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
- ½ small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 16 oz elbow noodles
- 24 oz frozen cubed butternut squash
- 3 ½ 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