I love a classic broccoli cheddar soup. To be honest, it's one of my all time favorites. However, I hate how heavy of a dish it is. Stovetop recipes are usually simple enough, but this version in the Instant Pot is done with only a 3 minute pressure cook time.
The recipe from Karina at Cafe Delites was the first guideline I used for this soup, although it was a bit rich for my taste. I also added some seasonings to make the soup a bit more complex.
Ingredients and Substitutions
For this soup, it has very few ingredients. The best part is that it's bulked up on some of the cheaper and lower calorie ingredients in order to make a less heavy soup.
For the base, it's mostly just chicken or vegetable broth. Personally, I love homemade chicken broth and if you have it go for it.
Although in this recipe there's so many other flavors that if you want to use a stock cube or a bouillon base, it certainly is acceptable.
Other than that, the only mandatory ingredients are broccoli, carrots, onions, cheese and cream. Of course there's also salt and pepper to taste.
To really take this soup over the top, it's amazing with some garlic powder, mustard powder, smoked paprika and nutmeg. The secret ingredient is a dash of Worcestershire sauce - something I often use as an umami boost in recipes.
For best results, I find old cheddar is the best way to get a lot of flavor without as many calories. A more mild cheddar lacks a depth of flavor and requires more to be noticed. You don't need an expensive cheddar, but older is always best.
This recipe is meat-free, but it isn't vegetarian friendly as is because of the chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce. To make this friendly for consumption for vegetarians, chicken broth can obviously be substituted for vegetable broth.
As for the Worcestershire sauce, you can either omit it completely (not recommended) or use one of the following vegetarian friendly substitutions:
- Homemade Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (recipe suggestion from Karissa's Vegan Kitchen)
- ½ teaspoon of soy sauce + ½ teaspoon ketchup
- ½ teaspoon of sherry vinegar + a pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon of pickle juice (for the adventurous)!
Instant Pot Method
There is honestly no recipe as quick and easy as this Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup. After the broccoli and onions are cut and the cheese are carrots are grated, all that's left to do is saute the veggies for a few minutes and top with the other ingredients. Set to "pressure cook" for 3 minutes and then break up the broccoli a bit with a fork.
After the pressure cooking is done, add in the cream and cheese and return to the lowest saute function to melt the cheese. If you want a thicker or thinner texture, you can add either a cornstarch slurry to thicken or more both to thin.
If you love this Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe, check out our French Onion Soup inspired by Roy Choi - our most popular soup recipe.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
- Instant Pot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 white onion diced
- 3 carrots peeled and grated
- 3 cups broccoli chopped small
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 cups cheddar cheese grated
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Prep your ingredients by dicing your onion, grating your carrots and chopping your broccoli into small florets. Set aside.
- Set the Instant Pot to saute and add olive oil. Allow to heat over medium and add in the onion. Saute until fragrant.
- Once translucent and fragrant, add in your carrot and mix to combine. Add in the broccoli, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Bring to a simmer.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot with the steam release handle set to "sealed". Turn the Instant Pot to "pressure cook" and set the timer for 3 minutes. Allow to come to temperature and once finished cooking for 3 minutes, allow to quick release.
- After removing the lid, check the texture for desired level of chunkiness. If you prefer a smoother soup, mash the contents with a fork or potato masher until it has the desired level of chunkiness.
- Next, add in the cream and cheddar cheese. Put the Instant Pot back on low or medium saute and allow the cheese to melt completely. If the soup is too runny, mix together a bit of cornstarch and water and simmer to thicken.
- Once at the desired thickness, taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.