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How to Cook a Whole Squash Two Ways: Instant Pot and Oven

Adrienna is a home cook who loves to share kitchen tips that make cooking easier and faster!

Two different ways to cook a whole squash

Two different ways to cook a whole squash

Two Ways to Cook Whole Squash

I've always halved or quartered squash when cooking it in either an Instant Pot or the oven. However, one day my sister told me about cooking a squash whole instead of cutting it up. Immediately I wondered, how come I'd never thought of that?! Now that I've seen the light, I'm going to show you how to cook a squash whole in both an Instant Pot and an oven. I will provide simple and easy instructions for each method.

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. Remove the squash stem.
  2. Place the Instant Pot rack into the pot.
  3. Add 2 cups of water.
  4. Set the squash on the rack.
  5. Secure the lid and close the valve.
  6. Select the Pressure Cook button and set the time for 10 minutes for a 2- to 3-pound squash.

Cooking Time Guide:

  • 2 to 3 pounds: 10 minutes
  • 3 to 4 pounds: 12 minutes
  • 4 to 5 pounds: 14 minutes
  • 5 to 6 pounds: 16 minutes

Once the Instant Pot has completed its pressure cook cycle, release the steam valve. Use the handles on the rack to lift and remove the squash from the pot.

On a clean cutting surface, cut the squash in half. By cooking a squash whole, there will be no more sawing through a hard squash rind! The squash will be so wonderfully tender, you can use a butter knife to cut through it.

Once the squash is cut and you remove the seeds, you can add a little butter and brown sugar and eat the squash straight from the skin cup. You can also scoop out the flesh to use in a pumpkin pie or eat as a mashed potato substitute!

What Size Instant Pot Do I Need?

There are three variant sizes of the Instant Pot:

  • 3 Quart: Best for households of 1 person
  • 6 Quart: Best for households of 2 to 3 people
  • 8 Quart: Best for households of 4 or more

6-Quart Instant Pot Classic

Oven Instructions

  1. Remove the squash stem.
  2. Place squash in a baking dish.
  3. Add 1 cup of water.
  4. Put into a pre-heated 375-degree oven.
  5. Set the timer for 90 minutes for a 2- to 3-pound squash.
  6. The squash is done when a fork easily inserts through the skin.

Note: For larger squash, increase the bake time until the squash passes the fork test.

Once the squash passes the fork test, remove it from the oven and place it on a clean cutting surface. Slice the squash open and scoop out the seeds. Be careful, the squash will be hot!

From here you can choose to eat the tender flesh straight from the skin-cup with a little maple syrup drizzled on top. Alternatively, you can also choose to scoop out the flesh to use in a squash based dish for dinner!

Note: Try something new and different—add a scoop of cooked winter squash to your smoothie. It will make it wonderfully creamy and be a nutritional boost!

Video Tutorial

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