One of our favorite soups! 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! A delicious meatless, refined sugar free, whole food recipe the whole family will love. Easily adapted for dairy free, paleo, vegan, and vegetarian diets.Jump to Recipe
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My toddler is constantly astonishing me with his odd tastes and preferences. Sometimes it feels like I can’t get him to eat even stereotypical “kid food”, and then he shocks me by becoming absolutely enthralled with something like this. That’s right, my toddler is addicted to Butternut Squash Soup. He adores it. It’s one of the only times I’ve seen him totally empty his bowl and look for more. I’m shocked because he can be so fussy with vegetables, but when it’s all blended up and swirled with coconut milk: he can’t resist.
I’ve made this several times now, and every time it’s the same thing: obsessed. And since we’re a small family, I tend to serve it for at least a few days in a row for lunch. He’s still obsessed. Well, that’s a win if there ever was one!
Using the Instant Pot
I love making this soup for my family because I know I am feeing them healthy, whole foods that taste delicious. The best part? It’s all made in the Instant Pot. If you’ve been around my blog before, you know I love my Instant Pot. I’m always adapting new recipes for my beloved appliance, and I love how it helps me cook food from scratch with a hands off approach. I love the Instant Pot so much that I actually have two: a 6qt, and an 8qt.
I use my larger size for making homemade bone broth, yogurt, refried beans, and soups (like this Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana). My 6qt is perfect for making quick work of whole food sides like potatoes, brown rice (my foolproof method here), and beans. I hope to get a 3qt to add to my collection soon too!
In this recipe, I use the Instant Pot twice. Peeling butternut squash is an absolute pain (literally; I’ve cut myself). If you’re one of the people (like me) who gets peeling skin from handling peeled squash, you’re especially wary of preparing butternut squash for soup. There had to be a better way!
Yes, there is a better way.
A quick cycle in the Instant Pot cooks the Butternut Squash partially, making the skin incredibly easy to remove with a paring knife! All you have to do is:
- Slice the butternut squash in half
- Remove the seeds and stringy pulp
- Cut the squash to size
- Fit it into your Instant Pot
- Add 1 1/2 cups of cool water
- Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes
- Manual pressure release
- Let the squash cool
- Carefully remove the skin with a paring knife
The skin separates easily from the flesh, meaning you just have to run your knife under the peel to remove it. As long as the squash is cool, it is a relatively safe way of peeling butternut squash. Best part? Your hands don’t get all tingly and peel-y. That’s just me? Okay. I guess I’m a weirdo.
What Goes with Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Soup?
I’m glad you asked.
One of my favorite parts of this soup is the delicious, sweet, nutty garnish that is featured on top of a bowl of this golden soup. Since I’ve been doing food photography for a little while now, I just can’t look at a bowl of soup the same. It looks positively naked without a garnish or crouton of some sort! It’s an absolute crime to photograph soup without a garnish.
And so I needed to make something that would compliment the flavors of the soup without overwhelming it. I thought of a spiced nut (like my Simple Smoky Spiced Almonds), but ultimately I knew it had to be something sweet. Since this Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk soup is sweetened with a good dose of pure maple syrup, why not incorporate that into the garnish? And Maple Candied Walnuts were born.
In addition to this delicious garnish, you can serve Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Soup with:
- Fresh Sourdough Bread with Butter
- Side Salad garnished with Maple Candied Walnuts and Poppy Seed Dressing 😋
- A Winter Panzanella (this recipe from Smitten Kitchen looks delightful!)
and when I asked my husband for his input on side serving suggestions: a delicious dessert 🤣. Someone has a sweet tooth.
How Long Does Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk Last?
Not long. 🤣
Hypothetically? I would say to keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within a week. Since it is meatless, you have a little more leeway than you would if your soup uses meat. If your bone broth has been sitting in the fridge for a while, you may want to be more cautious with your soup. We found it so delicious in my home that it was a wonderful treat for lunch the following day, and it was eaten up within a few days. We are a small family of three (one being a toddler), so a typical family will likely eat through this in one meal.
What Do I Need to Make Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk?
- Butternut Squash: You want a good size butternut squash. I like to get them around 4lbs 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 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.
What Equipment Do I Need?
- 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 (try this recipe from The Movement Menu). This hand blender comes with a whisk and milk frother attachment!
Q&A: Substitutions and Adaptations
Is There an Alternative to Coconut Milk?
You can use 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream in place of the coconut milk if you desire!
Can I Make Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Soup Dairy Free?
Yes you can! Use 1/4 cup of coconut oil in place of the butter and add an additional 1/4 tsp. of mineral salt.
Can I Adapt the Recipe to be Vegan or Vegetarian?
Vegetarian Option: Substitute the chicken bone broth for 2 cups of vegetable broth.
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.
Can I Adapt the Recipe to be Paleo?
Yes! Simply substitute the butter for ghee or coconut oil.
And Now for the Recipe!
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
- 3-4 lb Butternut Squash halved and seeds removed
- 4 tbsp. Salted Butter ghee or coconut oil
- 2 medium Yellow Onions peeled and chopped
- 2 cups Chicken Bone Broth or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp. Salt
- ¼ cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 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 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 maple syrup and 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!