This Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup is a hearty yet healthy soup full of veggies and cheddar cheese that’s ready in less than 30 minutes.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – or another neutral cooking oil like avocado oil or canola oil.
- Yellow onion – white onion or shallots would also work here.
- Garlic – I prefer freshly minced garlic but jarred minced garlic will work in a pinch.
- Salt – to taste.
- Paprika – chili powder is a good substitute here although it might be spicier.
- Pepper – to taste.
- Russet potatoes – feel free to use another variety of potato of your choice, just make sure it’s diced into smaller pieces.
- Broccoli – the broccoli is the star of this recipe but cauliflower would also be delicious if you’re in the mood for a cauliflower cheese soup!
- Vegetable broth – chicken broth would be the next best thing.
- Milk – use your favourite milk or dairy-free substitute like almond milk.
- Cheddar cheese – I find that cheddar tastes best in this recipe but you can use another cheese of your choice like Swiss or Gruyere.
How to make broccoli and cheese soup in the Instant Pot
- Add everything but the milk and cheese to the Instant Pot in order.
- Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Blend the potatoes and broccoli using an immersion blender.
- Stir in the milk and cheese.
- Serve and enjoy!
How to thicken your soup
To become thick and creamy, most soups need some sort of thickener. Here are three ways to thicken this soup:
- Roux: Using a roux (made with equal parts fat and all-purpose flour) is a popular way to thicken a soup, but it’s not a good option for people who need a gluten-free soup.
- Cornstarch Slurry: A gluten-free option for thickening soup is to stir in a mixture of cornstarch mixed with cold water. If you feel that your Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup is too thin, a slurry is a great option. Just make sure that the soup is hot and simmering when you add the slurry, otherwise, you may end up with lumps of cornstarch in your soup.
- Potatoes: Another great option to thicken soups is to add potatoes, which is what we are doing with this Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup recipe! As the soup cooks, the potato starches release and help to thicken the soup. An extra bonus is that potatoes add vitamins and minerals to the soup, too!
Frequently Asked Questions
To turn this broccoli cheese soup into a whole meal, you can cook up some bacon and add some extra cheddar and broccoli bits on top. I’ve even sautéed up some shrimp or scallops to add a protein source to this soup and turn it into a full dinner, though the soup is naturally high in protein thanks to the cheese and milk.
This recipe has 21 grams of carbs per serving. If you’re looking for a low-carb option you can leave out the potatoes, but I’d recommend adding in a cornstarch slurry to make sure the soup stays nice and thick.
I find that the best cheese for melting in soup are ones that have a lower melting point. Cheddar, Gruyere, Swiss and even Monterey Jack will all melt well in soup, although I like the flavours of the cheddar with the broccoli best!
Storing and reheating
This soup is great for meal prep since it will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. I like to store individual serving sizes in mason jars or glass meal prep containers. That way, when I’m ready to eat, all I have to do is pour the soup into a pot on the stovetop, simmer it in the Instant Pot or stick it in the microwave for a couple minutes. Make sure to give it a good stir before eating!
Can you freeze broccoli cheese soup?
Most soups are very freezer-friendly, but when you’re freezing cream-based soups like this broccoli cheese soup, things can be a little challenging. This is because cream can separate when frozen, so the reheated soup is sometimes watery. Even worse is when the soup starts to curdle as it reheats.
To try and avoid those problems, follow these simple steps below:
- Make sure the soup has cooled completely before storing it in glass meal prep containers or freezer-safe Ziploc bags. Remove as much air as possible from the container.
- Before reheating, make sure that the soup has thawed completely and stir it well to recombine the ingredients.
- If possible, avoid reheating in the microwave. Instead, reheat on the stovetop or use your Instant Pot’s simmer setting. If you’re tight on time, you can reheat it in the microwave for 7-8 minutes, stirring well halfway through.
More Instant Pot soup recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on freezing this Instant Pot Broccoli Soup!
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled, diced and rinsed
- 2 heads broccoli, chopped into florets
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- Add olive oil, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, potatoes, broccoli and vegetable broth to Instant Pot in that order. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 3 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-20 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook the 3 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon, then open lid when pressure gauge has dropped and lid opens easily.
- Blend potatoes and broccoli using an immersion blender, then stir in milk and cheese. Serve and enjoy!