Enjoy simple, nutritious acorn squash in no time with the Instant Pot. Start to finish, this cooking method only takes about 20 minutes.
Recently a friend gifted us several large, beautiful, heirloom acorn squashes from their garden. And while there are many ways to prepare acorn squash, this past weekend while I was finalizing an upcoming holiday recipe (stay tuned for Vegan Turkey Roast) I wanted an easy way to cook a squash for lunch.
The kitchen was a total wreck, and the oven was in use. So as it often does, the Instant Pot saved the day!
I'll come straight out and admit that as much as I love winter squashes, I'm just not always excited about the two main roadblocks involved in preparing them. It's either a) lots of chopping to break them down into manageable pieces, or b) a long cook time. But one simple slice down the middle followed by a few minutes in the Instant Pot? Umm, yes please!
Ideas for Seasoning
This is so simple it's barely worth mentioning, but I've included two variations in the recipe for seasoning the squash.
For a slightly sweeter flavor, go with a simple drizzle of maple syrup and a few dashes of cinnamon. Or instead of cinnamon you can also use pumpkin spice.
If you're in the mood for savory squash, you can't go wrong with a few pinches of dried rosemary and thyme, plus salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Of these two options, this is my personal favorite
Right out of the Instant Pot you can serve the acorn squash halves as they are. You can also scoop the squash from the skins and mash with a bit of vegan butter or a touch of olive oil if you're in the mood for something richer, more akin to a sweet potato casserole.
Try them with a scattering of nuts or seeds, like hemp, walnuts, or toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Serve cooked acorn squash as a healthy vegetable side dish with a hearty vegan main like:
You can also stuff the squash when it comes out of the Instant Pot. Try them filled with a mixture of sautéed veggies, rice or quinoa, and crumbled tofu, tempeh, or seitan sausage. Season the filling any way you like!
Can I freeze acorn squash?
Absolutely. Once cooked, just scoop the squash flesh from the skins, then freeze in an airtight container. It should keep for at least a few months.
If you love kitchen gadgets and healthy veggies, don't miss these Air Fryer Roasted Radishes.
Instant Pot Acorn Squash
- 1 acorn squash
- 1 cup water
- generous pinch of sea salt
- generous pinch of dried rosemary
- generous pinch of dried thyme
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup - Sub brown sugar, if desired.
- a few dashes of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- Wash the outside of the squash and pat dry. Carefully slice in half through the stem end, and use a large spoon to clean out the seeds.
- Select either savory or sweet toppings, and sprinkle them onto the cut sides of the squash. Place trivet in bottom of Instant Pot. Add water.
- Arrange squash halves on the trivet. Close and secure the Instant Pot lid. Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release remaining pressure. Carefully open Instant Pot, tilting lid away (careful of steam). Allow to cool for a few minutes.
- The cooked squash can be tricky to remove from the Instant Pot. The easiest way I've found is to use two large wooden spoons (or similar utensils) to grab each squash half and carefully lift out onto a plate. Serve immediately, or allow to cool completely before placing in a storage container and refrigerating.
Storage TipsStore cooked squash in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Cooked squash can also be frozen. Just scoop the flesh from the skins and freeze in an airtight container. Nutrition information will vary greatly depending on the size of the squash and toppings used.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.