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Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
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The Instant Pot makes the best Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This wonderfully rich, incredibly creamy, gloriously colored soup is a great winter warmer…and it comes together in 30 minutes flat. We’ve mentioned our fondness for cooking soup in our Instant Pot. In fact, to our way of thinking, it’s the best way ever to cook soup. It concentrates the flavors of broccoli, onions, carrots, and rich cheddar cheese in a heavenly cream soup. And for any extra kick, it is seasoned with red chili pepper flakes.  It’s heaven in a bowl

Panera Bread may have just lost a customer.

Panera Bread’s Version of Broccoli Cheddar Soup garnished with broccoli florets

According to multiple sources, Panera’s Broccoli and Cheddar soup sets the standard for this recipe.  But with over 2000 restaurants in the US and Canada, I think they will survive your home-making it.  And well it should since the last time we checked a bowl of it will set you back $8.19! I haven’t done the math on our recipe. But I guarantee the 6 servings won’t come near $49.14.  In fact, one of the great things about soups in general, and this one in particular, is how you can use past-their-prime broccoli florets, the last of those mini-carrots, and that onion in the vegetable bin. The one ingredient I would pay attention to is the Cheddar. You’re most welcome to pick up a log of Kraft’s Cracker Barrel but this soup only gets better the better cheddar you buy. I have a particular fondness for Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar, 7 ounces for $3.99.

Tips for Making Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Cut the broccoli florets into small pieces removing as much of the stem as you can. Don’t waste your money on shredded carrots.  Put the food processor to work to both shred them and to cut the onion into fine dice. As to the cheese, it is best to shred it yourself and not be tempted to use already shredded cheddar.  To keep the shreds from sticking to each other in the bag, it’s coated. And that coating also keeps the cheese from melting smoothly. Always shred your own cheese if you are going to melt it. If you must, you can substitute heavy cream for half and half. I prefer to go with the heavy stuff and then, when you are serving the soup, add warm milk to the mixture until you get the texture you want. Finally, seasoning in soup is everything. Do not leave out the red chili flakes!

Here’s today’s recipe and some other Instant Pot dishes to try.


Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

February 27, 2023
: 6
: 10 min
: 20 min
: 30 min
: Very easy -- especially if you have a Food Processor and either a Immersion or Regular Blender

Dinner in under 30 minutes! Loaded with vegetables and cheese, you'll love this easy, creamy Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe!


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped very small (florets only), about 3 cups
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 32 oz chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Step 1 First, add butter, diced onion, chicken broth, broccoli, carrots, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to the pressure cooking pot.
  • Step 2 Lock the lid in place, making sure to select “Sealing” on the valve. Select High-Pressure Cook (or manual) for 4 minutes.
  • Step 3 Once the cooking time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and do a quick release.
  • Step 4 In a small bowl, whisk together cold water and cornstarch. Open the lid of the pressure cooker (away from your face).
  • Step 5 Turn the instant pot on “saute” and add the cornstarch mixture to the pot. Also, add the heavy cream and cheddar cheese. Stirring continuously, mix the soup until the cheese is melted and thickens about 3 minutes.
  • Step 6 Turn off and serve immediately

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