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Instant Pot Acorn Squash

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posted: 09/23/21

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Instant Pot Acorn Squash makes for the perfect hands off side dish recipe! This is a great way to add vegetables to your dinner without any fuss.

a cooked acorn squash with butter and brown sugar in it

I’m always looking for ways to expand our dinners and add in more vegetables. Side dishes are a great way to add vegetables to a main dish. Making an acorn squash in the Instant Pot frees up your oven for your main dish while still providing you with a perfectly cooked acorn squash.

How to Cook Acorn Squash in the Instant Pot

  1. Prepare the acorn squash. Cut it in half and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Prepare the Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the instant pot. Add a wire rack to the instant pot.
  3. Cook the acorn squash. Add the squash to the Instant Pot upside down. Cover and seal the pressure cooker and set it to High, Manual for 10 minutes with the release valve set to sealing.
  4. Release the pressure. After the pot has come to pressure and the 10 minutes has counted down, manually release the pressure. When the float valve drops, carefully open the Instant Pot.
  5. Carefully remove the acorn squash. The pot and the squash will be very hot. It may be easier to use hot pads to lift the rack out of the Instant Pot and then take the squash off the rack.
overhead picture of an acorn squash that has been cut in half inside of a pressure cooker

Picking Ripe Acorn Squash

When you are at the farmer’s market, fruit stand, or pumpkin patch, here are a few things to look for to guarantee you’ve got a good acorn squash on your hands.

  • Look for a squash that is dark green.
  • It will have a spot where it was resting on the ground that should be orange and not yellow.
  • It should feel heavy for it’s size.
  • The rind should be smooth and dry.
overhead of an acorn squash that has had the seeds removed form one half with an ice cream scooper string next to it

Preparing Acorn Squash

When you are preparing the squash for this recipe, or any recipe, you will want to use a large sharp knife to cut it in half. Be careful as you cut it, as it is quite hard when ripe.

Once you have the squash cut in half, you will need to scoop out the seeds. A metal spoon works great, but I find that a sturdy ice cream scooper works even better.

How to Serve Acorn Squash

This really basic recipe is delicious with just a little butter and some brown sugar. You can drop both into the middle of the hot acorn squash and it will melt and combine beautifully. You can serve the squash right in the shells, or you can scoop it all out and mash it in a serving bowl with 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar for a side dish for a group.

Making More Than One Acorn Squash

If you want to double this recipe, that is easy. You can keep the timing the same, but double the amount of water that you add to the Instant Pot.

overhead picture of instant pot acorn squash that has been cooked and mashed inside the shell

What to Serve with Acorn Squash

This recipe will be great on the side of so many main dishes. Here are a few options:

If you make this Instant Pot Acorn Squash or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

a cooked acorn squash with butter and brown sugar in it
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Instant Pot Acorn Squash

Serves: 4 people
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 26 minutes
Total: 36 minutes
Instant Pot Acorn Squash makes for the perfect hands off side dish recipe! This is a great way to add vegetables to your dinner without any fuss.

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash cut in half with seeds removed
  • 1 cup water
  • butter for serving (optional)
  • brown sugar for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Place the wire rack in the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  • Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot.
  • Place the acorn squash cut side down in the Instant Pot. Close the lid on the pot and put the valve to sealing.
  • Set the Instant Pot to high and manual pressure for 10 minutes. Allow it to come to pressure. This will take about 12 minutes. Then the time will count down 10 minutes. When the timre goes off, manually release the pressuer by turning the valve to venting.
  • When the float valve drops, open the Instant Pot and carefully remove the acorn squash. Top with butter and sugar if you like and serve.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
a cooked acorn squash with butter and brown sugar in it

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Instant Pot Acorn Squash

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Sue T. says

    I totally LOVE acorn squash! After you remove it and add the brown sugar and butter, sprinkle some ground nutmeg on top. Gives a whole new hearty dimension to the squash.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Love the idea of nutmeg!

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