Made completely in the instant pot in minutes, this butternut squash mac and cheese is perfectly creamy and packed with cheesy goodness!
Mac and cheese is our love language around here so it was only a matter of time before we handed matters over to the instant pot!
And naturally, lots of creamy butternut squash because tis the SEASON!
If you’re one of those people that just randomly gets a mac and cheese craving and when it hits, ya need it NOW, this instant pot mac is definitely the solution for you.
Hi, yes, let me point out the fact that we’re pulling this off in one pot in only 30 minutes. Suddenly, mac and cheese becomes a daily occurrence.
This Mac and Cheese features…
- A rich and creamy butternut squash-based sauce
- Rich cheddar and Monterey jack cheese
- Perfectly tender pasta
- Ready in 30 minutes and made entirely in the instant pot
Making the Mac and Cheese
(scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe)
Ingredients You Will Need
- Butternut squash
- Chicken broth
- Cayenne pepper
- Cheddar cheese
- Monterey jack cheese
- Heavy whipping cream
- 2% or skim milk
Choosing Your Pasta
This recipe works well with a variety of pasta types. We typically prefer a shorter shape of pasta like shells or elbows, but feel free to try these other kinds as well!
Tips for Perfect Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Cut butternut squash in uniform cubes – try to get the butternut squash into uniform 1-inch cubes so they cook evenly.
- Cook butternut squash first – we cook the butternut squash in the instant pot first so it can be pureed into a sauce.
- Cook pasta on high pressure 4 minutes – be careful not to cook any longer than this otherwise the pasta will be mushy.
- Quick-release steam from instant pot – again, this helps keep the pasta from overcooking.
- Fold cheeses, cream, and milk into pasta after cooking – fold everything together until the cheese is melted, adding additional milk if needed to loosen sauce. The mac and cheese will also thicken as it sits.
Try these ideas for a different twist on this mac and cheese!
- Make it spicy – add a little extra cayenne or your favorite hot sauce.
- Try different cheeses – try shredded gruyere, gouda, mozzarella, or colby jack. Feel free to use several duos or trios of cheeses as well!
- Try a different squash – acorn or delicata squash would be great replacements for the butternut.
You about to be utterly obsessed with this mac and cheese! The level of cheesiness is spot on and the creaminess from the butternut squash is seriously a game-changer.
Now to go live in that pot forever…
Save this recipe using the ‘save to recipe box’ button below. If you make it, please let us know! Leave a comment + star rating below, or take a photo and tag it on Instagram with #wholeandheavenlyoven.
More mac and cheese recipes to try next!
- Bursting Tomato Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Red Pepper Harissa Mac and Cheese
- Smoked Cheddar Green Chile Mac and Cheese
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
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- 4 cups butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb pasta (shells, elbows, penne, etc)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 3-1/2 cups water
- 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup 2% or skim milk
- Place butternut squash and chicken broth in a 4-qt instant pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste, lock lid into place, and close vent.
- Cook butternut squash on high pressure 4 minutes, then quick-release steam and remove lid. Transfer butternut squash and any remaining liquid in instant pot to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
- Return pureed butternut squash to instant pot and add pasta, garlic, cayenne, and water and stir well. Lock lid into place and close vent.
- Cook pasta on high pressure 4 minutes, then quick-release steam and remove lid. Stir in cheeses, heavy cream, and milk until cheese is melted and mac and cheese is gooey. Season mac and cheese with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm. Enjoy!