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Butternut Squash Soup

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The best butternut squash soup recipe I know! It’s super-easy to make, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and so incredibly cozy and delicious. Stovetop, Crock-Pot and Instant Pot instructions included.

Best Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Is there a more quintessentially autumn meal than a cozy bowl of butternut squash soup?

Well on a particularly chilly day this past weekend, we made our millionth batch of my mom’s butternut soup recipe to share with some good friends who came over for dinner. And as always, this vibrant, healthy, velvety soup came through with all of the fall comfort food vibes and completely hit the spot. It’s just perfect this time of year!

The great thing about this butternut squash soup recipe too is that it happens to be naturally gluten-free and vegan, which makes it a wonderful option for hosting large groups (especially around the holidays). It’s easy to make in either the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or on the stovetop (all options included below). It’s loaded up with lots of savory veggies and seasonings, plus a hint of sweetness thanks to the addition of one apple. And most importantly, it’s just incredibly comforting, flavorful and delicious.

I first shared this butternut soup recipe on the blog nearly a decade ago, but thought it was worth bumping back to the top of the site today for anyone who’s craving some lighter fall comfort food. Our family hopes that you enjoy it as much as we do!

Best Butternut Squash Soup Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients

Butternut Squash Soup Ingredients:

To make this easy butternut squash soup recipe, you will need:

  • Butternut squash: You can either use 1 medium-sized fresh butternut squash (here is my tutorial for how to select, peel and cut fresh butternut squash) or you will need between 4 to 5 cups of pre-cut raw butternut squash.
  • Carrot and onion: These will serve as the additional veggies for the soup.
  • Apple: Any variety of apple will work in this recipe (peeled or unpeeled), but I’m partial to Granny Smith apples that add extra hint of tartness in addition to their sweet flavor.
  • Vegetable broth: I typically make this soup with veggie broth to keep it vegetarian and vegan, but chicken broth would also work well in this recipe too.
  • Coconut milk: I love the sweetness and light hint of coconut flavor that coconut milk adds to this soup. But feel free to sub half and half (or heavy cream) instead of coconut milk if you prefer.
  • Seasonings: My mom’s recipe uses a simple blend of garlic, fresh sage, cayenne, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and black pepper. Feel free to adjust the amount of cayenne to taste. And I also highly recommend briefly frying up a few extra sage leaves to sprinkle on top of the soup as a crispy garnish.
  • Your choice of garnishes: I like to drizzle on some extra coconut milk (or cream), a sprinkle of toasted pepitas, and a sprinkle of extra black pepper and/or smoked paprika. Or see more ideas below!

You will also need a:

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup in Crock Pot

How To Make Butternut Squash Soup:

Detailed instructions are included in the recipe below for how to make butternut squash soup in the Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or on the stovetop. But here is a brief overview:

  1. Cook. For extra depth of flavor, I recommend sautéing the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil first if you are making the Instant Pot or stovetop versions, but this step is optional if you’re making the Crock-Pot version (or if you’re in a hurry). Add in the squash and veggies and cook until they are completely tender, then add in the coconut milk.
  2. Blend. I typically use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth, but you can alternately purée the soup in two batches using a traditional blender. (Just be extremely careful as always when blending hot liquids in a traditional blender. Safety instructions are included in the notes below fhte recipe.)
  3. Season. Once the soup has been puréed, give it a taste and season generously with salt and pepper as needed. If you would like to amp up the heat, you’re welcome to add in extra cayenne as well.
  4. Serve. Then dish it up, garnished with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

Best Butternut Squash Soup recipe in dutch oven

Possible Variations:

Want to customize your butternut squash soup recipe? Feel free to:

  • Roast your veggies: To make roasted butternut squash soup, simply roast the butternut squash, carrots and onions before adding them to the soup to make roasted butternut squash soup. It doesn’t add too much extra time (especially if you prep the rest of your soup while the veggies roast) and the roasted veggies add a delicious depth of flavor.
  • Give it a Thai twist: To make Thai-inspired curried butternut squash soup, add a tablespoon or two of red curry paste and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, then serve the soup with lime wedges and chopped fresh cilantro.
  • Give it a Mexican twist: To make Mexican-inspired butternut squash soup, omit the sage and nutmeg and stir in 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin and a big pinch of chipotle chili powder instead, then serve the soup with lime wedges and chopped fresh cilantro.
  • Give it a Chai twist: See my recipe here for the yummiest chai-spiced butternut squash soup.
  • Add rice or grains: To make your soup extra hearty, feel free to add in some rice, quinoa, farro or other favorite grains. Just be sure to also add in extra broth accordingly to help cook the rice or grains.
  • Use cream instead of coconut milk: If you are not a big fan of coconut milk, feel free to use heavy cream or half and half in place of the coconut milk to make this soup nice and creamy.
  • Have fun with toppings: So many toppings can pair well with butternut squash soup! Some faves include:
    • cheese: Parmesan, grated sharp cheddar, feta
    • nuts: toasted almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, pepitas, or candied pecans
    • herbs: fresh cilantro, thyme, sage, chives, etc.
    • bacon: crispy bacon or prosciutto
    • greens: fresh baby arugula or microgreens
    • homemade croutons

Vegan Butternut Squash Soup in Bowl with Pepitas

More Favorite Soup Recipes:

Looking for more cozy, comforting soup recipes for the season? Here are a few more of my faves…

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BEST Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Butternut Squash Soup

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 -8 servings 1x

Description

My all-time favorite Butternut Squash Soup recipe!  It’s super-easy to make, naturally gluten-free and vegan, and so incredibly cozy and delicious.  Stovetop, Crock-Pot and Instant Pot instructions included below.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium (about 34 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • pinch of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
  • optional garnishes: extra coconut milk, smoked paprika, or see more ideas above

Instructions

Stovetop Butternut Squash Soup:

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
  2. Simmer: Add the vegetable broth, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer. Then cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are all tender and mash easily with a fork. Remove and discard the sage. Stir in the coconut milk.
  3. Purée: Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth. (Or alternately, see instructions in the notes below for how to purée the soup safely using a traditional blender.)
  4. Season and serve: Taste and season the soup generously with salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm, topped with your desired garnishes, and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup:

  1. Slow cook: Add the oil (optional), onion, garlic, vegetable broth, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, cayenne, cinnamon and nutmeg to a small (4-quart) slow cooker or large (6-quart) slow cooker. Toss briefly to combine. Cook for 4-6 hours on low, or 2-3 hours on high, or until the squash is completely tender and mashes easily with a fork. Remove and discard the sage. Stir in the coconut milk.
  2. Purée: Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth. (Or alternately, see instructions in the notes below for how to purée the soup safely using a traditional blender.)
  3. Season and serve: Taste and season the soup generously with salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm, topped with your desired garnishes, and enjoy!

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup:

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic: Press the “Sauté” button on an Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
  2. Pressure cook: Add the vegetable broth, carrot, apple, butternut squash, sage, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, and toss briefly to combine. Close lid securely and set vent to “Sealing”. Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes, followed by a quick release. Remove and discard the sage. Stir in the coconut milk.
  3. Purée: Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth. (Or alternately, see instructions in the notes below for how to purée the soup safely using a traditional blender.)
  4. Season and serve: Taste and season the soup generously with salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm, topped with your desired garnishes, and enjoy!

Notes

Puréeing using a traditional blender: As always, please be extra-careful when blending hot liquids in a traditional blender. I recommend puréeing the soup in two or three batches, so that the blender is not too full. Then also be sure to slightly tent the cap of the blender lid open so that the extra steam can escape.

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

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1,282 comments on “Butternut Squash Soup”

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  1. Hello! 
    I couldn’t find any fresh sage at my market, how would this cook with dried sage? 

    • Hi Meghan! We would suggest adding the dried sage towards the very end of the cooking time (last 5-10 min), and we would suggest 1/2 tsp (you can always add more to taste, if you like). We hope you enjoy!

  2. Delicious!!! Made it for tonight’s dinner and the taste test was amazing. Going to pair it with some grilled cheese for this fall night. LOVED it thanks 

  3. Hi! Thanks for the great recipe! Are there any apples I could use in place of Granny Smith? I work at an orchard, so I’d like to use one of their varieties. Thanks!

    • You’re welcome, we hope you enjoy it! You could use any other tart apple (Pink Lady would be great)! :)

  4. Can this be left in the slow cooker longer than 4 hours? What is the max time, if I cooked it on low? thanks!

    • Hi Kathi! Yes, alternatively you can cook for 6-8 hours on low, as the recipe states. We hope you enjoy!

  5. I am part of a meal swap group with 2 other families. I’m planning on making this in a couple of days. Do you have any ideas of what I can serve with this soup? I would serve grilled cheese with it if it were just my little family but I think I’d rather do something else for the group. Any suggestions would be great! :)

  6. This recipe is now in WEEKLY rotation at my house– two adults and two tweens. I buy cubed butternut squash at Trader Joe’s, two bags, so it’s seriously zero effort. I even started using baby carrots to avoid having to peel and cut a carrot. I serve it with Trader Joe’s frozen naan (Indian flatbread) since we serve it at the end of the week– that way the bread doesn’t go bad. They all love it and it’s more than enough for all of us plus leftovers.

    • Thanks for sharing, Stephanie — we’re so glad to hear you and your family are fans! :)

  7. I plan to make this soup as I have a butternut squash sitting on my kitchen counter right now.It looks very tasty and appropriate for the autumn season.

  8. Useful info. Lucky me I found your web site unintentionally, and I’m stunned why this accident did not happened in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

  9. You mention nutmeg in the method but it’s not in the ingredients list. How much nutmeg is used?

    • Hi Sara! It’s in the ingredient list, it’s just listed with the cinnamon. A pinch of each. :)

  10. Making this tonight for the second time. My husband loves thus soup. He has Celiac Disease so this soup is perfect. Thank you

  11. OMGosh! This recipe was sooooooooooo worth making! For years I’ve looked for the perfect butternut squash recipe & have to say, this is it! Superb flavor, wish it made more since I wanted to share it with everyone!

  12. Hello, this looks really good, if I was to buy pre-cut butternut squash how many ounces would you say to buy? Thanks

    • Hi Kathy! A medium-sized butternut squash should weigh around 2 lbs or so, (so close to 32 ounces). We hope you enjoy!

  13. The best part about the season is all the soups that i’ll be making!
    This look delish! I can’t wait to use the coconut milk!

  14. Umm…wow. I cooked this over the stove with a little coconut oil. Fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing! Delicious.

  15. Hello so I’m making this as we speak and CRAP, I accidentally added the coconut milk with everything else!!!! Will this completely ruin the soup now???

  16. Can I aslo add Chicken to this to make it more hearty? I feel with my kids that they need some sort of protien….what do you think?? Dont worry, I havent added the chicken yet. Waiting for your response first..

  17. This soup is delicious! I made it for 40+ people this weekend and got many, many compliments! Looking forward to more soup recipes. Thanks for this one. 

  18. This recipe is my favorite soup recipe. It’s hard to find recipes that are so rich and creamy, while still being healthy. I make it on Sunday and eat it everyday for lunch in the winter! Thank you for such a great recipe!

  19. Approximately how many cups of squash is in a medium size squash?

    • Hi Betty! A medium-sized butternut squash should weigh around 2 lbs or so, (so close to 32 ounces), or about 2 1/2 cups or so. We hope you enjoy!

  20. Just made this and it turned out to be tasty but very spicy with the ceyenne. I would add less next time. About half of what it calls for.

  21. This looks like a great recipe. Question about the butternut squash – it looks like the recipe calls for uncooked squash, but I happen to have a bunch of cooked, leftover squash from another meal. Would it be bad to use the already cooked squash, adding an apple, and maybe more carrots?

    • Hi Julia! No, you can totally use the cooked squash you already have! Just add it towards the end (since it obviously won’t need to cook). :) We hope you enjoy!

  22. I tried this tonight! Was my first time making this type of soup from butternut but I was impressed. That coconut milk is a nice touch.  I used 1/4 tsp of ground sage as I didn’t have fresh and also didn’t have cayenne on hand but I still loved this! Great recipe will definitely use again. 

  23. We added coconut milk right away to the slow cooker, not realizing we needed to add it at the end. Will the soup still turn out?

  24. This sounds great! Can you freeze the ingredients and make it later?

    • Yes, you could do that! However, we’d let everything thaw first so it will cook evenly. We hope you enjoy!

  25. I am in a freezer club :) I thought this would be great!

  26. I would leave out the cayenne. We used the half the amount of cayenne and could barely eat it.  Otherwise it’s a good recipe.

  27. Made this tonight, I had to make a few substitutions but I enjoyed it tremendously as did my husband. I used 2 small fresh apple orchard Jonathan apples (just happened to be what I had) , about 10 radishes left over from a veggie tray (so I wouldn’t have to throw them out), it worked well! Healthy and filling! Thanks for inspiring me!

  28. Wow!! Way to much onion and cayenne pepper not necessary…very hot and could not eat it….would use half the onion.

  29. Love it! Soups are the best Hayley! Will continue checking your blog to come up with new ideas as well! Kudos! :)

  30. Hi, I wanted to make this tonight but only have red onion. Do you think i could use that? Maybe use a little less?

    • Hi Ashley! Yes, red onion would be fine, but we would suggest using half. We hope you enjoy!

  31. I have been so into pumpkin and squash recipes lately and just made my own miso pumpkin soup! Will definitely try out this recipe, interesting with the addition of apples!

  32. So easy and a delicious way to get vegetables and fruit into a meal.   I used a defrosted bag of butternut squash to make the preparation easier.  All my non squash eating family loved it. 

  33. Do you peel the skin off Apple first?

  34. 3 questions. 
    What is considered a serving size?
    My soup was thick how can I make it thinner?
    I had the hardest time cutting the squash, any tips to making it easier? 

    By the way, the soup was delicious. 

    • Hi Denise! We’re glad you enjoyed this! A serving size would just be a soup bowl full. If you want this soup to be thinner, you can just add a little more stock or some water to it. As for cutting the squash, cutting butternut squash can definitely be a pain! :/ We just suggest using the best, sharpest knife you have and (be super careful). If you really don’t want to mess with cutting it, you can usually find it pre-cut at most grocery stores. We hope this helps!

  35. Just wondering, could I use a heavy cream instead of coconut milk? I don’t ever use coconut milk and don’t want to buy it if I’ll have a lot remaining and go to waste.. but if you think the flavor is worth it, I’ll do it haha

    • Hi Jen! Unfortunately dairy (like heavy cream, milk, 1/2 and 1/2, etc.) doesn’t do well in the slow cooker if added too early, which is why we used coconut milk in this. You could definitely add some towards the end of cooking though! We hope this helps.

  36. This is an amazing recipe! I actually added a little extra cayenne and I just LOVED the spicyness. That’s what completed the recipe for me. Just perfect! Thanks :-)

  37. Made this today…..it was delicious and creamy.  Will def make again.  

  38. I need to make a huuuuuge batch of this (serve 35 people), anyone ever done on stovetop?! Help!

    • Hi Jessie! You could definitely do this on the stovetop! Since this makes 6-8 servings, you’ll probably want to do 5x the recipe. You could divide your batches between the slow cooker and the stovetop. We hope this helps!

  39. I can’tell wait to make this soup! Could I add sweet potatoes as well to this recipe or do you think that would be too much?

    • We think sweet potatoes would be great in this (you could use a little less butternut squash). We hope you enjoy! :)

  40. A quick tip for preparing butternut squash. If you put it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, it makes it much easier to peel. Our family loves caramelized butternut squash and this has made the process easier but still time-consuming. I look forward to trying this soup!

    • That’s a great tip, Wendy — thanks for sharing with us, and we hope you enjoy the soup!

  41. I spent nearly an hour chopping everything to make a double batch of this soup thinking it would be good. I am terribly upset I wasted all that money, time and effort on something I just literally threw away. This “soup” was absolutely disgusting and my house stinks from the sage and the onions. I’ve had butternut squash soup in the past that was delicious, smoother and not so thick. I even bought one of those expensive immersion blenders for this specific recipe. I shall be returning that for a refund. Just wish I could get a refund for this recipe’s ingredients and time invested in making it. What a disappointment. Now to air out my house from this vile odor.

  42. I am seriously impressed with how effortless and tasty this is. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

  43. What main dish would you recommend serving with this soup?

    Tiffanie

    • We actually eat this as a main dish and usually have a nice salad and a hunk of bread with it. :) If you wanted it as a first course though, it would really go well with anything that has some nice fall flavors. We hope you enjoy!

  44. As someone who is notorious for modifying recipes.. I have to say this one doesn’t need changing! I rarely follow recipes exactly, but this one is perfect as is. It’s by far my favorite butternut squash recipe, and I make it every chance I get. Thank you for sharing such an amazing recipe!

    Also, if I wanted to double the recipe, how should I modify slow cooker cooking time? Thank you!

    • Thanks for your sweet feedback, Jori — we’re happy to hear you enjoyed this as is! :) If you wanted to double the recipe, you would need to use a larger slow cooker, or else everything won’t fit or will be too crowded and won’t cook evenly. We used a 6-qt for this, but an 8-qt may work. Or you could make one batch in the slow cooker and one on the stove. We hope this helps!

  45. could you substitute plain greek yogurt for the coconut milk? trying to use up what i already have in the fridge. thanks!

    • Hi Annie! We wouldn’t recommend that just because adding dairy too early to the slow cooker can cause the mixture to break (that’s why we used coconut milk). You could definitely add it towards the very end though — that would be yummy. We hope this helps!

  46. Could I make this with regular milk instead of coconut milk? Thanks can’t wait to try it!

    • Hi Dave! We wouldn’t recommend that just because adding dairy too early to the slow cooker can cause the mixture to break (that’s why we used coconut milk). You could definitely add it towards the very end though — that would be fine. We hope this helps!

  47. What if I don’t have a slow cooker? Is there another version for not using slow cooker? Thanks!

    • Hi Rita! No worries, you can definitely do this on the stovetop! We would start by sautéing your onion in a little olive oil, then after 5-10 minutes, add the carrot, apple, squash, garlic, and seasonings. Sauté for about 15 minutes or so, then add the vegetable stock and coconut milk, and bring to a simmer. Simmer until all of the veggies are tender. Puree the mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender. We hope you enjoy! :)

  48. OMG, this is really tasty, I made this yesterday and I love it so much. I didn’t realized that using a slow cooker will make this delicious soup. I usually use quick cooking style and thought it was the best way, but now I learned that it’s better this way and I really thank you for giving me this idea.

  49. Looking forward to trying this recipe. I would lie to make it ahead of time. Does it freeze well?

  50. Mmm I made this tonight and it was delicious! I will making it all winter long and packing it for lunches.