This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup Recipe is perfect for a chilly fall or winter evening when you’re craving a warming, savory soup.
The Instant Pot is an incredible tool in the kitchen for making dishes that once took a long time to make. You can drastically cut down the cooking time for dishes like this easy Butternut Squash Soup in the Instant Pot, which only takes 8 minutes to make in the pressure cooker vs four hours in the crock pot.
Of course, you can also make Butternut Squash Soup on the stove top and we’ll give instructions for that below too, if you don’t have an Instant Pot.
The best thing about this soup is that everyone can enjoy it. It’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten and dairy free. The soup turns out creamy and delicious, without the addition of any cream. You might also like this homemade butternut squash ravioli.
Do I Cook the Butternut Squash First?
There are two ways you can make butternut squash soup. One is to first roast the butternut squash in the oven to cook it, then blend it with the soup and heat it on the stove top. The other is to cook the butternut squash from raw in the Instant Pot. This recipe uses raw butternut squash, so there’s no need to pre-cook the squash.
Not having to pre-cook the squash cuts down on prep and cook time, and it creates less dishes (which is always a good thing, in my book). Using the Instant Pot allows the squash to cook quickly, while melding the flavors of the vegetables into the broth. It turns out full of flavor!
If you don’t have an Instant Pot and want to roast the squash first, you can follow this guide. When I do it this way, I peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler, cut it in half (remove the seeds), place it upside down on a baking sheet with a silicon mat, then roast it for 1+ hour on 375 degrees F, until the flesh is fork tender.
How to Make Butternut Squash Soup
1. Prepare and Saute the Vegetables
One of the most important aspects of a good butternut squash soup is the flavor that develops from sauteing the onion and carrot.
Chop the vegetables into small cubes that are all the same size, so they cook evenly, then add them to the Instant Pot with some cooking oil on the Saute setting. Season with half the salt. It will only take a few minutes to saute them.
Keep a close eye on it, because the Saute mode on the Instant Pot is really HOT and the veggies can easily burn if left unattended.
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2. Add the Butternut Squash
Once the vegetables are a bit softened, add the butternut squash. I prefer to cut up the squash into chunks that aren’t too big, about 2-3 inches square. You can use fresh butternut squash or frozen raw squash. If you’re using frozen cooked squash, you can cook it for half the time listed in this recipe.
Season the squash with the remaining salt and the rosemary. Saute the squash with the vegetables for about 3-5 more minutes. Again, keep a close eye on it and stir it regularly to keep it from burning and sticking to the bottom.
3. Add the Broth and Pressurize
Add the broth and the garlic and give it all a big stir, making sure to get the browned bits up off the bottom of the pan. Then turn off the Saute mode.
Close the lid of the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to pressurize. Press the Pressure Cook button and set it for 10 minutes.
When the cooking time is done, you can carefully release the pressure and open the lid. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s smooth.
I love the immersion blender for this because it allows you to blend the soup in the original pot and you don’t have to get the blender involved. However, if you don’t have an immersion blender, it’s fine to use the blender. Make sure you take the plastic top piece off to allow the heat to vent as you blend.
Once the soup is blended, add the butter and stir it in. Taste it to make sure it’s seasoned to your liking. Add a bit more salt until the flavor is right for you.
There are a few additional toppings you can use to dress up your soup, but it’s just as tasty without any garnish. I sometimes add a drizzle of cream to the top. Or I’ll add red pepper flakes, croutons, pumpkin seeds, or a sprinkle of paprika.
How to Make Butternut Squash Soup Without an Instant Pot
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, it’s just as easy to make this soup on the stove top. The instructions are the same for sauteing the veggies and adding the butternut squash, only you’ll be using a 3 qt pot on the stove, instead of the Instant Pot.
Once you’ve added the broth to the pot, cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat for 40 minutes. The butternut squash should be fork tender.
You can then proceed to blending the soup and adding the butter.
The Instant Pot is a great way to make dishes in a shorter amount of time. Check out this beef stew recipe made in less then an hour.
Looking for a main dish to serve with this Butternut Squash Soup? Here are a few options:
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Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/2 yellow onion chopped
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp salt (plus more, to taste)
- 1 butternut squash peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/4 tsp rosemary dried or fresh
- 3 cups broth chicken or vegetable
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- Optional garnish cream, red pepper flakes, chives, roasted pumpkin seeds, paprika, grated nutmeg
- Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot. Add the cooking oil. Allow it to warm up for 2 minutes.
- Add the onion and carrot and saute, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the butternut squash and saute, while stirring, for an additional 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
- Add the chicken broth. Stir well to remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Seal the lid and vent. Press the Pressure Cook button and set to 10 minutes. When done, allow to naturally release for 5 minutes, then carefully release the remaining pressure.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Add the butter and stir to combine. Serve with any garnish you like: roasted pumpkin seeds, croutons, or a pinch of paprika or nutmeg, if desired.
- If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make this in the slow cooker or in a pot on the stove. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook over low heat for 4 hours. On the stove, cook for 30-40 minutes over medium-low heat with the lid on.
- If you want to roast the butternut squash first, put the peeled halves on a baking sheet for 1 hour at 375 degrees F. Then scoop out the flesh, add to the vegetables either in the IP or on the stovetop. Puree and serve.
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can blend this soup in a blender.
- For a more creamy soup, add 1/4 cup cream to the blended soup. Do not add the cream before cooking in the Instant Pot or it will curdle.
- To just add a touch of cream, add heavy cream or sour cream as a garnish to the top of the soup when serving.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.