Rich and creamy Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a quick and easy meal idea, perfect for busy weeknights! Tender broccoli and veggies, melty cheddar, and a flavorful broth cook up all in one pot for the coziest, most satisfying homemade soup ever.
Creamy Instant Pot Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Soups are one of my favorite things to make in the Instant Pot, and that’s saying a lot. I use my IP to make everything from Pork Carnitas to Instant Pot Risotto. After trying out Instant Pot Potato Soup, though, I’m a tad obsessed. Creamy soups in the pressure cooker? You can’t beat them.
I’m also all about easy weeknight dinner ideas, and the Instant Pot is the best shortcut to tons of flavor in a short amount of time. Join me down the path of least resistance as we make this homemade Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup. This soup recipe brings together the flavors of hearty broccoli, melty cheddar, and creamy broth in a cozy one-pot meal. It’s a dupe for my favorite Broccoli Cheese Soup from Panera, and I know you’re going to love it!
Why Make Soup In the Instant Pot?
This broccoli and cheese soup is soulful and satisfying, and perfect for any time of the year. Here’s why making soup in the pressure cooker is a thing of beauty:
- Quick and easy. The Instant Pot cooks the broccoli and veggies quickly and evenly, to tender perfection every time. A 1-minute cook time in the pressure cooker is all it takes!
- One pot. You saute and cook the soup ingredients all in one pot, for a comforting meal that makes clean-up super easy.
- Restaurant quality. This soup is rich and creamy just like Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup, only WAY better because it’s homemade. Skip the restaurant and embrace the Instant Pot!
What You’ll Need
Let’s have a quick peek at the ingredients you’ll need to make this IP soup. Below is an overview, with the full ingredient amounts available in the recipe card:
- Onion and Carrots: Diced onion and carrots are sauteed with olive oil and garlic to form an aromatic flavor base for the soup.
- Seasoning: You’ll need salt, pepper, kicky red pepper flakes, and dry mustard to complement the flavor of the cheddar cheese and broccoli.
- Broth: This recipe uses chicken broth, but feel free to substitute vegetable broth if you’re making vegetarian soup.
- Broccoli: I love to use fresh broccoli florets, but this soup recipe will also work with frozen broccoli (see below).
- Half-and-Half: For extra richness in the broth, I add half-and-half. If you’d prefer a lighter soup, regular whole milk or 2% milk are also good options. On the other hand, if you’re after an even creamier soup, you can use heavy cream instead.
- Cheddar Cheese: I recommend grating a good quality cheddar cheese fresh from the block (versus buying bags of pre-shredded cheese). For a more intense flavor, use sharp cheddar cheese.
- Cornstarch: You’ll whisk together cornstarch with a bit of water to make a slurry to thicken the soup.
Can I Use Frozen Broccoli?
Yes. This Instant Pot soup recipe will work with any broccoli you have kicking around in your kitchen. You can use frozen broccoli straight from the freezer, without needing to change the cooking time.
How to Make Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
There’s a reason this soup is about to become your new favorite meal! It’s such a simple recipe, with so much flavor payoff. Plus, it comes together ultra-speedy in the Instant Pot:
- Sauté: First, with the Instant Pot set to Sauté, you’ll cook the onions in oil until softened. Then stir in the carrots, garlic, and seasonings.
- Add Broth: Next, pour in the chicken broth and add the chopped broccoli.
- Cook: Seal the lid and set the IP to cook on high pressure for 1 minute. Naturally release the pressure for another 5 minutes.
- Add Cheese: Open the lid and stir in shredded cheddar along with the half-and-half.
- Thicken: Once the cheese is melted, make a quick slurry of cornstarch and water, and whisk this into the soup. Set the Instant Pot once more to Sauté and then cook while the soup thickens, stirring along the way. When your soup reaches your desired consistency, voila, it’s ready to serve! See below for easy serving suggestions.
Can I Make This Soup on the Stovetop Instead?
I love my Instant Pot and I always rave about it to anyone who asks. I can’t recommend it enough! However, if you don’t have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker at home, you can make this cheddar broccoli soup on the stovetop. It’s still a one-pot meal, and it’s still delicious.
Simply prepare the soup as directed in a large pot, and instead of pressure cooking, let the broccoli and veggies simmer in the broth instead. This usually takes about 20 minutes, after which you can stir in the cheese, half-and-half, and cornstarch slurry as usual.
Tips and Variation Ideas
Here are some additional tips for making the perfect bowl of comforting Instant Pot soup:
- For a thicker soup, use only 3 cups of broth.
- Use a different cheese. You can make this broccoli and cheese soup with any kind of cheese you have on hand, or even a combination of different cheeses. Change up the flavors with parmesan, gouda, Monterey, or Pepper Jack cheese.
- Freshly grate the cheese. Whichever cheese you choose, make sure you grate it fresh. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in waxy anti-caking agents that won’t melt down as smoothly.
- Avoid boiling the soup once the cream is added. This risks curdling the dairy, which causes creamy soups to separate. Also only stir in the cheese at the end, to keep it from clumping in the higher heat.
- Add herbs. Stir dried or fresh chopped parsley, basil, or thyme into the soup at the end for extra flavor.
- Add more veggies. Soups are an easy way to sneak more vegetables in at dinnertime. Aim for veggies with similar cooking times, like diced mushrooms, bell peppers, cauliflower, or zucchini.
We love serving this cheesy broccoli cheddar soup hot with freshly baked Dinner Rolls or crusty Homemade French Bread for dunking. Fluffy bread is perfect for soaking up all that cheesy flavor! Or, we’ll top the soup with crunchy croutons and additional shredded cheese for some contrast.
Here are more yummy serving ideas:
- Salad: For a lighter option, make it a bistro-style meal with a side of fresh green salad.
- Sandwiches: You can’t go wrong with creamy broccoli cheddar soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Vegetables: Serve soup with a veggie side of Air Fryer Asparagus or roasted vegetables.
Storing and Reheating Leftover Cheese Soup
Any leftover broccoli cheddar soup can be stored airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days. Allow the soup to cool completely beforehand. You can also freeze leftover soup for longer-term storage, see the section below.
Reheat your Instant Pot broccoli and cheese soup over low heat on the stovetop, or in 30-second intervals in the microwave until warmed through. Make sure that you don’t reheat it too quickly, as this may cause the cheese and cream to separate.
If needed, add a splash of milk or half-and-half to the soup while it warms up, to revive the creamy texture a little.
Can I Freeze Broccoli Cheddar Soup?
Freezing is a great option if you’re making this soup ahead. Let the finished soup cool completely, and then store it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Remember to leave a bit of extra space in the container to account for the soup expanding while it freezes!
Whenever you’re ready to reheat it, let the broccoli cheddar soup thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a fast and easy meal idea, perfect for busy weeknights! Tender broccoli and veggies, melty cheddar, and a hearty and flavorful broth cook up all in one pot in this cozy and creamy soup recipe.
- 2 Tablespoons / 30 ml Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup / 50 grams Onion, diced
- 1 Cup / 108 grams of Carrots, shredded
- 3 cloves / 20 grams Garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon Dry Mustard
- 4 Cups / 946 ml Chicken Broth
- 4 Cups / 240 grams Broccoli Florets, chopped
- 2 Cups / 473 ml Half + Half
- 2 1/2 Cups / 190 grams Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1/4 Cup / 32 grams Cornstarch
- 1/4 Cup / 60 ml Water
- Set the instant pot to saute.
- Add the oil and onions to the pot. Saute until softened, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and dry mustard. Continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the chicken broth and broccoli. Stir.
- Place the lid on the instant pot and set it to seal. Cook on high pressure manual for 1 minute, then naturally release the pressure for 5 minutes before opening the lid.
- Add the cheese and half-and-half and stir until the cheese is melted.
- Make a slurry of cornstarch and water. Whisk into the soup.
- Turn the instant pot to saute and cook while stirring until the soup thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
For thicker soup use only 3 cups of broth.
Keywords: broccoli and cheese soup, cheddar broccoli soup, instant pot soup recipes
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