Making our acorn squash soup Instant Pot recipe is a great way to enjoy a healthy cold-weather meal for dinner tonight! With apples, squash, warm spices, and heavy cream, this apple and squash soup tastes simply delicious. It has the right balance of savory and sweet flavors with a rich, creamy texture that will have everyone going back for more!
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Why We Love Our Acorn Squash Soup Instant Pot Recipe
- Hearty enough to be a main course soup.
Though it isn’t as hearty as stovetop chili or stew, this apple and acorn squash soup is surprisingly filling! It’s great to have by itself as a light dish, or serve it on the side with things like smoked turkey legs or an Instant Pot pork tenderloin for a comforting fall meal.
- An easy 30-minute meal!
From start to finish, including prep time and pressure building time. It’s ideal for those busy weeknights when you want to feed the family something satisfying, but don’t have a lot of time or energy!
- No roasting required.
With a thick rind, acorn squash usually requires a long roast in the oven to soften it, making the Instant Pot ideal for cooking whole acorn squash.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Acorn squash – You want a small to medium size. If it’s too large, it may not fit completely into your Instant Pot
- Apple – Use sweet apples with just a hint of tartness, such as Golden Delicious or Fuji – This creates a rich and creamy soup with just a hint of sweetness.
- Butter – This also provides a rich, creaminess. We suggest using unsalted butter to keep the overall sodium down.
- Chicken broth or stock – Low sodium is ideal for controlling the amount of salt in the soup. But if you prefer a stronger chicken flavor, you can use regular chicken broth or stock instead.
- Spices – Use salt, freshly ground cinnamon, and nutmeg for the best flavor. Be careful not to add too much as these spices can quickly overpower the soup.
How to Cut an Acorn Squash
The best way to cut an acorn squash is to first cut off the top (underneath the stem) and bottom (at the tip) so you have a flat top and bottom.
Tips for the Best Apple and Acorn Squash Soup
- Use a steamer basket, trivet, or sling to hold the ingredients in place.
Pour in water first, then place a heat-safe holder of your choice in the bottom. We use a sling, but a trivet works just as well. Then, stack the cut acorn squash and apple inside the pot.
🎯 TFN Pro Tip
If using a silicone sling, like shown, fasten the straps before pressure cooking so it is easy to lift out afterward.
3. Blend the soup in batches.
If you’re using a regular blender, allow the winter squash soup to cool for 5-10 minutes, then carefully add it to the blender. You’ll need to puree the mixture in batches. Blend the squash soup until thick and creamy.
🎯 TFN Pro Tip
Use caution when removing the blender lid, as hot soup can create pressure inside the blender.
Acorn Squash Soup Recipe FAQ
Actually, it’s a delicious part of the squash. The trick is that you need to roast it until it’s tender or it will be too tough to eat. However, once roasted and tender, acorn squash skin is totally edible and yummy so no need to peel!
Winter squash will last up to a month in a cool (50 to 55 F) dark cellar or storage area, but only about two weeks in the refrigerator. Ideally, only cut or cooked acorn squash should be refrigerated.
- You can substitute butternut squash in this recipe when acorn squash is unavailable to make a butternut squash soup. Or use a mix of both acorn and butternut squash for a large batch of fall harvest soup.
- Swap the chicken broth or stock with vegetable broth to prepare as a vegetarian squash soup recipe.
- To make this a dairy-free and vegan dish, use your preferred plant-based butter and vegetable stock. Substitute heavy cream with unsweetened full-fat coconut milk or cashew cream.
- This acorn squash soup Instant Pot recipe can be doubled for 8-quart or 10-quart electric pressure cookers. Just be sure not to exceed the fill line on the inner pot.
Acorn Squash Soup Instant Pot Recipe
- Instant Pot - or other brand electric pressure cooker
- 2 whole acorn squash cut in half and seeds removed
- 1 medium apple peeled, cored, and cut in half, *See Notes
- 1-1½ cups water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 3 cups chicken broth or stock, low sodium
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup heavy cream or half-n-half
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme for garnish (optional)
- Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pressure cooker pot (1½ cups for 8-10 quart pots). Add the trivet or sling (optional) to the bottom and stack the cut acorn squash and apple inside the pot. Secure the Instant Pot lid by twisting it closed. Set pressure cooker to high pressure for 6 minutes.
- Use the quick-release method (twisting or pressing the pressure release lever or button) once the pressure cooking cycle is complete. Carefully remove the acorn squash and apples with tongs and set them aside on a plate or bowl. Drain and reserve the leftover water for later.
- Press cancel and set the Instant Pot to saute. Melt the butter until foamy, then add the onions. Cook 3-5 minutes, until lightly golden and translucent. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Stir in chicken broth, reserved water, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in the pressure cooker pot. Let the mixture heat on saute in the Instant Pot while you prepare the squash.
- Carefully scoop the softened squash meat from the skin using a large spoon or ice cream scoop or peel the skin off. Discard skins. Add squash to the pressure cooker pot. Press the cancel button, and set it to high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the pressure cooking is complete, use the quick-release method. Stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream to the soup. Use an immersion blender (see notes below on using a blender) to blend the squash soup until thick and creamy. Garnish with thyme and a pinch of ground pepper before serving.
- Preferred apples for this recipe are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, or Mcintosh
- To use a blender to mix the acorn soup: let the soup cool for 5-10 minutes, then carefully add the soup to a blender and blend in batches. Use caution when removing the lid as hot soup can create pressure inside the blender.