Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

5 from 6 votes
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Instant Pot butternut squash soup is easy to make. The high-pressure cooking tenderizes the tough vegetable in about half the roasting time. The ingredients are pureed until silky smooth to deliver a hot and comforting dish.

No Instant-Pot? No problem! Try a similar stovetop method instead.

Instant Pot butternut squash soup garnished with cream and parsley in a dark bowl.

If you’re looking for a hearty and healthy bowl of soup, let’s get started by cutting butternut squash. The bright orange flesh is packed with nutrients and has a creamy and nutty texture. I use an electric pressure cooker for this recipe to make preparation more effortless than the stovetop method.

The Instant Pot allows you to saute the aromatics first to develop deeper flavors. The squash and apples pressure cook for just 10 minutes to make them incredibly tender. Puree the soup with cream and warm spices, and you’ve got a comforting winter-inspired appetizer.

Cutting and peeling

First, trim the stem and bottom portions off. The skin is thick and inedible, so you’ll need to remove it. I find that using a Y-peeler down the length of the squash works best. Use a chef’s knife to separate the tapered portion from the broader base. Then cut the bottom in half and scoop out the seeds.

Save the seeds. You can clean and dry them to make a healthy roasted snack. Now you can dice the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes.

Saute the aromatics

To add depth to the soup, I saute the onions and garlic in hot olive oil to lightly brown the surface. Make sure to saute the chopped thyme in the hot fat briefly. The oil will help diffuse the herb’s fat-soluble flavors, making the soup much better tasting. The diced squash also cooks for a few minutes before pressure cooking to add layers of flavor.

Top down view of green apples and butternut squash cooking inside the Instant Pot.

Pressure cook the soup

The large pieces of squash and granny smith apples need to be softened to create a smooth texture. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes to completely transform the surface from hard to tender. I naturally release the pressure from the system for soups but be careful.

There’s hot vegetable broth or stock in the pot, and you don’t want it spraying out of the valve if you use quick-release. Substituting chicken stock or chicken broth works well too, and would add depth of flavor due to the bones and meat.

Puree the ingredients

To create a smooth consistency, use an immersion blender to puree the soup. It takes a few minutes, but it makes a considerable texture impact. I keep the blender perpendicular to the bottom of the pot and slowly move it around. This technique prevents the hot soup from kicking up and spraying out. 

You can also use a countertop blender, however, work in batches to prevent overflow. If you like a thicker texture, you can press the saute setting and let the soup concentrate to the desired consistency.

Making a creamy texture

The starches in the butternut squash naturally provide a creamy texture. And when pureeing, the squash particles are suspended in the hot liquid, adding thickness. To make each spoonful even more velvety, add heavy cream. You can also substitute coconut milk for a dairy-free option.

Recipe Resources

Close up of butternut squash soup in a pot with cream, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Additional seasonings

Add ground cinnamon and nutmeg at the very end. When it hits the hot soup, there will be a burst of warm baked aromatics, the perfect complement to the winter squash. Adding it in when pressure cooking loses that potent volatile compound, so it’s best to wait. 

Fresh ginger, curry powder, and turmeric are lovely additions to the recipe for an earthy flavor. Garnish with chopped thyme or chives for a delicate onion flavor. Crushed walnuts add a wonderful crunch and interesting texture.

What to serve this with

Top down view of a bowl of butternut squash soup with spots of cream.

Why you should add the cream last

Cooking butternut squash soup in the Instant Pot on the high setting gets upwards of 11.6 psi, with an enclosed temperature of up to 244°F (118ºC). It’s best to stir in the cream once you remove the lid and the temperature reduces slightly. Milk contains proteins that can thicken and curdle. The cream is around 36% fat and just below 3 grams of protein, which is still prone to curdling above 175ºF (79ºC).

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Quick and easy butternut squash soup made in the Instant Pot. Enjoy creamy delicious bowls of comforting soup all season long.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings 7 servings
Course Soup
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion, ½" dice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chopped thyme, or ½ teaspoons dried thyme
  • 5 cups butternut squash, 1" cubes, about a 2 ½ pound squash
  • 1 ½ cups granny smith apple, 1" cubes, or fuji apple
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, or broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream, or unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions 

  • Heat Instant Pot – Select "Saute" on a 6-quart Instant Pot and adjust to the “normal” setting. Allow the pot to heat. It will indicate "Hot" on the display when ready.
  • Cook Aromatics – Add olive oil, once hot, add the onions. Saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and thyme, saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add Squash and Apples – Add the diced butternut squash and saute for 3 minutes. Add the diced apple, salt, pepper, and vegetable stock, stir to combine. Press "Keep/ Warm/Cancel" on the Instant Pot.
  • Cover Instant Pot – Make sure that the release valve is in the "Sealing" position. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn and lock.
  • Pressure Cook – Press the "Manual" button on the Instant Pot on high pressure, and then set the timer to 10 minutes using the "+" or "-" controls. It will take about 8 to 10 minutes for the pot to heat and build up pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display.
  • Release Pressure – Once cook time is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes.
  • Open Lid – Use an oven mitt to slowly and carefully twist the steam release handle on the lid to the "Venting" position. The initial release will spray some moisture around the pot, so be careful. Remove the cover, opening the top away from you as steam will release from the pot.
  • Puree Soup – Use a hand immersion blender to puree the soup until just smooth, or transfer to a blender and puree.
  • Add Cream and Seasonings – Add in the heavy cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stir to combine. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  • To Serve – Serve garnished with a drizzle of heavy cream, chopped thyme leaves, and freshly cracked balck pepper.

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: 7 cups
  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Storing: Cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Freeze in resealable bags for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Warm on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Defrost if frozen. Alternatively, place in a bowl, cover, and microwave on high heat in 30 seconds intervals until hot, stirring in between. 

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 7 servings
Calories 152kcal (8%)Carbohydrates 20g (7%)Protein 2g (4%)Fat 8g (12%)Saturated Fat 4g (20%)Cholesterol 23mg (8%)Sodium 581mg (24%)Potassium 427mg (12%)Fiber 3g (12%)Sugar 7g (8%)Vitamin A 11176IU (224%)Vitamin C 25mg (30%)Calcium 68mg (7%)Iron 1mg (6%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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4 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Lisa says

    Jessica, your recipes have always been spot on so I had no concerns trying a recipe so new it didn’t have any reviews yet. This was absolutely fantastic and super easy. I didn’t have any nutmeg but otherwise, followed it all precisely. Wouldn’t change anything except wish I had made a bigger portion for leftovers.