Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

bowls with butternut squash soup
The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Pressure Build and Release: 30 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
  • Yields: 2 quarts
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
161 Calories
8g Fat
22g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 161
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 25mg 8%
Sodium 486mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 27mg 134%
Calcium 86mg 7%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 507mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

One of the great things about this butternut squash soup recipe—aside from the soup's great flavor, of course—is that there is no pre-cooking or sautéeing required. Everything goes right into the pot, and cleanup is a breeze. Besides the Instant Pot, you'll need a few measuring cups and spoons, a cutting board, knife, and a blender or immersion blender.

Add cream to make a more luscious soup or make it vegan with coconut milk. If you prefer a thinner soup, add some extra vegetable broth just before serving. Garnish the soup with pumpkin seeds, bacon, chopped herbs, or a swirl of sour cream or yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)

  • 1/4 cup apple juice (or more broth)

  • 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash (peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes)

  • 1/2 cup shallots (diced, or about 1/2 cup of diced onion)

  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream (or coconut milk)

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage, about 1 or 2 sprigs

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme , about 1 sprig

  • Optional garnish:

    chopped cilantro (or parsley)

  • Optional garnish:

    cooked crumbled bacon

  • Optional garnish:

    plain yogurt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for butternut squash soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Pour the vegetable stock and apple juice (or more broth) into the Instant Pot. Add the butternut squash, shallots, apple, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage, and thyme. 

    instant pot with butternut squash soup ingredients
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the steam release knob is in the sealing position. Select the pressure cook button, high pressure, and set the time for 15 minutes. It will take approximately 20 minutes to reach pressure and begin cooking. When the time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes, then turn the knob to the venting position to release the remaining pressure quickly.

    instant pot lid

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  4. Working in batches, blend the hot soup in a blender until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to blend the soup mixture. 

    blender with butternut squash soup mixture
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. Pour the blended soup back into the Instant Pot. Add the cream and adjust the seasonings; stir to blend. Select the sauté function and cook until heated through.

    blender with butternut squash soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish as desired with cilantro, parsley, crumbled bacon, yogurt, or sour cream.

    bowls of instant pot butternut squash soup
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

What Can I Substitute for the Butternut Squash?

Acorn, buttercup, Hubbard, and delicata squash are all good substitutes for the butternut squash in this recipe. Pumpkin may be used as well, or try an alternative, such as sweet potato.

What Goes With Butternut Squash Soup?

For bread, choose biscuits, crusty French bread, cornbread, naan, or soft rolls. Add a side salad or slaw, or serve the soup with meat or vegetarian sandwiches.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Refrigerate leftover butternut squash soup in airtight containers for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze butternut squash soup in freezer bags or containers for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight if frozen. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave oven until it reaches at least 165 F..

Tip

  • A vegetable peeler is the easiest way to remove a butternut squash peel. Use a large, sharp knife to cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and then cut it into cubes. Or you can look for pre-cut cubed squash in your local supermarket.

Recipe Variations

  • Add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of curry powder along with the other seasonings. Finish the soup with coconut milk and, optionally, a teaspoon or two of lime juice, or to taste. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.
  • For a more savory soup, omit the apple juice and apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and add 2 to 3 ribs of diced celery. Use vegetable broth or chicken stock.