This easy recipe for Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup shows you how to make a creamy cheesy classic soup right in your pressure cooker. Great for a quick weeknight dinner that makes delicious leftovers for lunch!
Soup season always makes me happy. Making warm bowls of comfort for dinner on a cold night is the perfect way to wind down and feel full and satisfied. Broccoli and cheese is a great combination for soup and even better when it’s made in your pressure cooker in 30 minutes or less!
For this fast and easy Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe, you’ll saute the vegetables in butter until tender. They get a quick one-minute pressure cook in chicken or vegetable broth to make the vegetable base. Some of the vegetables get blended to make a perfect spoonful.
You’ll then thicken the soup and add a milk mixture to make it nice and creamy. The freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese gets mixed in until melted for a creamy velvety broccoli and cheese soup. Make this easy pressure cooker soup when you’re short on time and need minimal clean up
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This entire broccoli cheese soup recipe is made in one pot making clean-up easy.
- The taste and velvety texture rival the broccoli and cheese soup from Panera Bread.
- You can use vegetable stock to make it a vegetarian soup recipe.
- This is a versatile soup to make during the fall and winter seasons.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Unsalted Butter – The vegetables get sautéed in butter for a rich buttery taste when softened. You can use salted butter if you don’t have unsalted.
- Garlic & Onion – Adds fresh garlic and onion flavor to this delicious cheese soup.
- Chicken Broth – Thins out the mixture to give it a soup texture. You can use vegetable broth for a vegetarian soup.
- Broccoli Florets – Adds bright green color and nutrients to the soup. You can use fresh or frozen broccoli.
- Carrots – Grated carrots give the soup a great color contrast and texture.
- Salt & Pepper – Helps enhance the flavor of the soup by balancing all the flavors.
- Nutmeg – Gives a warm and spicy aroma to the soup that pairs well with cheddar and broccoli. You can omit, if desired.
- Cornstarch – Helps thicken the soup into a creamy velvet texture. You can also use flour or arrowroot powder.
- Heavy Cream & Milk – A mixture of milk and heavy cream gives the soup a creamy base for the cheese and broth. You can substitute with half and half, if desired.
- Cheddar Cheese – Adds a fresh cheddar taste that melts in perfectly with the other soup ingredients.
You will also need a pressure cooker or Instant Pot for this broccoli cheese soup recipe. A 6 quart or larger pressure cooker works best.
How To Make Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Saute the onion and garlic: Turn the instant pot to SAUTE mode. Add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the diced onion and saute until it becomes tender. Then, add the garlic and saute for 30 second or until the garlic is fragrant and slightly softened. Press the CANCEL button.
- Pressure cook the vegetables: To the instant pot, add the broccoli, carrots, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Close the lid and turn the knob, sealing the lid. Cook on MANUAL high pressure for 1 minute. Once it’s finished, carefully use a quick release to depressurize.
- Partially blend the vegetables: Open the lid of the instant pot carefully to let excess steam escape. Using an immersion blender, blend ⅓-⅓ of the soup depending on how thick you want your soup. Press SAUTE mode once again.
- Thicken the soup: Whisk the cornstarch with the remaining broth until there are no lumps in the cornstarch slurry mixture and slowly add it to the soup once it begins to simmer. Stir to thicken, then press the CANCEL button.
- Stir in cream and cheese: Stir in the cream and milk, then add the shredded cheese ½ cup at a time making sure to stir until it fully melts. Season with additional salt and pepper, then serve in bowls with french bread or crackers.
Serve this soup in bread bowls for the ultimate comforting dinner.
- Use freshly grated cheddar. Pre-shredded cheddar is often mixed with flour or potato flour to keep it from sticking together. This could make for a rubbery texture and taste. Freshly grated sharp cheddar is best in this instant pot broccoli cheddar soup recipe.
- Using frozen broccoli. If you don’t have fresh broccoli florets, you can use frozen broccoli in it’s place. Just add it to the vegetable mixture and the instant pot will adjust the cooking time as it pressurizes.
- Pressure cook time is 1 minute, however the time it takes for the instant pot to come to pressure will vary depending on the volume of the vegetables and their temperature. This usually takes about 20 minutes.
- Make sure you mix the cornstarch with broth before adding to the soup as the cornstarch may leave visible lumps in the soup if not mixed properly.
- You can choose whichever milk you enjoy to go with the heavy cream such as 1%, 2%, or whole milk.
- Since the cheese already contains salt, make sure you give it a taste test before adding more salt and pepper to balance the seasonings. This is also important if you are using salted butter.
- Gluten Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup: To make a gluten free broccoli cheddar soup, make sure there are no wheat ingredients in the cornstarch or shredded cheese.
- Keto Broccoli Cheddar Soup: This recipe is already low carb compared to traditional soups that contain beans and grains. Keep the carb count low by using lower sugar milk and omit the carrots if needed.
- Add protein. You can add chicken, tofu, or your favorite cooked meat to add more protein to the soup.
- Add spicy flavor. Make this a spicy broccoli and cheese soup by adding a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes as a garnish.
- Use more veggies. You can saute some celery or cauliflower to add bulk and nutrition to the soup.
- Add cooked pasta. Cooked pasta makes a great addition to this soup to stretch it out and make it filling and satisfying.
What are the best sides to serve with broccoli cheese soup?
Everyone loves a bowl of comforting broccoli and cheese soup. Instead of grabbing your favorite soup at Panera Bread, try this easy recipe at home. It comes together easily in the Instant Pot. It can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and then reheated on the stove top or microwave. Kids and adults love it!
If you love cooking soup in the instant pot, try a few of our other favorite soup recipes!
Other Instant Pot Soup Recipes
Did you make this broccoli cheddar soup recipe? Leave a recipe rating and review below!
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth, (or vegetable broth), divided
- 4 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Pinch of nutmeg, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk, (any %)
- 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot. Melt the butter, then add the diced onion and saute until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Press the cancel button.
- Stir in 3 3/4 cups of broth, broccoli, carrots, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Close and secure the lid and seal the venting knob. Cook on Manual HIGH Pressure for 1 minute.
- When the cook time ends, perform a Quick Pressure release; remove the lid carefully. Use an immersion blender to puree some of the soup if you'd like it a bit smoother, then press the Saute button.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the corn starch and remaining broth until smooth. When the contents of the pot are simmering, slowly add in the cornstarch mixture. Allow it to simmer, stirring frequently until the soup thickens.
- Press Cancel. Stir in the cream and milk. Add the cheese 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until it melts.
- Taste and season to your liking, then serve hot.