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Instant Pot Acorn Squash Soup

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Your pressure cooker is the key to making the best harvest squash soup in only 30 minutes – with no roasting needed! This gluten free Instant Pot acorn squash soup recipe includes whole squash, apple, and heavy cream to create a hearty cold-weather dish that 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!

two white bowls of acorn squash soup

Quick and Easy Acorn Squash Soup

We love to enjoy large, warm bowls of rustic soups and stews in the fall and winter. And velvety smooth soups made with squash are some of our favorites to cozy up with!

Butternut squash and pumpkins are classic harvest soup ingredients. However, I feel like the acorn squash is often the forgotten squash. Or the one used for decor then tossed out because no one has any idea what to do with it. But truly, it is amazingly flavorful! So, I decided to share my delicious squash soup recipe for this often overlooked gem.

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.

a bunch of acorn squash

From start to finish, including prep and pressure building, this easy acorn squash soup recipe takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. 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!

And, thanks to the secret ingredient – a sweet but tart apple – the recipe creates a rich and creamy soup with just a hint of sweetness. It is a gluten free soup that’s great to have by itself as a light dish or serve with warm bread or other sides for a comforting dinner.

In fact, I almost always keep a few squash on hand around the house… Not only are they are festive to look at, right there is nearly everything you need to make a scrumptious meal in a flash. Use squash for your decor, then toss them in the Instant Pot for a yummy soup that everyone will love!

Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Acorn Squash Soup

  • Acorn squash – halved and seeds removed
  • Apple – halved, peeled, and cored
  • Butter – unsalted
  • Onion – chopped
  • Garlic – crushed
  • Chicken broth or stock – low sodium
  • Spices – salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg
  • Heavy cream – or half and half
  • Fresh thyme – to garnish

You also need at least 1 cup of water to pressure cook the whole acorn squash.

Ingredients to make squash soup in the Instant Pot

Recipe Variations

You can substitute butternut squash in this recipe when acorn squash is unavailable. Or use a mix of both acorn and butternut squash for a large batch of soup.

Swap the chicken broth or stock with vegetable broth to prepare as a vegetarian squash soup recipe.

a teal colored bowl of soup with the Instant Pot in the background

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.

For 8-quart and 10-quart pressure cookers, this squash soup recipe can be doubled, just be sure not to exceed the FILL LINE on your pot.

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.

Then, place the squash upright and cut the squash vertically into two halves. See how it’s done in the video below:

Next, scoop out the seeds with a large spoon.

New to Instant Pot Cooking? Read How to Use the Instant Pot 101 first! And, my Tips & Hacks for the Instant Pot is terrific for new owners and seasoned IP-ers alike!

How to Make Squash Soup in the Instant Pot

Pour the water into the bottom of the pressure cooker pot. Add the trivet or sling (optional) to the bottom and stack the cut acorn squash and apple inside the pot.

TIP: If using a silicone sling, like mine, fasten the straps before pressure cooking so it is easy to lift out afterward.

an overhead view of squash in the Instant Pot ready to pressure cook

Set pressure cooker to high pressure for 6 minutes. 

Quick-release 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.

Cooked squash in an Instant Pot silicone sling

Drain and reserve the leftover water for later.

Set the pot to saute and melt the butter then add the onions. Cook until lightly golden and translucent. Add the garlic and saute. 

Add the chicken broth, reserved water, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the pressure cooker pot. Let the mixture heat in the Instant Pot on saute while you prepare the squash. 

removing the skin from the acorn squash

Carefully scoop the softened squash meat from the skin using a large spoon or ice cream scoop. Or, peel the skin from the squash.

Add squash to the pressure cooker pot cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. 

pressure cooking the acorn squash

Use the quick-release method. Add 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.

a bowl of acorn squash soup

Garnish with thyme and a pinch of ground pepper before serving.

Here’s The Best Recipe to Make Acorn Squash Soup in an Instant Pot:

a bowl of acorn squash
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Instant Pot Acorn Squash Soup

This easy 30 minute Instant Pot acorn squash soup recipe includes sweet apple and heavy cream to create a rich, hearty and delicious cold weather dish that everyone loves!
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Soup, fall recipes, squash soup, instant pot soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
time to bring pot to pressure 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 170kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot (or any electric pressure cooker)

Ingredients

  • 2 whole acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 medium apple, halved, peeled, and cored (my preferred apples for this recipe are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, or Mcintosh)
  • 1-1½ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock, low sodium
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or half-n-half
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 1290mg | Potassium: 287mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 364IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg

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