Panera Butternut Squash Soup - A creamy, rich, velvety soup made in the slow cooker using butternut squash, tart apples and delicious fall flavors!
Easy? Absolutely! The flavors are deep and complex. Better than Panera Bread, this is the BEST Crock Pot Butternut Squash Soup you've ever tasted and a meal your whole family will love!
If you love this, next time try Potato Soup! This vegetarian recipe is so good. Super cheesy and creamy this hearty soup will be a new, easy favorite!
Why you'll love this recipe
This copycat Panera Butternut Squash Soup recipe has been tasted and perfected over the years and this recipe is fabulous!
It's simple and delicious and can be made on the stove top or the slow cooker. I'm sure you could make it in the pressure cooker as well, I just haven't ever tried that. Frankly I love dumping everything in the crockpot.
What can I say, I'm lazy! 😋
You're going to love this delicious soup recipe!
For the exact measurements, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- fresh butternut squash - you can buy a whole butternut squash or save yourself some time and get per-peeled cubed squash. Frozen butternut squash would be delicious too. In a real pinch, sweet potatoes would be lovely!
- pumpkin puree or frozen butternut squash puree
- yellow onion
- granny smith apples - actually you only need just one. Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apple would be my favorite choice. Both have a bright tart flavor that adds a real depth of flavor to this soup!
- cream cheese adds richness and creaminess.
- honey for sweetness, though you could substitute brown sugar or maple syrup.
- vegetable stock - you can use chicken broth if you'd prefer.
- you'll love these warm spices - yellow curry powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pepper, cinnamon, powdered ginger, red pepper flakes, garlic powder.
- optional garnishes - pumpkin seeds, pecans - I love adding a bit of crunch. A splash of cream swirled in looks really pretty on top!
This is an overview of the instructions. For the complete directions just scroll down to the bottom!
- Peel the squash, remove the seeds and chop into 1 inch pieces.
- Peel the onion and rough chop. Remove the core from the apple and dice.
- Dice the brick of cream cheese.
- Add the squash (fresh & frozen), onion, apple and cream cheese to the crock pot.
- Measure and combine all spices and sprinkle into the slow cooker along with the honey, stir well.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and cover. Set the temperature on low and cook for 8 hours.
- Use an immersion blender or regular blender and blend until the soup is creamy.
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup recipe is creamy, rich, velvety and so smooth! The flavors are deep and complex and even better - it's made in the slow cooker! Chop up the ingredients, toss them in your slow cooker and eight hours later the soup is done. How easy is that?
- Follow steps above, peel the squash, remove seeds and dice. Dice the onion, etc.
- Add the ingredients to a dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil and simmer until the butternut squash is tender.
- Use an immersion blender and blend until the soup is creamy.
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- Of course you need a slow cooker!
- Though you can blend this with a blender, I recommend using an immersion blender is really so much easier and safer than ladling hot soup.
This soup is filled with antioxidants and it's a healthful meal. Eat proportionally and you'll enjoy this meal!
Yes I recommend removing the skin, it's tough and not very tasty.
Not with this recipe! Pureeing the soup thickens it.
Absolutely! This meal is meant to be made in your slow cooker. The soup slow cooks and the flavors meld together. The result is a creamy luscious soup that is incredibly rich and flavorful.
If you're short on time, purchase diced butternut squash soup. It's such a timesaver!
This can be pureed with an immersion blender or a stand blender.
If you want your soup to be perfectly smooth and velvety ladled hit into a stand blender. Just be careful blender and don't overfill as the soup expands when it blends.
How to safely slice butternut squash:
- Peel the squash with a
- Start with a sharp knife. Place a damp paper towel on the cutting board to avoid slippage.
- Slice the top and bottom end off the squash.
- Stand upright and starting at the top, carefully slice in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out the with a spoon.
- Dice the flesh of the squash.
You can get really creative with the toppings/garnishes for this soup, having a little crunch adds the nicest texture!
- Roasted pumpkin seeds are terrific!
- You can also roast butternut squash seeds.
- Crumbled goat cheese.
- Pecans or walnuts are yummy!
- I think my favorite is popcorn. I do love popcorn topping the soup, it's so good!
Allow to cool completely store in an airtight container, refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Freeze leftovers up to three months.
This recipe for carrot soup? AMAZING! Easy to make as well. It's a lovely meal.
Love this crock pot meal? Be sure to try my recipe for Best Crockpot Beef Stew with Dumplings!!
Creamy rich Tomato Bisque Recipe - this is a lovely soup and perfect with a toasted cheese sandwich!
This creamy mushroom soup is over the top delicious. It's rich, earthy and absolutely delicious!
Or this paella slow cooker recipe, it's amazing with so little effort!
Tomato Bisque Soup Recipe - rich and creamy this bisque is best with a toasted cheese sandwich!
One of my favorite things is re-purposing leftovers. I'm not a fan of eating the same meal day after day! Reserve a cup of leftover soup and use it to make Butternut Squash Pasta.
If you love butternut squash, be sure to try Butternut Squash Ravioli - it's seriously delicious!
Serve the Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup with a salad! This lovely Fall Harvest Salad with butter lettuce, roasted butternut squash and persimmons make a crunchy, beautiful salad with a creamy butternut squash salad dressing.
These soft and buttery Cloverleaf Rolls are tender and buttery!
If you're not ready to do the whole bread baking thing, this recipe for Chicken Bacon Roll-Ups would be perfect alongside your meal!
For dessert make a batch of Butter Cookies - you can nibble on them all week long!
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup
- 5 cups squash for me this was one medium squash
- 1 14 oz package frozen butternut squash thawed or one 14 oz can pumpkin puree
- 1 yellow onion roughly chopped
- 1 granny smith apple peeled and chopped
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger
- ¼ teaspoon garlic
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2-3 cups vegetable broth
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds optional
- Peel the squash, remove the seeds and chop into 1 inch pieces. Peel and chop the onion and apple also. Dice the brick of cream cheese. Add the squash (fresh & frozen), onion, apple and cream cheese.
- Measure all of the spices and put them in a small bowl. Stir well to combine and then sprinkle all the spices into the slow cooker. Using a large spoon, stir well - add the honey and stir again.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and cover. Set the temperature to low. It will take 8 hours and the soup will be done. After 8 hours, unplug and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until it is a creamy consistency.
- Toast the pumpkin seeds - using a dry pan over medium-low heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until they are a golden brown - takes about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan immediately - if you leave them in the pan, even though you've removed the pan from the heat, the residual heat may burn the seeds (happens really quick!).
- Serve topped with toasted pumpkin or pine nuts or pecans for a little crunch and a drizzle of heavy cream delish!
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Updated October 2016 - Last Updated October 22, 2021