Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Irresistibly creamy Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup is the best way to warm up this winter! Making this homestyle cheesy soup in your pressure cooker is a breeze. It’s filled with plenty of tender-cooked broccoli, veggies, and lots of melty cheese.

Looking for an equally tasty stovetop version? Try my creamy cauliflower broccoli cheese soup. And for another easy Instant Pot soup recipe, check out this creamy butternut squash soup.

Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup served in a bread bowl, next to a bowl of broccoli florets.

Why You’ll Love This Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

This easy Instant Pot soup isn’t far off from the broccoli and cheese soup you’ll get at Panera Bread. Only way, way better! Tender-cooked broccoli and veggies come together in a creamy cheese soup that’s warming and nourishing all at the same time.

Here are more reasons to love this Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup:

  • Authentic flavor. When it comes to classic soup recipes like tomato soup, cream of mushroom soup, and this flavor-packed broccoli cheddar soup, homemade is the way to go. And the Instant Pot makes the process so much easier!
  • Ready in 30 minutes. Make this quick broccoli and cheddar soup whenever you’re hankering for a wholesome bowl of soup in a hurry. It never disappoints.
  • Cheesy and creamy. Freshly shredded cheese melts seamlessly into this broccoli cheddar soup, combined with ingredients like half-and-half and butter for a texture that’s super rich and creamy.
  • Free from additives. I make my cheesy soup 100% gluten-free and vegetarian, with no weird additives or funny ingredients.
The ingredients for Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup.

What You’ll Need

Let’s have a look at the ingredients you’ll need to make Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup. Below is a short overview, but don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card for a printable ingredients list.

  • Broccoli, Carrots, and Onion – The perfect trio of vegetables. Broccoli is a given in broccoli and cheese soup, with diced carrots and onion for aromatics. 
  • Broth – Using vegetable broth or stock keeps this soup vegetarian-friendly. However, chicken broth will also work. I recommend using low-sodium broth so it’s easier to control the soup’s saltiness.
  • Butter – Let’s be honest, you can’t make comfort food without it.
  • Garlic and Seasonings – Freshly minced garlic adds delicious flavor, enhanced by paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Half-and-Half – I use half-and-half as the “cream” component in this creamy soup recipe. You can also use milk if you prefer something lighter, or even heavy cream if you’re throwing calorie caution to the wind.
  • Cheddar Cheese – Shredding the cheese first allows it to easily melt into the soup. Other good options are Gruyere, Monterey Jack, and Fontina cheese. Technically it won’t be broccoli cheddar soup, but still delicious!
  • Cornstarch – You’ll combine cornstarch with water, to form a slurry that will thicken the soup.

How to Make Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to make a cheesy soup in my Instant Pot! The Instant Pot turns this velvety broccoli cheddar soup into a breezy, 3-step process. Scroll down to the recipe card for printable instructions.

  • Add the Ingredients. Combine the chopped broccoli, veggies, broth, butter, and seasonings in your Instant Pot.
  • Cook. Stir, then seal the lid and set the Instant Pot to cook on high for 1 minute. In case you’re new to pressure cooking, note that the Instant Pot will need about 15 minutes total to come to pressure.
  • Add the cheese. When the soup is done, quickly release the pressure. Lift the lid and then stir in half-and-half along with shredded cheese. When the cheese is melted, create a slurry of cornstarch and warm water, then add this to the pot, too. Switch the pot to sauté, and stir to thicken.
  • Serve. Finally, season the soup to taste and ladle it into bowls right away. I like to garnish my broccoli cheddar soup with a sprinkle of fresh parsley, see below for more easy serving suggestions.

What Instant Pot Do I Need?

Which Instant Pot you buy depends on your budget and the size you need based on the many people you usually cook for. To have enough volume to make this broccoli cheddar soup, you’ll want to skip one of the small 3-quart models and get one that is at least 6 quarts. Here are some options.

Brianne Recommends

Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart 7-in-1 – your best budget-friendly option for all of the basic functions, including pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, saute pan, and food warmer.

Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 Quart 9-in-1 – gives you more functionality, including sous vide and sterilizer.

Instant Pot Ultra 8 Qt 10-in-1 – has even more features and is great for feeding a crowd.

Instant Pot Duo Crisp 6 Quart 11-in-1 – a single appliance that does double-duty as a pressure cooker and an air fryer.

Each of these models are available in multiple sizes to find the one that meets your needs.

Overhead view of Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup served in two bread bowls.

Tips for Success

This Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup recipe is straightforward and reliably delicious, making it perfect for multicooker beginners and pros alike. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

  • Can I use frozen broccoli? Yes! Fresh is always first in my books, but frozen broccoli also works in this soup recipe.
  • Use freshly grated cheese. I recommend grating your cheddar cheese straight from the block. Pre-shredded, packaged cheese often comes coated in a waxy preservative and won’t melt down so smoothly.
  • Cut the vegetables into small pieces. Finely chopping up the veggies allows them to cook evenly. It also means you’ll have a bit of everything in each spoonful.
  • The soup thickens quickly. Keep an eye while you’re stirring in the cornstarch slurry, and turn off the pot once the soup reaches your desired thickness.
  • Why is my broccoli cheddar soup gritty? This can happen if the soup is too hot when the cream and cheese are added. High temperatures can cause dairy to curdle, so add the cheese slowly and stir constantly as it melts.
  • Season the soup at the end. Since cheese is salty, wait until after you’ve added the cheese to season your soup with additional salt and pepper. You don’t want to wind up with an overly seasoned soup.
Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup served in a bread bowl.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why won’t the cheese melt in my broccoli cheddar soup?

Did you use pre-grated cheddar cheese? If so, that’s likely the culprit. Pre-shredded cheeses contain anti-caking agents (to prevent the cheese pieces from clumping in the packaging). These additives tend to prevent the cheese from melting smoothly.

Why is the cheese clumping in my broccoli cheddar soup?

If the soup is too hot when you add the shredded cheese, this can cause the cheese to split and clump. If you’re worried about clumping, let the soup rest for 30 seconds to a minute after opening the lid of the pressure cooker, then add the cheese.

Can I Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup on the Stovetop Instead?

Certainly. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can still make this soup recipe without one (though I can’t recommend the IP enough, see above).

To make broccoli cheddar soup on the stove, instead of softening the veggies through pressure-cooking, simply simmer them in the broth on the stove for 20 minutes. Afterward, take the soup off the heat and proceed with adding the cream and cheese as directed.

Overhead view of Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup served in a bread bowl.

What to Serve With Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup makes a cozy and easy weeknight meal served in bread bowls. Or, pair it with bread sides like my garlic breadsticks or buttermilk biscuits. We’ll never run out of ways to dip fluffy hunks of bread into this cheesy soup! To round out a winter dinner, enjoy a hearty bowl of soup as an entrée or appetizer. Serve it with a baked potato, sweet potato fries, or a Romaine wedge salad.

Overhead view of Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup served in a bread bowl, surrounded by soup ingredients.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Soup

  • Refrigerate. Store leftover Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup airtight in the fridge. It’s best to enjoy it within a day or two, but it will keep for up to 3 days. 
  • Reheat. To reheat the soup, microwave or warm portions on the stovetop until heated through, stirring frequently. You may notice the cheese separates a bit upon reheating, but your soup will still taste great.

Can I Freeze Broccoli Cheese Soup?

Due to the high amount of dairy, I don’t recommend freezing your broccoli cheese soup. The good news is, the Instant Pot makes this recipe quick and easy enough to whip up any time!

More Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Overhead view of Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup served in a bread bowl.
5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup is sure to become one of your favorite Instant Pot soup recipes! This creamy soup is the perfect comfort food, filled with tender-cooked broccoli, veggies, and plenty of melty cheese.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped very small
  • 1 cups carrots, chopped very small
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups medium cheddar cheese, shredded (about 6 oz.)
  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup warm water

Instructions

  • Add chopped broccoli, carrots and onions to the inner pot of your instant pot. Then add in the vegetable broth, butter, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and onion powder. Stir to combine.
  • Close your Instant Pot and turn the vent to “sealing.” Set the pressure cooker to pressure cook on high for 1 minute. It will take about 15 minutes for your instant pot to come up to pressure. When finished, carefully, quick release the pressure.
  • Remove lid and stir in the half and half and shredded cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the corn starch and warm water together until smooth and free of lumps. Slowly stir in the cornstarch mixture to your instant pot. Stir soup until incorporated.
  • Change the Instant Pot setting to sauté. Heat and stir until the soup thickens. This can happen quickly, so stir constantly and watch for the soup to achieve the right thickness.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. Garnish with parsley if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 240 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 44mg15%
Sodium 760mg32%
Potassium 368mg11%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 6481IU130%
Vitamin C 45mg55%
Calcium 109mg11%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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