Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese – The perfect recipe to get your kids to eat more veggies! Smooth, creamy, decadent, and comforting just like traditional Mac and cheese but a little lighter. Only a few ingredients and it comes together in
We call my nephew, the “Mac and Cheese Expert.” I am not sure that is a good thing, but he does know his mac and cheese. He certainly eats plenty of it. So what was his review of this Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese? He gave it 5 stars!!! Also, he had no idea there were veggies in it and said it was one of the best versions of Mac and cheese he had ever had. A pretty good review from an 8-year-old. I will take it!
This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is so incredibly delicious. It is cheesy, melty, smooth, and creamy without all of the added dairy. The squash gets so velvety and soft just like cheese. It’s a pretty cool recipe and so heavenly.
There is still cheese in this recipe, but much less and it has veggies (aka squash), so it is much lighter and healthier than traditional Mac and cheese. Oh, and it cooks entirely in the instant pot, in less than 5 minutes! OMG!
What ingredients do you need to make butternut squash mac and cheese?
Just a few simple ingredients are needed to make this amazing recipe!
- Frozen butternut squash – store-bought
- Pasta shells – I used chickpea pasta shells to make this gluten-free
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Shredded parmesan cheese
- Vegetable stock
- Coconut milk – full fat
- Dried oregano or thyme
- Chilli powder
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh basil for topping
How do you make butternut squash Mac and cheese in the instant pot?
It is so easy and takes only 5 minutes! Are your ready?
- Set the instant pot to “sauté”. Once it indicates that it is “hot”, add the olive oil, minced shallots, and garlic. Stir and let that cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the dried oregano, chili powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper and let that cook for 1 more minute to wake up the spices.
- Turn the instant pot off – I just select “cancel” or “warm”. Then add in the pasta shells, frozen butternut squash, vegetable stock and water, some salt and pepper and toss that all together.
- Secure the lid and set the instant pot for 4 minutes on “manual mode” or “pressure”, depending on the type of instant pot you have.
- After 4 minutes, do a quick release. Once all of the pressure is released, carefully remove the lid.
- Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and coconut milk. You want to stir it until the cheese fully melts, about 1 minute or so. Sprinkle in a little bit more salt and pepper to taste, serve warm, plate and top with fresh basil.
It’s is so incredibly cheesy, comforting, and delicious!!!! Try to refrain
- Use frozen butternut squash – The extra liquid from the frozen squash helps to cook the pasta. I tried this with regular, cubed butternut squash and it took much longer to cook and was not as smooth and creamy. Besides, nobody wants to sit there and peel and cut squash if it is not necessary, right?
- You can use any kind of pasta, maybe not spaghetti though. I tried this with gluten-free chickpea pasta and regular pasta and both worked great! It would also be wonderful with elbows, rotini or penne.
- Use full-fat coconut milk – This made all the difference and made this taste so decadent. I always pour my coconut milk into a bowl and whisk it a little before adding it to anything, so it is nice and smooth.
- You want to shred the cheese yourself if you can. Pre-shredded, store-bought cheese just does
n’t melt as well. Trust me! For a quick shortcut, simply cut up a block of cheddar cheese into chunks and throw it in the food processor to shred it up. It’s a great time saver.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 16oz chickpea pasta shells or regular shells
- 15 oz bag of frozen, cubed butternut squash
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 (15 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- Fresh basil for topping
- Set the instant pot to "saute". Once it indicates "hot", add in the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter is melted, add in the minced shallot and garlic. Toss and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add in the 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Toss and let that cook with the onions and garlic for 1 more minute. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Turn the instant pot off or select "cancel" or " warm". Pour in the dry pasta, frozen butternut squash, 2 cups vegetable stock plus a 1/2 cup of water. Stir everything together and season with some salt and pepper.
- Secure the lid, make sure the steam release vent is set to "sealing" and not "venting", and set the instant pot in "manual mode" on "high" for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes, do a quick release if the instant pot hasn't automatically started to release the pressure.
- After all of the pressure is released and the instant pot beeps, carefully remove the lid. Add in the shredded cheddar cheese, shredded parmesan cheese, and the coconut milk. Stir for about 30-60 seconds, until the cheese is fully melted. It is pure magic! Sprinkle in some more salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate, serve hot and top with fresh basil leaves.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377 Total Fat: 21g Saturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 34mg Sodium: 690mg Carbohydrates: 33g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 16g