Learn how to make creamy broccoli cheese soup in the Instant Pot. It’s a classic recipe that everyone should try making at home because it’s pretty easy and is a favourite with kids and grownups. You can serve broccoli and cheese soup as a main dish or a starter. It’s vegetarian and gluten-free friendly, with a keto/low-carb option.
Have you ever tried making an Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup before? It’s an easy way to prepare family-friendly dinner and hide those green vegetables inside. With plenty of protein and calcium as well as vitamins and minerals, this soup is actually quite nutritious even if it might seem so creamy and decadent. Check out the nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below.
If you’re counting calories or want to make it a little bit lighter, you can use low-fat dairy and less butter.
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
The full list of ingredients, instructions and notes are in the recipe card below. Here are some basic steps and photos to help you along the way.
Prepare all your ingredients or at least begin with the onions and carrots as those will be sauteed first. Turn the Instant Pot and set to Saute. Melt the butter and cook the onions and carrots for 2 minutes. Then stir in the flour (this will help to thicken the soup).
Add the stock, spices, broccoli and stock and stir through. Pop and lock the lid, set the Steam Release handle to Sealing and press Manual/Pressure Cook button, then adjust the time to 1 minute on HIGH pressure, which should be the default. The IP will beep 3 times and it will say ON on the screen; the pressure will build up for 10-15 minutes as there is quite a lot of liquid inside the pot. Once pressurized, the timer will start.
Even though we have set the time to 1 minute, the cooking actually begins during the pressurization of the Instant Pot. Once the timer is done, move the Steam Release handle to Venting (quick release) to let off all that pressure.
Open the lid and pour in the half and half cream. Use a potato masher to roughly puree the soup.
Press the Saute button again and allow the soup to come back to simmer. Turn off and at that moment add the cheese in 2-3 batches, stirring it into the soup until it’s melted.
You can serve this soup as is or with extra garnishes on top: shredded cheese or sharp Parmesan, croutons, herbs, add shredded cooked chicken, crispy bacon or chickpeas if you want to add extra protein (although it is rich in protein from the dairy).
It can be served as a main or as a starter in smaller bowls. You can even do it in small ramekins with teaspoons (on a big tray) as part of your party finger food spread.
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Family-friendly, satiating and nutritious, this Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup is easy to make and is great for a weeknight dinner. Serve with your favorite garnishes and some crusty bread or dinner rolls on the side. See notes for dietary modifications and storage/freezing instructions.
6 tablespoons butter (unsalted)
1 cup diced carrots
1 onion chopped
½ cup all-purpose or gluten-free flour (8 tbsp)
8 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons powdered garlic or 2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 teaspoon sweet or mild paprika
2 teaspoons spicy mustard
8 cups broccoli (small florets/discard the stems)
3 cups half and half cream (bring to room temperature)
4 cups cheddar cheese or Velveeta cheese (mild semi-soft cheese, diced into cubes or shredded)
Broccoli florets finely diced or parsley
- Turn the Instant Pot on and press the Sauté setting. Let it heat up slightly. Add butter and once melted, add the onions, carrots and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring a couple of times or until onion is softened. Stop the Sauté by pressing Keep Warm/Cancel button.
- While still hot, add flour and stir briskly for 30 seconds.
- Now, add chicken stock in 2-3 batches stirring well so there are no lumps. Using a whisk helps with this.
- Add the seasonings and mustard, stir through and add the broccoli florets.
- Close and seal the Instant Pot. Check the Steam Release handle at the top is pointing to Sealing. Press Manual/Pressure Cook button and adjust the time to 1 minute, it should say HIGH pressure. After 3 beeps, the Instant Pot will be ON and it will take about 10-15 minutes to build up the pressure, as there is quite a bit of liquid and ingredients inside. The floating valve will pop to the top once the pressure is built and the timer will start. Note, that cooking begins during the pressurizing stage.
- Once the timer is done, use the Quick Release method to let the steam off and open the lid. Simply point the Steam Release handle to Venting and step away. The jet stream will take a minute or two and the top floating valve will drop down once the lead is ready to be open.
- Open the lid and stir the soup. Add half and half cream (make sure it’s not too cold, microwave it slightly if needed). Mix through and use a potato masher to roughly puree the cooked vegetables into the liquid.
- Press the Sauté function key again to the soup back bring to a simmer. Immediately turn off once soup begins to simmer and add the cheese in 2-3 batches, stirring well until it’s fully melted and combined into the soup.
- Serve with toppings of your choice, such as shredded cheddar, chopped broccoli, hot sauce, sour cream, chives, crispy bacon, croutons and so on.
Storing the soup: Keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge. Reheat well and whisk to restore its creamy texture.
Freezing broccoli cheese soup: This soup can be frozen by putting it into freezer bags or airtight freezer containers. Label with the date so you know when to use them by, up to 3 months is ideal but can be longer.
Thawed broccoli cheese soup may have a slight change in texture because the cream separates during freezing and then thawing. Simply whisk the soup back together and add some more cream ot bring it back to life. Refresh the seasonings with salt and pepper and enjoy!
One tip is to use evaporated milk instead of cream if you plan to freeze this soup.
To Thaw: Refrigerate overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Lower-calorie version: Reduce butter or use low-fat alternative and use light or low-fat dairy and cheese. For a gluten-free version, make sure to use suitable flour!
Low-Carb version: Broccoli cheese soup is great for those following a low-carb diet. Simply omit the flour and carrot at the start or reduce flour down to 1-2 tablespoons.