully! Line a sheet pan with nonstick foil or a Silpat liner. Scatter chopped squash over pan. Freeze until solid then place in a freezer safe ziplock.
Keywords: instant pot recipe, butternut squash, healthy sides