Instant Pot Acorn Squash

Instant Pot Acorn Squash

If you are on the hunt for an incredibly healthy and fulfilling dish that is also delicious, then we've got you covered! Today we will share all the tips, tricks, and secrets to achieving the best Instant Pot acorn squash ever.

From the simplistic ingredients to all of the cooking techniques required, keep reading to learn more about this delicious vegan and gluten-free side dish.

Recipe Video

Why This Recipe Works

This Instant Pot acorn squash recipe is not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious, making it a fantastic addition to any meal. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, this acorn squash retains more nutrients being cooked in an Instant Pot compared to other cooking methods.  But what's really great about this recipe is its versatility—it's easy to customize to suit personal tastes or dietary needs. You can adjust the seasonings, add different toppings, or incorporate other vegetables to tailor the dish to your preferences. Plus, it's naturally gluten-free and vegan.

Ingredients

Mushrooms:

Mushrooms are an important part of a delicious and healthy Instant Pot acorn squash recipe. They add richness and umami notes, balancing the sweetness of the squash, as well as nutritional benefits like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Onion, Garlic, and Thyme:

The onion, garlic, and thyme offer aromatic notes that create the flavor base for this Instant Pot acorn squash side dish, taking it in a savory direction. Depending on whether you want to promote the sweeter or more savory notes of the dish, you can experiment with other aromatics like celery, leeks, shallots, ginger, rosemary, or sage.

Acorn Squash:

Look for acorn squash that is firm, heavy for its size, and deep green in color. Avoid squash with blemishes or soft spots. Before cooking, wash the squash thoroughly and dry it. Exercise caution when handling and cutting the squash. Acorn squash can be quite tough to cut, so use a sharp knife and stabilize it on a steady surface.

Seasonings:

This easy Instant Pot acorn squash recipe uses salt and pepper to enhance the savory flavors of the onion, garlic, and thyme. However, you can experiment with other seasoning choices. Options like honey, nutmeg, or cinnamon can be used to achieve a sweeter taste, while cayenne, paprika, and red pepper flakes can be used to create a bit of heat with your acorn squash.

Cranberries and Pumpkin Seeds:

Cranberries and pumpkin seeds are added to the Instant Pot acorn squash recipe to provide contrasting flavors and textures. To achieve the same effect, toasted pecans, walnuts, almonds, dried cherries or blueberries, and a drizzle of honey or balsamic glaze can also be added to your Instant Pot acorn squash.

How to Make Instant Pot Acorn Squash

Step One: 

Start prepping your ingredients by thinly slicing the mushrooms, mincing the garlic, and dicing the onion.

Step Two: 

Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy pulp with a spoon.

Step Three: 

Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic to your Instant Pot and saute at high for 5 minutes.

Step Four:

Once the onions and garlic become aromatic, add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Stir to incorporate.

Step Five: 

Add cranberries, thyme, wild rice, and pumpkin seeds and stir to incorporate.

Step Six: 

Remove the wild rice mixture from the Instant Pot and add your trivet and the water.

Step Seven: 

Place half of your acorn squash in the Instant Pot. Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.

Step Eight: 

When cooking time is complete, wait for a natural release. Fill the acorn squash with some of the wild rice mixture.

Step Nine: 

Place it back in the Instant Pot and, using your air fryer lid, air fry at 320F for 5 minutes. Repeat steps 7-9 for the second half of the acorn squash.
You can use the oven as well.

Step Ten: 

Serve with fresh herbs, and enjoy!

Tip

  • After the pressure cooking cycle is complete, check the acorn squash for doneness by inserting a fork into the flesh. It should be tender and easily pierced.

What to Serve With Acorn Squash

Acorn squash pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes, complementing both savory and sweet flavors. For a balanced meal, consider serving it alongside protein-rich options such as grilled chicken, roasted turkey, or crispy tofu. Additionally, a side of steamed or roasted vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, carrots, or green beans can provide vibrant colors and additional nutrients.

FAQs

Do I need to cut it into halves first or can I cook the acorn squash whole?

It's recommended to cut the acorn squash into halves before cooking in the Instant Pot. This allows for thorough cooking and ensures the squash becomes tender. Cooking it whole may result in uneven cooking and much longer cooking times.

Can I cook multiple acorn squash halves at the same time in the Instant Pot?

Yes, you can cook multiple acorn squash halves at the same time in the Instant Pot, as long as they fit comfortably without overcrowding. Ensure there's enough space between each half for proper steam circulation.

For how long can Instant Pot acorn squash leftovers be kept fresh?

Instant Pot acorn squash leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. For longer-term storage, they can be frozen for up to 4 months.

Smilar Recipes

Air Fryer Butternut Squash

Instant Pot Kabocha Squash

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Stuffed Acorn Squash

Instant Pot Acorn Squash

Instant Pot Acorn Squash

This delicious Instant Pot acorn squash is hearty enough to serve as a meal on its own or as a side dish to your favorite mains.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Acorn Squash, Instant Pot Acorn Squash, Instant Pot Acorn Squash Recipe, Stuffed Acorn Squash
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Corrie

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • cup cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • ½ cup wild rice cooked
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • Start prepping your ingredients by thinly slicing the mushrooms, mincing the garlic, and dicing the onion.
  • Cut the acorn squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy pulp with a spoon.
  • Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic to your Instant Pot and saute at high for 5 minutes.
  • Once the onions and garlic become aromatic, add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Stir to incorporate.
  • Add cranberries, thyme, wild rice, and pumpkin seeds and stir to incorporate.
  • Remove the wild rice mixture from the Instant Pot and add your trivet and the water.
  • Place half of your acorn squash in the Instant Pot. Close the lid and cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • When cooking time is complete, wait for a natural release. Fill the acorn squash with some of the wild rice mixture.
  • Place it back in the Instant Pot and, and using your air fryer lid, air fry at 320F for 5 minutes. Repeat steps 7-9 for the second half of the acorn squash. You can roast the squash in the oven as well.
  • Serve with fresh herbs, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 233kcal Carbohydrates: 32g Protein: 8g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g Monounsaturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0.003g Sodium: 1756mg Potassium: 734mg Fiber: 5g Sugar: 3g Vitamin A: 491IU Vitamin C: 19mg Calcium: 64mg Iron: 2mg

Video

Notes

  • After the pressure cooking cycle is complete, check the acorn squash for doneness by inserting a fork into the flesh. It should be tender and easily pierced.
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