This Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup delivers the traditional cozy, soothing warmth that you hope for when you find yourself craving butternut squash soup, along with a few fresh additions that keep it exciting and just a little bit new. Eating a bowl feels like walking through your front door after a long trip or curling up with a fleece blanket on a chilly day. Hearty fall flavors and a rich, velvety texture are blended into each beautiful bowl.
It’s hard to believe, but we just crossed the one year mark in our new home (where does the time go?)! This cozy butternut squash soup was the first real meal I cooked in our kitchen. I can still recall the way it wrapped me up and made me feel like our “house” had become “home.” Today I’m resharing this easy butternut squash soup recipe in the hopes that it will make your kitchen feel a little homier too, no matter how long you’ve been cooking in it.
This recipe is a spin on my stovetop classic Butternut Squash Apple Soup (which has long been one of my favorite healthy fall recipes). I decided to see if I could make a slow cooker version with the same deeply simmered, quintessentially autumn flavor. (If you love autumn-flavored soups, be sure to check out Acorn Squash Soup and Vegan Pumpkin Soup.)
Another thing I love about this soup is how healthy it is. How healthy is butternut squash soup? VERY. It has an ingredient list that includes vitamin-and nutrient-rich vegetables and fruit, it has fiber to keep you full, and it’s being low in calories to boot. I’d call that comfort food you can feel great eating any day of the week.
Whether you are looking for a healthy slow cooker recipe to make for lunch or dinner this week, butternut squash recipes to use up the plethora of squash in your pantry, or an oven-free dish for your holiday spread, this easy butternut squash soup recipe is just the loving spoonful you need.
How to Make the Best Butternut Squash Soup
Don’t let the thick, creamy nature of this soup fool you—that luscious texture comes from a blend of butternut squash and coconut milk, no actual cream required. It’s packed with healthy ingredients and the cooking method is foolproof!
- Butternut Squash. This nutty and sweet vegetable is delicious in soup, and it’s elevated by the other ingredients.
- If you want to use other vegetables for this soup, feel free to swap up to half of the butternut squash with similar root vegetables. Butternut squash sweet potato soup and butternut squash carrot soup are two delicious twists on my list to try this fall.
- Yellow Onion. Once browned, onion adds a deep, rich flavor to the soup. It’s worth the extra step to sauté it first.
- Apple. A sweet and tart complement to the nutty flavors of the butternut squash.
- Nutmeg. The perfect warming spice for butternut squash.
- Cayenne. To keep the soup from being too sweet and for the lightest touch of warmth without making the soup spicy.
- If you prefer a soup without spice or want a by-the-book classic butternut squash soup flavor, omit the cayenne.
- Coconut Milk. For rich flavor and a creamy texture.
- If you’d prefer to make your soup without coconut milk, you can use chicken or vegetable stock instead. For a richer option, use part stock, part half-and-half.
And, I can’t forget to mention toppings!
What is a Good Garnish for Butternut Squash Soup?
A dollop of Greek yogurt or toasted pumpkin seeds are both positively delish and add extra protein too. I also love to sprinkle on fresh sage. It will make you feel like you are living the fantasy promised by every harvest-scented candle.
- Coat your slow cooker with nonstick spray. Then, cook the onion in a saucepan on the skillet until softened and fragrant. Add it to your slow cooker.
- Trim the top and bottom off of your butternut squash. Peel the squash, and cut it in half lengthwise, scooping out the center seeds. Cut into ¾-inch cubes, and transfer the cubes to the slow cooker. (For more specific details about how to chop butternut squash, see my Roasted Butternut Squash recipe.)
- Add the apples, broth, and spices to the crockpot. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, until the squash and apples are tender. You’re going to love how your kitchen smells!
- Add the coconut milk and puree the soup. To thin the soup, add additional coconut milk as desired. Add your favorite toppings, serve hot, and ENJOY!
If you are in a rush, you can simply toss all of the ingredients into the slow cooker raw, cover, and cook from there. That said, it’s definitely worth the extra time to sauté the onion. It gives the soup a rounder, more finished flavor and allows the the other ingredients to shine through more completely.
How Do You Use Frozen Butternut Squash for Soup?
- If you have cubed butternut squash already in your freezer or can purchase it, there are two ways to use it in this soup.
- Option 1: Let the butternut squash thaw in the refrigerator overnight and lightly pat it dry. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
- Option 2: Add the frozen butternut squash cubes directly to the crockpot and extend the cooking time.
- To Make Gluten Free. Nothing! This recipe is gluten free as written.
- To Make Vegan. Also nothing. This is a vegan butternut squash soup also as the recipe is written (just like this Potato Leek Soup).
- Meat Options. If you do not need the soup vegan, you could top it with cooked and crumbled Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled bacon (see this method for easy Baked Bacon) or stir in shredded chicken (see this post for how to cook shredded chicken.)
How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze Butternut Squash Soup
- To Store. Store cooked and cooled soup an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat soup in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat until warm. You can also place leftover soup in a microwave-safe bowl and reheat gently until warmed through. Add a splash of broth as needed to thin the soup.
- To Freeze. Place cooked and cooled soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. For easy storage, you can place the soup in a thick, freezer safe ziptop bag, then freeze it flat.
What Goes Well with Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup?
- Roasted vegetables. Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Roasted Zucchini would both be delicious.
- Bread. Nothing complements a bowl of soup better than a slice of bread. Try this Crock Pot Bread or a crusty loaf from your local bakery.
- Salad. I love pairing this Winter Salad with Kale and Pomegranate or an all-seasons salad like this Anytime Arugula Salad with butternut squash soup.
- Grilled cheese. A simple grilled cheese is never disappointing. For a fancier version, try this Apple Butter Turkey Cheddar Grilled Cheese.
- All the Toppings! A big bowl of this soup topped off with a generous dollop of Greek yogurt, toasted pumpkin seeds, and/or leftover roasted veggies is nice and filling.
Recommended Tools to Make Butternut Squash Soup
- Programmable slow cooker. I love this one because it switches to “keep warm” at the end of the cooking time to deter overcooking.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. Perfect for chopping the ingredients.
- Immersion Blender. Excellent for pureeing creamy soups directly in the slow cooker. No more messy transfer to the blender.
- Ladle. WAY easier than a spoon (even a large spoon) for filling up bowls and transferring leftovers to storage containers.
- Cutting board. My new favorite with TONS of space! This no-slip cutting board is phenomenal as well.
Don’t be surprised if this cozy crockpot butternut squash soup finds a fast home in your kitchen. The recipe is certainly a favorite in ours!
Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup
For the Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped into ¼- to ½-inch dice (about 1 ½ cups total)
- 2 medium butternut squash about 6 pounds total
- 2 medium apples cored and roughly diced, no need to peel (I like using a mix of sweet apples, such as McIntosh or Golden Delicious, and tart, such as Granny Smith or Cortland)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper use white for a slightly milder taste and if, for presentation purposes, you don’t want the black specks in the soup)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¾ cup light coconut milk (may use up to 1 ½ cups from one 14-ounce can)
For topping (optional):
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Chopped fresh sage
- Coconut cream, coconut yogurt (for dairy free), or regular nonfat Greek yogurt (if dairy free isn’t a priority)
- Lightly coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and fragrant, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- While the onion cooks, trim the top and bottom ends off of the butternut squash. With a vegetable peeler, peel the squash. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the center seeds. Cut into ¾-inch cubes. Transfer the cubes to the slow cooker.
- To the slow cooker, add the apples, broth, salt, pepper, nutmeg, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, until the squash and apples are tender.
- Add ¾ cup coconut milk. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or carefully transfer it to a food processor fitted with a steel blade or a blender and puree it in batches. If using a blender or food processor, be extremely careful not to fill it too much, as hot soup likes to splatter. Return the soup to the slow cooker once complete. If you’d like the soup thinner, add additional coconut milk until your desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve hot with any of your favorite toppings.
- TO STORE: Store cooked and cooled soup an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat soup in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat until warm. You can also place leftover soup in a microwave-safe bowl and reheat gently until warmed through. Add a splash of broth as needed to thin the soup.
- TO FREEZE: Place cooked and cooled soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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