Instant Pot Butternut Squash Halwa (Pudding)


This butternut squash halwa is a creamy, sweet and rich pudding spiced with cardamom and served with a crunchy nut garnish.

instant pot butternut squash halwa by myheartbeets

I wanted to share this recipe while it’s still butternut squash season! If you’ve never tried halwa before, it’s a traditional Indian dessert. You may have tried carrot halwa before – it’s one of the most popular types of halwa and is often served in restaurants. Today, I’m sharing a recipe for butternut squash halwa – this recipe calls for about half as much sugar as my carrot halwa recipe and it is also mostly dairy-free, with the exception of ghee.

Despite calling for less sugar, this halwa is still very rich. While I say that this recipe only serves 2-3 people, you can easily serve it to a family of four by adding some ice cream to go along with it.

To make this instant pot recipe even easier to make, I’ll buy pre-cut butternut squash from the grocery store. Pre-cut butternut means there’s basically no prep required for the recipe!

I’m sure this halwa would taste great using pumpkin or another winter squash too! Serve this halwa with some vanilla ice cream, pistachio ice cream or kulfi (here’s my paleo kulfi recipe).

instant pot butternut squash halwa by myheartbeets

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Halwa (Pudding)

instant pot butternut squash halwa by myheartbeets

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Halwa (Pudding)

This is a very rich halwa and so while I say that it serves 2-3, you can easily serve it to a family of four by adding some ice cream to go along with it. I usually buy pre-cut butternut squash from the grocery store as it makes this an even easier dessert to make.
5 from 4 reviews
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Servings 2 -3
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 pound peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 5 tablespoons sugar or sweetener of choice, adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds or chopped nut of choice garnish


  • To prepare the squash, add 2 cups water into the steel inner pot, then place a steamer basket into the pot. Place the peeled and cut squash in the basket.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve, press the steam button and set the time to 15 minutes at high pressure.
  • Open the valve to quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Remove the squash and steamer basket from the pot. Set the squash aside for now.
  • Dump out any water still remaining in the bottom of the pot.
  • Press the sauté button and add the ghee and the squash. Mash the soft squash with a spoon, then add sugar and cardamom. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the halwa turns a shade darker and the ghee releases a nutty aroma.
  • Garnish with crushed nuts and serve.


  • You can always add more sugar if you prefer a sweeter halwa.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Ruhi says

    Loved this Halwa
    My mom use to make it all the time.
    The only difference is she would add some poopy seeds at the end and roast the halwa.
    I loved it so much but haven’t made one myself. Going to try with your recipe.

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