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!
Shortcuts to deliciousness
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 of roasting the squash that many recipes call for! Plus, this 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 oven 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 chef’s knife. Next, use a small paring knife to cut the squash in half crosswise, at the point where the squash bulges out.
- 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.
- Cut the squash up into cubes and wedges of approximately the same size. Done!
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!
Is there a quick fix?
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!
Time to make easy Instant Pot Butternut Soup!
- ¼ pound bacon, cut crosswise into ¼-inch strips
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 cups bone broth or chicken broth
- 2 teaspoon Magic Mushroom Powder or Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- Aged balsamic vinegar
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Vegetable peeler
- Instant Pot
- Silicone spatula
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Immersion blender
(All of my favorite kitchen tools are listed here on this page.)
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.
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.
Other Whole30-friendly Instant Pot soups to make:
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and 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 2021).
PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- 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.