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!

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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.

If, after 7 minutes, the squash is not as tender as you'd like, add another 1/2 cup of water to the Instant Pot, lock on the lid, and set the pressure cooking time for another 2 minutes. If necessary, keep cooking under pressure in increments of 2 minutes until tender. You may need up to 12 minutes total pressure cooking time. Some butternut squash cook faster than others.

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.

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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

21 Comments / Reviews

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

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Mary

    this info was very helpful and I am thankful to you. I only make easy receipes, and love my instant pot, so this was wonderful to find. thank you and may God bless.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Maria

    The “whole” point is to not have to cut up a “ whole” squash! Cutting it is the hard part! Other recipes call for 25 minutes with a natural release . I guess it depends on the size. I see failures in the comments.

    Show Replies (1)
  3. seasa

    DIS AS TER. I lost so much good squash this way. scooping out the cooked squash was a mess, and the peel breaks apart to easily. I would just take the time and peel it, then cook it in the pot.

  4. Sonja

    Why doesn’t the author change this recipe if so many people have complained that 7 minutes isn’t a long enough cook time?? I hate trying to quick reference something like this on my phone, only to find out I need to read through all of the comments and figure out a longer cook time for the squash :(

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Peg

    I love this recipe..I like my butternut al dente so it’s perfect for me. If you want a softer squash add more time. personally I love this

    xxxxxyyyyy

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