Squashed Taco Mac

The theme this week seems to be Taco. Not that this is a problem in my house, EVER. I am completely enamored with my Instant Pot pressure cooker. SO much so that I spent last evening processing the proliferation of winter squash I had on hand. 1 acorn, 1 spaghetti, 1 butternut and one delicata were dealt with most soundly. I bagged the mashed remains and froze for future use. I did save back the smidge of delicata that I had garnered however, and decided to use it to make a riff on this.


1 1/2 c delicata or butternut squash puree

8 oz  box of Fiber Gourmet elbow macaroni

2-3 c water

1/2 tsp ancho chili powder

1/2 tsp Tajin low sodium seasoning

1/2 c 2% milk

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 oz shredded sharp cheddar

2 oz shredded taco blend cheese

3 kraft 2% american singles (yeah, it’s a weird cheese combo but the recipe called for 6 oz of cheese so I used what I had)

leftover taco meat (I had about 1-1/3 cups)

1 can of drained pinto beans

Add dried pasta to the Instant pot and add enough water to cover, about 2-3 cups.

Cook pasta on manual high 1 minute less than half of the cooking time. For instance, if box directions say boil for 10 minutes-set  for 4 minutes. After cooking, do a quick release (watch for a water fountain, the baby dragon likes to spit).

Open lid and scoop off most of the water, leaving maybe 1/2- 3/4 cup in pot with pasta.

Add the garlic powder, tajin, ancho chili powder and onion powder to the milk. Stir and then add the mixture to the pot. Add cheese and stir until mostly melted. Add the squash puree and stir.

Put the pot on sauté (the middle setting is fine) and stir mixture for 3-5 minutes until hot and mixture is smooth.

Add Taco meat and pinto beans, stir well and serve.


(As I am mostly vegetarian, or trying to be and can only eat beans sparingly, I took out my portion prior to this step and  added about 1/2 cup of sauteed mushrooms to mine. But the guys devoured the meat & beaned version)


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