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.
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
- 1 medium (2 1/2 to 3 pound) butternut squash
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.
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.
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.
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.