Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup is the perfect dinner recipe for a hectic weeknight. Full of veggies with the rich goodness of cream and cheese, this soup takes only 20 minutes to make. 

So you may remember a few years ago I made this recipe for Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup. I’ve had a large number of people asking if I could make an Instant Pot version of that classic recipe.

Broccoli cheese soup being labled into a white bowl.


Why Instant Pot Broccoli Soup Works 

This Instant Pot Broccoli Soup tastes just as good, if not better, than what you get at a restaurant. It’s incredibly filling. And the best part? There’s nothing to it.

Here are a few reasons why this recipe works so well,  

  • Dinner in 20 minutes. This is like music to my ears. I’m grateful for every recipe that puts a wholesome dinner on the table quickly. Especially on a busy work night.
  • One pot recipe. The main reason this recipe is so simple is that, literally, all you have to do is drop ingredients in an Instant Pot. That also means clean-up is a breeze.  
  • Endless variations. There are endless options to add your favorite veggies, spices, or proteins to make this soup spicier, richer, or heartier.

We love making some of our easy Instant Pot Recipes for family and friends. Some of our classics, like meatloaf and homemade mac and cheese are now made even easier in the Instant Pot!

Ingredient Notes 

Ingredients needed to make broccoli cheese soup in the Instant Pot.
  • Unsalted Butter – You can substitute olive oil if you want to make the soup a bit lighter in your belly. I like the richness of using butter.
  • Onion – Yellow onions make the sweet and aromatic base of the soup.
  • Broccoli – You can use fresh or frozen broccoli for this recipe. Cut the florets into small pieces to make sure they cook properly. You can go a little heavy on the broccoli if you want its flavor to be more intense. 
  • Carrots – Shredded carrots add texture and a visual appeal to the soup. You can skip it if you want. 
  • Chicken Broth – Use low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth so that you can control the salt in the recipe. Feel free to make your own broth at home if you have time.
  • Cornstarch – This acts as a thickener for the soup, so try not to skip it.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – It makes the soup rich and creamy.
  • Cheddar Cheese – I prefer Sharp cheddar for this recipe as it pairs really well with the flavor of broccoli.

Easy Instructions 

Step by step photos showing how to make broccoli cheese soup.
  1. Add Ingredients. Add butter, onion, broccoli, carrots, broth, and seasonings to the Instant Pot.
  2. Pressure Cook. Secure the lid and turn the valve to “sealing.” Select Manual (high pressure) and set the cooking time to 4 minutes. Then use a quick release.
  3. Add finishing touches. Add the water and cornstarch slurry. Then turn on Saute mode. Add cream.
  4. Make it cheesy. Add cheddar. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve immediately. 
Cheesy broccoli soup being ladled out of instant pot.

Tips and Tricks 

  • Add onion or garlic powder. If you want to skip the red pepper flakes or make the soup more flavorful, add onion powder and garlic powder along with the other seasonings. 
  • Use pre-cut or frozen veggies. To save time, skip washing and veggie prep, try using pre-cut or frozen veggies instead.
  • Add chicken bits. To make the soup rich in protein, add bits or shreds of cooked chicken breast or thigh. 
  • Make it smooth or chunky. Depending on your preference, you can leave the soup chunky or make it smooth by blending it using an immersion blender. Blending it also helps hide the broccoli, which can sometimes be helpful if you’re trying to feed kids.
  • Adjust the consistency while reheating. Refrigerating the soup can make it very thick. Add some water or stock while reheating to adjust the soup’s consistency. I would also recommend reheating it on the stovetop on medium-low heat to prevent the cream and cheese from splitting. 
  • Crockpot: Use our slow cooker broccoli cheese soup recipe for a fix it and forget it kinda of dinner!

Serving Suggestions 

This soup pairs really well with any quick and simple bread. To make a complete meal, serve this soup with Garlic Bread, Dinner Rolls, or Olive Garden Breadsticks. The joy of dunking a piece of bread in hot soup is priceless.

Two bowls of broccoli cheddar soup.

Recipe FAQs 

How do I store the leftover Broccoli Soup?

Store the cooled Broccoli Cheddar Soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Keep in mind that frozen soup, when thawed, can turn out a little watery. So make sure you adjust its consistency while reheating. 

Can I add other vegetables to this soup?

Absolutely. You can add vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower florets, or celery. Make sure you chop them into really small pieces so that they cook properly.

Can I substitute the heavy whipping cream?

Heavy whipping cream makes the soup thick and rich. If you want a lighter or healthier option, you can use half and half, 2% milk, or almond milk. But remember that using these instead of heavy cream will make the soup thinner and less hearty.

I don’t have an Instant Pot. Can I make this soup?

Absolutely. The same soup can be made on the stovetop. You can use the same recipe and make it in a stovetop pressure cooker. But if you plan to make it in a regular pot, allow some extra cooking time for the veggies to simmer in the broth. You may also have to add extra broth to cook the veggies properly. 

Broccoli cheese soup in a white serving bowl with a spoon.

More Easy Dinner Recipes:

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

4.62 from 158 votes
By: Aimee
Dinner in under 30 minutes! Loaded with vegetables and cheese, you’ll love this easy, creamy Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1 head broccoli chopped very small (florets only), about 3 cups
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 32 oz chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions 

  • Add butter, diced onion, diced broccoli, carrots, chicken broth, pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes to pressure cooker. Secure lid in place and turn valve to “sealing.”
  • Select “High Pressure” or manual and cook for 4 minutes. When cook time ends, turn off pressure cooker and use a quick release.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together cold water and cornstarch. Turn pressure cooker on to “saute” and add cornstarch mixture. Also add heavy whipping cream and cheddar cheese.
  • Cook for about 3-4 minutes while stirring constantly until soup thickens and cheese melts completely. Serve immediately. ENJOY.

Notes

  • Using heavy whipping cream keeps the soup from curdling.
  • You don’t want the soup boiling at the end. A gentle heat will melt the cheese.
  • Recipe tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot.
  • Use pre-cut or frozen veggies. To save time, skip washing and veggie prep, try using pre-cut or frozen veggies instead.
  • Add chicken bits. To make the soup rich in protein, add bits or shreds of cooked chicken breast or thigh.
  • Make it smooth or chunky. Depending on your preference, you can leave the soup chunky or make it smooth by blending it using an immersion blender. Blending it also helps hide the broccoli, which can sometimes be helpful if you’re trying to feed kids.
  • Adjust the consistency while reheating. Refrigerating the soup can make it very thick. Add some water or stock while reheating to adjust the soup’s consistency. I would also recommend reheating it on the stovetop on medium-low heat to prevent the cream and cheese from splitting.
  • Add onion or garlic powder. If you want to skip the red pepper flakes or make the soup more flavorful, add onion powder and garlic powder along with the other seasonings. 
  • See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 846kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 72g, Saturated Fat: 43g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 21g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 215mg, Sodium: 1809mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g
Course: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!


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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on July 17, 2023

Comments & Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Delicious and husband approved! I tried cooking the onions a bit first because I don’t love the raw onion crunch so hopefully that helps. Otherwise, so easy and so good!

  2. Aimee!! I have made this recipe many times over the last couple years. It is the best!! Question though, if I were to double it, do you think I would do the same amount of cook time in the instant pot or would you double that too?

    Thanks!!

    1. 5 minutes prep time??? Peeling & shredding carrots, cleaning & chopping broccoli to thumbnail size? Locating other supplies? Great recipe, but your timing is unreasonable, I’m afraid. I love cheesy broccoli soup though, so will go through it all again!

      1. I get pre-grated baby carrots and pre-washed/cut broccoli. For a cup of grated carrots and 3 cups of broccoli, that’s plenty of time for me.

  3. Dinner perfection in ~30 minutes! I swapped the red pepper flakes for 1.5Tbsp of garlic powder. Ran my broccoli through my food chopper and it turned out so creamy & delicious! I had 2 big bowls. Perfect for a cold, windy March dinner.

    1. The heavy cream thickens as well as gives this a very creamy flavor and texture. You can try almond milk, but you may not achieve as thick of a soup.

      1. Oh my! That was delicious!!! I didn’t have heavy cream, so I used half and half, it worked fine!!!! I will definitely make this again!

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