This Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup comes together from scratch in minutes. Made entirely in the Instant Pot with wholesome ingredients and plenty of cheese, this recipe delivers classic broccoli and cheese soup with the push of a button!
I’m a huge fan of one-pot soup recipes, especially when they’re creamy and comforting. My Creamy Italian Quinoa Soup or Ham and Bean Soup recipes are my usual go-to’s, but when the cheesy cravings hit or I don’t feel like putting in the extra work, this Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup is where it’s at!
You’ll find a comforting mix of vegetables, melted cheese, and herbs in every spoonful of this broccoli and cheddar soup. The best part is it’s made entirely in the Instant Pot! With a push of a button, you’re left with a luscious and crowd-pleasing soup that’s a guaranteed weeknight family favorite.
🧀 What is the best cheese to melt in soup?
This recipe is very similar to the broccoli cheddar soup at Panera Bread. To replicate the same great flavors, I recommend using sharp cheddar cheese. Mild or medium cheddar just doesn’t have the same punchy qualities.
If you can’t find sharp cheddar, stick with cheeses that are high in moisture with a lower melting point, like gruyere, fontina, and swiss.
Lastly, always shred the cheese yourself. Packaged pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt as nicely or taste as creamy.
🥦 What else is in broccoli cheddar soup?
In addition to shredded cheddar cheese, here’s what you need to make this easy broccoli cheese soup. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Butter – Sauteing the veggies in butter adds a solid base of flavor and improves the rich, creamy mouthfeel.
- Onion and garlic – If chopped small, this aromatic duo disintegrates during the pressure cooking process, ultimately helping to thicken the soup and add flavor.
- Broccoli – You can use freshly chopped broccoli florets, pre-chopped broccoli, or frozen broccoli.
- Carrots – You’ll need about three medium carrots, diced small or julienned. To save time, grab a bag of pre-shredded carrots.
- Chicken stock – Use a great-tasting homemade or store-bought chicken stock, broth, or bone broth. To make vegetarian broccoli cheddar soup, use vegetable broth instead.
- Half and half – This adds an extra layer of creaminess. If you don’t have half and half, use whole milk or equal parts whole milk and heavy cream.
- Dry mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Cornstarch slurry – Cornstarch and water are used as a thickening agent.
📋 How to make broccoli cheddar soup in the Instant Pot
To start, set the Instant Pot to SAUTE mode and add the butter. Once melted, add the onion and cook until softened. Continue by sauteeing the garlic, then add the broccoli, carrots, and chicken stock.
Lock the lid in place, making sure the steam valve is in the sealed position. Pressure cook on HIGH for 2 minutes. Once the timer stops, press CANCEL and manually quick release the steam.
Turn SAUTE mode back on and add the half and half, shredded cheese, and dry spices. Keep stirring until the cheese melts.
Whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl once the cheese is melted, then pour it into the soup. Stir until the soup thickens.
🌟 Customize it
- Add more vegetables – For even more flavor, saute the onions with thinly sliced celery or leeks. You can also swap some broccoli for cauliflower florets or add diced potatoes to the mix.
- Frozen broccoli – To make things extra easy, just add in a 12-ounce package of frozen broccoli florets.
- Make it meaty – After melting the butter, add chopped chicken breast to the pan and cook until browned. Then add the onions and follow the recipe as written. Store-bought rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked shredded chicken also works and can be added to the soup with the half and half, cheese, and spices.
- Smooth it out – If you don’t like your soup to have a lot of texture or prefer it to be creamier, puree it with an immersion blender or regular blender. You can do this to the full batch to make a smooth and creamy broccoli soup or only half of the batch to leave some texture behind.
Yes, you can easily make this in a large, heavy-bottomed pot on the stove instead. Follow the recipe as written, but let the broccoli, carrots, and stock simmer on the stovetop for 15 to 20 minutes. Finish by stirring in the half and half, cheese, dry spices, and the slurry.
This can happen if the dairy ingredients are added before the cooking process is finished, causing them to curdle. Be sure to add the half and half at the end and gradually stir in some of the shredded cheese at a time rather than all at once.
If the soup is thicker than you’d like it to be after adding the cornstarch slurry, you can thin it out with a splash of chicken broth or half and half.
🍽 Serving suggestions
Serving broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl or with a side of thick, crusty bread and toppings like extra shredded cheddar, croutons, bacon bits, and chopped chives is never a bad idea.
The combos below are a great place to start if you’re looking for more ways to make broccoli cheddar soup a meal. Or, if you need more ideas, check out these 25+ Sides for Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
Soup and salad combo:
- Healthy Wedge Salad
- Vegan Caesar Salad
- Vegetarian Kale Caesar Salad
- Southwest Chicken Salad
- Chicken Cobb Salad
- Cheeseburger Salad with Special Sauce
Soup and handheld combo:
- Cubano Sandwich
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Classic BLT
- French Bread Pizza
- Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich with Chipotle Mayo
- Green Chile Cheeseburger
- Curry Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
Once the soup is cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and keep it refrigerated for 4 to 5 days. It also freezes well for 2 to 3 months.
To reheat, thaw the frozen leftovers in the fridge, then heat the soup on the stovetop over medium heat until hot. Add a splash of milk or broth if it’s too thick.
🍷 Wine pairings
- Choose a full-bodied, oaky Chardonnay, a citrusy Pinot Grigio with grassy notes, or a dry, acidic Riesling with hints of vanilla and herbs.
- As for red wine, earthy and complex Pinot Noir accentuates the cheddar and natural sweetness of the veggies perfectly.
🥣 More Instant Pot soup recipes
- Bean Soup with Pesto
- Weight Loss Soup Recipe
- Homemade Minestrone
- Lasagna Soup
- Zuppa Toscana
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- MORE —> 35+ EASY soup recipes and 35+ CREAMY soup recipes
🥦 More broccoli recipes
- Grilled Broccolini with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Roasted Broccoli with Garlic & Basil Tahini Sauce
- The BEST Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
- More → 25+ BEST Broccoli Recipes
Did you make broccoli cheese soup in your pressure cooker?
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Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 4 cups broccoli (chopped small (or a 12 oz. package chopped broccoli or frozen broccoli))
- 1 ½ cups carrots (chopped small or shredded (about 3 medium carrots))
- 3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
- 1 ½ cups half and half
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons water
- Turn the instant pot to SAUTE. Add the butter. Once melted, add the onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened.
- Add the garlic, and cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Add the broccoli, carrots and chicken stock.
- Place the lid on the pot and set the valve to seal.
- Cook on MANUAL high pressure for 2 minutes. Note: It will take about 15 minutes for the pressure to build in the pot, then the countdown timer will begin.
- Once the cook time is up, hit CANCEL and quick release the pressure.
- Turn the pot back to SAUTE, add the half and half, cheese, paprika, mustard, salt + pepper. Stir until the cheese is melted.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and water, then add the slurry to the instant pot.
- Continue to heat and stir until the soup is thickened.
- If you’d like a creamier soup, blend some or all of the soup with an immersion blender or a regular blender.