This easy butternut squash and red pepper soup recipe is smooth, creamy, and can be made with minimal ingredients using simple pantry ingredients and is ready in under 30 minutes. Includes stovetop and slow cooker instructions to keep your options open on busy weeknights!

Top down view of a white bowl filled with butternut squash and red pepper soup, with a striped napkin on the side.

About this Recipe

Around here, we’re big fans of all things butternut squash, especially if it’s a big bowl of cozy, butternut squash soup!

And we’re putting a delicious twist on the classic everyone knows and loves by adding some fun extra ingredients – like roasted red peppers, tomato paste, red chili flakes, coconut milk and smoked paprika.

Everything simmers together until the vegetables are tender and flavorful, before a quick blend with some creamy coconut milk.

The result is a smooth, creamy, velvety, vegan butternut squash and red pepper soup that tastes like it took you all day to make.

It’ll be our little secret that you threw it together with minimal hands-on prep, some simple pantry staples, and comes together in under 30 minutes!

Tip: My secret for adding creaminess to vegan soups is to use full-fat coconut milk from a can. Personally, I don’t think it adds any discernible coconut flavor, but you can definitely use heavy cream in its place if you prefer for a vegetarian option!

Top down view of a crockpot with vegetables and tomato paste inside, on top of a white background.

Process & Tips

The beauty of this butternut squash and red pepper soup recipe is that you can make it on the stovetop in under 40 minutes or as a more hands-off, easy slow cooker recipe (either way comes out super tasty!).

I often go the slow cooker route because all I have to do is add everything to my crockpot and let it work its magic (and we love those dump and go slow cooker recipes around here!).

I went for ultra-convenience with this recipe, leaning on pre-chopped butternut squash (I used Trader Joe’s butternut squash zig-zags) and jarred roasted red peppers, keeping this recipe super easy, effortless, and fast.

You can, of course, chop your own butternut squash for this recipe, or by any type of pre-chopped butternut squash as well.

For quick prep time, I used jarred roasted red pepper, but if you prefer to make your own roasted red peppers, you’ll need about 3 large bell peppers for this recipe.

Tip: If you happen to live near a Trader Joe’s, this recipe uses 2 (12-oz) containers of butternut squash zig zags and 1 (16-oz) jar of roasted red peppers. So easy!

Ladle full of butternut squash and red pepper soup being dished out of a blue and white pot on a white background.

Customize the Spice Level to Your Taste

As-is, this easy soup recipe is mildly spicy from the red pepper flakes (I really love that bit of warming heat with the tomato and red peppers in this recipe).

For a spicy butternut squash and red pepper soup, double or triple the red pepper flakes to ½ or ¾ teaspoon. 

However, if you’re sensitive to heat, feel free to leave the red pepper flakes out altogether.

Serving Suggestions

This butternut squash and red pepper soup already makes a great, hearty, vegetarian meal all on its own but feel free to get creative with any toppings and sides you like!

Some fun ideas would be to top it with hot sauce, sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds, roasted maple chickpeas, or chopped sage for added flavor and texture.

You can even serve it with an easy side salad with a healthy dressing recipe like this apple cider vinaigrette or 3-ingredient pesto salad dressing for a fun soup & salad night!

A spoonful of soup being dished out of a white bowl, with fresh herbs sprinkled on top.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Butternut squash: The chopped butternut squash is the star ingredient of this soup. Buy pre-chopped, or chop your own using a whole butternut squash.

Roasted red peppers: Jarred roasted red peppers are a great shortcut ingredient. They have tons of flavor but save you time by not having to roast them yourself first. You can use your own roasted red peppers if you have them, too.

Tomato paste: Tomato paste is a super convenient pantry staple and adds great concentrated tomato flavor to this soup without watering it down.

Broth: I used low-sodium chicken broth for this recipe but you could also use vegetable broth in its place. For a vegetarian and vegan option, be sure to use vegetable broth.

Red chili flakes: Red pepper flakes are spicy, so if you’re very sensitive to heat, feel free to leave them out. However, if you love heat, you can double the amount called for in the recipe. 

Garlic cloves: Since we’re using so few fresh ingredients, I like using fresh garlic cloves in this recipe. But you could also use granulated garlic powder in its place.

Smoked paprika: The smoked paprika adds some delicious depth and smokey flavor to this soup. It pairs super well with the red peppers and tomato paste. 

Coconut milk: Canned coconut milk is another convenient pantry ingredient in this recipe. Wait to add at the end to give this soup lots of creaminess (without a drop of cream). You can also use traditional heavy cream in its place if you prefer.

Red wine vinegar: Adding vinegar at the end of the cook time is one of my favorite tricks for crockpot soups. It lifts up all the flavors and brightens everything up. You can also use fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar if you prefer.

Olive oil: I like the flavor of olive oil in this recipe but you could also use another cooking oil in its place – like avocado, coconut, canola or vegetable oil.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

Top down view of a white bowl filled with butternut squash and red pepper soup, with a striped napkin on the side.

Tips for Storing & Freezing Leftovers

This butternut squash and red pepper soup tastes even better the next day, and leftovers make a great lunch!

It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.

This soup also freezes beautifully, either in a gallon ziploc bag, or individually in mason jars.

You can store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.

Top down view of a white bowl filled with butternut squash and red pepper soup, with a striped napkin on the side.
5 stars (6 ratings)

Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup

This easy butternut squash and red pepper soup recipe is smooth, creamy, and can be made with minimal ingredients using simple pantry ingredients. Includes stovetop and slow cooker instructions.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8 cups chopped butternut squash, about 1 ½ pounds
  • 16 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth for vegetarian + vegan
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

To Add at the End

  • ¾ cup coconut milk, or heavy cream (not vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Instructions 

Stovetop Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil over medium low heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Turn the heat to medium high, add the butternut squash, roasted red peppers, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the stock, stir until well combined, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until the squash is tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk or cream and red wine vinegar. Using an immersion blender, blend until very smooth and creamy. Alternatively, working in batches, ladle the soup into a blender. Blend on high until smooth, then return to the pot.
  • Taste and add additional salt or vinegar if desired.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil over medium low heat in a small pan. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and smoked paprika. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add a splash of water, then scrape the cooked spices into a 6-quart slow cooker.
  • Add the butternut squash, roasted red peppers, and tomato paste, stirring until well combined. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 5-6, or until the squash is tender. Do not uncover during this time.
  • Add the coconut milk or cream and red wine vinegar. Using an immersion blender, blend until very smooth and creamy. Alternatively, working in batches, ladle the soup into a blender. Blend on high until smooth, then return to the pot.
  • Taste and add additional salt or vinegar if desired.

Notes

Nutrition information calculated using low-sodium chicken broth and coconut milk.
For vegetarian and vegan, be sure to use vegetable broth.
Use coconut milk to keep this recipe dairy-free/vegan.
For more information, see the full blog post above.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 4), Calories: 300kcal, Carbohydrates: 43g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 670mg, Potassium: 1498mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 30759IU, Vitamin C: 114mg, Calcium: 203mg, Iron: 5mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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