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Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup


Cozy up with a bowl of Instant Pot butternut squash soup! Creamy and wealthy, with a hint of sage flavor to contrast the nutty and slightly sweet butternut squash. The pressure cooker helps cook this soup quickly and in a hands-off way, and it tastes even better on day 2!

The Instant Pot makes soup so incredibly simple to prep because you no longer have to hang around the stove, stirring and making sure it doesn’t boil over. From Instant Pot lentil soup to broccoli cheese soup, there are so many options you can make!

soup ladle scooping butternut squash soup out of the instant pot

This soup is creamy and smooth, with a hint of sage that compliments the nutty and ever so slightly sweet butternut squash. It’s great for a colder day, and stores so great for meal prep!

Reasons you’ll ♡ Instant Pot butternut squash soup

  • it’s thick, creamy, and so cozy
  • it makes a large batch, is hands off and fast to prepare in the pressure cooker
  • you can make it vegan

Recipe video

Watch the video below for step by step instructions for cooking Instant Pot butternut squash soup! You can find more recipe videos on my YouTube channel.

overhead view of ingredients required to make butternut squash soup

Ingredient notes

  • butternut squash– this soup makes a large batch and you’re going to need a *large* butternut squash, or two small ones.
  • milk– if you are vegan, swap the milk for unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
  • sage leaves– I’ve used dried whole sage leaves here, you can use an equal volume of fresh; if using ground sage, use 1/2 teaspoon
  • maple syrup– consider this optional; I love the teeny bit of sweetness it adds, but you can definitely abandon it out!

Fresh butternut squash is top

I exactly love the convenience of frozen cubed butternut squash, but I find the flavors end up diluted. For the absolute top flavor, use fresh butternut squash.

Prepping your squash

  1. Start by cutting the ends of the squash, then cut it into 2 pieces across the middle.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler and peel the skin off the butternut squash. If you see green fibers, peel a second layer off.
  3. Next, use a spoon to scoop the seeds out the squash. Some people like to save the seeds for roasting.
  4. Finally, use a sharp knife to cut the butternut squash into 1 inch cubes.

Here’s a great step by step tutorial showing exactly how I recommend you peel and cut a butternut squash.

collage image showing the steps required to make instant pot butternut squash soup

Step by step directions

  1. Sauté the onions- cooking our onions first helps build the flavor base of this soup- it concentrates the natural sugars in the onions and brings out a delicious savory flavor. Add olive oil to the stainless steel inner pot of the Instant Pot and select the sauté function. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are soft and translucent.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients– add the carrots, squash, sage leaves, salt, stock and maple syrup. Do not add the milk! Put the lid on the pot, set the valve to ‘sealing’ and pressure cook on the high pressure setting for 5 minutes.
  3. 10 minute natural pressure release- when the Instant Pot beeps after completing the cooking cycle, let it sit for 10 minutes. At this point, you can carefully switch the steam release cope with to the ‘venting’ position, releasing any remaining pressure in the pot.
  4. Add milk & puree- the last step is to add the milk and blend the soup until creamy. I am using an immersion blender, but you can also work in batches to puree it in a stand blender. Blend for several minutes to obtain a luxuriously creamy texture!

Recipe tips

Instant Pot models that work

This recipe was tested in both a 6 quart Instant Pot and an 8 quart Instant Pot, and worked well in each (though the 6 quart is quite full). I have not tested in a mini and you will need to cut the recipe down by at least half.

Natural pressure release

I like to allow soups cooked in the Instant Pot to naturally depressurize for at least 10 minutes, as this helps the liquids settle. If you do a fast pressure release, you’ll risk the liquid spewing out the valve.

To do a natural pressure release, simply let your Instant Pot sit for 10 minutes after the cook cycle has completed. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and when the time is up, carefully move the steam release cope with into the ‘venting’ postition.

For more information on fast versus natural pressure release, check out Instant Pot 101.

Blending the soup

I highly recommend using an immersion blender to puree the soup; it’s convenient and quite effective! If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can work in batches to puree it in a stand blender. Blend for 1-2 minutes to obtain it ultra smooth and creamy.

Time to arrive to pressure

One thing to note about cooking large volumes in the Instant Pot is that it will take some time to arrive to pressure; for this soup it takes at least 20 minutes for your pot to arrive to pressure, so make sure to factor that into your prep time. I find the profit of the pressure cooker is that you don’t have to babysit or stir the soup while it cooks, which frees you up to do other things.

three bowls of instant pot butternut squash soup with toasted bread beside them

Storage + Reheating

Here’s how to store Instant Pot butternut squash soup after cooking:

  • Fridge– store in an air tight container for up to 4 days
  • Freezer– freeze in a glass or plastic freezer jar for up to 3 months; make sure it is completely cooled before freezing
  • Thaw– thaw for 48 hours in the fridge, or immerse the jar partially in cold water for a few hours to speed the process
  • Reheat– heat on medium heat in a pot on the stove; stir occasionally until warmed through

Check out my favorite freezer containers.

More healthy Instant Pot recipes

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

Course: Soup

Cuisine: American

Keyword: butternut squash, freezer, gluten-free

Author: Denise Bustard

Cozy up with a bowl of Instant Pot butternut squash soup! Creamy and wealthy, with a hint of sage flavor to compliment the nutty and slightly sweet butternut squash. The pressure cooker helps cook this soup quickly and in a hands-off way, and it tastes even better on day 2!

Prep Time15 mins

Cook Time15 mins

time to pressurize/depressurize30 mins

Total Time1 hr

  • Sauté the onions- Add the olive oil and onion to the stainless steel insert of your Instant Pot. Select the sauté function, and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

  • Add remaining ingredients and pressure cook– Once onions are cooked through, add the carrots, butternut squash, stock, maple syrup, salt and sage leaves.

  • Pressure cook with partial natural pressure release- Put the lid onto the Instant Pot, set the steam release cope with to the ‘sealing’ position, and pressure cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally depressurize for 10 minutes (do not touch it, just let it sit for the 10 minutes). After 10 minutes, carefully move the steam release cope with to the ‘venting’ position, releasing the remaining pressure.

  • Add milk and purée- Remove the lid from the Instant Pot, and stir in the milk. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup for 1-2 minutes, until silky smooth. See note 3.

1- fresh butternut squash gives the top flavor. Use 1 large butternut squash; you may need 2 if they are smaller. For directions on chopping the butternut squash, refer to the blog post.
2- dairy, almond milk, coconut milk all work.
3- if you do not have an immersion blender, work in batches using a stand blender until the soup is fully puréed.
Storage
Cool soup fully before storing in the fridge or freezer.

  • fridge- store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days
  • freezer- store in an air tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • thaw- overnight in the fridge.
  • reheat- in the microwave (for individual portions) or on a pot over medium heat on the stove until warmed through (for larger portions)


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