Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup is creamy, velvety, and takes little time to make in the pressure cooker. Perfect for busy weeknights or when you need a warm bowl of comfort!
This Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup is quick, easy, and bursting with flavor. It's comfort in a bowl and my new favorite soup!
The Instant Pot is an amazing kitchen tool. what is an instant pot? It's a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, and steamer all in one.
And it's a game-changer when it comes to cooking broccoli and cheese soup.
This Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup recipe is inspired by the classic Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup. But this soup is even better!
It's creamy and thick, without any heavy cream. Plus, it's ready in about 30 minutes, from start to finish. That's the sort of meal I like - quick and easy!
Serve it with a warm piece of bread, a green side salad, or with your favorite crackers for dipping.
Why Make This Recipe
- This Panera Bread copycat recipe makes it easy to have restaurant-quality soup right at home. To make it more like Panera Bread's, only puree half of the soup.
- The pressure cooker takes the guesswork out of everything and cooks allowing you to be freed up for other things.
- The texture is smooth, creamy, and velvety making it hearty and satisfying.
- This broccoli and cheese soup is also freezer-friendly which makes it a great option for meal prep.
- Butter - Used to cook down the onion and garlic and also gives the soup a buttery flavor.
- Onion & Garlic - Adds a bold garlic and onion flavor to the soup that is fragrant and complements it well.
- Chicken Broth - This flavorful broth cooks down the vegetables adding additional flavor and nutrients.
- Broccoli Florets - The broccoli gives the soup a bright green color and also a slightly sweet flavor along with nutrients.
- Cheddar Cheese - I used sharp cheddar cheese for this broccoli and cheese soup recipe, but you can use any type of cheddar cheese that you like.
- Whole Milk - The milk makes the soup creamy and smooth without adding any heavy cream.
- Grated Carrot - The grated carrot adds a subtle sweetness and additional nutrients to the soup.
- Cornstarch - The cornstarch is used as a thickener for the soup and also helps to bind the cheese together so it doesn't separate.
- Black Pepper - Used to enhance the flavor of the soup to taste.
Please scroll down to the recipe card below for the full quantities.
Wondering how to make this Instant Pot Broccoli and Cheese Soup recipe? It's easy!
Just follow this step-by-step photo tutorial. Then, scroll down for the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe method.
Cook the butter and garlic: Press the ‘Saute’ button on the Instant Pot. Add the butter and let it melt. Add in the chopped onion and saute in butter until soft and translucent. Then, add the garlic and mix for one minute or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Pressure cook the vegetables: Stir in the chicken broth, broccoli, and carrot, then secure the lid and seal the venting knob. Cook on Manual High pressure for 2 minutes. Do a ‘Quick Release’ to release the pressure, then carefully remove the lid.
Puree the soup: Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your desired level of texture. Press ‘Saute’ so the soup stays hot while thickening.
Thicken and serve: To the pot, stir the cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of water to make a ‘slurry’, then stir it into the soup along with the milk, cheese, and pepper, stirring until the cheese melts. Press ‘Cancel’ and serve with a garnish of carrots and broccoli.
The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to reach the right pressure for cooking the vegetables.
When removing the lid, be sure to do so carefully as lots of steam will escape quickly.
To change the texture of the soup, puree only ⅓ of it to keep it chunky (that makes it more like a Panera Bread copycat). Or puree the entire batch to make it completely smooth.
Before pureeing the soup mixture, remove some broccoli to use for garnish on top.
Add protein by topping it with some Air Fryer Kielbasa.
This broccoli and cheese soup is best served fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
Reheat broccoli and cheese soup on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of milk if the soup is too thick.
I like to make a big batch and freeze half for another meal.
Serve it with copycat Panera Mac and Cheese.
We love to serve this soup in a bread bowl by hollowing out a loaf of sourdough bread and using it as a bowl. Then cube up the inside bread and use it for dipping.
Add some diced bacon to the soup for extra smoky and salty flavor.
For a vegetarian broccoli cheese soup, substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth.
Bump up the vegetables by adding chopped kale or spinach to the soup stirring to wilt them in.
Add a bit of spice by stirring in some red pepper flakes, cayenne powder, or a dash of hot sauce.
Use any type of cheese you like in this broccoli and cheese soup recipe. Gruyere, gouda, and Swiss all work well.
Storing: This broccoli and cheese soup is best served fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.
Freezing: To freeze, let the soup cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to three months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating and serving.
Reheating: Reheat broccoli and cheese soup on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of milk if the soup is too thick. You can also reheat in the microwave, stopping to stir every minute or so.
You can, but you'll need to increase the cooking time to four minutes.
This broccoli and cheese soup is made with real ingredients and is relatively low in calories. To make it even healthier, use skim milk and low-fat cheese.
Yes, but it will take longer. Cook on low for four hours or on high for two hours. Add the broccoli during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker
- Immersion blender
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 4 cups broccoli florets chopped
- 1 carrot grated
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups cheddar cheese grated
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper or more to taste
- Press the ‘Saute’ button on the Instant Pot.
- Add the butter and let it melt, then add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent (approx 3 mins), then stir in the garlic for a further minute.
- Press ‘Cancel’.
- Stir in the chicken broth, broccoli, and carrot, then secure the lid and seal the venting knob.
- Cook on Manual High pressure for 2 minutes.
- Do a ‘Quick Release’ to release the pressure, then remove the lid.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
- Press ‘Saute’ so the soup stays hot.
- Stir the cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of water to make a ‘slurry’, then stir it into the soup along with the milk, cheese and pepper, stirring until the cheese melts.
- Press ‘Cancel’ and serve.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors, so is not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietician for special diet advice.