Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Anyone else tend to forget about their slow cooker?

Vertical overhead shot of a blue and terra cotta crock of blended winter squash soup topped with sage and pumpkin seeds, with a sprig of fresh herbs in soft focus in the background, on an unfinished wood surface, printed with orange and white text.

There’s always a point in winter when I remember that I have one and get all into making chili, chicken wings, and pulled pork. But then it goes back into its cabinet, and I quickly get swept up with my other kitchen appliances.

Sorry, slow cooker.

While some may argue that you can make a perfectly good soup on the stove in much less time, there are a few key counterarguments worth considering:

First of all, if you wait to make your soup until you get home, you won’t get to enjoy the experience of being greeted by the nutty smell of butternut squash soup bubbling away in your slow cooker as soon as you walk through the door.

Secondly, the flavors of your soup or stew have more time to meld together, creating a richer, deeper taste. Our traditional butternut squash soup with apple is incredibly tasty, but this slow cooker recipe is (dare I say it) even better.

And finally, the obvious advantage is that with a slow cooker you can put your ingredients in and just walk away, letting it cook your food for you.

I think the best kind of meal is one that cooks itself. But I’ll let you choose which cooking method wins.

Overhead closely cropped vertical shot of two terracotta ceramic crocks with blue and clear glaze, filled with a smooth orange squash soup, with a few sprigs of sage and scattered pepitas, on an unfinished weathered wood surface.

This creamy butternut squash soup is the ideal slow cooker meal. You really can just throw all the ingredients in, set the timer, then forget about it until dinnertime, without any extra browning, roasting, shredding, or other steps.

It also comes together with just 6 ingredients – not counting the flavor-enhancing salt and freshly ground black pepper – many of which you likely already have in your fridge or pantry.

For the butternut squash, I’m all about saving money, so I bought a whole squash.

Yes, that meant having to peel and cube it, but the extra steps were well worth saving a few bucks – plus, I nerdily enjoy cutting vegetables. However, time is money, so there’s no shame in buying pre-peeled and cubed squash if you’re looking for a more convenient option.

Overhead closely cropped vertical shot of two ceramic crocks of smooth winter squash soup with pepitas and fresh sage for garnish, with more of the herbs and seeds scattered on an unfinished wood surface that's partially covered with burlap.

Let’s stop and talk about what a nutritional powerhouse butternut squash is for a moment. With every major nutrient category represented, it’s high up on a dietitian’s favorite starchy vegetable list.

One cup of cooked butternut squash contains:

  • 25% of the recommended daily fiber intake
  • 60% DV of vitamin A
  • 25% DV of vitamin C (especially important in the winter!)
  • 10% DV of many other essential nutrients, including:
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Potassium
  • Folate
  • Plus, 2 grams of protein per cup!

But what really sets butternut squash apart nutritionally is that it contains a uniquely high amount of pectin for a starchy vegetable (yes, the ingredient used to make jams and jellies). The reason this is so special is that the pectin helps to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream.

Why is this important? Over time, frequent spikes in blood sugar can increase our risk for many chronic diseases.

Eating foods like butternut squash that help to prevent these spikes can have long-term health benefits. And that’s pretty exciting, especially to a dietitian.

Okay, enough nutrition, back to the soup!

Vertical image of a spoonful of butternut squash soup being held up to the camera, with two blue crocks full in soft focus in the background, with a green pepita garnish.

To make every bowlful nice and creamy, I used canned, full-fat coconut milk. But, if you want to lighten things up, you can use light coconut milk instead. Just be aware that the flavor won’t be as rich.

You can also use cashew cream for an equally creamy vegan option. If you aren’t dairy free, try subbing in regular cream for something a little different!

Regardless of how you get that creamy texture, it’s time to show your slow cooker some love and try out the recipe below.

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Overhead shot of a blue and orange crock of butternut squash soup topped with pumpkin seeds and sage, with more of the garnish scattered on a wood surface topped with a beige rough cloth.

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup


  • Author: Kelli McGrane
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

Show your slow cooker some love with this nutritious, creamy butternut squash soup made with just a few simple ingredients.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place squash, onion, carrots, vegetable broth, coconut milk, sage, salt, and pepper in your slow cooker. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until butternut squash is soft.
  2. Carefully transfer to a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  3. Return to slow cooker, taste, and add additional salt or pepper if needed. Serve immediately, or keep on warm until you are ready to serve. Soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 6 months.

Notes

Nutritional info below does not include optional garnishes.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Comfort Food

Keywords: butternut squash, winter squash, soup, butternut squash soup

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Chop Vegetables and Measure Ingredients

If you’re using a whole squash, you’ll also need to peel and cube it.

To do so, first slice off both ends and then use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.

Overhead shot of a peeled butternut squash with the top removed and cut in half, resting on with the cut side down on a white plastic cutting board, with a knife to the right, on an unfinished wood surface.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard them.

A butternut squash has been cut in half and rests on a white plastic cutting board with the seeds inside exposed, with a spoon containing a few seeds to the left, on a brown unfinished wood surface.

Place the squash cut-side down on a cutting board. Cut both halves in half horizontally.

A peeled raw butternut squash cut into four quarters, on a small, white, plastic cutting board with a knife to the right, on an unfinished wood surface.

Next, cut 1 ½-inch-thick vertical slices down each half.

Overhead horizontal shot of two halves of a peeled butternut squash being sliced on a small white plastic cutting board with a knife, on a brown wood surface.

Stack the vertical slices and cut another set of lengthwise cuts, followed by horizontal cuts, to make the cubes. Set aside.

Peeled and cubed butternut squash beside larger pieces on a white plastic cutting board, with a knife just visible at the top of the frame, on an unfinished and weathered brown wood surface.

Peel the carrots. Chop the carrots, onion, and sage.

Horizontal overhead shot of bowls of various sized containing cubed winter squash, carrots, onion, and cream, a box of vegetable stock, and a few sage leaves, on an unfinished weathered wood surface.

Measure the rest of your ingredients.

Step 2 – Combine Ingredients

Place the cubed squash, diced onion, chopped carrots, vegetable broth, coconut milk, salt, pepper, and chopped sage in your slow cooker.

Head-on on shot of cubed peeled carrot, onion, and butternut squash in a slow cooker insert.

Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until the squash is soft.

Step 3 – Blend

Carefully transfer the soup to a blender and blend it on high until smooth.

Vertical image of a countertop blender filled with an orange blended soup, with knives and other kitchen implements in soft focus in the background.

Depending on the size of your blender, you’ll likely need to do this in batches. Be careful to avoid splattering and steam burns!

An immersion blender is another nice option, since you can blend right in the slow cooker insert.

Overhead vertical shot of a plastic countertop blender canister filled with a smooth, orange winter squash mixture, on an unfinished weathered brown wood surface.

Return the blended soup to your slow cooker.

Step 4 – Taste and Serve

Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Freshly ground black pepper is my favorite option for cooking, and you can find our selection of top pepper mills and salt grinders here if you’re looking for one to add to your household.

Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish with pumpkin seeds and additional fresh sage if you like. Enjoy immediately.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. If you choose to freeze it, I recommend pouring individual portions into smaller containers to make thawing easier.

Use Your Slow Cooker All Year

While cold-weather meals like soup and chili usually come to mind first when the urge to pull your Crock-Pot out of storage strikes, there are plenty of butternut squash recipes to keep this appliance up and running year round.

Overhead shot of a blue and orange crock of butternut squash soup topped with pumpkin seeds and sage, with more of the garnish scattered on a wood surface topped with a beige rough cloth.

You’ll 100% love our other comfort food butternut squash favorite, a warm and comforting slow cooker white bean butternut squash chili.

Here are some of our favorite slow cooker recipes that go beyond soups and stews:

We’d love to hear all about your go-to slow cooker meals in the comments below. Love the recipe? Show us by leaving a rating!

Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Jennifer Swartvagher on October 6, 2015. Last updated: September 22, 2019 at 0:31 am.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Kelli McGrane, MS, RD

Kelli McGrane is a Denver-based registered dietitian with a lifelong love of food. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in nutrition science from Boston University. As a registered dietitian, she believes in the importance of food to nourish not only your body, but your soul as well. Nutrition is very personal, and you won’t find any food rules here, other than to simply enjoy what you eat.

18 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup”

  1. Wow this is a delicious recipe. I love butternut and I think I need to make some soup for my family. This fruit is indeed very satisfying in the winter and summer months. My husband sometimes makes a chunky stew/soup with chilli which is very tasty. We eat this winter or summer.

    • Yes, we have also enjoyed a delicious chili made with this squash. My slow cooker is going to be working overtime this fall!

  2. Oh I absolutely love butternut squash! I find it a lot easier to cut than traditional pumpkins too. That’s a good straightforward recipe, although I will need to substitute something for the milk as I’m lactose intolerant. In the past (before I became lactose intolerant) I found a dollop of sour cream was delicious in a bowl of this.

  3. You could just use extra stock instead of milk. Yes, a dollop of sour cream does make this dish extra rich and creamy.

    I wonder if almond milk would be a good substitution.

  4. I can’t bear butternut squash unless it is in a soup! I don’t even know why to be honest, but on the few occasions I have eaten it ‘whole’ so to speak, I have found it very unpleasant. I think this soup could also be interesting with the addition of smoked bacon, or even roast garlic.

  5. Hi Jennifer. This soup looks wonderful. Just what the cool and crisp Autumn nights call out for! Who wouldn’t love a nice big bowlful of this creamy goodness? Warm and satisfying served up with a chunk of crusty bread and side salad.

    This soup could even be changed up a bit by adding a half cup of apple cider and a pinch of nutmeg. Another option would be a half cup of orange juice (no pulp) and a teaspoon of fresh grated orange rind.

    • I have never used orange juice/rind in soup, but I do love nutmeg. This recipe is quite tasty with the addition of nutmeg and ginger.

  6. I’ve been looking for a new soup recipe to try out, for those weeks when I’m overwhelmed with school work, so I am glad to have stumbled upon this. Butternut squash seems to be tailor-made for making comforting soups, and this recipe seems to be quite hassle-free, which is a great plus for me.

    I’ve never tried adding milk before, but I will give it a go. I also happened to cook some corn the other night and decided to save up the stock, so I’m saving it for this recipe. It might be interesting to try making this soup with baked butternut squash, although that would take away from the simplicity of the recipe. Anyways, I can’t wait to taste this!

  7. This is one of my most favorite soups! I actually made it yesterday with my boyfriend and we loved it! But we didn’t make it in slow cooker, we cooked it in a regular pot and it took us about 30 minutes:) Yum!

  8. It’s a great fruit (I just learn that from you) for a lot of recipes. For example, I use it instead of potatoes in my shepherd’s pie. This soup in particular is a really tasty one, especially for cold winter days when you get home.

  9. This soup sounds so delicious! I can’t wait to try it. I love that the recipe is so simple and that the ingredients are healthy. No added fat or sugar, yay! I’ll be making this soup tomorrow. Hopefully it will help take the chill out of these cold Idaho winter days.

  10. There is no way I am going to wait until next autumn to make this! I’m cooking this up as soon as possible. Foodal provides me with countless foodmaking inspiration, I feel like Gordan Ramsay after an hour here!

  11. I have never tasted this fruit (I had no idea squashes weren’t classified as vegetables) but I’ve always been curios about it. Recently I got a crockpot and I’ve been experimenting a lot with it. I must say it’s one of the most useful device I have bought in the last decade. I really love your recipe and I’ll try it out as soon as possible, it looks so creamy and tasteful and the seeds and leaves used as decoration are a great touch, I’m going to steal your idea if you don’t mind. Thank you!

  12. I’ve been wanting to try a version of htis soup for a long time and I think I’m going to use this recipe! It sounds like you’ve made and frozen this soup before so that is what I’m going to do! Currently working on freezer meals for when my baby is born! Thanks! Still hard to believe it’s technically a fruit!

  13. I have a huge bag of butternut here at home and had no idea what to do with it. I have another recipe for butternut soup, but it takes a lot of ingredients that I’ll have to go out to buy (feeling a bit under the weather, so, that’s not going to happen). Finding this is fantastic, I have all the ingredients at home, and better yet, my little 6-month-old can try this with us. I’ve been trying to get her to eat freshly made veggies rather than the store bought puréd food.

  14. This looks so delicious and the recipe is so simple.
    I did not know that one could make something that yummy with squash!
    Next time I make some soup I will consider to make this one. I am kind of running out of new soup ideas.

  15. That looks delicious! I love the addition of carrots and onions. There are canned butternut squash soups out there, but they always turn out a bit watery, in my opinion. I like the sprinkle of toasted pumpkin (or maybe even sunflower) seeds on top. I like to add a shake or two of curry powder or chipotle pepper powder. This is a really great fall meal; all you need to go with it is some nice crusty bread and maybe a small green salad.

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