Cheddar Cheese Butternut Squash Soup Recipe with Apple Cider

4.5 from 4 votes
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Cheddar Cheese Butternut Squash Soup is velvety smooth with a hint of sweetness from apple cider. It’s a delicious one-pot meal with only seven ingredients and lots of creamy goodness (but no cream!). Warm yourself from the inside out with a steamy bowl of comfort food when you make this cheesy butternut squash soup recipe.

Disclaimer: As a member of the Cabot Creamery Cooperative Cheese Board, samples of cheese were provided to me at no cost. I was under no obligation to write this post, and no additional compensation was provided. As always, all opinions are my own.

Originally published Oct 16, 2014 

The process of selling our house several years back was truly chaotic. We are very lucky that our house sold within a week. But let me tell you, it was a doozy of a week.

We are talking multiple appointments in one day, having to drag the kids in and out of the house, and grabbing dinner at all kinds of random places. I was giving the kids baths at all kinds of random times, coming home and seeing that the people weren’t done walking around, and wrangling two kids who are screaming bloody murder because they are just wicked overtired.

Let me tell you, by the weekend, I needed comfort food.

And when you need comfort food, a bowl of cheesy goodness is never a bad idea. Especially when there’s butternut squash involved. And hard apple cider. Now you’re talking.

An orange pot filled with Apple Cider and Cheddar Cheese Butternut Squash Soup

Apple Cider Cheddar Cheese Butternut Squash Soup is a cross between creamy cheddar cheese soup and a velvety butternut squash soup. This recipe is true velvety comfort food. With a hint of sweetness and lots of creamy, cheesy goodness this twist on the classic soup recipe is made in one pot with only seven ingredients, and it is naturally gluten free.

Based on my favorite Butternut Squash Soup recipe, but I added cheese, so clearly that makes it infinitely better. The cheddar cheese along with the hard apple cider added a nice, sharp bite contrasted by the smooth creaminess and earthy, subtle sweetness of the butternut squash.

And the texture? Velvety smooth, enveloping your tongue in warm, richness, without actually being too rich because there’s no cream.

This was a crowd-pleaser in my house, and I guarantee it will be in yours. All four of us slurped down our bowls, and the little guys and I finished off the leftovers a couple of nights later.

My husband, aka Mr. I Don’t Like Soup, once again gave me his usual, “Well, you know I don’t really like soup, but this is really good.” 

Overhead of this Cheesy Butternut Squash Soup recipe in a bowl

Cheesy Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

What You’ll Need

  • Olive oil
  • Butternut squash – one large squash about 3-4 pounds is good for this recipe. You’ll need to peel and chop it, but since it will be pureed, you can just cut large chunks.
  • Onion
  • Chicken or vegetable broth or stock
  • Hard apple cider – this does contain alcohol, most of which evaporates during the cooking process, but I prefer it since it is typically less sweet. If you don’t have or prefer not to use hard cider, you could use regular apple cider, sparkling cider, or apple juice, though that may make it a bit sweeter. Or just use all chicken or vegetable stock. It will still be tasty, but won’t have the slight essence of apple.
  • Dry mustard – I always like to add this to recipes with cheddar cheese as it makes it taste sharper and cheesier.
  • Cheddar cheese – for the smoothest soup, use a block of cheese that you grate yourself versus a bag of pre-shredded cheese. These often have cellulose to keep the shreds from sticking, but this can lead to a clumpy texture in a recipe like this.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Large pot – I like to use a heavy-bottomed pot, such as enameled cast iron. With a nice large soup pot, you can saute the vegetables in the pot, then return the pureed soup to the same pot to let it simmer. The vegetables can saute and caramelize without scorching. And while this soup doesn’t have to simmer for a long time, if you want to keep it warm, it can stay over low heat for a longer time without burning. 
  • Appliance to puree the soup, such as one of the following
    • Immersion blender – also called a hand blender or stick blender, an immersion blender allows you to puree the soup right in the pot without transferring it to a blender. This makes it easier, with less mess to clean up.
    • Blender – you can use any blender you have, but for the smoothest, most silky soup, I love to use my Blendtec Designer 725. The Wildside+ Jar is nice and big, so you don’t have to blend it in batches, as you would with a smaller blender, and it gets perfectly smooth in seconds. You can even use the “Soup” setting to keep it hot while you blend it.  I am a Blendtec ambassador, and should you make any purchases through that link, I will receive a small commission, but that also means you can use the code CUPCAKESANDKALECHIPS to receive 25% off. 
    • Food processor – if this is all you have, it will work, though it is my least favorite option for soups. You typically have to work in batches, and you’ll likely have to stop the machine and stir things around to get it all to puree uniformly.


  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil and saute squash and onion with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Add the cider and stock or broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer until squash is tender.
  3. Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor.
  4. Return soup to the pot, and bring to a simmer, but not a full boil.
  5. Add the cheese a little at a time, stirring in completely after each addition to ensure that it remains smooth.
A white decorative bowl of soup

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make my cheddar cheese soup creamy?

To avoid a grainy soup, you’l need to start with a block of cheese that you grate yourself. Pre-shredded cheese often has cellulose or other anti-caking ingredients that can cause clumping.

There are a couple of other important factors for a velvety smooth soup. After you puree the soup, bring it to a simmer, but not a full boil. Then add the cheese a little at a time, stirring until it is smooth and melted before adding more. Then do not boil it even after the cheese is added.

What is a good garnish for apple cheddar butternut squash soup?

Sour cream, plain Greek yogurt, or creme fraiche is a traditional topping for butternut squash soup.

A sprinkle of cinnamon or chopped fresh sage is also nice.

For some salty, smoky flavor, cooked and crumbled bacon or crispy prosciutto is a great option.

Pepitas or candied walnuts add crunch.

Chopped apples complement the flavor of the cider and cheese in this recipe.

Can you freeze cheddar butternut squash soup?

Many butternut squash soup recipes are freezer-friendly. But similar to many cream-based soups, I would not recommend freezing this one. Due to the cheese, it may separate due to freezing and thawing. It would still be safe to eat, but may not have that ultra-smooth texture.

However, it will keep in the fridge for several days. So if you don’t eat it all for dinner, you can gently reheat for lunch for the rest of the week.

Apple Cider and Cheddar Cheese Butternut Squash Soup in a white bowl with a silver spoon

Make it a Meal

Apple Cider and Cheddar Cheese Butternut Squash Soup with a sage leaf on top


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Other recipes made with hard cider or sparkling cider

More creamy soups

Apple Cider and Cheddar Cheese Butternut Squash Soup with a sage leaf on top
4.5 from 4 votes

Apple Cider Cheddar Cheese Butternut Squash Soup

Velvety smooth with a hint of sweetness and lots of creamy, cheesy goodness (but no cream!).
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth or stock (additional if needed to adjust texture)
  • 12 oz hard cider or regular apple cider or juice or an additional 1 ½ cups broth or stock
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 ½ cups (6 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional garnishes: Crispy prosciutto or bacon pepitas (pumpkin seeds), chopped apple


  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the squash, onion, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion and squash are starting to get tender.
  • Add the cider and stock or broth and the dry mustard, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until squash is tender.
  • Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender or food processor.
  • Return soup to the pot, and bring to a simmer, but not a full boil.
  • Add the cheese a little at a time, stirring in completely after each addition to ensure that it remains smooth.
  • Serve in bowls, garnished as desired.
Nutrition Facts
Apple Cider Cheddar Cheese Butternut Squash Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 178 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 23mg8%
Sodium 181mg8%
Potassium 402mg11%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 10178IU204%
Vitamin C 21mg25%
Calcium 201mg20%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Jann, Thank you for bringing the oversight to my attention. The dry mustard gets added when you add the stock and the hard cider. I have updated the recipe accordingly. Enjoy!

  1. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes

    Wow!! Why would the realtor even let the dog into YOUR house?! I’m sorry you had to deal with that – selling a house is never fun – we sold 2 in a little over a year and I told my husband I am NEVER moving again! LOL. This soup sounds perfect for these cooelr nights though – Thanks so much for joining us at Freedom Fridays! Pinning and scheduling to share on my Facebook page! 🙂

  2. Jaime

    This soup was delicious! My husband hates butternut squash but I took a chance because of the cheese & hard cider and he LOVED. it!! I also added Organic Italian Chicken sausage because he does not like soup for dinner without meat in it. I roasted the butternut squash with evoo & some garlic instead of softening it in the pan. Then I smashed the roasted chunks on the side of the pan to hide them. Thanks for the great recipe!!

  3. Brenda

    The British use the word ‘homely’ to describe something as cozy and comfortable. I’m sure that is what this guy meant. The soup looks yummy. Always looking for a good soup recipe and we LOVE Cabot cheese.

  4. Windi Hornsby

    4 stars
    Really enjoyed this soup, but we needed a lot more stock to keep the consistency soupy (maybe I had an extra big squash?!) and added another 1/2 bottle of hard cider (yum!) Thanks for another great recipe!!

  5. That is pretty bizarre, bringing your dog into someone house to look at it! People are weird. This soup looks amazing, I’ve been wanting to find a good butternut squash soup recipe, in hopes the kids might eat it! This one looks great.

  6. Selling a house is a nightmare. Last time our house sold in a week too. We thought it would take 6 months and hadn’t found a new house. All worked out in the end. We always think we are lucky, because no matter how painful the process, things tend to work out in the end. Luckily you had a delicious soup to relax with .

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