Pressure Cooker Squash With Honey and Lemongrass Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet

Adapted by Melissa Clark

Pressure Cooker Squash With Honey and Lemongrass Recipe (1)

Total Time
35 minutes
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This caramelized delicata squash purée, adapted from Nathan Myhrvold's multivolume “Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking,” is prepared in a pressure cooker. Normally, a pressure cooker wouldn’t get hot enough to caramelize anything. But, Mr. Myhrvold explained, if you create an alkaline environment with a sprinkle of baking soda, you can caramelize at a lower temperature. And the pressurized environment helps ingredients caramelize through and through, not just around the outside. This gives the squash an intense, nutty flavor, which is enhanced here with buckwheat honey and lemongrass. —Melissa Clark

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Yield:10 servings

  • 4tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pounds delicata squash, peeled, seeded and cut into ½-inch cubes (4 cups)
  • ½lemongrass stalk
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½teaspoon baking soda
  • Buckwheat honey or other honey

Ingredient Substitution Guide


Make the recipe with us

  1. Melt butter in a pressure cooker. Stir in squash, lemongrass, salt and baking soda. Cover tightly with pressure cooker lid and cook at a gauge pressure of 1 bar (15 p.s.i.) for 20 minutes. Begin the timing after the pressure has been reached.

  2. Step


    Depressurize the cooker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  3. Step


    Remove lemongrass. Blend the squash to a smooth purée. Season with honey to taste. Serve, or refrigerate and then reheat gently before serving.


  • To double the recipe, cook the squash in two batches.



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Cooking Notes

Phil Kalina

The Instant Pot directions say its low pressure setting cooks at 5.8 - 7.2 PSI. Its high pressure is 10.2 - 11.6 PSI. The article at the link Aaron gave says, if using the higher pressure range, to increase cooking times by 7% to 15% for recipes which specify cooking at 15 PSI.


Instant Pot maxes out around 15 PSI (see this article: )

But, don't be afraid! It's hard to ruin squash, especially with this much butter!


I always use some liquid--usually water--in the pressure cooker.
How much did you add? There's none listed in the ingredients.


followed recipe. Burned on the bottom. Thought it might without water. Did I miss something??


Diet requires less butter, so I used half and added 1/4 water. The lemongrass I had on hand was in a spice mix with curry and ginger. Will repeat! 20 minutes on high for instant pot was fine. We licked the pot! Will definitely make again!


I doubled the recipe and made it in one batch and it came out great. I mashed it with a fork rather than pureeing it. Delicious, and nice lemony flavor from the lemon grass (I used two stalks). Perfect Thanksgiving side.


Meh, roasting in the oven with a little olive oil and seasoned as you wish is way better. If I wanted to eat baby food I could just buy a jar and be done with it


Maybe best recipe I’ve made from NYT! And I didn’t have any lemongrass

Sarah M

Delicious and so easy. I made this two nights in a row, the first night with delicata squash, as the recipe calls for, and the second night with cubes butternut squash from the grocery store. I added a couple of minutes to the cook time, as recommended by other reviewers. I didn’t bother melting the butter first.


for Instant pot: mix ingredients in recipe in heatproof bowl on the rack that comes with the Instant Pot. Add one cup water beneath rack and follow recipe pressure cooking instructions, using high pressure and quick release. The caramelization is subtle and lovely! I didn't need to use any honey, the squash was plenty sweet. Also, I didn't have lemon grass, but half-a-lemon's worth of lemon zest worked fine.

Vicki F

Very bitter aftertaste. A big disappointment.

Amy Jane

I enjoyed making and eating this recipe using my pressure cooker. The video showed lots of water along with the squash and after puréeing created more of a sauce for them to enjoy. I noticed the other comments with some people saying their squash burned. Mine did not burn, but there was no water left in the pot. Squash pieces were very caramelized. So my result was more of dry a “mashed potato” consistency, and of course I could have added water. It was really good, and easy. Thanks!


Do you think this would work with sweet potatoes?

Charlie Byron

I used an Instant pot an liked the result. Next time I want to use a slightly longer cooking time, maybe 25 minutes. But it was great this time.


I've just did the recipe, i stopped after 10 minutes since i smelled burnt from the pressure cooker. Yes, it was burnt in the bottom but the rest is delicious.


I made this, but would add a little water, because it had a burnt butter flavor which I didnt like, I would add half a cup of water just for the purpose of avoiding the burnt butter flavor.


Diet requires less butter, so I used half and added 1/4 water. The lemongrass I had on hand was in a spice mix with curry and ginger. Will repeat! 20 minutes on high for instant pot was fine. We licked the pot! Will definitely make again!


I doubled the recipe and made it in one batch and it came out great. I mashed it with a fork rather than pureeing it. Delicious, and nice lemony flavor from the lemon grass (I used two stalks). Perfect Thanksgiving side.


Lesson learned: drain the squash as much as you can before you puree it. My squash had pretty much liquified anyway, so I dumped the entire contents of the pot into the blender ... and ended up with butter soup. Seriously - it's like butter with a hint of squash and lemongrass.


wierd, lemongrass too old? soggy


So no extra liquid needed? Instant Pot says always include at least a half cup liquid.

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Pressure Cooker Squash With Honey and Lemongrass Recipe (2024)


What cannot be cooked in a pressure cooker? ›

Foods containing dairy, like milk, cream, or yogurt, should not be pressure-cooked. The high heat and pressure can cause dairy products to curdle or separate, ruining the texture, taste and flavour of the dish. Cooking fried foods is a strict no no, when it comes to pressure cookers.

Can you eat the skin of a honey nut squash? ›

Like delicata squash, honeynut squash has thin, edible skin. There's no need to peel it! Slice each squash in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Next, make a quick dressing with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, pure maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.

Is honey nut squash good for you? ›

Like other winter squash, honeynut squash is loaded with nutrition. As its deep orange flesh suggests, it's high in antioxidants, particularly beta-carotene, which helps support eye health, immunity and healthy skin.

Why cooking in pressure cooker is not good? ›

Disadvantages of cooking food in a pressure cooker

Consumption of this chemical on a regular basis may lead to health issues like cancer, infertility, and neurological disorders. Plus, most pressure cookers are made of aluminum that may leach into your food when the cooker is overheated.

Why shouldn't potatoes be cooked in a pressure cooker? ›

Mostly we boil potatoes in a pressure cooker, but like rice, potatoes also contain a lot of starch. This is the reason why boiling or cooking in this pressure cooker is not considered good for health. If you still plan to use cooker for the same, add a lot of water and wash them thoroughly post cooking.

Should Honeynut squash be refrigerated? ›

It will keep up to a month when stored in a cool and dry place, and any peeled or prepared portions can be refrigerated for up to a week. Raw, cut Honeynut squash can be frozen up to three months.

Which squash skin is not edible? ›

The only winter squash skin to avoid eating altogether, even if well cooked, is spaghetti squash because of its thick, eggshell-like quality.

How do you cure Honeynut squash? ›

Curing is simply storing winter squash at a warm temperature with good air circulation for a period of time, usually 10 to 14 days.

How much water do I put in a pressure cooker? ›

When you use a pressure cooker, you need to have enough liquid in the pot for it to come up to pressure and cook the food properly. The rule of liquids in pressure cooking is to always add at least 1 cup of liquid unless the recipe states otherwise. The liquid will help create enough steam to cook the meal. 3.

What is better than a pressure cooker? ›

Slow cookers are much better for cooking root vegetables and tough cuts of meat because the long, low-temperature cooking process is great for adding moisture and breaking down fat. Pressure cookers can get hot enough for meats and vegetables to brown in them when cooking, but slow cookers can't.

What do you cook in a pressure cooker for beginners? ›

Robin Shreeves joins Laurel Randolph in compiling this list.
  1. Pressure Cooker Chicken Stock. ...
  2. Instant Pot Easy-Peel Hard Boiled Eggs. ...
  3. Instant Pot Chicken. ...
  4. Instant Pot Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon. ...
  5. Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken Taco Meat. ...
  6. Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto. ...
  7. Fast, No-Soak Instant Pot Beans. ...
  8. Instant Pot Rice.

Can diabetics eat Honeynut squash? ›

Honeynut squash is rich in dietary fibre and has a low glycemic index. This makes it a good choice for people with diabetes. Remember though, it should be part of a balanced diet.

What's the difference between butternut squash and Honeynut squash? ›

Honeynut squash has a similar shape and flavor to butternut squash but averages about half the size and is sweeter. It has two to three times more beta-carotene than butternut squash. Honeynut squash can be roasted, sautéed, puréed, added to soups, stews, and braises, and has enough sugar content for desserts.

How long does Honeynut squash last? ›

Because of its thin skin, honeynut will not last as long as thicker-skinned squash. It should be stored in a cool, dark spot where it will last for 2 to 3 months. Once cooked, the cubes or puree can be left in the refrigerator for a week, or frozen for 3 months.

Can you pressure cook anything? ›

You can cook most food in a pressure cooker. However, most people use it to cook food that takes a long time to cook with conventional methods.

What foods should be pressure-cooked? ›

The pressure cooker is the number one gadget for people who want to slice huge chunks off the cooking time of meat, pulses and sauces. From ribs that fall off the bone, to stew, casserole or braised meat, a pressure cooker can achieve great results in under an hour.

What dishes are safe in a pressure cooker? ›

As the name suggests, heat-proof containers should be heat or ovenproof- this includes high-temperature silicone, heat-proof glass (like pyrex), ceramic, stainless steel, aluminum and even copper! The forms should not be plastic or any glass that is not tempered.

Why don t chefs use pressure cookers? ›

They are most commonly used in industrial settings to quickly prepare meat or stocks. However, in most scenarios, Elite Chefs avoid using pressure cookers because they provide less control over the final dish. Chefs often prefer slow cooking techniques that accentuate and pull out the flavors of the food.


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