Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to cook a whole Instant Pot Butternut Squash. Cook the squash whole and then slice it open easily and safely. Serve the cooked squash puree in a variety of ways.

whole butternut squash inside of an instant pot pressure cooker

Why You Need This Recipe

  • Butternut squash is such a delicious fall and winter vegetable, but it is a huge pain to peel and chop. In fact, because it’s so dense, it can also be very dangerous to try and chop it when it is uncooked. I am always so scared of cutting myself.
  • But, with this recipe for Instant Pot Butternut Squash cooked whole, you don’t have to worry anymore about the potential danger of cutting into it raw. You can cook a whole butternut squash right in the electric pressure cooker for the absolutely easiest way to do it.
  • Then, when you take it out of the pressure cooker, the squash is absolutely tender and so easy to cut. In fact, you could literally slice through a cooked Instant Pot Butternut Squash with a butter knife.
  • Winter squashes like butternut squash are really healthy! They are full of vitamin A, fiber, and antioxidants, and are part of a low histamine diet.

Recipe Highlights

  • Cooked butternut squash is so versatile. It can be served plain, with a tad of coconut butter, ghee, salt, and pepper, or blended using an immersion blender with other vegetables into a delicious, warming soup.
  • Butternut squash is incredibly high in vitamin A beta-carotene and is naturally sweet. 
  • By cooking the squash whole in the pressure cooker, you don’t have to worry about peeling and chopping it, which can be quite dangerous.

Let me show you exactly how to do it!

Key Ingredients

Whole butternut squash that is no longer than 8 inches is required for this recipe. If you are using a 6-quart Instant Pot (the most common size), then you need to keep this limitation in mind. Since the point of this recipe is to cook the butternut squash whole without cutting it first, then you need to make sure it will fit inside the inner pot.

Butternut squash is a fall and winter vegetable. The squash should feel like a good weight for its size and the skin should be smooth with no blemishes. In California, we get the first harvest of fresh butternut squash in early September. The season runs through early Spring.

If there is dirt on the outside of your squash, just give it a quick wash and pat it dry before cooking it.

You’ll also need some water for this recipe to help the pot come up to pressure.

butternut squash and water to make instant pot dish

Recipe Steps

Step One

Place a whole, uncut butternut squash into the steamer basket of the Instant Pot with one cup of water. You don’t need to worry about poking the squash at all.

Lock on the lid and set the time to 25 minutes at high pressure.

Step Two

When the cooking time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for about 5-10 minutes. Then, use the quick release to get rid of any remaining pressure.

butternut squash cooked whole

Step Three

Remove the lid and use tongs to carefully transfer the cooked butternut squash to a bowl or cutting board.

cooked butternut squash cut in half lengthwise on a cutting board

Step Four

After the squash has cooled, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and flesh. You will be delighted at how easy it to use cut into the cooked squash. You can literally use a butter knife to cut through the skin.

cooked butternut squash with the seeds removed

Step Five

To serve your cooked squash, you can put the cooked flesh into a bowl. Then, sprinkle on some salt and pepper and use a fork to gently mash it, or you can add butter, ghee, coconut butter, or your favorite toppings.

You can also use your butternut squash puree to make a delicious Butternut Squash Soup.

butternut squash puree served with salt and pepper in a white ramekin

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • Pick a small to medium-sized butternut squash to make sure it will fit inside your pressure cooker pot. Ideally your squash will be less than 8-inches in length to fit inside a 6-quart Instant Pot.
  • Serve immediately or store the cooked squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can freeze any leftovers using the techniques in my post on how to freeze sweet potatoes.
  • Mash in a few tablespoons of butter, ghee, or coconut butter, along with some salt and pepper, and serve it as a healthy side dish.
  • You can also blend it with broth to make soup, or freeze it into cubes and add it to a smoothie.
  • For smaller squashes, cut the cook time down to just 15-20 minutes. A medium whole spaghetti squash weighing around two pounds requires about 15 minutes.
whole butternut squash next to a bowl of squash puree

FAQs

Do I need to poke holes in the squash to keep it from exploding?

No, you do not need to poke holes in the squash.

Can I cook more than one butternut squash at a time?

Yes, as long as both squashes fit in the pot below the “max” line.

Can you cook other squashes using this method?

Yes, absolutely! But, different squashes have different cooking times. See my recipes for

  • Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash, Instant Pot Kabocha Squash and Instant Pot Acorn Squash.
  • Other Easy Instant Pot Recipes You May Like

    If you’re wondering which Instant Pot to buy, I recommend the 6-quart Duo (here’s my beginner’s guide to the Instant Pot Duo).

    You might also like our Instant Pot Butternut Squash web story!

    Lastly, if you love squashes like I do, then you’ve got to try my Air Fryer Delicata Squash recipe!

    I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

    And, consider following me on social media so we can stay connected. I’m on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube!

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    instant pot butternut squash on trivet

    Instant Pot Whole Butternut Squash


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    Description

    Here’s a step-by-step guide for how to cook Instant Pot Butternut Squash. Cook the squash whole and then slice it easily and safely. Serve the squash puree in a variety of ways.


    Ingredients

    Scale
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 whole butternut squash (less than 8 inches in length)

    Instructions

    1. Place the trivet inside the base of a 6-quart or 8-quart pressure cooker. Pour in the water and then place the butternut squash on top of the trivet.
    2. Lock on the lid and make sure the valve is set to “sealing.” Set the time to 25 minutes on high pressure. 
    3. Once the cooking time is complete, let the pressure come down for about 5-10 minutes. Then, remove the lid and use tongs to carefully remove the squash from the pot to a cutting board.
    4. When the squash is cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut off the top and end of the squash. Then, cut the squash in half from the top to the bottom.
    5. Open the squash and use a spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Use your spoon to scoop out the squash to a serving bowl. 
    6. Serve immediately or store the cooked squash in an bowl with an air-tight lid in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

    Notes

    1. Cooked butternut squash can be served in a variety of ways. My favorite way to use it is to mash in a few tablespoons of butter, ghee, or coconut butter, along with some salt and pepper, and serve it as a healthy side dish.
    2. You can also blend it with broth to make soup, or freeze it into cubes and add it to a smoothie.  
    • Prep Time: 5 minutes
    • Cook Time: 25 minutes
    • Category: Side dish
    • Method: Instant Pot pressure cooker
    • Cuisine: Healthy

    Keywords: pressure cooker squash, instapot, butternut squash puree

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