Got an Instant Pot and looking for a cozy paleo soup recipe that’s perfect for fall and winter? This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup is super easy to make, super bacon-y, gluten-free, and Whole30-compatible!

A collage of the cooking steps to make Whole30 and paleo Instant pot butternut squash soup.

Make it quicker in an Instant Pot!

By using an Instant Pot, you can speed up the cooking process and concentrate the flavor of the butternut squash—which means you can skip the extra step using roasted butternut squash that many recipes call for! Plus, this Instant Pot butternut squash soup recipe includes flavor and/or texture boosters—crispy bacon bits, Magic Mushroom Powder, and aged balsamic vinegar—all of which will level up this winter soup to dinner party-worthy fare, even if the only fancy pants person slurping it up is YOU.

Can you make this soup in a slow cooker?

If you don’t own an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, you can make this soup in a Crock-Pot: dump all the ingredients (except for the bacon and balsamic vinegar) into a slow cooker and cook on low for about 6 hours. Crisp up the bacon on the stovetop or in the microwave and add the bacon bits and a drizzle on the balsamic vinegar when you ladle it up.

Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe is peeling and hacking up the squash! Even with that, I’ve got you covered—simply follow the steps below and you’ll end up with a big bowl of butternut squash cubes!

How to cut up a butternut squash

Cut the ends off of the butternut squash with a sharp knife. Next, use a small paring knife to cut the squash in half crosswise, at the point where the squash bulges out.

A four-picture shot of someone cutting a butternut squash. Cut the two ends off with a chef's knife and then use a paring knife to cut it in half crosswise.

Use a sharp vegetable peeler to remove the skin from the butternut squash. Cut the bulbous part of the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.

Four pictures that show the steps on how two peel and deseed a butternut squash.

Cut the squash up into cubes and wedges of approximately the same size. Done!

A person in a red apron is cutting a butternut squash into cubes.

Do you need to wear gloves to cut up butternut squash?

Maybe. After cutting up a bunch of squash to create and (repeatedly!) test this recipe, the skin on my hands turned orange and they felt like I had a tight pair of gloves on—but ones that wouldn’t wash or peel off. Apparently, I got butternut squash (cucurbita moschata) dermatitis!

I always noticed this reaction happening after I cut butternut or acorn squash, but I always thought it was just the squash sap discoloring my skin. This time, my reaction was more severe and my skin started itching and cracking. If your skin is sensitive to the butternut squash sap, wear some gloves before you cut it up!

How do you treat squash hands?

There really isn’t a fast cure for “squash hands” — you just have to moisturize and softly exfoliate with a wet hand towel. For most folks, the effects just go away after a couple of days. Also, the skin reaction doesn’t mean you can’t eat squash. I can eat it with no issues as long as the squash has been cooked—and I’m so glad because I love it! (The easiest way to prevent squash hands is to purchase pre-cut butternut squash!)

Ingredients

  • Bacon (leave out if you want to make this soup vegan and use extra virgin olive oil to saute the onion)
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Medium butternut squash
  • Bone broth, chicken broth, or vegetable broth (to make this soup vegan)
  • Magic Mushroom Powder or Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • Aged balsamic vinegar

How to make Instant Pot butternut squash soup

Turn on the saute function on the Instant Pot and drop in the bacon bits when the metal insert is hot.

Adding thinly sliced bacon to an Instant Pot set on the sauté function.

Cook the bacon for about 10 minutes or until crispy, stirring every few minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon bits to a paper towel-lined plate.

Sautéing bacon bits in the metal insert of an Instant Pot until crispy and then removing them with a slitted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add onions and garlic to the bacon drippings and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Using a stainless steel scraper to transfer diced onions to an Instant Pot to make paleo butternut squash soup.

Stir in the cubed squash, broth, and Magic Mushroom Powder.

A person is adding Magic Mushroom Powder to an Instant Pot filled with broth and butternut squash.

Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and program it to cook for 7 minutes under high pressure.

Someone locking the lid on an Instant Pot to make Instant Pot butternut squash soup.

When the soup has finished cooking, release the pressure manually by turning the valve.

Someone releasing the pressure manually from an Instant Pot. An overhead shot of Instant Pot butternut soup before it is blended.

Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Then, grab an immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s a smooth and silky puree!

An overhead shot of an immersion blender in a pot of Instant Pot butternut squash soup.

Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle aged balsamic vinegar and crispy bacon bits on top. You won’t even notice that there’s no heavy cream in this dairy-free soup!

A black bowl is being filled with Instant Pot butternut squash soup. On the right the bowl of Whole30 soup is being topped with bacon bits and balsamic vinegar.

How to save leftovers

You can keep the soup in a sealed airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

A black bowl filled with Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup on a wooden cutting board.

Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


 PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup

4.90 from 19 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Servings 6
Got an Instant Pot and looking for a cozy paleo soup recipe that’s perfect for fall and winter? This Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup is super easy to make, super bacon-y, and Whole30-friendly!

Ingredients 
 

  • ¼ pound bacon cut crosswise into ¼-inch strips
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 6 garlic cloves smashed and peeled
  • 3 pounds butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 cups bone broth or chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Magic Mushroom Powder or Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • aged balsamic vinegar

Instructions 

  • Turn on the sauté function on the Instant Pot and drop in the bacon bits when the metal insert is hot.
  • Cook the bacon for about 10 minutes or until crispy, stirring every few minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon bits to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add onions and garlic to the bacon drippings and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the cubed squash, broth, and Magic Mushroom Powder.
  • Lock the lid on the Instant Pot and program it to cook for 7 minutes under high pressure.
  • When the soup has finished cooking, release the pressure manually.
  • Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Then, grab an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth and silky!
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle aged balsamic vinegar and crispy bacon bits on top.

Video

Notes

You can keep the soup in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 8g | Fiber: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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Recipe Rating




19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was so good! The mushroom powder definitely made a huge difference in making the soup more savory.

  2. 5 stars
    Used less veggie stock as my first attempt was very thin. I use two pounds of squash and 8 cups of stock- delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    Made this today with a butternut squash I had received as part of our CSA box. My husband doesn’t like squash but, I do. Soup was the perfect answer as to how to use the squash as I can store some in the freezer. It was easy to make and delicious! Thank you for yet another fabulous recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    This was really good, I’m sure it’s even better with the mushroom powder, alas it was not available to me.

  5. 5 stars
    Such a quick and easy staple! I prepped the first few steps in my IP. Combined the broth and squash and ser a delayed start. Came home from skiing to soup ready to be blended and eaten. Yum!