With only 5-ingredients, this creamy and garlicky Instant Pot pumpkin pasta bake is very delicious and easy to make. You can use your favorite pumpkin such as Butternut squash or Kabocha squash, depending on the sweetness you prefer. This pressure cooker pasta dish comes together in about 30-35 minutes from start to finish. Enjoy as a quick family dinner, when you travel with your Instant Pot and add it to a budget-friendly menu. Vegetarian-friendly!
10–11 oz / 300 g pasta shells
10– 11 oz / 300 g pumpkin (butternut squash or kabocha squash, peeled and diced into large cubes)
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tsp salt
3 cups water
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
250 g Cheddar cheese (2 full cups grated cheese)
- Prep. Peel the skin off the squash and cut into large cubes. It will soften quite a lot during cooking so slightly large cubes are more likely to hold shape.
- Add ingredients. Add the pasta, diced pumpkin, half of the garlic and salt to the pot. Pour in about 3 cups of water. The water should barely cover the pasta. Give it a quick stir.
- Set & cook. Secure and lock the lid; make sure the pressure handle is pointing to Sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook and adjust the timer to 4 minutes on HIGH pressure. After a few seconds, the ON sign will come on, indicating the pressure is building (you might also hear 3 beeps on some models); pressurizing will take about 10 minutes, and then the 4-minute timer will begin.
- In the meantime, heat the oven to 425 F / 220 C. You can also grate the cheese and prepare the cream.
- Once the timer is done, quick release the pressure. Don’t let it sit on natural pressure release for too long as the pasta will continue to cook during this time and will get too soft.
- Assemble for baking. Open the pot. Most of the water should have been absorbed into the pasta, however, there might still be some liquid which you can strain so the finished bake isn’t too watery.
- Add the remaining garlic, black pepper and cream to the pasta and stir through. Transfer to a deep casserole dish or a baking tray and top with grated cheese.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes on 425 F / 220 C until the cheese has melted into a light golden crust. Remove from the oven and serve with a side salad or green vegetables.
- Pumpkin: You can use any kind of sweet or semi-sweet winter squash/pumpkin in this recipe. Kabocha squash is sweeter and more starchy than say Butternut Squash or other types of winter squashes.
- Pasta: you can use any medium-shaped pasta like penne, rigatoni, fusilli or large shells.
- Cream: You can use half/half or thickened cream, or a lighter version to lower the calories.
Keywords: Pasta, Pumpkin, Winter Squash, Butternut Squash, Kabocha Squash, Instant Pot, Pasta Bake, Vegetarian