Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup
This Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup is the recipe that took our new place from “house” to “home.” A creamy, comforting blend of butternut squash, coconut milk, and apple, eating a bowl of it feels like walking through your front door after a long trip or curling up with a warm blanket on a chilly day. 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 is just the loving spoonful you need!
Have you ever gone through the span of a few weeks where you felt completely out of your eating routine? That was our first two weeks after our move. Meals were a mix of takeout, whatever I could find in the freezer, and chips.
When I was finally organized enough to cook us a real meal, a warm, feel-good recipe like this Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup sounded nothing short of heaven.
This stovetop Butternut Squash Apple Soup 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.
Not only did this Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup deliver on my harvest-scented dreams, but it is the best butternut squash soup recipe I’ve had to date!
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. (For those with dietary concerns, using the coconut milk also makes this butternut squash soup naturally vegan, and it is gluten free as well.)
- If you are in a rush, you can simply toss all of the ingredients into the slow cooker raw and cook from there. That said, I like to spend a few extra minutes sautéing the onions first. Cooking the onions gives the soup a rounder, more finished flavor and allows the the other ingredients to shine through more completely.
- My other key tip to taking this Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup from “yes, that’s very good” to “GIVE ME MORE NOW” is to add complementary ingredients that bring out the squash’s naturally sweet, golden flavor. Apples add the right balance of acidity and sweetness, and I have a few favorite spices that doctor it up too (see below!).
What Spices Go With Butternut Squash Soup?
- For me, the essential butternut squash soup spices are nutmeg (so fall!) and a baby pinch of cayenne pepper. The cayenne keeps the soup from being too sweet and adds the lightest touch of warmth without taking over or making the soup spicy.
- Sage is another classic. I like to sprinkle on fresh sage at the end. It’s not 100% necessary, but it will make you feel like you are living the fantasy promised by every Yankee harvest candle.
What Other Ingredients Can I Use for Butternut Squash 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.
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.
What to Serve with Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup?
- Roasted vegetables like Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
- A harvesty salad like this Winter Salad with Kale and Pomegranate or an all-seasons salad like this Anytime Arugula Salad.
- Grilled cheese. A simple grilled cheese is never disappointing. For a fancier version, try this Apple Butter Turkey Cheddar Grilled Cheese.
- 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 plenty nice and filling.
Don’t be surprised if this cozy Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup finds a fast home in your kitchen. I know the recipe will be a regular in ours!
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
For the Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion — chopped into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 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
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 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)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup light coconut milk — (may use up to 1 1/2 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 3/4-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 3/4 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.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Rewarm in the microwave or on the stove top.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 of 8, about 1 1/2 cups) — Calories: 217, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Carbohydrates: 49g, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 14g, Protein: 4g
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