Creamy Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup with orzo and tender chicken is hearty, healthy, and deeply satisfying for a weeknight dinner.
Butternut Squash Soup is a classic fall recipe. But my family isn’t big on traditional puréed soups, so I upgraded this soup to a full meal by adding cubed chicken and orzo pasta.
The result is a filling, fully kid-approved soup recipe that’s perfect for chilly nights!
Update: This is one of our most popular soup recipes. So we’ve updated the post with new tips, photos, and a how-to video so you and your family can enjoy this soup too!
How to Make Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
This soup starts with cooked squash, cooked chicken, and cooked orzo. Then it’s just a simple sauté of the vegetables, add the spices, broth, tomatoes, and cook at High Pressure for 10 minutes.
After you release the pressure, blend the soup until smooth, then add the cooked chicken, pasta, and a splash of cream
🗓️ Tip: I looooove this soup most the day AFTER I’ve cooked it. The flavors blend together and it’s absolutely irresistible.
Options for Cooking Your Squash
I really love the flavor of this recipe when the squash is browned before cooking. You can do this either in an oven or in your Instant Pot.
To Oven Roast: Cut the squash in half the long way. Place the halves on a baking sheet with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for about 45 minutes in a 400°F oven. The squash is done when it’s fork-tender and starting to brown and caramelize on the edges.
To Saute: You can also prepare the squash for your soup in your pressure cooker. Cube the butternut squash and brown it using Sauté in a little butter or oil. The squash gets a nice caramelized coating on it this way.
Can I Use Frozen Butternut Squash?
Yes, we make this soup with frozen squash all the time. Many grocery stores sell cubed, ready-to-use butternut squash that is a perfect time-saver for this recipe.
It doesn’t have quite the same flavor as using browned, caramelized squash, but it’s still delicious and so much more convenient on busy nights, as you’ll see in the recipe video.
Options for Cooking Your Chicken
This recipe also calls for cooked, diced chicken. I love grabbing a rotisserie chicken while I’m grocery shopping for this meal.
Or, if I’ve planned ahead, I’ll make grilled chicken earlier in the week and grill up extra to save for this meal.
You can also season the chicken and cook it separately in the Instant Pot. You can even use frozen, raw chicken breasts in your pressure cooker by following this how-to guide.
Kid-Friendly Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
My kids absolutely love this soup! I often use double the amount of orzo in the original recipe when I make the soup for them. They enjoy it for dinner, and it also stays warm in a thermos for a great lunchbox-friendly option.
Freezing Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken
This is a perfect freezer-friendly soup recipe. I almost always make a double batch to freeze for later.
For best results, I recommend freezing the soup and orzo separately. Then combining them together when you’re ready to reheat.
🔥 To reheat, use the pot-in-pot method. Place 1 cup of water and a trivet in the pressure cooker pot. Place the frozen soup in a cake pan on the trivet and select High Pressure and a 10-minute cook time.
When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes then finish with a quick pressure release. Carefully remove the lid and enjoy your warm soup!
More Favorite Fall Soup Recipes
Soup season is in full swing, so try these other popular Instant Pot soup recipes next:
- Pressure Cooker Ribollita is a classic Italian soup with beans, cheese, and a tomato broth made in minutes.
- Pressure Cooker Curried Carrot Soup is another beautiful puréed vegetable soup you must try this fall.
- Instant Pot Fajita Chicken and Rice Soup from 365 Days of Slow & Pressure Cooking also has the best of all worlds: grains, chicken, and plenty of veggies.
- Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Corn Chicken Chowder is creamy, filling, and slightly sweet from the corn.
- Instant Pot Chunky Sweet Potato Cheese Soup has a decadent, cheesy broth with bright chunks of sweet potato.
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- 1 1/2 pounds roasted butternut squash (peeled and cubed)*
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup green onions, diced, plus more sliced very thin for garnish
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces, each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 can (14.5 ounces, each) diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg**
- 1 cup orzo, cooked
- 1 cup chicken, cooked and diced (I use rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken)
- 1/2 cup half-and-half, plus more for serving
- Melt the butter in the pressure cooker pot on the Sauté setting. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook until softened. Add the garlic, stir briefly then add the roasted squash, chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Select High Pressure and a 10 minute cook time. When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release.
- When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- Use an immersion blender or standing blender to purée the soup until very smooth.
- Return the soup to the pot if necessary and select Saute. Stir in the chicken, orzo, and half and half and heat until the chicken is warmed through.
- Serve garnished with thinly sliced green onions and a swirl of half-and-half.
*You can also peel and cube the squash and brown it in the pressure cooker instead of baking it.
**If we don’t have fresh nutmeg, we usually omit it from the recipe.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 308Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 484mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
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