Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

by Eat Well with Lex

This easy broccoli cheddar soup recipe is made in an Instant Pot for a deliciously creamy, comforting soup that’s ready in just 20 minutes. If you love Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup, then you have to try this healthier, homemade version!

Craving something warm and cozy? Try more soup recipes like this Curry Lentil Soup and Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup next.

bowls of broccoli cheddar soup

Instant pot broccoli cheddar soup is a tasty medley of fresh broccoli, shredded carrots, and minced garlic in a thick, creamy, cheesy soup. Everyone loves this recipe so it’s a great way to sneak some veggies into a meal that the kids will enjoy.

Check out my Instant Pot Lasagna Soup for more quick and easy soup dinner idea!

Why This is the Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

  • Better Than Panera: Served hot and fresh, this tastes better than anything you could order at a restaurant. Feed the whole family for less than what it would cost for one serving at the popular food chain.
  • Quick & Easy: This is an easy weeknight meal that tastes like it took hours to simmer but prep time is just 5 minutes and cooking time is an additional 15 minutes. You don’t have to supervise like you would soup that cooks on the stovetop.
  • Great Comfort Food: As the weather gets cooler, your body and taste buds will crave something warm, hearty, and nutritious. This soup is perfect for the fall and winter months.
overhead bowl of soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Ingredients

  • Broccoli Florets: Chop them up into bite-size chunks. If you’re in a pinch you can use frozen broccoli but fresh is preferred.
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese is packed with flavor without being overpowering.
  • Shredded Carrots: This adds more texture and nutrition.
  • Light Cream: This provides the creaminess you expect, without being too rich.
  • Vegetable Broth: This is the liquid base of your broth.
  • Aromatics: small, diced yellow onion small and minced garlic cloves
  • Spices & Seasonings: smoked paprika, nutmeg, dry mustard, salt (adjust to taste), and black pepper
  • Cornstarch or flour: This is an optional ingredient for thickening.
  • Unsalted Butter: Use this to saute the broccoli and onion.
ingredients for instant pot broccoli cheddar soup

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Saute Aromatics

Set the Instant Pot to the “Saute” mode and melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 2-3 minutes until it’s translucent. Then add the minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds until fragrant.

Create Cornstarch Slurry (Optional)

If you are using the cornstarch or flour to thicken the soup, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl until smooth. This will create a slurry that helps thicken the soup evenly. Set aside.

Add Veggies, Seasoning & Broth

Add the chopped broccoli florets and shredded carrot to the Instant Pot. Stir in the smoked paprika, nutmeg, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Pour in the vegetable broth. Stir well until all the ingredients are combined.

4 step visual showing how to make instant pot broccoli cheddar soup

Soup Mode

Close the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the “sealing” position. Cancel the “Saute” mode and select the “Soup” mode. Set the cooking time for 5 minutes at high pressure.

Once the cooking cycle is complete, do a quick release of pressure by carefully turning the steam valve to “venting”. Once the pressure has fully released, carefully open the lid. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cream to allow it to come to a simmer.

pouring milk into pot

Add Cheese, Taste Test & Serve

Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the soup is creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Finally, serve and enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • Shred your own cheese. The cheese melts better because it’s not coated with that anti-clumping substance that’s often on pre-shredded cheese.
  • If the soup is too thick, you can add a bit more broth to achieve your desired consistency.
  • For a chunkier soup, feel free to chop the broccoli into larger chunks or just add more veggies. Alternatively, you can add some soup to an immersion blender for a smoother texture.

Recipe Variations

  • Broccoli Cheddar Potato Soup: Add peeled, cubed potatoes for an even heartier soup.
  • Velveeta: Want to make this even cheesier? Add chunks of Velveeta when you add the shredded cheese.
  • Dairy: For richer soup, use heavy cream instead of light cream.
  • Broth: You can use chicken broth for a deeper, savory flavor.
  • Crockpot: Don’t have an Instant Pot? You can cook broccoli cheddar soup low and slow in a crockpot. You can also cook it in a pressure cooker or pot on the stove. It will just need additional time to achieve that velvety smooth texture.
bowls of broccoli cheddar soup

What goes with Broccoli Cheddar Soup?

  • Bread: Add the soup to bread bowls or serve with some crusty bread on the side.
  • Salad: I love soup and salad. Serve this tasty cheese soup with a simple but flavorful salad like this Fall Harvest Salad.

Can Broccoli Cheddar Soup Be Made Ahead?

This is a great make-ahead meal. Cook the soup then allow it to cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing for later.

Storing Leftovers

Store leftover broccoli cheddar soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge. To reheat the soup, microwave it or reheat over medium-low heat.

Common Questions

How do you keep broccoli cheddar soup from curdling?

In order to prevent curdling, do not cook the soup on high heat and stir consistently.

Why is Panera broccoli cheddar not vegetarian?

Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup is made with chicken stock.

Why is my broccoli cheddar soup bitter?

The milk probably curdled. If you cook on medium heat (or soup mode on the instant pot) you prevent this. Also remember to stir the mixture.

Why does my broccoli cheddar soup taste gritty?

If your soup has a gritty, grainy texture, it’s probably because you used pre-shredded cheese. Prevent this by shredding the cheese yourself.

bowl of broccoli and cheese soup

More Cheesy Recipes:

Creamy Lobster Mac and Cheese

Chicken Pesto Lasagna Roll Ups

Pesto Bruschetta Chicken

DID YOU MAKE THIS BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP RECIPE?

Leave a star rating and comment below to let us know your thoughts. You can also share the recipe on Instagram and tag @eatwell.withlex.

overhead view of a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup topped with croutons

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This easy broccoli cheddar soup recipe is made in an Instant Pot for a deliciously creamy, comforting soup that's ready in just 30 minutes. If you love Panera's broccoli cheddar soup, then you have to try this healthier, homemade vegetarian version!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • cups Chopped Broccoli Florets
  • cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Shredded Carrots
  • cup Light Cream
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Yellow Onion small, diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1 tsp Salt adjust to taste
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Cornstarch or flour optional, for thickening
  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter

Instructions
 

  • Set the Instant Pot to the “Saute” mode and melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 2-3 minutes until it’s translucent.
  • Add the minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add the chopped broccoli florets and shredded carrot to the Instant Pot. Stir in the smoked paprika, nutmeg, dry mustard, salt and pepper.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the “sealing” position. Cancel the “Saute” mode and select the “Soup” mode. Set the cooking time for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  • Once the cooking cycle is complete, do a quick release of pressure by carefully turning the steam valve to “venting”.
  • If you are using the cornstarch or flour to thicken the soup, mix in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water. This will create a slurry that helps thicken the soup evenly. Set aside.
  • Once the pressure has fully released, carefully open the lid. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cream to allow it to come to a simmer.
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and the soup is creamy.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If the soup is too thick, you can add a bit more broth to achieve your desired consistency.

Notes

Remember to read and follow your Instant Pot’s safety guidelines when using it.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Share your creations on Instagram! Tag us @Eatwell.withlex and use #eatwellwithlex! Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment.

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3 comments

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup | Eat Well With Lex August 22, 2023 - 12:56 am

[…] more delicious soup recipes, try my Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Curry Lentil Soup […]

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[…] more soup recipes, try my Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup and this Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup […]

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Curry Lentil Soup | Eat Well With Lex August 29, 2023 - 11:47 am

[…] For more one-pot soup recipes, try my Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup next. […]

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