Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup is a thick and creamy soup that uses evaporated milk and a roux to achieve ultimate creaminess and sharp cheddar cheese, vegetables, and herbs for amazing flavor. With the Instant Pot, broccoli cheddar soup is ready to eat in 35 minutes. It's a fast dinner that the family will love— an easy way to sneak lots of veggies to those picky eaters!
Soup is my favorite thing to make, whether it's in the slow cooker, on the stovetop, or in the Instant Pot. Instant Pot soup is my go-to for busy nights or when I need to throw a dinner together at the last minute.
This Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup takes about 30 minutes from the beginning of preparation to the time you can sit down as a family and enjoy it.
This recipe makes approximately 12 cups, with one serving being 2 cups. It will feed a family of 4-6, depending on how big your family's appetite is! For large families or those with big appetites, this recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled.
Why You'll Love It
Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup is ultra creamy, delicious and packed with vegetables.
I make this soup with a combination of chicken broth, evaporated milk and cheddar cheese. It's thickened with a roux made from flour and butter— not cornstarch or cream cheese. The evaporated milk, extra cheddar cheese, and roux make an incredibly thick soup without the need for cream cheese.
I don't believe that cream cheese belongs in soup, like many broccoli cheese soup recipes call for. Cream cheese belongs in dips, like slow cooker jalapeno dip and buffalo chicken dip, and creamy pasta dishes like pressure cooker pumpkin pasta and cheddar jalapeno chicken.
- Cheddar cheese: extra sharp gives the best flavor so it's what I prefer. You can also use a combination of yellow and white cheddar cheese.
- Vegetables: onion, celery, garlic, carrots, and of course broccoli! The recipe is written for fresh broccoli cut into small florets, but frozen broccoli works too.
- Chicken broth: or vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.
- Evaporated milk: this milk makes the soup richer as compared to using plain dairy milk. You could also use heavy cream but this will add many calories and fat to the recipe.
- Seasonings: salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Roux: a roux of flour and all purpose flour is made to thicken the broth.
STEP 1: Set the Instant Pot to saute mode on the normal/high setting for 3 minutes. Add the 2 tablespoon of butter, onion, celery, garlic, and carrots. Saute for 3 minutes, until vegetables soften, stirring frequently.
STEP 2: When the saute cycle is complete, add the chicken broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add the salt, pepper, paprika and broccoli florets, stir and close the lid. Set to pressure cook on high for 2 minutes. When done, complete a controlled quick release of the pressure.
STEP 3: While the soup is pressure cooking, make the roux. Mix ¼ cup of melted butter with the flour and stir until a paste forms.
STEP 4: Once the pressure has been released, open the lid and stir. Set the pot back to saute for 10 minutes (it may not take this long). Add the evaporated milk and the roux. Stir constantly for 1 minute so that the roux dissolves.
Keep the pot on saute until the soup begins to boil. This happens around 5-8 minutes. Once boiling, set a timer for 2 minutes. Stir continuously for the 2 minutes to allow the soup to thicken. For the roux to create a thick and creamy soup, it needs to boil for 2 minutes.
STEP 5: Once the soup has boiled for 2 minutes, turn of the pressure cooker. Using pot holders, remove the inner pot to a trivet or the stove and let cool for 5 minutes before adding the cheese.
STEP 6: Stir in the cheddar cheese slowly, 1 cup at a time.
It is important to allow the soup to cool before adding the cheese so that it melts smoothly. If the cheese is added to broth that is too hot, it will turn into rubbery chunks and not melt into the broth.
Serve, topped with extra cheddar if desired and enjoy!
When making Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup, follow these tips for the best possible outcome.
- Cool the broth for 5 minutes before adding the cheese. If you have a digital thermometer, check the temperature of the broth before adding the cheese. It should be below 150 degrees.
- Remove the inner pot when cooling for those 5 minutes. If you leave it inside, it will still be on the hot plate and will take significantly longer to cool.
- Add the cheese slowly, whisking as you add handfuls.
- If the broth is too thick for how you'd like it, add more chicken broth or evaporated milk ½ cup at a time. Stir and repeat until the desired texture is achieved. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- If the broth is too thin, add more roux. Melt ¼ cup butter and mix it with ¼ cup flour. Add it to the soup, stir and bring to a low simmer for 2 minutes.
- While thin broth can be thickened and too-thick broth can be thinned, there is no way to recover soup that has clumpy, rubbery cheese. You'll need to start over.
- Make it vegetarian: use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Since Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup is a thick and hearty soup, it can be eaten as a satisfying meal on its own. Serve it with garlic bread, toasted flatbread or pita bread, or top with extra cheese and croutons (like in slow cooker chicken parm soup).
Yes! Frozen broccoli can be used instead of fresh. Follow the instructions as written— there is no need to change the timing or process.
When the temperature of the broth reaches 150 degrees, the proteins in the cheese break down, releasing too much moisture from the cheese and causing clumpy broth full of unmelted rubbery cheese. To prevent this, add cheese to soup that is on a low simmer and test the temperature with a digital thermometer before adding cheese.
Add cheese a handful at a time rather than all at once. Stir the soup until each handful is melted and incorporated into the broth before adding more.
If the broth is more than 150 degrees, let it cool off the burner for 5 minutes. Test again and repeat as needed until the temperature is low enough.
Pair broccoli cheese soup with simple garden salads, dinner rolls, garlic bread, Italian bread or cheese bread. Dipping breads like homemade pita chips and quick finger foods like bacon wrapped scallops or bacon wrapped asparagus also pair well with it.
Yes, but you'll need an 8 or 10 quart Instant Pot.
Instant Pot broccoli cheese soup keeps in the fridge for up to 5 days.
It can be frozen but the texture will change, as the process of freezing and thawing causes the cheese to separate from the liquids. Therefore, it is best to enjoy broccoli cheese soup immediately after it's made or a few days later. Save your freezer space for more freezer-friendly soups, like classic chicken noodle, beef barley, stuffed pepper or vegetable soup.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup onion diced
- 3 celery stalks diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 carrot grated
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 4 cups broccoli chopped into small florets
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups evaporated milk
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 4 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese freshly shredded
- Set the Instant Pot to saute mode on the normal/high setting for 3 minutes. Add the 2 tablespoon of butter, onion, celery, garlic, and carrots. Saute for 3 minutes, until vegetables soften, stirring frequently.
- When the saute cycle is complete, add the chicken broth and deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add the salt, pepper, paprika and broccoli florets, stir and close the lid. Set to pressure cook on high for 2 minutes. When done, complete a controlled quick release of the pressure.
- In a small bowl, mix the ¼ cup of melted butter and all purpose flour until a smooth paste forms.
- Once the pressure has been released, open the lid and stir. Set the pot back to saute for 10 minutes (it may not take this long). Add the evaporated milk and the roux. Stir constantly for 1 minute so that the roux dissolves. Keep the pot on saute until the soup begins to boil. This happens around 5-8 minutes. Once boiling, set a timer for 2 minutes. Stir continuously for the 2 minutes to allow the soup to thicken.
- Turn off the Instant Pot. Using pot holders, remove the inner pot to a trivet and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cheddar cheese slowly, 1 cup at a time, stirring well between additions.
- Serve, topped with extra cheddar cheese if desired.