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!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup topped with grated cheese in a white bowl

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.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Instant Pot

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.

Main Ingredients

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.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Instant Pot

Method

  • 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.
Steps to make a soup with onions, broccoli, carrots, and broth

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. 

Steps to make a roux
  • 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.
Steps to make creamy broccoli cheddar soup in the instant pot

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!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup served in a bowl with chili flakes on top

Tips

  • 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.
Delicious Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a white bowl

Common Questions

Can I use frozen broccoli to make this soup?

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.

Can this soup be made on the stovetop?

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.

How to store this soup?

Let’s the soup cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Can I double the recipe?

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!

4.79 from 268 votes

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated, sharp preferred
  • 3 cups Broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup Carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
  • 2 cups Broth, Veggie or Chicken

Seasoning (adjust to taste)

For stovetop

Instructions 

  • 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. 

On Stovetop

  • 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.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Broth: I have used Better Than Bullion base to make broth. It is just easier to keep at hand for all my cooking. 
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. 
Created: This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Pressure Cooker.
Updated: This recipe has been updated to not cook flour under pressure.  The previous recipe instructions were requested by some readers, so I am sharing the changes here – 
  • 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. 

Nutrition

Serving: 224gCalories: 446kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 21gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 560mgPotassium: 604mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 6824IUVitamin C: 65mgCalcium: 537mgIron: 2mg

Additional Info

Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Diet: Low Carb, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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Recipe Rating




212 Comments

  1. If you don’t usually keep a lot of fresh milk at home, tinned evaporated milk works very well. I use the whole tin. About 12 ounces.

  2. Great soup. Very close to the Panera version. We used a plant based cheese (Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds), and almond milk. The cheese melted nicely, and the resulting soup was thick and creamy. Thank you for the great recipe. We’re going to try with cauliflower next time.

  3. I’m new to insta pot but this was an instant favorite! Great a pretty easy. Used half and half instead of heavy cream or milk since there was none in the store (biggest frustration lol) but it didn’t seem to affect me too much! Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to try more!

    1. Of course! You might want to let it thaw a bit if some of the pieces are too big for your liking and you want to trim them up. That’s all I use and it’s an easy way to keep your broccoli on hand. We are trying to go into the shops less these days.

  4. The family loved it, especially my wife. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I followed it to a tee, using the instant pot.

  5. Made this soup yesterday as a starter to our Christmas dinner. Usually do a stilton soup but it is a bit too strong for some family members. This soup went down a treat with everyone raving about it. I am sure I will be making it over and over again.

  6. I don’t understand what I did wrong. I even shredded my cheese at home but it didn’t incorporate into the soup. I stirred and stirred and the cheese didn’t melt right. I used sharp cheddar.

    1. Hi Karen – Not sure what happened. If it helps, I use Tillamook brand cheddar which incorporates really well in the soup.

  7. Really really good!!! Just what I was looking for. However, I stopped the auto release after 10 minutes and wish I did it a bit sooner but was the PERFECT consistency. Reminded me very much like the Panera version.

      1. This is the first recipe I tried in my new and first ever instant pot and my family loved it! I used velveeta cheese and added some chopped leftover Christmas ham just before serving and it was the best soup I have ever had! I had to make it again three days later! I wonder if I can double this recipe in my 8 quart instant pot??

      2. Hi Holly – So glad to hear you enjoyed the soup. You can double this recipe in an 8qt instant pot. Hope you enjoy it!