This easy recipe for cooking acorn squash in the Instant Pot is a simple pressure cooker side dish you’ll love.
Instant Pot acorn squash cooks in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven! Butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg make this a sweet treat worth savoring!
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Acorn squash is one of those foods that I always wish I ate more of, because I know it’s a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and other nutrients.
Not only that, but I’m always trying to do a better job of eating seasonally.
The trouble is, many winter squashes, such as butternut squash and acorn squash, take a long time to roast in the oven. Since I need quick and easy meals, these foods, though delicious, don’t make regular appearances on my meal plan.
Until now! Once I learned how to cook squash in the Instant Pot, it’s been a game-changer. For instance, I make Instant Pot butternut squash and apple soup, which is a delicious fall lunch or dinner recipe.
And now, I’m sharing how to cook Instant Pot acorn squash, complete with brown sugar, warm spices, and butter! It’s a swoon-worthy side dish that feels a little like an indulgent dessert.
It’s my favorite way to cook it now, and once you try it, I think you’ll agree.
More Instant Pot Recipes for Side Dishes You’ll Love:
- Instant Pot Southern Style Green Beans
- Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- Instant Pot Potatoes and Carrots
- Instant Pot Cheesy Potatoes
Cooking Acorn Squash in the Pressure Cooker
Cooking squash under pressure means it cooks much faster, resulting in fork-tender squash in a matter of minutes. The cooking time is so much faster than roasting!
It’s similar to steaming the squash, since it’s being cooked in a moist environment.
I like to add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg to my squash, because the flavors pair so beautifully with the nutty flavor and natural sweetness of the winter squash.
But, you could also keep things simple and brush the squash with olive oil, and give it a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I don’t generally stuff my acorn squash, but you could if you wanted to. I think cooked ground Italian sausage, some wild rice, dried cranberries, chopped apples, and some walnuts or pecans would be a really nice filling.
How to Make this Instant Pot Acorn Squash Recipe
It’s really easy to cook acorn squash in the Instant Pot! All you need is a handful of ingredients.
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Acorn squash
- Brown Sugar
How to Make It:
(Full printable recipe is available below)
Prepare the squash. First, you’ll use a sharp knife to cut the squash in half, then scoop out the seeds (they’re similar to pumpkin seeds) and stringy pulp inside. You’ll be left with a cavity in each half of the squash.
Add brown sugar. Next, you’ll spoon some brown sugar into each cavity of the squash halves.
Combine butter and spices. Last, you’ll whisk together the melted butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Pour this over the brown sugar and give it a little stir. Use your spoon to drizzle the melted butter and sugar mixture over the cut side of the squash.
Pressure cook. Pour a cup of water into the insert pot and set the trivet in place (alternatively, you can use a steamer basket if you prefer). Carefully transfer the squash onto the trivet.
Close the lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes at high pressure, followed by a 5 minute natural release. Perform a quick release of remaining pressure.
You can check to make sure it’s done by sliding a fork or knife into the flesh of the squash. It should pierce easily. If not, you can pressure cook for another couple minutes, then release the remaining steam again.
Carefully remove the squash from the Instant Pot for serving. Enjoy!
Notes and Adaptations:
- Feel free to use maple syrup instead of brown sugar if you’d like.
- Although I don’t typically stuff acorn squash, you could add a prepared filling if you’d like (Italian sausage, wild rice, cranberries, apples, walnuts, etc.).
- Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker
- 1 acorn squash
- 2 TBSP brown sugar
- 2 TBSP butter, melted
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- Cut acorn squash in half from stem end to tip. Use a metal spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds and stringy pulp in the middle.
- Place 1 TBSP brown sugar into each squash cavity.
- In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over the brown sugar, then stir. Use the spoon to drizzle the butter mixture over the cut surface of the squash.
- Pour one cup of water into the insert pot of the Instant Pot and set the trivet in place.
- Carefully transfer the squash onto the trivet. You may need to wedge them together slightly, depending on the size of the squash.
- Close the lid and set the vent to the sealed position. Select a cook time of 5 minutes at high pressure.
- Once the cook time is complete, allow a 5 minute natural release, followed by a quick release of remaining pressure. After pressure has released, carefully remove the lid.
- Check squash for doneness by using a fork or knife to assess how tender it is. If needed, pressure cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Carefully remove squash and serve warm.
If preferred, you can use maple syrup instead of brown sugar.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 203Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
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