We love squash. It doesn’t matter if it’s as winter comfort food, a fall feast, or a summertime squash bake, if it’s in the grocery store, we’re buying it. Our only complaint is that preparing a winter squash can be a process. Cutting it open is a feat of great strength, and it can take an awfully long time to roast it to the right texture. That is until Instant Pot came into our lives. This kitchen essential is a game changer. Suddenly in 12 minutes, you can have a butternut squash at your fingertips — not bad considering the conventional method takes about 45 minutes.

Butternut Squash Polenta Recipe

All you need to do is place your trivet in the Instant Pot along with one cup of water and a halved butternut squash. Then you set the machine to manual mode with high pressure for 12 minutes. Once the manual program beeps to tell you it’s finished, wait five minutes before you depressurize the pot and take out the squash. Voila, you’re done. Why stop there though when you could repurpose all that time you saved to make a decadent dish? Since generally we don’t simply eat squash as is, here’s a recipe for butternut squash polenta.

Butternut Squash Polenta Recipe

Butternut Squash Polenta RECIPE

(Serves 4)


  • 1/2 yellow onion (finely minced)
  • garlic cloves
  • teaspoon butter
  • cup polenta
  • cups whole milk
  • teaspoon sea salt
  • cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
  • butternut squash, cooked
  • teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley


1. In a large pan over medium-high heat (or in your Instant Pot using the sauté setting), sauté the onions and garlic in butter until the onions are translucent. Then, add polenta, milk, and salt to the onions and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until the polenta becomes thick and coats the back of a spoon.

2. Take off the stovetop (or turn off Instant Pot) and stir in spinach, parmesan, squash, and herbs.

What else do you do with butternut squash? Tweet us your suggestions @BritandCo.

(Photos and recipe via Jessi Devenyns / Brit + Co)