Easy Paleo Butternut Squash Soup

I have a tradition with one of my friends of going to True Foods Kitchen at least once during soup season to gorge ourselves on everything squash. We always start with the butternut squash soup, then we split their gluten free and dairy free butternut squash flatbread and finally we indulge in their squash pie. It’s always too much food, but so delicious and so much fun. Seeing as I how I cannot go to a restaurant every single time I crave my new favorite things like butternut squash is how this paleo butternut squash soup recipe was born. 

This quick, easy butternut squash soup recipe is one of my favorite soups and cozy soups that’s perfect for soup season. I wanted to find something was equally delicious and satisfying, but I needed a recipe that was low maintenance too. As a busy mom of three, a requirement for almost any recipe I post is that it is super easy. That’s why this smooth and creamy healthy butternut squash soup recipe is now among my most made soup recipes. It’s a household favorite that’s perfect for making a double batch for meal prep and enjoying all week long. I finally have an easy, delicious creamy butternut squash soup whenever my cravings strike!

Easy Shortcuts to Developing Flavor

Some of the butternut soups recipes I attempted in the past were delicious, but it required roasting the butternut squash first.  A good roasted butternut squash soup recipe is truly amazing.  While I love the flavor that develops when implementing that method, I found that an equally delicious flavor profile could be developed by simply giving the butternut squash a good sauté.  Those little bits of caramel and deep brown from the saute just mean tons of flavor.

Health Benefits of Butternut Squash

Butternut squash boasts an impressive array of vital Vitamin A, making it a nutritious and delicious addition to your diet. The vibrant orange color of butternut squash indicates high antioxidant levels, specifically beta-carotene, which our bodies convert into Vitamin A. Just one cup of butternut squash cubes delivers over 400% of our recommended daily Vitamin A, supporting eye health, immune function, skin health, and much more. The fiber, potassium, Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties in butternut squash provide cardiovascular benefits as well by maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. The blend of nutrients and antioxidants in this winter squash make it a superfood for overall wellness. So savoring this homey, comforting dish won’t just satisfy your cravings – it will nourish your health in measurable ways thanks to powerful vitamins like Vitamin A.

Storing the Soup

Once blended, this creamy vegan butternut squash soup will keep fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring any leftovers to sealable containers or mason jars. Make sure to fill them all the way for maximum freshness. You can also freeze any extra soup for longer term storage. Pour cooled soup into freezer-safe bags or containers, leaving about 1-inch headspace to allow for expansion. Flatten bags to freeze soup flat for quicker reheating later on. Properly sealed and frozen butternut squash soup will retain its flavor and texture for 2-3 months. To enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before gently reheating on the stovetop with a splash of non-dairy milk or broth to thin if needed. This autumnal soup makes for easy grab-and-go work lunches too when stored in individual portions.

Preparing Butternut Squash

Peeling the Skin:

  • Use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer skin from the squash. Peel from top to bottom, rotating the squash as you go until all skin is removed.
  • The skin is quite hard so peel slowly and use care. Use short, light strokes with the peeler to avoid trimming too much of the flesh.

Removing the Seeds:

  • Slice off about 1 inch from the top and bottom of the squash. Then cut in half, from end to end, to divide into two equal pieces.
  • Scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers from the seed cavity using a grapefruit spoon or large metal spoon. Scrape firmly until all the seeds are cleared out.
  • Once seeded, the pieces are ready for dicing.

Dicing the Squash:

  • Place the seeded squash halves flat-side down on a cutting board. Slice down the length into 1-inch thick strips.
  • Carefully cut across the strips into 1-inch cubes. The slices from the narrow neck end may form half-moons rather than cubes which is fine.
  • Chopping the sides and bottom pieces differently creates smaller, differently shaped pieces which helps add visual appeal to dishes.

Be sure to work carefully and pay close attention when cutting butternut squash. Sticky liquid and juices inside can make sides and knife slippery. I recommend first-timers start slow, and ask for help if needed, for safety. Let me know if you have any other prep questions!

Simple Ingredients

  • Olive Oil – I chose olive oil for its fruity flavor and healthy fats, but coconut oil or avocado oil also work well.
  • Shallots – Shallots are a staple in soup recipes, providing an aromatic onion flavor. Unlike so many other butternut squash recipes, I intentionally chose shallots instead of onions and garlic as the subtle flavor of the shallots is just perfect for this soup – not too overpowering.
  • Butternut Squash – I use fresh butternut squash but pre-cut butternut squash from the prepared section at your local grocery store will save prep time.
  • Apples – Tart green apples balance the sweetness.
  • Salt – Salt enhances the flavors. I intentionally left out black pepper of this recipe, as I prefer the other spices listed.
  • Fresh Ginger – Ginger adds a subtle heat and pairs nicely with the other warm fall flavors.
  • Fresh Thyme – Fresh herbs like thyme infuse soups with brightness. The fresh herbs also give this autumnal soup more warm fall flavors. You could substitute fresh sage.
  • Cinnamon – This spice is an essential component of sweeter fall dishes. A bit of cinnamon complements the warm fall flavors.
  • Nutmeg – Nutmeg provides the slightest nutty flavor without overpowering.
  • Vegetable Broth – You could use chicken stock, bone broth, chicken broth or simply hot water but I prefer vegetable broth for the best flavor in this vegan butternut squash soup. Using vegetable broth or vegetable stock instead of chicken stock makes this recipe suitable for vegans or vegetarians.  I also personally prefer the taste of vegetable broth for this recipe.
  • Dairy-Free Milk – For a creamy texture without dairy, cashew or almond milk work well in place of heavy cream traditionally found in this recipe. You can also use coconut milk for added richness.
  • Maple Syrup – Maple syrup adds natural sweetness and pairs perfectly with classic fall ingredients like squash.

Optional Toppings

My favorite way to enjoy this soup is with a big piece of crusty, gluten free French bread.  However, if you want to add in some extra toppings, I suggest bacon bits, pumpkin seeds, drizzle of balsamic vinegar or a few leaves of fresh thyme or sage.  For a little extra kick, a dash of chili powder would even be a fun spice to add to balance out the sweetness of the butternut squash.  However, I think the soup is perfect as is.


Dutch Oven, Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

Immersion Blender, Food Processor or Regular Blender

Note: To give this soup that creamy texture, you will need an immersion blender or regular blender to make this that perfectly creamy soup.  If using a blender, be sure to place a towel over the top of the blender to prevent any hot liquids from coming out.  Not only can this be messy, but painful too.  I like to start my blender on the lowest setting and slowly increase the speed.  The size of this soup may require that you blend in two separate batches.

Alternative Cooking Methods

To provide you with a variety of cooking methods, I am providing three other ways to make this soup recipe.  However, I must caveat this by first saying that the best way to make this soup is by sautéing the butternut squash in your Dutch oven or roasting it in the oven to develop that extra layer of flavor and bring out the extra sweetness of the butternut squash.  

Pressure Cooker Method

Instant pot butternut squash soup recipe instructions:

  1. Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat olive oil.
  2. Add the diced butternut squash, apples, and salt. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in shallots, grated ginger, thyme, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sauté 1-2 minutes more.
  4. Pour in approximately 4 cups vegetable broth, just enough to cover ingredients.
  5. Secure the lid, ensuring the valve is set to Sealing. Press the Cancel button then Manual (or Pressure Cook) and adjust to 5 minutes cook time at high pressure.
  6. When cooking is complete, quick release pressure by carefully switching the valve to Venting.
  7. Remove lid and stir in dairy-free milk and maple syrup until incorporated.
  8. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the Instant Pot inner pot until smooth.
  9. Add more broth if needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired before serving.

Slow Cooker Method

Instant pot butternut squash soup recipe instructions:

  1. Coat the inside of a 6-quart slow cooker with the olive oil.
  2. Add the diced butternut squash, apples, and salt. Toss to coat well.
  3. Stir in shallots, ginger, thyme, cinnamon and nutmeg until evenly distributed.
  4. Pour in 4 cups vegetable broth, just enough to cover ingredients.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours, until squash is fork tender.
  6. When finished, stir in the dairy-free milk and maple syrup.
  7. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the slow cooker insert until very smooth.
  8. Add more broth until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed before serving.

Large Baking Sheet Method

If you don’t mind the extra step, you can use this method to bring out the natural sweetness of the butternut squash.

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel, seed, and cut the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Toss the squash cubes with 2 TBS olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt on a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread into an even layer.
  4. Roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway, until browned and fork tender.
  5. Remove baking sheet from oven and let squash slightly cool. Keep oven on.
  6. Transfer roasted butternut squash cubes to a Dutch oven or soup pot and continue with step 2 from the original stovetop recipe, adding in the shallots, apples, and remaining ingredients.
  7. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.
cup of soup

Easy Paleo Butternut Squash Soup and Instant Pot Recipe

Sarah Erickson
One of my favorite soups in the city is the butternut squash soup from True Food Kitchen, and this dairy free, creamy butternut squash soup reminds me of the soup sold in the restaurant – absolutely delicious!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 3-4 pound butternut squash diced
  • 2 Granny smith apples
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 TBS fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 to 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup


  • Heat a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat.
  • Add olive oil, butternut squash, apples and salt. Heat for 5 minutes and then add in shallots, stirring occasionally.
  • Sauté ingredients until butternut squash begins to soften and gets some golden-brown areas (that means loads of flavor, similar to a roasting method, but one less dish!).
  • Add in freshly grated ginger, fresh thyme leaves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sauté for 30-60 seconds until fragrant, being careful not to burn other ingredients. Note: Have the broth ready to add for the next step!
  • Pour in enough broth to just barely cover all ingredients. This will be approximately 4 cups, but will vary based on the actual size of your butternut squash.
  • Simmer all ingredients until butternut squash becomes fork tender.
  • Add in dairy-free milk and maple syrup.
  • Using an immersion blender or high-speed blender, blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Add soup back to Dutch oven and add in more broth if needed until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Give this a taste test and adjust seasonings if needed.
  • Simmer over low heat while serving to keep the soup piping hot for anyone wanting seconds, and yes there will be lots of people looking for seconds!
Keyword butternut, dairy free, fall treat, paleo, seasonal, soup, squash

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