Pressure Cooker 101: Butternut Squash

After my first two real attempts using the pressure cooker, one of you brilliant readers suggested I start using my owner’s manual. Considering that the pressure cooker has the potential to be dangerous and seems to run by its own set of rules, I thought this was a good suggestion, at least until I get some other types of guidance like the books I’ve requested from the library.

I also decided that last night I would try making something much simpler and straight-forward, like chopped butternut squash. I get this 2 lb. box at Costco, I love that it’s already chopped and ready to go:

I simply poured the contents into my pressure cooker pot and added (AFTER referring the the instruction book, thank you very much) 1 cup of water (the book said at least 1/2 cup so I doubled it to be sure). After cooking it this way, I would use a little less water in the future to make it less watery.

I also added some spices that I would normally add if I were roasted the squash in the oven: pumpkin pie spice, garlic powder, chili powder and dried oregano. I just stirred it all together and it looked like this:

Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash

Three minutes later on high pressure with the quick-pressure release…ta-da!

Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash

It smelled a-MA-zing! I served it alongside my leftovers from last night. I think some onion added to the squash would have been really good so I’m going to try that next time and include it in the recipe as an option.

Besides the quick-cooking aspect, my favorite part of pressure cooking so far is the ability to cook food without any added fat, yet the food has had plenty of flavor. Also, compared with my traditional way of cooking butternut squash in the oven, there is no browning effect which has been associated with the formation of cancer-causing molecules.

Could I achieve the same result by steaming the squash on the stove top? Of course, but it takes a lot longer than three minutes, that’s for sure. So, that concludes my first session of the basics of using the pressure cooker.

Here’s the recipe:

Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash
Basic Butternut Squash in the Pressure Cooker - Makes 4 Servings
Recipe type: Side Dish
  • 2 lb. chopped butternut squash
  • ¾ cups of water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon each pumpkin pie spice and dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and chili powder
  1. Combine all ingredients in the pot of a pressure cooker and stir to combine. Set on high-pressure for 3 minutes. Use the quick-release method after cooking.

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  1. Santa Nista says

    I preferred the older pressure cookers because they kept the liquid and the food separated with the raised metal strainer plate in the bottom of the pot. The new ones don’t seem to come with this feature. I’ve since gotten a silicone steamer to put in the bottom of my pressure cooker to make it work the way I’m used to. Steamed not soupy.

  2. Randal Oulton says

    Butternut is everyone’s default squash these days, but it’s one of the more watery squashes when cooked up. You could press it lightly in a strainer after cooking (add any liquid that comes off to a tub in the fridge for stock.) Cheers.


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