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 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 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.
- Serve with your favourite bread or try this hearty seed bread.
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
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add all the ingredients (except for the coconut milk, if using) to a slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-5 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 transfer to 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.