Delicious Thai Chicken Butternut Squash Soup is loaded with tender chicken and Thai flavors of coconut milk, peanuts, lime and cilantro. It’s creamy and velvety yet dairy free!

Thai chicken butternut squash with red pepper, peanuts and cilantro in a bowl.

Chicken butternut squash soup is creamy, hearty and healthy. It has the richness of butternut squash and added protein from shredded chicken breasts. You can also add some cooked quinoa to keep you full longer.

This recipe for butternut squash soup with chicken was inspired by my small children years ago when I needed one meal quick and fast. Now with older children involved in sports, we need all meals to be one pot meals.

Butternut squash has great texture, sweet taste, and is quite versatile. And I love it in a soup! My dedication to sweet butternut shows in this stovetop butternut squash soup and Instant Pot butternut squash soup.

I decided to add Thai flavors like red curry paste, fresh ginger and coconut milk to this creamy soup. And of course, roasted peanuts, fresh cilantro and lime juice at the end. It is the ultimate comfort food this time of year.

This hearty soup is creamy yet dairy free and packed with nutrient rich vegetable goodness! You will love making it during the soup season!

Ingredients and Notes

Butternut squash, red bell pepper, lime, ginger, garlic, peanuts, maple syrup, coconut milk, cilantro, red curry paste, chicken stock, chicken breasts.

Sweet, savory and flavor packed chicken butternut squash soup recipe contains simple ingredients from the pantry. Although I understand the list might seem long. It is then topped with crunchy garnishes for additional texture and pleasing presentation.

  • Butternut squash: Medium in size, about 2 lbs weight and about 8 cups of cubed butternut squash. If you want to skip cutting the squash all together, you can bake whole roasted butternut squash and use instead.
  • Coconut milk: Make sure to use full fat coconut milk for a rich tasting soup. While you could use light coconut milk, I would advise against it as your butternut squash and chicken soup will be flat in taste.
  • Chicken: I use uncooked chicken breasts but chicken thighs would work as well. Also shredded rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken can be added.
  • Chicken broth: I recommend to use low sodium chicken stock. Homemade stock or bone broth will work too. And in a pinch, even water is fine.
  • Aromatics: Thai red curry paste, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, salt, kaffir lime leaves, maple syrup.
  • Garnish: Red bell pepper, fresh cilantro, peanuts and fresh lime juice.

Recipe Tip

Add 2 cups of quinoa to make soup a complete meal. Make sure you add cooked quinoa to the soup. Swap the quinoa for cooked brown rice or jasmine rice.

How to Make Thai Chicken Butternut Squash Soup

Step by step process showing how to make butternut squash with chicken on the stove.

Here is how to make this Thai inspired chicken soup with butternut squash.

  • Saute veggies with spices: Preheat large Dutch oven or skillet on medium heat and add olive oil or avocado oil. Then add ginger, garlic, red curry paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  • Cook the soup: Add raw chicken breasts, butternut squash, coconut milk, chicken broth, maple syrup, salt and kaffir lime leaves. If used a skillet in previous step, transfer its contents to a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes until squash has softened.
  • Shred the chicken: Remove chicken and shred using two forks. Discard lime leaves. You will return chicken pieces back into the pot after pureeing the soup.
  • Puree the soup: With an immersion blender, blend the soup until creamy smooth. If you would like to blend it in a regular blender, do so in batches or wait until soup has cooled off to avoid splattering and “explosion”.
  • Add the toppings: Add fresh sliced red bell peppers, peanuts, chopped cilantro and lime juice and stir.

Recipe Tip

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could use a potato masher and mash it up to desired consistency.

What is the Best Way to Blend the Soup?

The best way to blend this yummy soup is right in the pot with an immersion blender. You can puree the soup in a regular blender as well with a few tips in mind because hot soup will explode on you. And that can hurt!

  1. Cool the soup: Wait until the soup has cooled down to room temperature and then blend.
  2. Use a towel: Remove the plastic piece in the center of the blender’s lid and cover it with a towel instead. Then when you blend, heat can escape.
  3. Work in small batches: Less soup inside the blender jug, less steam build up. Puree a few cups of soup at a time.

Best Toppings for This Chicken Butternut Squash Soup

This butternut squash chicken soup recipe calls for toppings like sliced red bell peppers, peanuts, chopped cilantro and lime juice. Alternatively, you can serve toppings separately. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Goat cheese crumbles
  • Fresh herbs
  • Sour cream or crème fraîche

Also don’t forget to serve a bowl of this comforting soup with a crusty bread.

How to Store and Freeze This Soup

Chicken butternut squash soup is great for freezing because there are no vegetables or pasta to go limp.

This delicious soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

It is the perfect soup for freezing! To freeze, fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Then just thaw on the stovetop covered on low heat.

FAQs

Can I make this soup in a pressure cooker?

Yes. Saute veggies and spices as per recipe, then transfer them along with remaining ingredients to an Instant Pot and pressure cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. After wait another 10 minutes and release remaining pressure. Blend.

Can I make it ahead?

Yes, you can make this butternut squash chicken soup ahead of time! Just add squash, coconut milk, water, maple syrup, curry paste, ginger, garlic, salt and lime leaves into a covered container.

Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook but no more than 48 hours. And then, just follow the cooking instructions starting at Step 1. Voila!

Do I have to use kaffir leaves?

Yes and no. There really is no close replacement for the bright floral and citrus notes that kaffir lime leaves add to the soup. However, fresh basil leaves or Thai basil leaves added before serving would mimic that taste. It is also OK to omit lime leaves.

More Healthy Soup Recipes to Try

Other Butternut Squash Recipes

Two bowls of Thai butternut squash soup with chicken, towel and garnishes on a countertop.
Thai chicken butternut squash with red pepper, peanuts and cilantro in a bowl.

Thai Chicken Butternut Squash Soup

Delicious Thai Chicken Butternut Squash Soup is loaded with tender chicken and Thai flavors. It's creamy and velvety yet dairy free!
5 from 19 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 445
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 medium butternut squash (8 cups) cubed
  • 1 inch fresh ginger grated
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 tsp oil for frying
  • 1.5 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts
  • 14 oz can coconut milk full fat
  • 2 cups chicken broth low sodium
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4-5 kaffir lime leaves optional
  • 2 large red bell peppers thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup peanuts unsalted
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 1/2 lime juice of

Instructions 

  • Preheat large heavy bottom pot or Dutch oven on medium heat and add oil. Add ginger, garlic, red curry paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  • Add chicken breasts, butternut squash, coconut milk, chicken broth, maple syrup, salt and kaffir lime leaves (if using). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes until squash has softened.
  • Remove chicken and shred using two forks. Discard lime leaves. Using immersion blender, blend soup until smooth.
  • Add chicken, bell peppers, peanuts, cilantro and lime juice. Stir and serve hot. Alternatively you can serve toppings separately.

Notes

Recipe updated September 2022. Original version was done in slow cooker, that option is listed right below.
  • Slow cooker version: In a large slow cooker, add squash, coconut milk, broth, maple syrup, curry paste, ginger, garlic, salt, lime leaves and chicken. Cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours. Remove and shred chicken, discard lime leaves. Blend the soup, add shredded chicken, bell peppers, peanuts, cilantro and lime juice.
  • Cooked quinoa (optional): Old recipe included 2 cups of cooked quinoa added at the end with toppings.
  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.
  • Coconut milk: You could use light coconut milk, but soup will be more flat.
  • Kaffir lime leaves: I usually get kaffir lime leaves at an Asian store. You can freeze them tightly sealed in the freezer.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 756mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Thai
Author: Olena Osipov
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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! The whole family loved it! Didn’t think I would like the raw peppers in the soup, but it was spot on. The flavors and textures were fabulous. Keeper!

  2. 5 stars
    Really great flavor! Pureed some without the chicken for somewhat vegetarian kiddo, but shredded the chicken for most of the soup. Had some carrots to use so chopped and threw those in. We made this ahead for a busy weeknight dinner and it hit the spot on a cold night! So good (paired with a salad with your Asian dressing, yum!)

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