For all of our bickering, in grade school my two younger sisters and I united around one, critical point of view: when Mom let us pick where to go for lunch, the correct answer was Panera. My go-to order: the baked potato soup (in a bread bowl, obviously). Years later, I still have a serious soft spot for potato soup, although these days, my first choice is this healthy, easy Instant Pot Potato Soup.
Velvety rich, creamy, and cheesy just like the Panera soup I loved (and OK, I still do), this Instant Pot potato soup is made without cream cheese and without heavy cream, yet it tastes absolutely indulgent. It combines fresh ingredients like potatoes and onion with pantry staples like Knorr® Selects Granulated Chicken Bouillon, so it’s both wholesome and convenient.
This is a vegetarian Instant Pot potato soup, and I’ve added plant-based protein to make it filling. A handful of cheese makes it rich and satisfying, and a special sneak healthy addition will nourish you. (This Instant Pot Tomato Soup is anther flavorful vegetarian soup.)
The end result? I like this recipe better than Panera’s potato soup. It’s just as delicious, better for you, and at less than $2.50 per serving, it’s a serious money saver compared to eating out too.
How to Make the Best Instant Pot Potato Soup
The base recipe for this soup is simple. Start here, then top it off to your heart’s content!
- Yukon Gold Potatoes. My absolute favorite for potato soup and most potato recipes, honestly. Russet potatoes are classic in potato soup (and you can use them in the recipe if you like), but I prefer Yukon golds, because they have a naturally rich, buttery flavor that makes its way into every bite.
- Cauliflower. SURPRISE! Or is it? At this point, adding raw cauliflower to vegetable soups to make them thick and creamy without changing their taste or adding unnecessary fat has become a signature move (see: Instant Pot Carrot Soup; Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup; Vegan Pumpkin Soup). It’s so effective; you’ll want to make it your go-to soup strategy too.
- Knorr Selects Granulated Chicken Bouillon. Ever start to make a soup, only to realize that you don’t have chicken broth on hand? Or have you purchased broth, only used a portion of the carton, then had to pour out the rest? This is your solution! It will allow you to make Instant Pot potato soup without chicken broth, yet keep the same, full flavor. Not only this, but it’s made with no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives, no colors from artificial sources, and no added MSG. Just mix 1 teaspoon of bouillon per cup of water. It’s quick, convenient, and far less expensive cup-for-cup. You’ll never need to worry whether or not you have broth in your pantry.
- Greek Yogurt. Another secret to making this soup rich and creamy without heavy cream or cream cheese. Greek yogurt is high in protein too.
- Cheese. Sharp cheddar + Parmesan make up the dynamic Instant Pot potato soup duo. Since these are fully flavored, you can use less, making this soup lighter (and less expensive), without losing a speck of flavor.
- Onion + Garlic. A must-have for soup flavor complexity. I love that they sauté right in the Instant Pot.
- Turn your Instant Pot to sauté, and melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic.
- Pour in the water and the bouillon. Stir until dissolved.
- Add the remaining vegetables and spices. Cover, seal, and cook on manual (high) pressure for 10 minutes. When done, immediately vent.
- Purée the soup until smooth. Let cool, and stir in the yogurt and cheese.
- Serve hot with whatever toppings you like. (See my favorites below!) ENJOY!
Recipe Variations + Dietary Swaps
- Instant Pot Potato Soup with Ham. Add 3 cups of cooked and diced ham to the Instant Pot after you puree the soup. Stir the ham into the soup until warm.
- Instant Pot Potato Soup with Sausage. Add 1 pound of ground mild Italian sausage to the Instant Pot first, sautéing the sausage until browned. Remove the sausage. Leave 2 tablespoons sausage drippings, and remove the rest. Add the onion and garlic, cooking in the drippings. Add the sausage back into the soup after you’ve pureed it, stirring until warm.
- Gluten Free Instant Pot Potato Soup. No changes needed! Unlike many potato soups which use flour as a thickener, this Instant Pot potato soup recipe is gluten free as written.
- Vegan Instant Pot Potato Soup (Dairy Free). I recommend checking out the recipe for my Potato Leek Soup, which is already dairy free/vegan. This Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup also has an easy vegan option.
- For those watching their carbs, this Instant Pot potato soup is already a fairly low carb option compared to traditional potato soups, thanks to the addition of the cauliflower.
What to Serve with Instant Pot Potato Soup
- Salad. Add crunchy freshness to your table with Winter Slaw or Broccoli Cranberry Salad.
- Veggies. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic or Crock Pot Honey Carrots would be tasty with this soup.
- Bread. Cozy things up by serving your soup with these Easy Drop Biscuits. Perfect for soaking up the delicious soup flavor!
How to Store and Reheat Instant Pot Potato Soup
- To Store. Place cooked and cooled soup in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm soup in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat on the stove, or you can reheat your soup in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until warmed through. I recommend reheating your Instant Pot potato soup with milk splashes to think the soup as needed.
- To Freeze. Store cooked and cooled leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container or ziptop bag (lay flat) for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Potato soup can become mealy when frozen, so the texture may change slightly, but it will still be tasty! If you know you want to freeze it, I recommend ensuring you puree your soup completely, so there aren’t any potato chunks remaining.
Recommended Tools to Make Instant Pot Potato Soup
- Instant Pot. This is the Instant Pot I own and love!
- Ladle. My preferred method for easily transferring soup to bowls and storage containers.
- Immersion Blender. Easily puree soup without moving it to a separate blender.
Top Off + Serve Your Perfect Instant Pot Potato Soup
For a final flourish, we topped our Instant Pot potato soup off with croutons. I love stirring them around in the hot soup, letting them soften a bit, then scooping one right onto my spoon. The slight crunch giving way to a soft, soup-soaked interior is one of life’s great small pleasures.
Next time around? I might have to truly relive childhood and go full-bread bowl!
Instant Pot Potato Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Knorr® Selects Granulated Chicken Bouillon
- 1 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks, about 5 medium (you can also swap russet potatoes, though I find the flavor and texture of Yukon golds more buttery)
- 1 small head of cauliflower chopped into florets, about 4 cups
- 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt or a 7-ounce container, plus additional for serving
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese plus additional for serving
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped fresh chives for serving
- Croutons baguette, additional cheese, additional Greek yogurt (optional, for serving)
- Turn the Instant Pot to sauté. Add the butter and let melt, then add the onion. Cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 additional seconds, just until fragrant.
- Add the water to the Instant Pot. Let come to a simmer (this will take several minutes), then whisk in the bouillon. Continue to stir until it is smoothly dissolved.
- Add the potatoes, cauliflower, mustard, thyme, and pepper. Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on manual (high) pressure for 10 minutes. When the cooking time is up, immediately vent to release any remaining pressure.
- Carefully open the lid. With an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth, or puree the soup in batches in a regular blender (be careful not to fill the blender more than halfway. Hot soup will splatter). Return any soup you pureed in the blender to the pot. Let the soup cool a few minutes, then stir in the Greek yogurt, cheddar, and Parmesan.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as you like. Serve hot, topped with chives, additional cheese, and a dollop of Greek yogurt as desired.
- TO STORE: Place cooked and cooled soup in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm soup in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat on the stove, or you can reheat your soup in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until warmed through. I recommend reheating your Instant Pot potato soup with milk splashes to think the soup as needed.
- TO FREEZE: Store cooked and cooled leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe container or zip top bag (lay flat) for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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The recipe is sponsored by Knorr. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands and companies that make it possible for me to continue creating quality content for you!