Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
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Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup is thick and creamy, made with fresh broccoli, potatoes, half and half, shredded cheddar cheese and spices, and ready in less than 30 minutes!
Quick and easy soup recipes are a go-to in my household. If you like this broccoli cheddar soup, try out my Classic Potato Leek Soup, Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup, or my all-time favorite Slow Cooker Kale and White Bean Soup!
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup is one of my husband’s favorite fall dinners, made with fresh broccoli, Yukon gold potatoes, shredded cheddar, and half and half. It has a really nice creamy texture, and it’s ready to serve in under 30 minutes. It’s perfect for a busy weeknight or a snow day!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Broccoli. The obvious star of the show, broccoli is the main ingredient in this dish. If you want more veggies, you can use 2 additional cups of broccoli. Once it’s done cooking and pureed, stir in additional half and half until you have the desired consistency.
Keep in mind that if you add more broccoli, your soup may be more green in color, like my stovetop Broccoli Cheddar Soup that has twice as much broccoli in it.
Vidalia onion. You can get away with using a white or yellow onion, but Vidalia will add some additional sweetness to the dish that is a really nice contrast to the savory spices and cheese.
Potatoes. The potatoes contribute to the nice creamy texture, and gives you a mild base to work with. This lets us add some seasoning to get the flavor where we want it.
If you keep everything about this soup, you can exchange the broccoli for other vegetables like cauliflower, corn, or carrots.
Cheddar cheese. Sharp cheddar goes really well with broccoli. If you want to change this recipe around, you can also try pepper jack and mozzarella, gruyere, or a blend of mozzarella and parmesan.
Carrot. This is to sneak in another vegetable, but also to add some sweetness to the dish, just like the Vidalia onion.
Half and Half. This adds some creamy texture to the dish. You can also use heavy cream, or use the same amount of canned full-fat coconut milk.
Vegetable broth. I like to use vegetable broth (make sure it’s gluten free!), because it’s a veggie-based dish. But chicken broth would also work here. A beef broth would make the dish a lot darker and add a different flavor, but would taste ok.
Spices. I personally like a spicy soup, so I add a lot of black pepper and red pepper flakes. If you want less spicy, omit the red pepper flakes and bring the black pepper down to 1/2 teaspoon.
How to Make Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Using the saute feature, melt the butter and add the onion and carrot. Cook until onions start to brown, then add spices and cook for another minute, stirring.
- Add potatoes, broccoli, and broth. Lock the instant pot lid and close the steam valve. Set for 8 minutes. Once the time is up, release the pressure and remove the lid.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Then stir in cheddar and half and half, and serve.
Jacqui’s Tip! Make this a vegan soup by changing the half and half to coconut milk (from a can), use a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, and swap the cheese for your favorite good-melting vegan cheese. You can also leave the cheese out and use nutritional yeast to replace the cheesy flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your cheese isn’t melting, it’s probably because you’re using pre-shredded cheese which can contain anti-caking ingredients that also prevent the cheese from melting as well as sticking together. I recommend buying a block of sharp cheddar cheese and shredding it yourself either by hand or using a food processor.
If your soup is grainy, it’s most likely due to cheese or cream. Make sure you puree your soup first, then add the cheese and half and half as the last step, stirring immediately to incorporate everything together. You don’t want to cook the soup any further after this step.
This recipe should turn out to be a good thick texture, but if you use frozen broccoli or extra vegetables they may release water and cause your soup to be thinner. Whisk a tablespoon of corn starch with cold water, breaking up any lumps , then stir the cornstarch mixture into the soup. Turn on the saute function on the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until it begins to thicken. Turn off the heat, stir in the cheese and half and half, and serve.
Jacqui’s Tip! Pre-shredded cheese often has trouble melting like the block of cheese that you shred yourself. I recommend shredding it yourself for best results.
More Instant Pot Recipes To Try
- Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
Tips and Tricks
- You can use fresh or frozen broccoli here and keep the same cooking time. If you use frozen broccoli, you might want to add 1/2 cup less broth because it will release water. You can add more half and half at the end if you’d like to adjust the texture.
- I use an immersion blender because it’s easier, but you can also ladle this into a regular blender or food processor in batches to puree it. Just be careful and use an oven mitt for this because it will be really hot!
- You can throw in a garlic clove in place of the garlic powder if you have it. Add it with the onion in sauté mode.
- I used a gluten free baguette toasted under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes, with some olive oil and garlic powder, salt, and pepper as my “crusty bread”, which goes really well with Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup!
- You can top this with some extra pieces of steamed broccoli, sharp cheddar cheese, gluten free croutons, or some hot sauce if you want it extra spicy!
- If you want a thicker soup, use less vegetable stock in the beginning. You can adjust it later by adding more half and half.
- You can make this soup with no cream. Either replace it with coconut milk (from a can), or just leave it out completely.
If you loved this recipe, be sure to leave a 5 Star review below, and tag me with a photo of your finished recipe on instagram @Jacqui_DishingDelish!
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium Vidalia onion , chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, (optional)
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes , washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups vegetable broth , gluten free
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets, roughly chopped
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (not pre-shredded)
- 2 cups half and half
- Instant Pot
- Immersion blender (you can also work in batches with a regular blender or food processor)
- Turn your Instant pot on to saute mode and add butter, carrot, and onion. Stir frequently until onions start to brown. Stir in seasoning and cook for another minute. Turn off saute mode.
- Add broccoli, potatoes, and broth and stir together. Put the lid on the Instant pot and lock into place with the steam valve closed. Manually set the timer for 8 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure, then 8 minutes to cook.
- When the timer is finished, quick release the steam valve (use an oven mitt, hot steam will start to escape escape until the pressure drops).
- Once done, remove the lid and use an immersion blender to puree the soup (leave a few whole pieces of potato and broccoli if you want some extra texture). Stir in cheese and half and half. Let the hot soup melt the cheese for about a minute, then stir again to completely mix.
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