Recipe By Jonathan Cannon
Published Aug 17th
Prep 20m Cook 35m Additional 5m Ready In 60m
Servings 8 servings Calories 114.2

Enjoy this alternative to the standard tomato-based pasta sauces. Sweet butternut squash combined with crushed red pepper forming a balanced and unique flavor. You can add wilted spinach, roasted tomatoes, zucchini, or just about anything else to the sauce. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch dried oregano, or to taste
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Combine butternut squash and 2 cups water in a multi-functional pressure cooker (such as Instant Pot®). Close and lock the lid. Select high pressure according to manufacturer's instructions; set timer for 5 minutes. Allow 10 to 15 minutes for pressure to build.
  2. 2 While squash is cooking, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; stir in onion and garlic. Saute until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in oregano, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper; set skillet aside.
  3. 3 Release pressure carefully from the pressure cooker using the quick-release method according to manufacturer's instructions, about 5 minutes. Unlock and remove the lid.
  4. 4 Add squash into the skillet with the onion-garlic mixture. Add remaining 1 cup water and mash until mixture is a smooth liquid.
  5. 5 Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until sauce has thickened, 15 to 20 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and adjust seasonings.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 114.2
  • Carbohydrate 20.2 g
  • Cholesterol 4.4 mg
  • Fat 3.3 g
  • Fiber 3.5 g
  • Protein 3.7 g
  • Saturated Fat 1.1 g
  • Sodium 86.1 mg
  • Sugar 4.1 g

Chef's Notes

Just about any other kind of squash (including pumpkin) can be substituted for butternut squash.


  1. Excellent recipe! We didn't have a pressure cooker, so I split the squash in half lengthwise, seeded it, and lightly oiled the cut side. Placed faced down in a 13x9 for 30 minutes in the oven at 350. Let cook for at least 10 minutes, peeled off the skin, cut it up, and added it - Read more ...
  2. 5 minutes on high in the Instant pot was perfect! I did not drain my butternut squash and dumped all the liquid into my garlic and onion pan. I did not add the extra 1 cup of water. Mashed up the butternut squash and after 20 minutes of simmering it thickened. I would use an - Read more ...