Fall is finally here and it’s resembling winter! Geez, the temperatures dropped fast!
We’ve been craving soups these days so I had a perfect excuse to come up with a few new recipes for the blog! A sweet Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup sounded just like the ticket!
I fell in love with butternut squash a few years ago when I tried it for the first time! I know, it’s a little nuts that I had never eaten butternut squash, but it wasn’t something that was available in Honduras plus I never knew there could be a vegetable that was so sweet and delicious!
Soup, Soup, and More Soup!
So with fall in the air, I went on a soup rampage and fed my family soup for a week! They’ve learned not to complain! As a matter of fact, they all seemed to enjoy all the new and different soup flavors available.
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The Perfect Butternut Squash Soup
I wanted to give the soup the same flavor you get in those perfect soups where the butternut squash is roasted, but I also wanted to make it easy and quick since I was using my Instant Pot. With Ryan’s help, we managed to come up with a soup that has the best of both worlds.
The lightly roasted butternut squash gives the soup a lot more depth. We tested it several different ways and found that it wasn’t necessary to roast all the butternut squash. As long as you do part of it, the flavor will be enhanced. I explain in the step by step, as well as in the directions how to achieve the “roasting” in the Instant Pot.
This soup turned out to be one of my favorite soups ever. It has a little bit of a kick because of the cayenne pepper, but it’s not a lot. If you can’t handle any kick at all, you can always cut that down even more.
Kitchen Prep Tools, Utensils & Appliances
Here is a list of the kitchen prep tools, utensils, and appliances I used to make this recipe.
Prep Tools & Utensils
You will need an immersion blender for this recipe but other than that, this recipe uses common kitchen tools and utensils. Here is the list of the items that I used:
- The first thing that needs to be done is to peel the butternut squash and apple. I used my vegetable peeler for the butternut squash and it worked fine but a y-peeler would be easier to use on this squash. For peeling the apples, I just use a paring knife.
- A good set of knives and a cutting board is needed for chopping the onion, dicing the apple and cubing the butternut squash.
- I used some oval shaped measuring spoons to measure out all of the spices. I like this shape the best because the measuring spoons fit in pretty much any spice jar.
- A large liquid measuring cup is needed for measuring the coconut water and a smaller measuring cup can be used for the coconut milk. I have a few different sizes of measuring cup so that I can use the size that’s best for the amount of liquid I need.
- The butternut squash and onion are sautéd in the pot and need to be tossed periodically. I used this short turner for that.
- When the soup finishes cooking, you will need to puree the butternut squash, apple and onion until the soup is smooth. An immersion blender works best for this because you can just leave the hot soup in the Instant Pot while blending it. If you don’t have an immersion blender, a normal blender can be used. However, you will need to wait until the soup has cooled before transferring it to the blender.
- A pair of mitts is a must when sautéing and pureeing. I have these mini mitts, they are easy to slip on and are perfect for working with the Instant Pot.
Appliances & Cookware
I used my 8-quart Instant Pot to make this butternut squash soup. From start to finish, it took me about an hour.
Serving Platters & Dishes
To scoop the soup out of the Instant Pot, it’s best to use a ladle. I’ve had this ladle for years and it still looks great. When I’m not taking photos for the blog, I serve this soup in these soup bowls which is part of a dinnerware set that we use for every meal.
Instant Pot Cookbooks
I have put together a complete list of Must-Have Cookbooks for the Instant Pot. If you’re looking for more amazing Instant Pot recipes, make sure to check this list out.
If you are an Instant Pot beginner I have included a step-by-step below. If you don’t need a step-by-step, you can just skip this part and go straight to the recipe card below the steps. You will also find some tips and tricks in the recipe card to help you create this wonderful soup.
How To Make Butternut Squash Soup in the Instant Pot
Butternut squash soup is a fall favorite, and this Instant Pot version is so easy to make. This step-by-step will guide you through making this delicious soup in your Instant Pot.
Let’s get started making this wonderful Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup.
Gather the Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients
This delightful butternut squash soup is loaded with wonderful ingredients. Butternut squash and onion are browned in butter and cooked with sweet, tangy Granny Smith apples, and a medley of spices in a coconut base. Maple syrup and coconut milk add a sweet creaminess that perfectly compliments all the other flavors in this soup.
- Butter: In this recipe, I first brown the butter. This adds a rich, nutty aroma and flavor to the soup that’s absolutely irresistible. You can substitute the butter for coconut oil if you’re wanting to make this dairy free, but if you can use the butter, I definitely recommend going that route.
- Butternut Squash: I use a large 3 lb. Butternut Squash and skin, seed and cube it. I then sauté a portion of the squash until it begins to caramelize on the edges to bring out loads of flavor. You can also buy the equivalent in pre-cut Butternut Squash from your local grocery store. When buying pre-cut, make sure to get enough to fill six or seven heaping cups which will be 2 to 2 1/2 lbs of squash.
- Yellow Onion and Garlic: One medium yellow onion and 4 cloves of garlic add some wonderful flavor and taste to this soup.
- Granny Smith Apples: The Granny Smith Apples add the right amount of sweet, tart, and tanginess to the soup. You’ll need to peel and dice two apples.
- Paprika, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Cayenne Pepper: Nothing says fall like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. The paprika and cayenne pepper add a bit of sweet, smoky spiciness to this dish.
- Coconut Water: Instead of broth, I use coconut water which adds a really nice and light sweetness to the soup.
- Coconut Milk: I use coconut milk instead of heavy cream in this recipe. It really blends well with all the other flavors and gives the soup a creamier consistency.
- Maple Syrup: Just a touch of maple gives this soup the right amount of sweet. The faint, woody, caramelized flavor perfectly complements the other flavors in this soup.
Set the Instant Pot
Select the ‘Sauté’ function on the Instant Pot and then adjust the heat level to ‘Normal’ using the ‘Adjust’ button. Allow the pot to warm up until the front panel reads ‘Hot’.
Melt and brown the butter
Add the butter to the warm pot and allow it to melt. Use a spoon or spatula to move the butter around the pot to help it melt faster. Once all the butter has melted, continue scraping the bottom of the pot stirring the melted butter around. Do this until the butter begins to brown evenly.
You will first begin seeing the proteins in the butter (little small specs) start to brown and you will begin smelling a nice nutty aroma. When this starts to happen, you’re very close! Continue stirring and scraping the bottom of the liner until the butter turns a light golden brown color throughout. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes
Sauté the butternut squash and onion
As soon as the butter is a light golden brown color, add the first part of the butternut squash and onion to the pot. Toss them with the butter until they are fully coated, then allow them to sit undisturbed for 4 to 5 minutes. This will allow them to begin to brown on the bottom.
Toss and repeat
Toss the squash and onion around and then let them cook for another few minutes before tossing yet again. Continue repeating this process until the squash and onion have begun to brown on all size and caramelize on the edges. This will take anywhere from 12 to 14 minutes. This will help us mimic that great roasted flavor from the oven, in our Instant Pot.
Add the garlic and spices
Add the garlic, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper to the pot. Mix the spices into the butternut squash and onion and then continue sautéing, tossing periodically until the spices begin to release their aroma. This will only take a couple of minutes.
Turn off the ‘Sauté’ function
Once the garlic and spices have sautéed for a couple of minutes, turn off the ‘Sauté’ function.
Add the remaining butternut squash and onion - plus the apple
Add the rest of the butternut squash and onion to the pot. Then add the diced green apple and mix everything together well.
Add the salt and coconut water
Add the salt and coconut water to the Instant Pot and then mix everything together very well, scraping the bottom to deglaze the liner.
Close the Instant Pot and cook
Close the Instant Pot and set the pressure release valve to ‘Sealing’. Next, select the ‘Soup’ function and set the cook time to 30 minutes at ‘High Pressure’. Once the cooking has completed, allow for a 10 minute ‘Natural Pressure Release’ before releasing any remaining pressure.
Puree the Butternut Squash Soup
Once all the pressure has been released from the Instant Pot, use an immersion blender to puree the butternut squash, onion and apples until the soup is smooth.
Add the coconut milk and maple syrup
Add the coconut milk and maple syrup to the pot and, using the immersion blender, blend them into the soup.
Serve the Butternut Squash Soup
Now it’s time to grab a bowl and serve up a warm bowl of this butternut soup.
I hope you have a chance to try this wonderful version of Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup. It’s the perfect recipe for the cooler fall and winter months. If you make this soup, please leave a comment below and let me know how it was.
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash caramelized in a brown butter with a coconut base.
- 1 large butternut squash 2 ½ - 3 lbs, skinned, seeded, cubed and divided
- 1 medium yellow onion rough cut, and divided
for the Sautéed Vegetables for the Spices the remaining Fruits and Vegetables
- butternut squash the remaining squash
- yellow onion the remaining onion
- 2 Granny Smith apples cored, peeled, and diced
for the Soup Base
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
- 3 cups coconut water
to add After Cooking
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Turn the Instant Pot on 'Sauté' and using the 'Adjust' button, adjust the pot to 'Normal' and allow it to warm up for a few minutes or until the pot reads 'Hot'.
- Add the four tablespoons of butter and allow it to melt. Sauté the butter, continually stirring and scraping the bottom of the liner with a spoon or spatula until the butter begins to brown evenly, about 2-3 minutes.
- As soon as the butter is a light golden brown color, add 3 cups of the butternut squash and 1 cup of the onions to the pot and stir them into the butter so that they are fully coated and then allow them to sit undisturbed for 4-5 minutes so that they will begin to brown and caramelize on the bottom. Toss the squash and onion around and then let them cook for another few minutes and then toss again. Repeat until the squash and onion have begun to brown and caramelize on all sides, approximately 12-14 minutes in total. Take care not to allow them to burn.
- Add the garlic and spices and continue sautéing for an additional 2-3 minutes tossing periodically until the spices begin to release their aroma.
- Turn off the 'Sauté' feature and add the remaining butternut squash, onion and apples and toss everything together. Then add the salt and coconut water and mix everything together well, scraping and deglazing the bottom of the liner as you mix.
- Close the Instant Pot and set the pressure release valve to 'Sealing' and then set the pot to cook at 'High Pressure' for 30 minutes using the 'Soup' function. Once the cooking time has completed, allow for a 10 minute NPR (natural pressure release).
- Once the 10 minute NPR has completed, release any remaining pressure and open the pot. Using an immersion blender, puree all of the ingredients in the pot.
- Add the coconut milk and maple syrup and blend into the soup.
- Serve and enjoy!
While every effort is made to correctly calculate these nutritional facts, they should be used as general guidance as they may not be 100% accurate.
Some things you should know about this Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup recipe.
Choosing the butternut squash. Pick a large butternut squash that is between 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. You’ll want it to yield 6 to 7 heaping cups of cubed squash.
Browning the butter. I feel like browning the butter is essential to this recipe. It really adds a great nutty flavor to the soup. When browning, make sure to continually scrape the bottom of the liner as you stir so that the proteins from the butter don’t burn and get stuck to the bottom.
If you don't have an immersion blender. Wait for the soup to cool and then transfer it in small batches to a stand blender and blend.
Here are a few ideas for serving your Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup.
Add some garnishes. This soup can totally stand on its own but if you want to dress it up, feel free to add a drizzle of coconut milk, heavy cream or creme fraiche on top. Dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or pine nuts, pomegranate arils and walnuts all make great garnishes for this soup also. Finish it off with a sprinkle of pepper or cinnamon.
Serve with bread. I love having this soup with bread. I usually like to brush some slices of french bread or ciabatta with olive oil and Italian seasonings and then toast them in the oven.