These superb Instant Pot recipes are easy to execute, satisfying, and filled with plenty of butternut squash and apples galore. Plus, they’re bound to please your quarantine crew or your newfound obsession with cooking once, eating thrice (ah, meal prep). And if you’re really lucky, you may still be able to savor them outside and crack open a fall brew.

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Pasta
recipe by Shinta Simon, food blogger at

Makes 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
18 oz (512 grams) butternut squash peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp butter (can be replaced with olive oil)
1 onion finely chopped
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
5-6 sage leaves roughly chopped (can be replaced with assorted dried herbs)
4 cups stock (use chicken or vegetable stock)
1 Ib (450 grams) penne pasta such as Barilla brand
1 tsp white pepper powder
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp paprika powder
½ cup grated parmesan (optional)
⅓ cup milk (can be replaced with almond milk)

Turn the Instant Pot to “Sauté” mode in the “More” setting.
Add the butter, followed by the onions, garlic, and sage (or assorted herbs). Sauté for a couple of minutes until the sage releases its aroma and the onions turn translucent.

Add the cubed butternut squash and stir to combine it with the rest of the ingredients.
Add the chicken (or vegetable) stock and mix.

Put on the lid of the Instant Pot and turn the vent to “Sealing” position, and switch to “Manual” mode (Pressure Cook mode), in “High” Pressure setting. Set the cooking time for 4 minutes.

Once the Instant Pot beeps, do a quick release, i.e. turn the vent from sealing to venting position to release the steam quickly. Once all the steam has released, the pressure valve comes down and the Instant Pot lid is safe to open.
Open the lid and using a spatula, break down the cooked squash to a purée-like consistency. Now add the penne. Ensure that the penne is submerged under the liquid in order to let the pasta cook evenly.

Put on the lid of the Instant Pot, and with the vent in “Sealing” position, in “Manual”mode, in “High” Pressure setting, set the time for 5 minutes. (For firmer, al dente pasta, reduce the cooking time from 5 to 4 minutes.) Let the Instant Pot release steam naturally (natural pressure release). Once the valve comes down, the Instant Pot lid is safe to open. Open the lid and add the white pepper powder, nutmeg, and paprika powder, followed by the parmesan cheese.

Add the milk and give it a good stir. Serve warm.

Note: You can increase the quantity of butternut squash and water or stock if you want a creamier pasta. For a vegan option, replace butter with olive oil, replace milk with almond milk, and skip the Parmesan cheese.
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