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Butternut Squash Soup

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Effortlessly easy and irresistibly silky, this butternut squash soup is brimming with naturally sweet and savory flavors, making it essential comfort food for crisp fall days.

butternut squash soup in Dutch oven drizzled with cream and sprinkled with thyme

If you’re on the lookout for a standout butternut squash soup recipe that’s as easy as it gets, you’ve come to the right place. My no-fuss recipe begins with a smart shortcut: pre-cut squash from the supermarket. Then, simply tumble all the ingredients into a pot, simmer, purée, and voilà, you’re done! But—and this is me wearing my kitchen dictator hat—please stick to the recipe as written. The simplicity here means that full measures of sugar, salt, and cream are not mere suggestions; they are essential to achieving that rich, full-bodied flavor and silky texture that take this soup from simple to sublime.

For the finishing touch, you have two seasoning options: fresh thyme or curry powder. Each leads the soup in a deliciously different direction, so choose whichever one suits your mood or pairs well with what you’re serving. 

“This is one of those obscenely simple recipes that gets rave reviews from everyone! Ive made it for as many as 150 people and they ALL wanted the recipe. So quick to put together—my favorite “dump” recipe; but the result is elegant, fragrant and such a beautiful color.”

Leigh Aaron-Leary

What You’ll Need To Make Butternut Squash Soup

  • Butternut Squash: The star of the soup, butternut squash provides the soup’s base, offering a sweet, nutty flavor and a velvety texture once blended.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Adds a subtle sweetness and a vibrant color to the soup.
  • Onion and Garlic: These aromatics are essential for building the soup’s flavor foundation.
  • Water: Used as the liquid base, water helps to blend all the ingredients smoothly without overpowering their flavors.
  • Salt: Enhances the natural flavors of the soup. Remember, don’t skimp because it’s essential for bringing all the flavors together.
  • Sugar: While it might seem counterintuitive to add sugar to a savory soup, a touch of sweetness enhances the butternut squash and red bell pepper’s natural flavors. It also helps balance the saltiness. Again, don’t skimp on this essential ingredient.
  • Heavy Cream: Gives the soup a luxurious, creamy texture and a slightly sweet richness.
  • Thyme or Curry Powder: Choose based on the flavor profile you prefer: earthy and herbal with thyme, or warm and spicy with curry powder.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-By-Step Instructions

Begin by tossing all of the vegetables, salt, and sugar into a large soup pot.

Cover them with water.

Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 35 minutes.

Purée the soup with a hand-held immersion blender (or in a standard blender) until silky-smooth.

Pour in the heavy cream.

Stir until combined and bring to a simmer. Mix in the fresh thyme (or curry powder), then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

That’s all there is to it. Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with more cream if desired, and serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use pre-cut butternut squash?

Absolutely! While it’s generally more expensive to buy pre-cut produce at the supermarket, it can be a huge time-saver, especially with large, unwieldy vegetables like butternut squash. Peeling, seeding, and chopping a whole butternut squash is a chore, so ready-to-cook cubes are a great shortcut. The key is to make sure the package is very fresh. The grocer’s rule is “first in, first out” so the freshest package will typically be towards the back of the shelf.

Can butternut squash soup be frozen?

Yes, the soup can be frozen, without the cream, for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Once heated through, add the cream and bring to a simmer before serving.

Can I make butternut squash soup ahead of time?

Yes, it’s an excellent make-ahead dish. It can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. In fact, letting the soup sit for a day or two can enhance its flavors as the ingredients meld together. When ready to serve, gently reheat the soup over low heat, stirring occasionally.

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Butternut Squash Soup

Effortlessly easy and irresistibly silky, this butternut squash soup is brimming with naturally sweet and savory flavors, making it essential comfort food for crisp fall days.

Servings: 6 to 8
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 2½ pounds pre-cut butternut squash (7 to 8 cups, cubed)
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon curry powder, for a different flavor profile)

Instructions

  1. Combine the squash, pepper, onion, garlic, water, salt, and sugar in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 35 minutes
  2. Using a hand-held immersion blender, purée the soup until silky smooth. (Alternatively, cool the soup slightly, then purée in a blender in batches, making sure to leave the hole in the lid open to allow the steam to escape.) Stir in the heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Mix in the thyme (or curry powder), then taste and adjust seasoning (depending on the sweetness of the vegetables, you may need a touch more sugar). Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle with more cream if desired, and serve.
  3. Make-Ahead/Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be prepared up to 3 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It can also be frozen, without the cream, for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Once heated through, add the cream and bring to a simmer before serving.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 217
  • Fat: 11 g
  • Saturated fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 1192 mg
  • Cholesterol: 34 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • Made as is except I used chicken broth instead of water. Loved it and sooooo easy.

    Thanks Jenn!!

    • — Debbie on February 3, 2024
    • Reply
  • I don’t have time to go through all the past comments so forgive this if others have already offered this observation. I did read enough to cut back on the liquid and use vegetable broth. I used 4 cups of broth and added 1 1/2 cups of water. Definitely think 7 cups of water might produce a blander flavor. Also added a little maple syrup after pureeing before stirring in the cream. It’s a good recipe overall. Enjoyed my dinner.

    • — Ruth on February 1, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hello, I’m glad that I wasn’t the only person that had issues with this recipe despite following instructions exactly. I attributed the thin texture to the fact that I used frozen cubed butternut squash. I will use fresh butternut squash and use 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock in place of water when I try this soup again. The addition of a further teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of pepper and 1/4 cup of cream improved the result.

    • — Neil Gurney on January 28, 2024
    • Reply
  • Unfortunately I have to agree with Nancy. I love your recipes but this soup was very watery and flavourless.

    • — Kelly on January 5, 2024
    • Reply
  • Jen, I use your recipes all the time and love them.
    Unfortunately, this wasn’t what I expected.
    I had to do some doctoring afterwards.
    I think the water made it too bland and there was too much of it. Even after I added the cream, it was too thin. I also think using a combination of chicken broth and water would add to the taste.
    I ended up adding a little ginger, some nutmeg, more cream and the I boiled it down to a thicker consistency.
    After that I added salt and pepper and a dab of butter to make it taste richer.
    Sorry, you’re the best but this one missed the mark.

    • — Nancy on January 2, 2024
    • Reply
  • Fabulous soup! Will make again. I did use less sugar but a full cup of whipping cream. Added 1 cup of chicken broth to the 7 cups of water to cover the veggies. Guests really enjoyed it last night and everyone asked for your recipe to be forwarded to them!

    • — Sandra Holmberg on December 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • Made this soup today just as directed except I didn’t add thyme or curry.
    Absolutely delicious and so easy.
    I always wanted to make butternut squash soup. This recipe is a keeper!

    • — Karen Orlandi on November 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • If I double everything, would it change the flavor?. Is doubling the soup ideal or just make it as written? I plan to make it for Thanksgiving dinner.

    • — Hazel on November 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Hazel, It’s perfectly fine to double everything. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2023
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. Added curry powder this time and will try it with fresh thyme next time.
    Thank you

    • — Christine Nash on November 11, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can’t wait to make this for a lunch with 4 friends this week.
    Totally get why you want us to follow this recipe to the tee BUT
    would there be any substitution for the cream that would not affect
    the integrity or quality of the finished soup?
    With thanks
    😀 Sally W

    • — sally wright on November 10, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Sally, if you’re looking for something non-dairy, full-fat coconut milk will work nicely.

      • — Jenn on November 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • Outstanding! This is the fourth soup of tested for Thanksgiving and the winner. I made it exactly as directed using curry. Thank you for the perfect soup to start my Thanksgiving meal.

    • — Susan on November 10, 2023
    • Reply
  • Variation on a theme: Roast Butternut squash and a sweet potato cut into 1 inch cubes at 400 deg F @ 40-60 minutes. When done, saute shallots and garlic in large pot, add roasted veggies to pot and use (homemade) chicken stock instead of water (or just water is OK). Season with Aleppo pepper flakes and tumeric or curry powder, salt, and the juice of one orange (for that hint of acid). Blend with immersion blender or in a blender in batches. Add water to desired consistency. No need for cream or sugar. Soup can also be thickened with roasted potato if sweet potato is too sweet for your taste. This soup is super thick and tastes like sunshine!

    • — Pam on November 9, 2023
    • Reply
    • Pam, get your own blog. Seriously.

      • — April on December 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • Great recipe just as it is. Of course I didn’t have heavy cream, substituted half and half then added a tablespoon of unsalted butter. I used my old fashioned stove top pressure cooker and cooked on high for 8 minutes to speed things up a bit.

    • — Sally McKibben on November 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • So good and so easy! Really enjoyed. Thank you again for another wonderful soup to add to my repertoire. Can’t wait to have company.

    • — Heather on November 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made your butternut squash soup last weekend and I followed your recipes to the letter and the soup was the hit of the day. PERFECT. The only thing I did was to bake the butternut squash for 1 hour in the oven at 400 degrees and tested for doneness and put the squash back in for 30 minutes more, and then I cut it up and used your recipe to the letter. Your recipes have always been perfect. Thank you for all your lovely recipes. Tomorrow I am making your turkey chili and lemon bars. I need to go shopping now.

    • — Patricia DeBernardi on November 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi! What kind of salt did you use? Thanks!

    • — Debbie on November 9, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, When a recipe of mine says salt in the ingredient list, I am referring to regular/table salt. If it calls for something else like kosher salt, I will specify that in the recipe. Hope you enjoy the soup if you make it!

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2023
      • Reply
  • Would coconut milk work if I must make this dairy free?

    • — Angela Koutros on October 18, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Angela, that will work. Keep in mind that it may slightly change the flavor of the soup. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 19, 2023
      • Reply
      • Definitely coconut, I will make without sugar, but Manuka honey. Wash gourd but don’t peel please. Catmandan

        • — Danielflanagan on November 9, 2023
        • Reply
  • Jennifer, my family and I thank you for your amazing recipes! I have both cookbooks and hoping for a third one soon. We’re planning Canadian thanksgiving lunch for the family and this soup will be on the table along with other dishes you’ve shared with us. Can I make the soup the day before and refrigerate? If yes, should the cream be added the next day?

    • — Lia on October 6, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Lia, You can make the whole thing a day (or two) ahead and just gently reheat. Happy Thanksgiving!

      • — Jenn on October 7, 2023
      • Reply
  • The soup was good. Can you add sausage?
    Also, are there any other Jen recipes for butternut squash? Casserole, stew, chili, tacos??? I just don’t know anything about squash.

    • — Laurie on September 30, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, Laurie, it’s fine to add some sausage. The one other recipe I have that uses butternut squash is this polenta. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on October 2, 2023
      • Reply
  • Thank you for such a yummy and easy to make soup recipe! I added a touch of ginger and used sugar as recipe asked for, then use maple syrup to sweeten “to taste” (yum!). Thank you for your wonderful recipes. I have tried many and each one comes out wonderful! I am enjoying the education as I am expanding my culinary skills along the way! 😊

    • — DonnaH on March 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • After reading the reviews about the lack of taste, I twicked mine. I added some fresh ginger, chicken broth to the water, also pepper, curry and paprika. It turned out great for my liking. Just don’t be afraid to add seasoning that you like. The actual recipe is easy to do and yummy in the end.

    • — France on December 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just wondering if I could use coconut milk instead of whipping cream and then I would be able to freeze the soup.

    • — Donna on December 1, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Donna, that will work here. Just keep in mind that it may slightly change the flavor of the soup. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2022
      • Reply
      • But I could freeze it, right?

        • — Donna on December 4, 2022
        • Reply
        • Definitely!

          • — Jenn on December 5, 2022
          • Reply
  • Thanks Jenn, This was a wonderful recipe! This won over the picky eater in my home. It was perfect for a cold and snowy Colorado evening. Thank you!

    • — Trina W on November 15, 2022
    • Reply
  • This turned out great! I didn’t have a red bell pepper on hand so I skipped that, but it still turned out amazing.

    • — Liesl on November 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hey Jenn,
    Still loving your recipes after all these years. Wanted to see if I could substitute a green bell pepper for a red one? Was not sure if this would change taste or not. Please advise when you have a chance.
    Thanks, Staci

    • — staci on October 20, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Staci, it may change the taste a little as red peppers are sweeter than green but it shouldn’t be significant. It also may impact the color a bit but again not terribly significant. And glad to hear you liked the recipes!

      • — Jenn on October 20, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is my favorite butternut squash soup ever. It tastes so good and is so simple to make. My Mom used to make one for me all the time she got it from a family fun magazine when I was growing up. It was much more complicated but I swear this taste the same and she completely agrees. Last year I made extra to freeze each time I made it. Supposedly winter squash helps your immune system so I plan on having this on repeat all flu season

    • — Lizzie on October 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can this be made using frozen butternut squash?

    • — Amy Wollins on October 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure!

      • — Jenn on October 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. I did it ! I went in blind, no overnight sleepovers in the crockpot just boiled it to smithereens and having an Irish Granny felt obliged to throw in a smoked pork bone ito the mix and a bag of yellow dried peas. I hope you are not disapppointed in me but honestly what a feast! My tutelage is not over yet I need to learn how to make your dumplings and a nice macca cheese for the side can you help please. How necessary is it to leave in crockpot overnight? Many thanks for a great recipe and you’re right the more heavy cream the better it got.

    • — Marian on September 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Marian, So glad you enjoyed the soup! I do have a mac and cheese recipe that you can check out here. As of now, I don’t have one for dumplings but I’ll add that to my list of recipes to potentially develop! You asked about leaving the soup in a crockpot overnight. I don’t have a crockpot so I wouldn’t know for sure, but I suspect it’s unnecessary.

      • — Jenn on September 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was a fun recipe, and really great tasting. I chopped the squash, and it didn’t take too long to do that part. I will make this one again!

    • — Trevor Christiansen on March 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can this soup be frozen with the heavy cream added? Why omit the heavy cream if need to freeze? Thanks!

    • Hi Stephanie, If you’ve already added the cream, you can still get away with freezing this. The cream may separate from the remainder of the soup when it’s thawed, but you can just stir it to recombine.

  • This was so delicious!

    • Easiest soup I’ve made in years. And super tasty. Thanks for recipe. I’ll make it again!

      • — Susan Koch on October 27, 2022
      • Reply
  • What can I substitute the red pepper with as I am violently allergic to them?

    • Hi Carolina, you could omit the bell pepper or replace it with a peeled and diced apple to add a little sweetness. Hope that helps!

  • Well, this was too bland for my taste. No real depth of flavor. Perhaps vegetable broth instead of water?

  • I love butternut squash soup and am on a quest to find the perfect recipe – delicious but not a ridiculous amount of work! The first time I make a recipe, I try to follow it exactly. In this case, though, I really don’t like bell pepper. Is there something I can substitute or can I just leave it out?

    Thanks for this resource. I set a goal to try 50 new recipes this year. I’m on number 38 and the majority of them have been from you!

    • Hi Michelle, you could either omit the bell pepper or replace it with a peeled and diced apple to add a bit of sweetness. Also, so glad to hear you’re enjoying the recipes! Please let me know how the soup turns out. 🙂

  • My first time cooking butternut squash soup and it was delicious! My husband loved it too which is important since he is quite picky with his soup. Thank you Jen!

    • — Dee Cumberland
    • Reply
  • This is one of those obscenely simple recipes that gets rave reviews from everyone! Ive made it for as many as 150 people and they ALL wanted the recipe. So quick to put together—my favorite “dump” recipe; but the result is elegant , fragrant and such a beautiful color. I like to top it with a small cheese crisp (homemade or packaged). Tastes decadent but is really healthy and can be vegetarian.

    • — Leigh Aaron-Leary
    • Reply
    • Good day Leigh
      Do you mind giving me the quantity used for 150 people please?
      Regards Renee

      • — Renee De Klerk on June 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • This has become one of my family’s favorite soup recipes. So simple and easy and fresh tasting. One time I decided to mix things up and roasted the vegetables first…don’t do it! Roasting threw off the balance and color. The heavy cream is a must, although I have decreased the amount to 1/4 cup. Still creamy and delicious.

  • I love this butternut squash soup and have made it several times. I follow the recipe exactly as is and it’s easy and simply delicious.

  • I always thought Butternut Squash soup was something you could only get at an upscale restaurant, then came along the Once upon a chef website and this recipe. I’ve made it 3 times now since the discovery. The recipe is so easy and delicious, freezes well too. When we have company I like to serve this because it is so special.

    • — Rhonda Townsley
    • Reply
  • This is my go to soup during autumn and cold winter months! The bell peppers and onions add a very savory taste to the sweet butternut squash. The heavy cream provides a nice smooth texture to the soup leaving you feeling satisfied and warm. Love this recipe!!

  • I’ve made this several times and it can’t be easier or more delicious. The red pepper cuts the sweetness and reduces the onion flavor which I have found too much in other recipes.

  • This delicious soup is a requested favorite in our home!! I have made it as written and it’s amazing. I have also added in a carrot and an apple for another delicious option. Like another reviewer, I use coconut milk to make it dairy free.
    I like to serve it with a selection of toppings, ie. chopped scallions, grated carrot, spinach, pumpkin seeds, avocado pieces, grated zuccini. Everyone enjoys topping their soup with their favorites!!
    I now keep frozen butternut squash in the freezer so I can whip up a batch of this soup anytime!! Leftover freeze beautifully as well!! Enjoy!!

    • If using coconut milk, make sure it is unsweetened! 🙂

  • This is absolutely delicious!! I subbed coconut milk for the heavy cream for a dairy free version. This will be my go-to recipe for an easy, completely satisfying soup.

  • I made this soup for a Thanksgiving 2019 appetizer and it was a huge hit! So easy to make, esp. since my supermarket carries pre-cut squash in 20 oz packages. I like-not-love butternut squash but I found myself getting a second bowl, especially with the homemade croutons. Several family members wanted the recipe (there were no leftovers!) and have become Once Upon a Chef subscribers. So glad I found your site!

  • This soup is fantastic! I’ve made it several times and have shared it with all my extended family. Not difficult to make and well worth it.

  • So easy and great flavor!! This site is my go-to when I don’t know how to make something!!

  • My first OUAC recipe and it remains a staple freezer item for 3 yrs running. I accidentally added twice as much cream in my first batch but found I liked it better a little extra creamy. I’ve made it true to the recipe as well and either way, its wonderful!

  • Hello
    I made butternut squash using your recipe yesterday (added 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder and pepper) -my first time making /trying butternut squash soup
    It was amazing – thank you very for the recipe.

    • Am I correct that you don’t drain the water after boiling and before blending?
      Thank you!

      • — Sherry on November 9, 2023
      • Reply
      • That’s correct 🙂

        • — Jenn on November 9, 2023
        • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. I do use homemade chicken stock for added health benefits and flavor. Thank you for yet ANOTHER fantastic recipe I make over and over.

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