Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
This easy recipe for slow cooker butternut squash soup is healthy, creamy, full of flavour and made with just a few simple ingredients. You will love the sweet, spiced flavour of this classic soup that’s perfect any night of the week.
This recipe uses a crockpot, or slow cooker, to make a creamy, flavourful butternut squash soup that that takes just minutes to prepare. This soup makes a lovely light meal or side dish any time of year or an excellent starter for a holiday meal like Thanksgiving.
Cinnamon and nutmeg add an amazing sweet, spiced flavour that pairs well with the butternut squash and carrot and coconut milk adds a rich, creamy finish to bring it all together.
- Nutritional features: Low-calorie, fat-free.
- Dietary features: Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, nut-free.
- Quick and easy: You’ll need just a few basic ingredients and just minutes of prep time.
- Leftovers tastes even better the next day so it’s a great soup to make in advance.
- Freezes well so works great for meal prep.
- Budget-friendly: This soup is made with just a handful of simple, inexpensive ingredients make it a great budget-friendly.
Complete list of ingredients is located in the recipe card below.
- Butternut Squash – You’ll need about 7-8 cups of peeled and diced butternut squash, so make sure you get a big one or 2 small or medium-sized ones. The amount doesn’t have to be exact though so don’t worry too much!
- Onion & Garlic – These two aromatics add a lot of flavour so I wouldn’t recommend skipping them. For a flavour twist, you could also add some fresh ginger here.
- Carrot – Gives the soup more texture, color, and a naturally sweet flavor. You can always add a bit more if you like, it doesn’t have to be exact.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg – The combination of these warming spices adds depth to the sweetness of the butternut squash.
- Vegetable Stock – Any vegetable broth or stock works. You can use homemade or store-bought carton or cubed broth.
- Coconut Milk – Optional but I really like this addition for added richness and creaminess.
How to Prepare the Squash
There are different ways to prepare a squash for cooking but this is how I like to do it.
- Chop the bottom and the stem off of the squash.
- Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
- Chop the squash into rounds until you get near the bottom where the seeds are located.
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and “guts” with a spoon.
- Chop the squash into cubes.
Quick Tip: Cut the butternut squash cubes roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
How To Make the Soup
Step 1. Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours until the squash is soft and tender.
Quick Tip: Add just enough broth to barely cover the squash. Too much liquid will thin out the soup and we want it nice and thick and creamy! I like to use 4 cups.
Step 2. Once it’s cooked, either blend directly in the slow cooker using an immersion blender or carefully transfer to a blender and mix until smooth and creamy. Blend in the coconut milk now, if using.
I prefer to use a blender for an extra creamy finish. You may need to do this in a few batches.
Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve as is or topped with a drizzle of coconut milk, fresh herbs and lime.
- Swirl in some vegan sour cream, cashew cream, or plain coconut yogurt.
- Top with fresh chopped basil, chives, cilantro, or green onion.
- Toasted nuts or seeds such as pumpkin seeds, cashews, peanuts or hemp seeds give a great crunchy texture.
- Add more protein with baked tofu, tempeh or chickpeas.
- Top with roasted chickpeas.
- Stir in some greens at the end such as spinach, kale or arugula for a little extra nutrition.
This soup makes an excellent base to customize to your personal tastes. Try switching up the flavors in this soup by using these ingredients and methods:
- Roasting or sautéing the veggies first. For extra flavor, you can roast the squash, carrots, and onion or saute the onion, garlic, and carrots for a few minutes before adding to the slow cooker. These methods help bring out the flavors of the vegetables.
- Make it butternut squash sweet potato soup. Swap half the butternut squash for peeled and cubed sweet potato.
- Add cauliflower. Cauliflower makes a good addition to this soup. Try adding 1-2 cups of chopped cauliflower florets. Use a bit of extra liquid if needed.
- Make it curried butternut squash soup. For a curried soup, add up to 1 tbsp of curry powder to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Red curry paste is really good too for a Thai-inspired soup.
- Add an apple. Apple and squash is a classic flavor combo. For an extra layer of flavor and sweetness, add 1 chopped green apple to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients.
- Make it spicy. To add some heat, add up to 1 tsp of cayenne pepper or chili flakes to the slow cooker. I like it to have a little heat, so I usually add 1/2 tsp chili flakes.
- Try it with kabocha or acorn squash. This soup can be made with any kind of squash such as kabocha, acorn, or even pumpkin.
- Cumin and coriander make a nice spice combo or can be used in addition to the cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Use fresh or dried sage and thyme instead of cinnamon and nutmeg for a more savory flavor that pairs well with the sweetness of the squash.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, no problem. This soup can easily be made on your stovetop:
- Start by sauteing the onions, garlic, and carrot for 5-10 minutes in a splash of broth.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the squash is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Blend the soup in a high-speed blender, pour and enjoy.
Storing & Freezing
- Storing: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days and can be reheated on the stovetop or by using the microwave.
- Freezing: Cooled soup can be frozen by pouring it into an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before serving.
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- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes (approx. 7–8 cups or 1200 g once cubed)
- 1 white onion, diced (approx. 2 cups, 300 g)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chopped carrot (approx. 150 g)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes, optional
- 4–5 cups vegetable stock (or just enough to barely cover the squash)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk or cashew cream (optional, light or full-fat)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours until the squash is soft and tender.
- Once it’s cooked, either blend directly in the slow cooker using an immersion blender or carefully pour into a blender and mix until smooth and creamy. Blend in the coconut milk now, if using.
- Season with salt and pepper if needed and serve.
Storing: Let cool then store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 3 months.
- Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 132
- Sugar: 9 g
- Sodium: 500 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 32 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 4 g
Keywords: slow cooker butternut squash soup, crockpot butternut squash soup
Originally published January 17, 2017.