This creamy Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup is incredibly easy to make, and packed with flavor. It's perfect as an appetizer or entree, and only takes a few minutes to prepare in a pressure cooker.
Broccoli and cheese soup is perfect comfort food for fall and winter. This easy Instant Pot version of the dish is really convenient to make, and the soup is made in only 20 minutes.
The cheddar cheese adds a lot of flavor to the dish, but also makes the soup really filling. This is why broccoli cheddar soup is one of the most popular American soups! If you like this recipe, you might also want to check out my Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup or Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup recipes.
Why you'll love it
- Creamy and comforting soup recipe
- The soup is really easy to make in the Instant Pot
- Gluten free and vegetarian recipe
- Healthier options available
- Uses affordable ingredients
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Cheddar: Buy a block of cheddar cheese and grate it yourself. This gives the soup the best flavor and texture.
Broccoli: Use 2 heads of broccoli, or about 4-5 cups of broccoli florets. Fresh broccoli is best, but you can also use frozen broccoli.
Carrots: Add a little extra flavor. Use fresh or frozen.
Onion: Red, white or yellow onion all works well.
Garlic: Use garlic cloves, garlic paste or garlic powder.
Potatoes: These make the soup extra creamy.
Vegetable stock: This flavorful liquid makes up the base of the soup. Alternatively, use chicken stock or beef stock, but keep in mind that these are often not vegetarian.
Half and half: Makes the soup mild and creamy. You can also use heavy cream, milk, single cream or double cream.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Add some olive oil to the Instant Pot, and turn on the SAUTÉ setting. Add diced onion and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes, until soft and translucent. Turn off the Instant Pot by pressing cancel.
Two: Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen up any stuck bits of onion. Add broccoli florets, diced carrots, diced potatoes, seasoning and vegetable stock. The liquid will not cover the vegetables. Seal the lid on the pressure cooker, and turn on the MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK setting. Set the timer to 4 minutes. Leave the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 5 minutes, before you turn the valve and perform a quick release.
Three: Remove the bay leaf from the pot. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup smooth. It will be quite thick at this point. Then, add half and half and cheddar cheese. Stir with a spoon until the cheese has melted into the soup. If you want to make the soup thinner, you can add a little vegetable stock or water until you're happy with the texture.
- Keep stirring the onion as it is sautéing to prevent it from getting stuck.
- Don't add too much water to the Instant Pot before pressure cooking. It's easier to adjust the thickness of the soup after it's blended.
- You can also use a regular blender to blend the soup. You might have to blend it in multiple batches, unless you have a very large blender.
- If you decide to add cold water or vegetable stock to the soup towards the end, your soup might become chilled. Turn on the SAUTÉ setting to quickly heat it back up.
- Keep stirring the soup after you add the cheese. This will prevent the cheese from clumping together.
Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup is best served as a filling appetizer or entree for lunch or dinner. It's a classic soup recipe, but making it in a pressure cooker will shorten the required cooking time.
Gluten free: Make sure that all ingredients are certified gluten free. Carefully read the label on the vegetable stock, as some brands are gluten free and others are not.
Fewer calories: Omit the half and half, or use milk instead. You can also significantly reduce the amount of cheddar cheese added.
Low carb: Omit the carrots and potatoes. You might want to add a little more half and half or cream to make up for the loss of the potatoes.
Other vegetables: This soup is perfect for hiding vegetables. Try adding cabbage, cauliflower, peas, spinach, kale or celery for added nutrients.
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To make this recipe, you will need a 6 qt Instant Pot or pressure cooker. The raw vegetables take up a lot of space, so a smaller pot will most likely not be suitable.
Additionally, you will need an immersion blender or a hand blender. You can use this to blend the soup smooth without removing it from the Instant Pot. If you don't have access to one, you can use a regular blender instead.
Store leftover pressure cooked broccoli cheddar soup in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat it in a pot on the stove top, or in a microwave, and serve it warm.
You can also freeze the soup. Keep in mind that any soup that contains half and half risks splitting when thawed, which would give the soup an unpleasant texture. If you plan to make this soup as a freezer meal, of if you want to cook a big batch with the purpose of freezing it, I recommend that you freeze the soup without adding the cheese and half and half.
You can then thaw the soup, and reheat it in a pot on the stove top. Add the cheddar cheese and cream, and serve.
Frequently asked questions
Absolutely. You can make broccoli soup with either fresh or frozen broccoli florets.
Broccoli cheese soup is traditionally made with cheddar cheese. You can also make it with Monterey Jack, Stilton, mozzarella, or a combination of these cheeses.
You might also like these recipes
- Instant Pot Tomato Soup
- Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup
- Minty Pea Soup
- Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup
- Apple and Parsnip Soup
If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Add some olive oil to the Instant Pot, and turn on the SAUTÉ setting. Add diced onion and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes, until soft and translucent. Turn off the Instant Pot by pressing cancel.4 garlic cloves, 1 onion
- Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen up any stuck bits of onion.
- Add broccoli florets, diced carrots, diced potatoes, seasoning and vegetable stock. The liquid will not cover the vegetables. Seal the lid on the pressure cooker, and turn on the MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK setting. Set the timer to 4 minutes.2 heads broccoli, 3 cups vegetable stock, 2 medium carrots, 3 medium potatoes, 1 bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Leave the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 5 minutes, before you turn the valve and perform a quick release.
- Remove the bay leaf from the pot. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup smooth. It will be quite thick at this point.
- Then, add half and half and cheddar cheese. Stir with a spoon until the cheese has melted into the soup. If you want to make the soup thinner, you can add a little vegetable stock or water until you're happy with the texture.½ cup half and half, 1 cup cheddar cheese
- You can blend the soup smooth with an immersion blender or a regular blender.
- If you think the soup is a little thick, you can add water or vegetable stock until you reach the texture that you like. If this cools down the soup, you can heat it back up by using the SAUTE setting.
- Keep stirring the soup after you add the cheddar. This allows the cheese to melt evenly.
- This recipe has only been tested in a 6 qt Instant Pot.
- Store leftovers in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pot on the stove top, or in the microwave.
Food safety tips
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended