Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Wish your kids would eat more veggies? Why not combine them with their favorite meal? This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese uses a homemade cheese sauce with sneaky veggies and cooks in 3 minutes!
Whether you want to let your family in on the secret ingredient here or not I will leave up to you, but either way, I think you’ll feel awesome about serving up this Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese for dinner. Now that I’ve learned the key to making mac and cheese in the Instant Pot, I’m not sure I will ever make it any other way. It’s just about the easiest meal, so easy in fact that I would throw this together for a weekend lunch for the kids because it would be faster and easier than grabbing something from a drive though. Plus… extra veggies!!
Can you really make mac and cheese in a pressure cooker?
Yes! Why deal with boiling water and messing with the stove just to make the boxed stuff? Simply toss everything in your pressure cooker, set it, and walk away. I’m all about dinners that are hands off.
If you wanted to go the extra mile you could put the finished Mac and cheese in a casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs or crushed potato chips and bake for a few minutes, but for the most part my family could care less about that part. What’s important to them is the delicious cheese.
How do you make homemade mac and cheese?
There’s a few important component of making homemade mac and cheese that are key to getting delicious results. It may sound daunting, but once you see how simple it is you will throw away those little powdered cheese packets for good.
- cheese shredded fresh from the block (not pre-shredded cheese). This is better because it does not have anti-caking agents so it will melt so much smoother. To make shredding easier, I love to use my salad shooter with the shredding attachment.
- evaporated milk – easy to have on hand and lends a nice rich flavor and creaminess
- don’t overcook the noodles – I learned this though trial and error but it’s better if the noodles have a little bite to them. It helps them hold up so much better to the rich cheese sauce.
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 16 oz elbow noodles
- 24 oz frozen cubed butternut squash
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 12 oz canned evaporated milk
- 6 oz shredded mild cheese blend
- Heat olive oil and butter in Instant Pot on sauté
- Add onion, garlic and thyme and cook until onion starts to brown
- Turn off Instant Pot
- Add noodles, squash and broth and cover and seal
- Set to 3 minutes high pressure
- Perform quick release and stir in milk and cheese until melted and smooth
Can you make this in a crock pot?
Can you do this in the crock pot? If so, how long do you cook it and at what temp
Made a few substitutions:
• Orecchiette for elbows
• Fresh butternut for frozen
• Half and half for evaporated milk (stirred in after pressure released)
Cooked for 7 minutes on high pressure. Delish! Thanks for the yummo quick meal idea-
I used fresh butternut squash (’tis the season!). And I just tossed it in with the onion & garlic to sauté first. Then proceeded as the recipe calls, delicious! My kids all asked for seconds, this is definitely replacing those quick boxed Mac & cheese lunches we do on occasion (this was just about as quick!). Thanks.
What can I substitute for the evaporated milk?
I haven’t tested it out, but you should be able to substitute for a mixture of whole milk and half and half.
Made this for my mom and son tonight. Son raved!!! Oh, well, maybe he was really hungry!! Mom, just a different flavor and texture for her in the beginning but it grew on her. I loved it! Was a tasty change from regular Mac and cheese! Great recipe!
Is it imperative that the squash is frozen? Could you use fresh squash?
You could certainly sub fresh, although I’d probably cook it on high pressure (with the broth) for 2-3 minutes first, quick release, then continue with remaining ingredients as written because frozen squash has usually been parboiled or steamed an cooks much faster.
I used this tip to cook fresh butternut squash before adding everything else and it worked well. (I sautéed the onions on the stove.)
Everyone loved it!
I tried it and it’s delish 0 cons
Looks amazing am definately going to give it a try