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 to make butternut squash Mac and cheese in the instant pot
It is so easy and takes only 5 minutes! Are your ready?
- Sauté the onions and garlic. 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.
- Add the pasta and squash. 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.
- Pressure Cook. 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.
- Release the pressure. After 4 minutes, do a quick release. Once all of the pressure is released, carefully remove the lid.
- Add the cheese. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and coconut milk. You want to stir it until the cheese fully melts, about 1 minute or so.
- Season and serve. Sprinkle it with 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
What to serve with this Mac and cheese
- Serve it up with a Salad. Such as this 10-Minute Chopped Italian Salad or this Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad.
- Some hearty proteins. Such as this Healthy Turkey Meatloaf or these Baked Eggplant Meatballs.
- Some more veggies. Like this Roasted Cauliflower Rice or these Easy Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic.
Here are some more healthy pasta dishes you may also enjoy!
- Butternut Squash Noodles Bowl
- Skinny Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups
- Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach
- Pumpkin Spinach Lasagna
- Rainbow Chicken Pad Thai
- 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.