This Instant Pot acorn squash soup recipe brings together the nutty sweetness of acorn squash with warm spices in a healthy, rich soup.
One of the best parts about making this acorn squash soup Instant Pot recipe is how quickly it comes together -- it’s a great way to enjoy a quick, cozy meal on a chilly weeknight.
The other thing that makes this the best acorn squash soup recipe is how incredibly decadent it feels, even though it’s packed with nutrients. The acorn squash, once blended, gives the smooth soup an amazing creamy texture.
While many acorn squash recipes call for roasting the squash before making the soup, this recipe skips that step and lets the Instant Pot do all the work. So, the next time you're looking for an easy, versatile soup that's a great side dish, or the centerpiece of your meal, try this creamy acorn squash recipe.
Ingredients you need to make acorn squash soup
**Find the full list of ingredients along with the recipe instructions at the end of this post**
- Olive oil - Using the highest quality olive oil will give you the best results, especially when using so few ingredients.
- Onion - Ensure that onion pieces are chopped so that they are fine and uniform in size so that they cook evenly. If you want a more aromatic flavor, you can add minced garlic cloves, too.
- Ground cinnamon - You can grind your own cinnamon sticks or just shake it from the jar.
- Ground ginger - Grinding fresh ginger is best for this recipe, but you can also use store-bought if necessary.
- Ground cloves - You can easily find these in the spice aisle at your store. Be sure not to skip out on this one -- it lends a warm spice to the soup.
- Cayenne pepper - This ground pepper powder will give the soup a slight kick of spiciness. If you’re a fan of heat, you can add more.
- Red apples - Granny Smith and McIntosh apples are the varieties that we prefer to use. Additionally, to make the preparation of the apples easier, it can be helpful to use an apple peeler and corer tool before dicing.
- Vegetable stock or broth - Using vegetable stock (rather than beef or chicken broth) keeps this recipe vegetarian.
- Acorn squash - When picking an acorn squash out at the grocery store, choose one that isn’t shiny and has smooth skin.
- Half and half - This ingredient helps to make the soup creamy. You can also use heavy cream for an even richer soup.
- Salt and pepper - Add both of these in the quantity that you prefer. Using sea salt will help to elevate the flavor.
Tools used to make the recipe
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- Instant Pot
- Cutting board
- Immersion Blender or food processor
- Apple peeler/corer/slicer or a vegetable peeler
- Sharp knife
How to make acorn squash soup in the Instant Pot
Pour olive oil and onion into a preheated Instant Pot set to sauté and cook briefly until onion pieces become soft. Stir in the apples, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cayenne pepper, and vegetable broth.
Next, turn the Instant Pot and place the trivet on top of the apple mixture. Then, place the squash halves on the trivet. Close the lid and lock it before cooking the soup on high pressure for the recommended time.
When finished cooking, use the quick-release method before opening the Instant Pot and removing the squash. Once the squash has cooled slightly, use a spoon to remove the flesh from the skin. Add the squash and the half and half into the Instant Pot.
Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until the ingredients are well blended.
To create a silky smooth soup, pour it into a food processor or blender, blending in small batches. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.
Recipe tips for the best acorn squash Instant Pot soup
- To perform a quick release on an Instant Pot, you’ll manually press or turn the release valve.
- Be sure to use a blender that is safe to use with hot liquid.
- Allow the soup to cool briefly before blending to be safe from hot splatters when transferring to the blender or during blending.
- For a soup with a touch of tanginess, try adding Greek yogurt.
- If you want a sweeter soup, you can add a touch of brown sugar or maple syrup.
How long to cook acorn squash soup in Instant Pot
The overall cooking time for this easy acorn squash soup is about 15 minutes, between cooking the onions and then the other ingredients. The complete prep time, including cutting the vegetables and blending the soup, will be around 30-45 minutes.
What to serve with easy acorn squash soup
- Kale and White Bean Quesadilla
- Air Fryer Mahi Mahi
- Air Fryer Artichoke Salad
- Easy Lemon Pepper Chicken
How to store and reheat healthy acorn squash soup
You can store this soup right in the pot in the fridge if you have the pot lid or transfer it to other sealed containers.
Refrigerator: Store leftover acorn squash soup in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Freezer: Freeze this soup for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag.
Acorn squash is perfect for soup -- once heated, it softens and blends well. It makes for a rich, flavorful soup packed with nutrients.
To make it easier to cut the whole squash in half, first slice off the end so that it is flat. Then, you can stand the squash up on the cutting board and carefully slice it in half moving from top to bottom.
There is no need to peel the squash ahead of time -- once cooked, it will be easy to spoon it out of its skin.
You can eat the skin of acorn squash after it’s been cooked. We do not incorporate it into this recipe because we want the soup to have a completely smooth consistency.
Acorn squash soup is full of nutrients, including vitamins and antioxidants (per Healthline).
How can I make this recipe plant-based or vegan?
Can you substitute acorn squash with butternut squash to make this recipe?
You can absolutely substitute butternut squash for acorn squash. The soup may be slightly sweeter and have a more nutty flavor, but it will be just as smooth and flavorful.
What other ingredients can you use as a garnish for this recipe?
You can incorporate toppings like toasted pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, plain yogurt, a drizzle of heavy cream, or a dollop of sour cream. You can also garnish with fresh thyme, parsley, or your favorite fresh herbs.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 red apples, peeled, core, and diced
- 2 cups vegetable stock or broth
- 2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 1 cup half and half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Turn on your instant pot and select the sautee function. Heat olive oil in the pot, add onion, and saute for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Stir in the apple cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cayenne pepper, and vegetable broth, and stir to blend. Turn off the instant pot. Set the trivet on top of the apple. Place the acorn squash onto the trivet. Close and lock the lid set the cooker on high pressure, set the timer for 10 minutes, and press start.
- Release pressure using the quick-release method. Unlock the lid. With the help of tongs, remove the acorn squash and trivet from the pot. Let the squash cool until it is easy to handle.
- Scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. Return the softened squash meat to the instant pot inner pot and stir in the half and half.
- With an immersion blender on high speed, blend until creamy and smooth. Transfer the soup in batches to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth taste for salt and pepper, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Ladle into soup bowls, top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
- For the red apple: the granny smith or McIntosh works for this recipe.
- Quick release is when you manually press or turn the release valve to release the pressure.
- Let the soup cool for a least 10 minutes before blending. Make sure your blender can handle hot liquids.
- Some toppings you can use are toasted pumpkin seeds, red pepper flakes, plain yogurt, sour cream, and heavy cream.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 336mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 7gSugar: 15gProtein: 6g
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on products used. When the recipe list salt to taste the amount of salt is not calculated, only the sodium in the other ingredients is calculated.