The Instant Pot makes easy work of cooking butternut squash to perfection, resulting in a delicious and creamy soup sweetened with maple syrup. Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk is perfect for those chilly winter nights. Healthy comfort food at its best! Silky, smooth, and a cinch to prepare!
It’s always been a struggle to get my little guy to enjoy his veggies… or really anything other than sourdough bread! He’s a plain kind of dude, and that’s okay most of the time. But I try to get those veggies in there when I can, and if it weren’t for this Instant Pot butternut squash soup and kefir green smoothies, I don’t know what I’d do!
But thankfully I do have this creamy and delicious soup in my arsenal, and I use it as often as I can. Especially when the air starts to crisp up, the leaves start to yellow, and soon enough you know that butternut squash will be at every road stand we pass by. I’m getting excited just thinking about it!
So any time I want to be transported to a cool, crisp late September day, I just make up a batch of this Instant Pot butternut squash soup with coconut milk and crank up the air conditioning (and subsequently turn it back down, because electricity is expensive!).
Why You’ll Love This Recipe:
- A healthy soup recipe that tastes great, yet is made with simple whole food ingredients.
- It’s made in wayyyy less time thanks to the Instant Pot, and it’s pretty hands off too!
- A perfect soup for storing in the fridge and reheating for lunch or a quick side dish.
- Simple swaps are easy, making it perfect for a variety of dietary needs including dairy free, gluten free, paleo, and vegan.
- Great for serving to babies and little ones.
- Butternut Squash: You want a good size butternut squash. I like to get them around 4 pounds if possible.
- Coconut Milk: Whole fat coconut milk is a delicious addition to this soup and gives it a delicious mouthfeel.
- Chicken Broth: You can use store bought, or homemade bone broth (try my homemade chicken broth OR my Instant Pot Bone Broth recipe)
- Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup brings out the sweetness of the butternut squash and makes this soup a delicious treat.
- Butter: I like to use salted butter. If you’re looking for a dairy free or vegan option, you can try coconut oil. There is also a butter flavored coconut oil that may be suitable.
- Onions: These are sautéed in the butter until soft and lightly browned. Yum.
- Spices and Seasonings: I use the classic fall and winter baking spices: cinnamon and nutmeg. You’ll also see those basic seasonings: mineral salt and black pepper.
Maple Candied Walnuts: These are my new obsession. I created them specifically as a garnish for this soup, but I’ve been loving them as a snack or thrown into salads and just about everything. You can find the recipe here.
Tools and Equipment:
- Instant Pot: I like to use the 6qt Instant Pot for this soup since it comes to pressure a little quicker than the 8qt. I recommend the Instant Pot Duo since it has a yogurt setting.
- Hand Blender: This is one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. I’m able to blend and puree soups, applesauce, and more…right in the pot I cooked it in! It’s also great for making homemade healthy mayonnaise (like my avocado oil mayonnaise). This hand blender comes with a whisk and milk frother attachment!
An Easy Way to Peel Butternut Squash
If you’ve struggled with peeling the hard skin of a butternut squash, there is an easier way that uses a quick cook in the Instant Pot as a head start:
- Slice the butternut squash in half.
- Remove the seeds and stringy pulp.
- Cut the squash to size.
- Add the trivet to your Instant Pot and place the squash chunks inside.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of cool water.
- Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.
- Do a manual quick pressure release, using a wooden spoon to move the valve.
- Once the pressure is released, open the lid and remove the squash to a cutting board with a pair of tongs.
- Let the squash cool.
- Carefully remove the skin with a paring knife by running it just under the skin.
How to Make Butternut Squash Soup in the Instant Pot
To get started, we are going to do a quick pre-cook of the butternut squash to make peeling a bit easier (see above).
Once your Butternut squash is removed from the Instant Pot, dump out the water and wipe the insert with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Set the pot to “sauté” and wait for the insert to get hot. Add the butter to the Instant Pot, and swirl around with a wooden spoon until melted.
Add in the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, or until soft. Then, deglaze the pan with chicken broth, scraping the bottom with the edge of your wooden spoon.
Cooking the Soup
Turn the Instant Pot off. Add in the maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and give everything a really good stir.
Finally, add in the peeled and chunked butternut squash. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to “sealing”. Cook on manual pressure for 6 minutes.
Once the cooking time is up, carefully switch the valve to “venting” to do a manual quick pressure release. Once the pin drops, indicating the pressure has dropped, open your lid away from your face.
Use a hand immersion blender to blend everything together into a smooth, pureed consistency. If you don’t have a hand blender, you can transfer the soup in batches to a regular blender. Just be sure to cover it with a towel and work carefully, as it will be very hot.
Once the soup has been blended to an even consistency, add in the coconut milk. If desired, you can reserve some for swirling on top of each bowl, but it isn’t necessary for flavor! Just add the entire can and give it a good stir OR blend with your hand blender.
Serve with your choice of garnish such as maple candied walnuts, croutons, or fresh herbs.
Variations and Substitutions
Dairy Free: Substitute the butter for coconut oil OR butter flavored coconut oil, and add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of butter.
Paleo: Substitute the butter with ghee or coconut oil, and use a good quality broth (like my Instant Pot Chicken Bone Broth).
Vegan: Use coconut oil (or butter flavored coconut oil) as a substitute to the butter, and substitute the broth for vegetable broth.
Alternative to coconut milk: If you don’t have coconut milk on hand, you can use approximately 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream as a substitute. Alternatively, if you don’t want a super creamy soup you can leave it out completely!
How to Store Butternut Squash Soup
- Allow your soup to cool completely.
- Transfer to an airtight container or bowl with a lid.
- Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Allow the soup to cool completely.
- Transfer to a large bowl covered with plastic wrap.
- Place in the fridge until chilled.
- Portion into freezer containers or silicone freezer trays (like Souper Cubes).
- Place in the freezer.
- Once the soup is frozen, transfer to freezer bags (if needed, like with using silicone trays) and label.
- Store for up to 3 months.
More Easy Soup Recipes
- 3-4 pound butternut squash, halved and seeds removed
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 (14oz) can coconut milk
- Maple candied walnuts, for garnish (optional)
Preparing the Butternut Squash
- Add 1 1/2 cups of cool water to the insert of a 6 qt. Instant Pot.
- Cut your Butternut Squash in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh.
- Cut each half of the butternut squash in half widthwise, or in whatever size you need in order to fit all of the pieces inside your Instant Pot.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to “sealing.”
- Set your Instant Pot to 4 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot has finished the cooking time, and indicates it has completed by a “beep”, flip the valve to venting and allow the steam to release until the pin drops.
- Once the pin has dropped, indicating the pressure has been released, carefully open the lid.
- Use a pair of tongs to remove the butternut squash pieces to a plate or a cutting board. Allow to cool until you can safely handle the squash pieces.
- Drain the water from the inner pot and wipe it with a clean cloth to ensure it is dry.
Preparing the Soup
- Add the insert back into the Instant Pot and set the Instant Pot to “sauté” on high.
- Once the pot is hot, add the salted butter to the insert.
- Once the butter is melted, add the diced onion and sauté until lightly browned and translucent (about 5-10 minutes).
- While the onion is cooking, use a paring knife to peel the butternut squash. Run your paring knife just slightly under the skin, working in strips to remove the skin. The cooking time in the Instant Pot loosens the skin significantly, making it so much easier to peel. The squash will be hot, so be careful. Once the squash is peeled, dice it into 1” chunks.
- Once the onions are lightly browned, add the chicken broth, and deglaze the pot using a wooden spoon, breaking up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Add the cubed butternut squash into the Instant Pot, and then add in the maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
- Replace the lid on the Instant Pot and set the valve to “sealing.” Set the pot to 6 minutes on high pressure.
- Once the cooking time is up, flip the valve to “venting” and let the steam release completely. Once the pin has dropped, indicating the pressure has been released, open the lid carefully.
- Use a hand blender to blend the contents of the Instant Pot until smooth.
- Add the can of coconut milk to the pot and use the hand blender to mix it thoroughly into the soup.
- Garnish with Maple Candied Walnuts if desired, serve, and enjoy!
My recipe for Maple Candied Walnuts can be found on Little Home in the Making.
Dairy Free Option: Use 1/4 cup of coconut oil in place of the butter and add an additional 1/4 tsp. of mineral salt.
Vegan Option: Substitute the chicken bone broth for 2 cups of vegetable broth. Use 1/4 cup of coconut oil in place of the butter and add an additional 1/4 tsp. of mineral salt.
Alternative to coconut milk: If you don't have coconut milk on hand, you can use approximately 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream as a substitute. Alternatively, if you don't want a super creamy soup you can leave it out completely!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 of Recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 668Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 922mgCarbohydrates: 111gFiber: 30gSugar: 29gProtein: 11g
Nutritional Information is an estimate only.
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