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Instant Pot Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Instant Pot Creamy Butternut Squash Soup is thick, silky smooth, savory, sweet, comforting, and so delicious. It’s the perfect fall and winter soup, and the pressure cooker makes it super easy!

Want an elegant starter for your Thanksgiving (or any) dinner? This soup is it! Everyone will love it’s vibrant orange color, velvety texture, and fabulous flavor. Add a swirl of cream and a sprinkle of crunchy roasted pepitas to make it extra special!

You can even make it a day or two ahead of time so you have less work on the big day. It takes about an hour from start to finish, but most of that time is hands-off.

It also makes for a light and healthy meatless supper or lunch on any day of the year, either all by itself or alongside some salad, crusty bread, or crackers (butternut squash is low in calories and full of good-for-you vitamins, minerals and fiber).

Now, truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of puréed soups. I think it’s because it makes me feel like I’m eating baby food (not that there’s anything wrong with that…I just mostly like chewing my food).

This Instant Pot butternut squash soup, however, is the one exception. I absolutely love it (and, if no one’s looking, I might even lick the bowl clean…after a second helping, that is)!

The sweetness of the butternut squash is perfectly balanced out with savory chicken stock and aromatics like onion, celery, garlic, poultry seasoning, and a pinch of cayenne for just the mildest hint of heat in the background.

And let’s not forget about the cream. This soup is already pretty creamy without it, but a little bit of heavy cream stirred in adds a richness and silkiness that makes it feel so luxurious in your mouth!

ladle full of Instant Pot creamy butternut squash soup being lifter out of the pot

Ingredients you need:

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Garlic
  • Butternut squash
  • Chicken stock or broth (I use water mixed with roasted chicken base)
  • Poultry seasoning
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Roasted pepitas (for garnish, optional but recommended)

Before you go out and buy poultry seasoning, check out my recipe for Homemade Poultry Seasoning and then have a look-see in your spice cabinet. You might already have all the spices you need!

Pepitas are a special kind of pumpkin seed that don’t have the outer shell like regular pumpkin seeds. They aren’t usually hard to find. Look for them near the other nuts and seeds in your grocery store.

How to peel and chop the butternut squash:

Large, hard winter squashes like butternut squash can sometimes be tricky to peel and chop. I recommend using a very sharp knife, a sharp vegetable peeler, and an abundance of caution. Here’s how I do it.

  • Slice off the top and bottom ends of the squash.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off of the squash from top to bottom (I find that a Y-shaped peeler works really well for this).
  • Cut the squash in half from top to bottom; scoop out the seeds.
  • Cut the squash into cubes.

Here’s a look at how to make Instant Pot Creamy Butternut Squash Soup:

Note: This is just a quick overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one of vegetables being sautéed in an Instant Pot with text that says sauté onions, celery and carrots until they begin to soften; the other of a spoonful of garlic being added to the pot with text that says add garlic, sauté for another minute
2 images; one of butternut squash and broth added to the Instant Pot with text that says add squash, broth, herbs, salt, and pepper, stir to combine; the other of an Instant Pot with the lid on with text that says cook at high pressure for 15 minutes
2 images; one of pressure being released from an Instant Pot with text that says natural release 10 minutes, then quick-release remaining pressure; the other of the soup being puréed with an immersion  blender with text that says purée the soup until smooth
2 images; one of heavy cream being stirred into the soup with text that says stir in heavy cream until fully incorporated; the other of the finished soup in the Instant Pot with text that says adjust salt and pepper if needed, enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • Make sure that the squash cubes are all roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
  • You can cut down on the prep time by purchasing pre-cubed raw butternut squash.
  • Did you know that you can roast butternut squash seeds like pumpkin seeds? Yep, and they’re delicious! Follow the instructions in my post on Roasted Pumpkin Seeds With Salt and Pepper (you may need to reduce the cooking time a bit since these seeds are smaller).
  • If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can purée the soup in small batches in a regular blender (let the soup cool just a bit first; for each batch, don’t fill the blender more than half full; while blending, hold the top on with a kitchen towel to protect your hands).
  • Want to make it vegetarian or vegan? Depending on what rules you follow, you can omit the butter (use an extra tablespoon of olive oil), use vegetable stock or broth instead of chicken, and replace the cream with canned coconut milk or another creamy dairy-free milk.
  • A little bit of crisply cooked bacon would also be an excellent topper for this soup.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat gently over low heat in a pot on the stovetop just until heated through.
  • If you want to freeze this soup, I would recommend freezing it without the heavy cream (sometimes soups with heavy cream can change in texture after being frozen and defrosted). For best results, use within 2 to 3 months. Thaw before reheating. Stir in the heavy cream once it has heated through.
close-up of a spoonful of Instant Pot creamy butternut squash soup being lifted out of the bowl

And I say don’t skip those pepitas! They’re so good, and they add a tasty little crunch that really contrasts nicely with the super smooth soup!

I hope you try this Instant Pot Creamy Butternut Squash Soup recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Instant Pot Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

Instant Pot Creamy Butternut Squash Soup is thick, silky smooth, savory, sweet, comforting, and so delicious. It's the perfect fall and winter soup, and the pressure cooker makes it super easy!
5 from 1 vote
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Natural Pressure Release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 (about 1½ cups each; recipe makes about 8½ cups total)
Estimated Calories: 245

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup chopped onion, about ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup chopped celery, about ½-inch pieces
  • ½ cup chopped carrots, about ½-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (3½ to 4-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into ½-inch cubes
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth, I use 4 cups water mixed with 4 teaspoons roasted chicken base (such as Better Then Bouillon)
  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • additional heavy cream, for garnish, optional
  • roasted pepitas, for garnish, optional

Special Equipment

  • 6 or 8-quart Instant Pot

Instructions

  • Turn the Instant Pot on using the SAUTE function (normal heat). When it says HOT, add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the onions, celery and carrots; cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic; cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Press CANCEL to turn the Instant Pot off.
  • Add the butternut squash, chicken stock or broth, poultry seasoning, cayenne pepper (if using), and salt and pepper to taste (I use 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper); stir to combine.
  • Put the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the steam release knob to SEALING. Cook at high pressure for 15 minutes (Note: It will take the Instant Pot about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking time will begin to count down).
  • When the cooking time has finished, press CANCEL to turn the Instant Pot off and allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then quick-release the remaining pressure.
  • Purée the soup until smooth using an immersion blender.
    Note: If you don't have an immersion blender, you can purée the soup in small batches in a regular blender (let the soup cool just a bit first; for each batch, don't fill the blender more than half full; while blending, hold the top on with a kitchen towel to protect your hands).
  • Add the heavy cream; stir until it is completely incorporated into the soup. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls; top with a swirl of additional heavy cream and sprinkle with roasted pepitas, if desired.

Notes

  • Make sure that the squash cubes are all roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
  • You can use pre-cut raw butternut squash to cut down on the prep time.
  • Want to make it vegetarian or vegan? Depending on what rules you follow, you can omit the butter (use an extra tablespoon of olive oil), use vegetable stock or broth instead of chicken, and replace the cream with canned coconut milk or another creamy dairy-free milk.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Reheat gently over low heat in a pot on the stovetop just until heated through.
  • If you want to freeze this soup, I would recommend freezing it without the heavy cream (sometimes soups with heavy cream can change in texture after being frozen). For best results, use within 2 to 3 months. Thaw before reheating. Stir in the heavy cream once it has heated through.
  • Estimated calories shown are for the soup only and do not include extra cream or pepitas.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe Rating




Melissa

Monday 8th of November 2021

Thank you! Made this for dinner tonight and your comment got back to me before that crucial step! This was delicious. I served it with a rosemary and salt baguette which complemented it well!

Michelle

Monday 8th of November 2021

Whew! Thank goodness it all worked out. And I'm so happy that you enjoyed the soup (that baguette sounds delicious)! Thank you for taking the time to come back to comment and rate the recipe!

Melissa Lee

Monday 8th of November 2021

The recipe doesn't specific how much to stir in, only to add heavy cream at the end and temperature ingredients list only lists some for garnish. Could you update the measurement?

Michelle

Monday 8th of November 2021

Oops! Thank you for catching that and bringing it to my attention, Melissa! Recipe has been updated!