How to Cook a Whole Butternut Squash in the Pressure Cooker

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Hate peeling and dicing hard butternut squash? Steam it in the pressure cooker instead! Perfect for any recipe that calls for pureed or mashed butternut squash.

Photography Credit: Coco Morante

Do you hate peeling and chopping raw, hard butternut squash? Here’s another way: cut it into quarters and steam it in the pressure cooker or Instant Pot!

After steaming, it’s really easy to scoop the squash from the tough outer skin.

This method is perfect for any recipe that calls for pureed or mashed squash. Think pasta sauces or fillings for lasagna, soups, a simple mash with butter and maple syrup, or even baby food.

New to the Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.

How to Cook a Whole Butternut Squash in the Pressure Cooker

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium (2 1/2 to 3 pound) butternut squash

Special equipment:

Method

1 Prepare the squash for steaming: Lay the squash on its side on a cutting board — you can hold onto it with a kitchen towel for extra stability. Slice off the stem, then cut the squash in half through the middle, where the thinner neck meets the larger bottom. Cut each section in half again, then scoop out the seeds.

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2 Pressure-steam the squash: Place a wire metal trivet in your electric pressure cooker and pour in 1 1/2 cups of water. Arrange the pieces of squash on top of the trivet in a single layer. It’s fine if they overlap a bit.

Secure the lid on your pressure cooker, and make sure the pressure release valve is set to its sealing position. Select the “Steam” or “Manual” setting, and set the cooking time to 7 minutes at high pressure. (If you’re using a stovetop pressure cooker, steam the squash at high pressure for 6 minutes.)

The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure, and then the cooking program will begin.

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3 Remove the squash from the pressure cooker and cool: At the end of cooking, move the pressure release valve to its venting position. When the pressure has fully released, open the pot and use a pair of tongs to transfer the squash to a cutting board to cool.

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4 Scoop the squash from the skin: When it's cool enough to handle, use a big spoon to scoop the squash from the outer skin. At this point, it's ready to be added to any recipe calling for cooked squash.

Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Soup Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

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Coco Morante

Author of The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook and The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook. A self-taught cook and classically-trained soprano, Coco Morante writes and sings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their beagle. For more recipes, visit her blog, Lefty Spoon.

More from Coco

14 Comments / Reviews

No ImageHow to Cook a Whole Butternut Squash in the Pressure Cooker

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Vampy

    I first washed the squash and microwaved it about 5 minutes. I forgot about it for a couple hours then cut it in half and scooped out the seeds. I microwaved it first because they are hard to cut into. Then I cut it in 4 pieces like your picture. Since everyone said it needed more time I gave mine 20 minutes on manual with 1 1/2 cups water because mine was a couple pounds. I let it slow release for about 13 minutes then released the pressure. It was perfectly done. I would think any winter squash that was around 2 pounds can be cooked this way.

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  2. Ash

    Was definitely not done when the original cook time finished. I’m wondering if this recipe has a dropped digit. It takes me 15-20 to do a batch of russet potatoes this way, depending on size, and the squash is at least as dense as they are. 7 minutes is too short. I peeled and chopped enough for the recipe I was making and popped that under the broiler. The rest I put back in for an additional 10 minutes.

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  3. Tina

    I had to pressure cook my squash 3x for a total of 17 minutes….I do have the Ninja Foodi so it is a little different from an instapot. Otherwise great advice.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Pat

    Ultimately turned out fine, but took two sessions of 7 minutes each to get a omelette-pound squash (cut in half) to get done.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Nikki

    Thanks so much. I just got a Pressurecooker recently, so I’m learning how to cook with it. This was so very helpful!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash SoupHow to Cook a Whole Butternut Squash in the Pressure Cooker