I am in an all-out lovefest with Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup. It’s rich and creamy, made almost entirely of vegetables. I feel fantastic after I eat it, and on top of all of those tasty qualities, it’s easy to make too!
Finding a broccoli cheese soup recipe that’s healthy and easy and tastes as good as the broccoli cheese soup against which all broccoli cheese soups are measured (hi, Panera!) is more complicated than it sounds.
Despite its straightforward promise to be warm, comforting, and make you feel all cozy and happy inside, most from-scratch broccoli cheese soup recipes are fussier than they appear.
Back when I was working on this Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheese Soup, I discovered that the majority of homemade broccoli cheese soup recipes required me to start by making a roux-based white sauce which, while tasty, defeated the easy factor I was seeking.
The recipes that didn’t involve a roux were for an Instant Pot broccoli potato cheese soup, or they called for thickening the soup with a certain uncomfortably orange “cheese,” which defeated the healthy factor I wanted for my soup.
While I came up with a solution I was fairly happy with for my slow cooker version, I must say, today’s Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup does it better.
Not only is it quick to make thanks to the speed of the pressure cooker, but the overall texture, flavor, and comfort factor are the best of any broccoli cheese soup I have tasted anywhere, Panera included.
5 Star Review
“My family kept going back for seconds and thirds this recipe was so good! Even the baby loved it!”— Chuente —
The secret to an easy Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup that’s healthy too? For the big reveal, let’s turn to the source of the recipe, my friend Megan’s cookbook The Fresh and Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook!
My only changes to the recipe were to start by sautéing the onions directly in the Instant Pot, based on personal preference.
I like the deeper, more mild flavor of sautéed onions versus raw. If you are in a hurry or don’t mind a stronger onion taste, you can certainly skip that step and make the recipe just as Megan has written it.
How to Make Healthy Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
To make broccoli cheese soup from scratch, we’re utilizing an array of veggies, flavor enhancers, and cheese. While the combination of ingredients makes this Instant Pot broccoli cauliflower cheese soup nutritious, I promise that it’s anything but boring.
- Broccoli. A can’t-miss ingredient in broccoli cheese soup! Broccoli is rich in antioxidants and vitamins and pairs wonderfully with the cheesy goodness in this soup.
- Cauliflower. The creamy secret weapon! When the final soup is blended, the taste of the cauliflower goes unnoticed, but it gives the soup incredible texture and body.
- Carrots. I tossed in carrots for their added nutrition and sweet taste. Carrots are packed with vitamins and fiber.
- Spicy Brown Mustard. Tangy and full of spices, spicy brown mustard makes the soup pop.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Forget Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup Velveeta-style, real sharp cheddar cheese is the key to a legit cheesy flavor.
- Parmesan. A little Parmesan is a perfect complement to the sharp cheddar cheese.
- Milk. Milk helps create the soup’s scrumptious creamy texture. You can use any unsweetened milk you have on hand.
- Sauté the onion in the Instant Pot.
- Add the remaining vegetables, mustard, salt, and liquid. Cook on HIGH for 3 minutes, then immediately vent. Puree the soup.
- Stir in the cheeses, milk, and pepper. DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm soup in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Plan Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, chop the vegetables and refrigerate them in separate storage containers.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Instant Pot. Ideal for making this Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup, and other hearty soups like Instant Pot Split Pea Soup.
- Immersion Blender. It makes pureeing soups like this one easier (and safer) than transferring the piping hot soup mixture to a blender or food processor in batches.
- Ladle. Perfect for transferring the soup to bowls and storage containers.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 3 cups water
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 pound broccoli cut into florets (about 6 cups)
- 1 very small head or 1/2 large cauliflower cut into florets (about 3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard (I used 1 tablespoon grainy brown mustard and 1/2 tablespoon Dijon)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Splash in some of the water and scrape a spoon along the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck-on bits. Add the carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, brown mustard, and salt. Add the remaining water.
- Close and seal the lid. Cook on HIGH pressure (Manual) for 3 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, immediately vent to release the remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid. With an immersion blender, puree the soup, leaving it as creamy or as chunky as you like. Alternatively, you can transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree it in batches, then return it to the Instant Pot. (Be careful not to overfill, as hot soup will splatter.)
- Stir in the cheddar, Parmesan, almond milk, and black pepper. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Enjoy hot (with a bonus sprinkle of cheddar if you feel so called!).
- TO STORE: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm soup in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze the soup for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- TO MAKE VEGAN: Omit the cheese and stir in 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice with the almond milk. (You may want to add more salt, as Parmesan is typically salty.)
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