As far as instant pot mac and cheese recipes go, this butternut mac and cheese is tops for me. Sweet butternut squash, savory cheddar and parmesan cheese — basically all the delicious things in one bowl. If you’re in need of a quick weeknight meal that gets a healthy dinner on the table fast, then this is the mac and cheese recipe for you. In true instant pot recipe style, it’s quick, easy, and will have dinner on the table in about 30 minutes.
The inspiration for this recipe came to me from one of my favorite mac and cheese recipes — harvest moon macaroni. My healthier version of this recipe was (and still is) a staple in our house, but evenings seem much shorter and more hectic with a toddler in the house, and I needed to shave some time and dishes from the prep. Enter the instant pot.
I love that I can add everything into one pot without having to dirty up too many dishes – one and done is ideal for our busy household, and making this butternut mac and cheese in the instant pot does just that.
The basics of this butternut mac and cheese recipe are similar to my pumpkin mac and cheese recipe for the instant pot — with just a few more ingredients to really make it stand out. Here, I use canned, pureed butternut which delivers a wonderful creaminess to the cheese sauce. And of course, whole wheat pasta is pretty much all I buy, and adds a nice flavor and heartiness to this dish. Fiber for the win!
To start, I saute onion in the instant pot using the saute setting. Just a few minutes is all it needs to get started, then I add in my spices. After that, it’s pasta, broth, and then set it to pressure. Here, I halve the cooking time the pasta box directions says, then subtract one. It comes out perfectly every time!
After the pressure time is up, I do a quick release of the steam, then give the pasta a gentle stir. There is usually a little liquid left in the pot, which is totally fine — it helps make the butternut cheese sauce.
Following this, I add in the milk, butternut, and cheeses then stir. The cheese will melt from the heat of the pot, and once this is melted and incorporated into the butternut, you’re ready to serve!
I love to serve this with a side of veggies — roasted or steamed broccoli, or even peas and carrots mixed in are both popular in our house.
This instant pot butternut mac and cheese recipe is a favorite to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes. I hope you love it as much as I do! Enjoy!Print
This instant pot butternut mac and cheese recipe is quick and easy, and will have dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Sweet butternut squash, savory cheddar and parmesan cheese — basically all the delicious things in one bowl. Great for a quick weeknight meal that gets a healthy dinner on the table fast.
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup milk
1 can butternut squash purée
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Turn instant pot on to the sauté function. Add olive oil. Once oil is heated, add onion, garlic and sauté 2-3 minutes.
- Turn sauté function off, and add thyme, nutmeg, paprika, pepper and stir.
- Add pasta, and broth so that most of the pasta is submerged in the broth.
- Close lid, Be sure vent is set to sealing. set to manual high pressure, 4 minutes, or half of cooking time of the pasta box instructions, minus one.
- Once timer is completed and pasta has cooked, do a quick release of the steam by Covering the steam valve with a towel or cloth and using a long handled spoon to move the steam vent knob from sealing to venting. You may have some starch coming out with the steam – this is ok.
- Once all the steam has released, carefully open lid, and stir pasta. You may have a little liquid still in the pot, this is ok!
- Add milk and butternut, stirring to combine.
- Next, add cheeses, stirring until melted. This may take a minute or two. If you find it’s taking longer, turn on the sauté function again while stirring to help melt the cheese. Only do this for a minute or so, as it gets hot very quickly and the pasta can start to stick.
Keywords: instant pot, mac and cheese, butternut, healthy mac and cheese, whole wheat, quick and easy meals, dinner, meal prep