This delicious Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup can be ready in minutes, and is just like Panera's classic soup. With the goodness of broccoli and carrots, this creamy cheesy soup is so comforting, the whole family will love it!
With the fall weather in full swing, I have been craving soup. What could be better than this delicious cheesy goodness. You know what I mean if you love cheese...and soups!
Note: This recipe has been updated with new photos and lots of good details to help you make the perfect soup!
Easy Panera Copycat Broccoli Cheese Soup
I used to have this soup at cafe's and wondered how they make this creamy comforting soup. Ooooh...the yummy broccoli and carrots in a delicious cheesy base. Now I make this soup in the comfort of my home in the amazing Instant Pot!
I love making soups in the instant pot, so quick, and so delicious. I have over 20 Instant Pot Soup recipes. I must say, this Broccoli Cheddar Soup is one of my family's favorites. So rich, creamy and cheesy...it is heavenly!
Don't want cheese? Check out this Thai Butternut Squash Soup and this Vegan Cauliflower Soup. For an easy dump-and-go soup in the instant pot, check out this Vegetarian Taco Soup.
Health Benefits of Broccoli
One of the star ingredient in this soup, broccoli comes packed with nutrition and has so many health benefits:
- It is loaded with fiber, vitamin C, K iron, and potassium
- Also, it has a higher protein content than most vegetables
- It helps in lowering your blood cholesterol
- Boosts your eye-health.
Even thought the name of the soup is broccoli cheddar, I adds carrots and onions too. I love the added nutrition from all the veggies disguised in this creamy soup.
How to make Broccoli & Cheese Soup in the Pressure Cooker?
This is a super quick recipe, just make sure you have cheddar cheese at home. I made this soup in an Instant Pot, but it can easily be made in a normal pressure cooker or in a pot on the stovetop, just allow extra time to make the soup creamy.
Broccoli - I used broccoli in this recipe. I have tried this soup with frozen broccoli as well, and it works great. So go for what you have on hand. You can keep the broccoli pieces big or dice them, they will be super soft after pressure cooking, and will mix seamlessly in the soup.
Carrots - I like to add carrots to this soup as well. I grated the carrots, as my family prefers it that way. You can dice finely if you like too. Just a couple of carrots or one large carrot.
Cheese - I prefer medium or sharp cheddar in this recipe. Also, my preference is to always grate cheese freshly at home.
Roux - I add a roux made on stovetop with butter, flour and milk to thicken this soup. Other options to thicken the soup are a cornstarch slurry or just heavy cream. We love the creaminess of the roux, and is our preferred method.
Broth - You can use vegetable or chicken broth in this recipe. I use Better Than Bouillon to make the broth. It is easy to have this in the refrigerator and make broth whenever I need it for a recipe.
- Let's get started. First, start the instant pot in SAUTE mode and melt butter in it. Then add the diced onions and minced garlic and sauté for couple of minutes.
- Add broccoli, carrots, seasoning and broth. Mix it all well.
- Close the lid and pressure cook. When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.
When the pressure cooking is done, melt butter on a stovetop saucepan. Add the flour and saute for a minute until it is cooked. Whisk in the milk, a little bit at a time, until you have a smooth thick consistency.
- Open the instant pot lid after the pressure has released. Stir in the roux you prepared on stovetop. Add the cheddar cheese gradually, stirring continuously, until it melts.
- If you like a smooth soup, use a whisk for stirring. If you like it chunkier, then use a regular ladle to stir in the cheese.
- Press sauté and let the soup simmer for a couple of minutes.
The soup is ready to be served. Serve in a regular bowl or a bread bowl; it is delicious either way!
Top with grated cheese or dip some crusty bread to enjoy this soup. If you like it spicy, sprinkle some chili flakes or hot sauce!
- I highly recommend to buy a block of cheese and shred it at home. The store bought pre-shredded cheese does not melt as well, as it has a coating to keep it separate in the bag.
- You can make this soup smooth or chunky based on your preference. My kids like it smoother, so I used a whisk when mixing the soup after pressure cooking. You can also use a hand blender to make this soup smooth.
- Vegan variation: To make this recipe vegan, replace the butter with your favorite plant based oil or use vegan butter. One reader used Daiya vegan cheese and almond milk and it melted perfectly to make a creamy vegan soup.
- No Flour / Gluten-free variation: Skip the all-purpose flour to make this soup gluten-free. Add the extra butter in step 1 to the instant pot and cream/milk after pressure cooking is done.
- This recipe is already low carb. You can reduce the carbs even further by replacing the roux with just heavy cream and reducing the amount of onions and carrots in the recipe.
- Don't be afraid of the butter and cheese to get the real cafe-style flavors at home.
Yes, frozen broccoli works great in this recipe. The same cooking time will work for frozen broccoli too. You can also use a mix of cauliflower and broccoli.
Yes! You can follow the steps as in the recipe, but add an extra cup of broth and let the veggies simmer in the broth for about 15-20 minutes until they are tender.
Let's the soup cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Sure, the cooking time will remain the same even if you half or double the recipe.
Try this recipe and let me know if how you like it. If you are looking for more soup options, check out this collection of 17 Instant Pot Vegetarian Soup recipes for more delicious soups!
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Seasoning (adjust to taste)
- Salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
- 2 tablespoon Butter
- 2 tablespoon All purpose flour
- 1 cup Milk or cream
- Start the instant pot in SAUTE mode and melt butter in it. Add diced onions and minced garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add broccoli, carrots, seasoning and broth. Mix it all well. Press Cancel and close the instant pot lid with vent in sealing position.
- Set the instant pot on MANUAL or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 5 minutes.
- When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid.
- When the pressure cooking is done, melt butter on a stovetop saucepan. Add the flour and saute for a minute until it is cooked. Whisk in the milk, a little bit at a time, until you have a smooth thick consistency.
Mix it together
- Stir in the roux prepared on stovetop and the cheddar cheese gradually, stirring continuously, until it melts.
- Change the instant pot to SAUTE mode and let the soup simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Soup is ready to be served. Garnish with some grated cheese, black pepper or red chili flakes and enjoy with crusty bread.
- In step 1, add all the butter (including what is mentioned in stovetop section). Add diced onions and minced garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add flour and saute for a minute until it is cooked. Add the broth and mix it well with the flour to a smooth consistency. Add broccoli, carrots and seasoning.
- After this follow the steps to close the lid and pressure cook. Stir in the cream after releasing pressure. Stovetop steps can be skipped.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
I absolutely love this soup, last I made it turned out wonderfully. I do have a question, however. My fiance purchased half and half rather than heavy cream, will this work for the cheese base? I have milk as well but highly prefer the heavy cream.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Kate - Sure, you can use half and half in place of milk/cream. Glad you enjoyed the soup!
Wendy Paterson says
I make this soup usually once a week. I have made it according to the recipe, or added half cauliflower and have broccoli, or just cauliflower. All are excellent. I often omit the carrot. I also never add flour but just a splash of heavy cream at the end. I blend with an immersion blender before adding the cheese. Always use half cheddar (shred my own) and half Gruyère. I think what makes this soup a step above all others are the chilli flakes. We love spice. Thanks Meeta for the best recipe ever.
BTW it freezes beautifully.
Piping Pot Curry says
Hi Wendy - So happy to hear that. Thank you for sharing it 🙂
I bought a $10 loaf of artisan bread to go with this and it was REALLY good. It was a little labor intensive because chopping up a ton of broccoli is awkward. Maybe next time I'll just try with frozen broccoli.
Meeta Arora says
Glad you enjoyed the soup, Tyler. I usually buy the fresh pre-cut broccoli bag form costco, which works well for this soup. Frozen broccoli will work too.
I've made broccoli cheddar soup twice now, and this is by far the better recipe! The other left me with a grainy texture of a soup. While still tasty, it was definitely a turn off. This came out perfect and tasted amazing, 5 stars from everyone who ate it! Paired wonderfully with a grilled cheese on a cold, rainy day 😊
Meeta Arora says
Hi Kate - So happy to hear you all enjoyed the soup!
Can I sub with frozen broccoli? Will that change the time?
I made it with a bag of frozen broccoli and I didn't change the time. It might have taken a little longer to come to pressure but the taste was great!
Meeta Arora says
I agree, the same cooking time should work well for frozen broccoli. The instant pot might take a bit longer to come to pressure. Hope you enjoy the soup!
This soup hit the soup craving spot both my husband and I were having. My husband is a big broccoli soup fan, whereas I am not, but I can safely say this recipe changed that for me!
If I doubled the recipe would this soup freeze well?
Meeta Arora says
Hi Carolyn - Happy to hear you both enjoyed the soup. I have not tried freezing, but you can freeze this soup after it is completely cooled down in small portions for up to 1-2 months max as this soup has a high dairy content. When reheating, defrost overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat at a low temperature to prevent curdling.
My kids are so happy that finally they can cook with cups measurement (1/2 cup onion).
Thank you for the measurement by cup.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Priti - So happy to hear that!
Thank you for this delicious recipe! Currently pregnant and was having a craving for broccoli soup today.. the only issue is that this pregnancy I’ve had a terrible aversion to any garlic & onion which has made it sooo difficult to eat like a normal human during this time. I tried the recipe out without any onion & garlic, also went without the broth since they typically have those ingredients too. It came out absolutely delicious & my husband who isn’t normally a soup person loved it as well! Will be making again 🙂
* meant to say I substituted the broth for water!
Meeta Arora says
Hi Michelle - So happy to hear you enjoyed the soup with the substitutions. Love that it could satisfy your pregnancy cravings.