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Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup is a simple, vegan soup that’s beautifully creamy (without dairy!) and full of fall flavour. Perfect for a chilly autumn day or as a part of your next holiday meal!

If you’re looking for more plant-based soup ideas, you might like my Instant Pot Lentil Soup!

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Butternut squash soup in a white bowl with a black rim, garnished with pumpkin seeds, thyme and black pepper, served with two buttered baguette slices.

You need less than 10 simple ingredients to make this delicious pressure cooker butternut squash soup! Butternut squash has an amazingly thick and creamy texture once it’s blended, so there’s no need to add dairy (unless you want to, of course!).

I tested this soup both with and without the apple, and it’s hands-down better with the apple. The apple brightens the flavour and gives nice acidity. We’ve gone with a classic fall flavour combo with fresh sage leaves and rosemary (you can use dried in a pinch), but you can easily change up the flavour profile. See my suggested variations below!

Ingredients

Below is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup. See the recipe card below for all the details!

  • Olive oil
  • Yellow onion – small dice
  • Garlic – minced
  • Ginger – use a microplane to finely grate it, or use store-bought ginger paste to save time
  • Vegetable broth – or use vegetable Better Than Bouillon and water
  • Butternut squash – a 3-3.5 pound squash, diced
  • Granny Smith apple – or another tart variety, diced
  • Sage – you can substitute ground sage
  • Rosemary – you can substitute dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
Ingredients needed to make Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup on a wooden cutting board, viewed from overhead.

How to make it

First, use the Sauté function on your Instant Pot to cook the onion in the olive oil. Then, add the minced garlic and grated ginger and turn off the Sauté function. Use the residual heat to cook the garlic and ginger for about a minute.

Next, deglaze the insert using a bit of broth (use a spatula to scrape up and brown bits of food stuck to the bottom), then pour in the remaining broth. Layer in the squash, apple, sage, rosemary and salt. Do not stir.

Pressure cook on manual High pressure for 8 minutes, then do a controlled quick release of the pressure. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup right in the pot, or transfer it in batches to a regular high-speed blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

Butternut Squash Soup being stirred in an Instant Pot with a wooden spoon, viewed from overhead.

Variations

Add carrot for a more vibrant orange colour. Use 1 cup, diced.

Add a pear for more sweetness.

Change up the flavour profile. Add a tablespoon of dried curry powder, instead of the rosemary and sage. Curry + the pear are a great combo, too!

Add cooked white beans for more protein and fibre. Add a 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed, on top of the squash and apple before pressure cooking. I suggest also adding an extra cup of broth (4 total), so that the soup won’t be too thick.

Add a swirl of cream. Use cashew cream for vegan, or heavy cream as a vegetarian option.

A ladle of butternut squash soup being lifted out of an Instant Pot.

How to freeze butternut squash soup

Ladle the soup into storage containers (I like to do single or double portions – it cools more quickly and I can defrost just what I need). Leave about an inch at the top to allow for expansion as the soup freezes. Allow the soup to cool completely before closing the lid. Freeze for up to 3 months.

How to reheat butternut squash soup

If frozen, allow the soup to defrost in the refrigerator overnight, or you can use the microwave to defrost it enough to get out the storage container.

Reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until a rolling boil is reached and it’s heated to 165 °F. Cover the soup as it’s reheating to avoid too much evaporation and splatter (seriously, watch out for the splatter with thick soups like this!).

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup in a white bowl with a black rim, placed in front of bowls of garnish and toast.

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Butternut squash soup in a white bowl with a black rim, garnished with pumpkin seeds, thyme and black pepper, served with two buttered baguette slices.

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Laura Lawless, BASc
This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup is a simple, vegan soup that's beautifully creamy (without dairy!) and full of fall flavour. Perfect for a chilly autumn day or as a part of your next holiday meal!
5 from 2 votes
Servings 6
Calories 155
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Inactive time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, small dice
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and grated ginger or ginger paste (or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or 3 teaspoons vegetable Better Than Bouillon + 3 cups water)
  • 3 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, diced (or any tart apple variety)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon ground sage)
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (or ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste after cooking)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste after cooking)
  • Optional garnishes: pepitas (pumpkin seeds), fresh thyme, fresh chives, a swirl of cream or cashew cream

Instructions
 

  • Turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil, then add the diced onion. Sauté until softened and turning translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and grated ginger, then turn off the Sauté function. Continue to sauté for about a minute in the residual heat, until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Pour in a small amount of the broth and deglaze the bottom of the insert (scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot).
  • Pour in the remaining broth, then add the diced butternut squash, diced apple, chopped sage, minced rosemary and sea salt. Do not stir.
  • Close the lid, set the vent to sealing and pressure cook on manual High pressure for 8 minutes (your Instant Pot may have a "Pressure Cook" button rather than a "Manual" button). It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure.
  • At the end of cooking time, do a controlled quick release of the pressure (open the vent right away, letting a little bit out at a time to prevent splatter). I suggest using a wooden spoon to keep your hand well away from the vent.
  • Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth, or blend it in batches in a traditional high-speed blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve with your chosen garnishes. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.

Notes

  1. Inactive time indicates the time it takes the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure. 
  2. This recipe was tested in both 6-quart and 8-quart Instant Pot models. 
  3. This recipe can be doubled in an 8-quart Instant Pot using the same pressure cook time. 
  4. To freeze: ladle into storage containers leaving an inch at the top. Cool completely before closing with lid. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  5. To reheat: Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, or in the microwave. Reheat in a covered saucepan over medium heat, until it comes a rolling boil and reaches a temperature of 165 °F.

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Equipment

Instant Pot (6qt)
Microplane
Wooden Turner
Immersion Blender

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 239mg | Potassium: 840mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 20108IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 2mg
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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This soup is delicious! So easy to make. Decided to add the beans and found it very filling for lunch. Easy to throw into the instant pot sunday night and have lunches for the week and some to freeze!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy you liked it, Arly!

  2. Tiffany K says:

    5 stars
    This is incredibly delicious! And took less than 30 minutes. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So glad you enjoyed it, Tiffany! Thanks for leaving a review!