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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese in a bowl

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This creamy, comforting Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is ready in less than 20 minutes and in just one pot! This family-friendly recipe is a healthy comfort food option to feed a crowd!
Course Entree, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword butternut squash recipes, healthy mac and cheese, instant pot mac and cheese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 312.1kcal


  • ½ lb. corkscrew or elbow pasta
  • 12 ounces butternut squash, cubed
  • 3 cups vegetable stock*
  • tsp each dry mustard and ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp black pepper and
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ½ cup half and half
  • cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Add the pasta, butternut squash, and stock to the liner of your pressure cooker. I used the Instant Pot (R).
  • Set the valve to "sealing." Start the pressure cooker in manual mode for 4 minutes at high pressure. Use the quick release, then carefully open the lid using an oven mitt or potholder.
  • Switch to sauté mode and set to “less.” Saute about 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir in half and half, spices, and cheese. Stir constantly until the cheese melts. Turn off the IP. Let sit 5-10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Serve warm.


Ingredient Notes:

* Vegetable Stock: You can use vegetable or chicken stock. I used a low sodium one. So adjust the salt content down if you use a regular stock or possibly up if using a homemade or no-salt added stock. The cheese is also salty so just be careful.
I used a sharp cheddar cheese with lots of flavor and meltability from Cabot (not sponsored).

Trying this recipe without an Instant Pot? 

You can use the same recipe below for any electric pressure cooker. And I do recommend this one-pot method since it's the easiest and tastiest way to get the pasta right!
To make this recipe in the slow cooker: If you don't have a pressure cooker at all, try this recipe in the slow cooker. TO do so combine the stock, spices, and butternut squash in the slow cooker and cook 4 hours on high. Puree with an immersion blender. Set the slow cooker to warm. Add cooked pasta and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is creamy.
To make this recipe on the stovetop: You can make this recipe on the stovetop. It will just take a little more attention. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Steam or simmer the butternut squash in stock on the stove.
Once the squash is done, puree it in batches with the seasonings and warm half and half in a blender. Combine the drained pasta, blended sauce, and cheese in the warm pots. Stir gently until the cheese melts and the sauce is creamy and smooth!


Calories: 312.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.68g | Protein: 13.15g | Fat: 12.31g | Saturated Fat: 7.52g | Cholesterol: 37.13mg | Potassium: 337.78mg | Fiber: 2.34g | Sugar: 3.44g | Vitamin A: 6631.83IU | Vitamin C: 12.09mg | Calcium: 260.01mg | Iron: 1.08mg