Healthy Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
An easy-to-make Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup that’s soul-warming, delicious, and healthy! Perfect to see you and yours through chilly nights!
It’s finally happened – I’ve joined the Instant Pot train. Only a couple years late!
While I embrace technology – or, at least, we have WAY too many Apple products – I’m not really an early adopter. Especially when it comes to kitchen gadgets and things that will take up precious cabinet space, I like to wait and see, and generally do without if it’s all the same.
That said, I’d been toying with the idea of an Instant Pot for some time, and a trio of things pushed me over the line late last year:
- This Pinch of Yum round-up on “16 Magical Ways To Use Your Instant Pot” – I read and immediately wanted to try them all.
- Several trusted coworkers’ assurances that I really would love it. 🙂
- A deep desire to avoid making our Thanksgiving mashed potatoes on the stove-top this year. For some reason I hate babysitting mashed potatoes on the stove. The thought that I could take this side dish elsewhere was too good to pass up.
So, yes, a bit random. But our Instant Pot arrived the day before Thanksgiving, and I’ve been quite taken with it ever since.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
We’ve made all sorts of sides and breakfasts (steel-cut oats are our new favorite!) in the Instant Pot, but hands down what I’ve loved most are all the cozy winter soups. If you’re pressed for time, the Instant Pot is soup’s best friend!
And of the many soups we’ve tried, this broccoli cheddar is a definite stand out. Hearty, rich, and flavorful, without relying on an excess of butter or heavy cream. In fact, it’s mostly vegetables, and vegetables that are easily available in the winter, at that!
So, what will you need to make it?
- Veggie or chicken broth
- Cheddar cheese
- Butter, oil, and spices
The real bonus of the Instant Pot to me is the hands-off aspect. Yes, it does actually “cook” things very quickly, but by the time it comes up to pressure and releases it, it’s not always that much of a total time-saver over other methods of cooking. What it does do, though, is make that time completely hands-off. This has been a game-changer. Throw everything in, set the cook time, and let it go.
No checking, no prodding, no poking. No wondering, is it simmering? Too fast? Not enough?
Tools to make kitchen life easy
In addition to your Instant Pot (I bought the 6 quart DUO version), an immersion blender is a great tool to have for this recipe, so you can blend the soup right in the pot.(affiliate links) Any old blender will work, or even a food processor, but seriously, if you like to make soups like this, an immersion blender is so inexpensive, takes up zero space, and worth every penny for the hassle it saves.
I haven’t tested this recipe in other pressure cookers, but I suspect it would work much the same. You may simply need to saute the veggies in the first step on the stove-top, then transfer. Or, honestly, you could probably skip the step entirely – it softens the onion’s flavor, but I’ve made other soups without the saute step and they turned out wonderfully.
What to serve with broccoli cheddar soup
Crusty bread, obviously! Yum!
Otherwise, friends, this is totally a one-pot meal as far as I’m concerned. All those veggies, and it’s super filling? We are one and done.
If you try this soup or any other recipe on the blog, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing from you, and other readers will benefit from your experience!
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 18 ounces broccoli florets about 4 cups
- 12 ounces cauliflower florets about 2 cups
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried, plus more for serving
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- a few turns freshly-ground black pepper
- 3 cups veggie or chicken broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Set Instant Pot to the sauté function, and add olive oil, butter, onion, and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, until fragrant and slightly softened. Add broccoli, cauliflower, thyme, nutmeg, salt, cayenne, and black pepper, followed by the broth. Cover, seal, and cook for 8 minutes on manual/high pressure.
- When finished, use the quick release function to vent steam. Puree the soup using an immersion blender, or transfer to a regular blender, puree, then return to the Instant Pot. (An immersion blender is so much easier here!)
- With the Instant Pot on the keep warm setting, stir in the milk and cheese. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and smooth.
- Serve with fresh thyme, bread, or crackers as desired. Enjoy!
- The cooking time of 30 minutes includes an estimated 10 minutes for your Instant Pot/pressure cooker to come to pressure. If yours is faster, this might be less!
- Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest - added carrots, swapped cauliflower in, zucchini out, and slightly altered the method for mixing in milk and cheese.