I love me a good Broccoli Cheese Soup. I love it even more when it is start to finish, super simple no-fuss 15 Minute Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup, piping hot and on the table in no time at all. And I love it even better, when it’s made with real Cheddar for that flavor punch.
This Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup just shines out as something special. The broccoli’s perfectly cooked with some nice-sized pieces. The texture is creamy and just right, a silky contrast to the bits of broccoli and carrot. The flavor? Divine. (And that’s not a word I use to describe soup very often!)
When I say this is minutes to make, I mean literally minutes. And it’s super easy with an “oddball” method. There are a few small, quick steps, so it is going to take a little attention, especially the first time it’s made. (Notice I said “first time?” Coz there’s gonna be a second!) But let me give you the run-down and everything you need to know.
A Note About Ingredients:
A few helpful hints!
- I use fresh broccoli just because I am frugal. Frozen is about 10 ounces of broccoli and 6 of water so I’ve determined for me it’s almost always less expensive to buy fresh. I have not tried this recipe with frozen broccoli. I suspect you might need to lower the pressure to 1 minute and the final soup may not be as thick. You might try thawing the broccoli and draining off the water but you will need about a pound and a half of frozen.
- I always shred my own cheese for this recipe and usually use Cheddar. Cheese that is already grated can have anti-caking agents and might not melt as smoothly. Bonus, depending on where you live, block cheese might be a little cheaper!
- I haven’t tested this with American; it might be thicker and the soup may need to be thinned a little. Maybe pair it with your frozen broccoli and use milk at the end instead of cream? I am curious! Panera, btw, uses “processed” cheese in their Broccoli Cheddar Soup and there is no doubt Panera’s soup rocks. (I like mine better, tho, lol!!)
- I make this soup with two carrots, shredded which isn’t quite the same as the shredded carrot you buy from the store. Someone noted her carrots didn’t cook through so I suspect she used those; I haven’t tried them (again, cheap!) but I do know they are very hard. If you use the commercially shredded carrots, try putting them in at the same time as the broccoli.
- I use real cream, just whipping cream (see where all the money saved on broccoli, cheese, and carrots went, lol!) but I think if you do like the soup with less body you could try another dairy. Whipping cream is pretty cheap at Aldi, btw!
So I hope some of you guys find the above helpful! I’d love to hear how you vary this soup and what has or hasn’t worked for you!
There are three things to know about Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup:
- Leave the broccoli in bigger spears & cook it two minutes only. That’s it. Pressure is released immediately and quickly. We don’t like no stinkin’ broccoli. (Blazing Saddles reference!) The IP cooks about 3 times as fast as the stovetop and there is additional cooking that goes on while it comes up to pressure and as you release. That is MORE than enough time to cook your broccoli through!
- This soup has a roux cooked in the IP, normally a no-no. It’s a loose mixture & only cooked two minutes, so the recipe gets by with it. Make sure there is no residue on the bottom of the liner before bringing up to pressure. I have NEVER gotten a burn notice in all the times I’ve made this. I suspect any that do have left residue on the bottom of the pot or didn’t trust the timing and cooked this longer. Or maybe they are bringing the roux/chicken broth mixture to a boil or possibly they are not turning the pot off as instructed.
- Be careful adding that cheese! You don’t want the soup hot hot hot or the cheese might seize up. That’s why I take the liner out and add the other ingredients in when I do and add the cheese at the very end.
Update on Burn Notice:
February of 2020, after two years and three months of making this recipe, I was finally able to recreate a “burn notice.” I added the flour, whisked and cooked for one minute. The mixture was lovely and loose. I took the IP into the next room under my lights to get a photo and as I did the flour mixture continued to cook and thicken in the hot pot.
I proceeded with the recipe, disappointed that I couldn’t show a photo of the roux as it should be, and when my IP was nearly at two minutes, I got the “burn” notice. That leads me to believe that the “burn notice” comes when the roux is cooked until thick rather than to the one minute mark.
My broccoli was done (most of the cooking is done during the heat up and release) and there was a minimum amount of browning on the bottom of the pot and it wasn’t scorched, so for me, it was no harm, no foul. Next time, I’ll make a longer version of the soup and eliminate any possibility of that happening.
A rundown of the steps for Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup:
Let’s do a quick rundown of the steps for this soup since some people have found it a little confusing, probably because directions are more detailed. Here’s the big picture rundown:
- Cook the aromatics in butter until they start to soften.
- Make a roux (sprinkle the flour over the aromatics & cook for a minute).
- Immediately whisk in broth and turn off pot. Do not bring to a boil.
- Add broccoli, set to 2 minutes high pressure.
- Remove broccoli and chop up – save some to put back into the soup and put some of it in the blender.
- In the meantime, set the IP to saute, whisk in the milk and toss in the shredded carrot. See note on carrots.
- Add cream to the broccoli in the blender and blend up.
- Take out the whole instant pot liner with the soup from the instant pot coz it’s super hot and we don’t want the cheese to “break” or get grainy, which can happen if it’s too hot.
- Add the broccoli/cream mixture to the soup. Then add the pieces of broccoli to the soup. Then add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- By now the soup should have cooled just a bit so it’s safe to add the cheese in small handfuls, stirring after each addition until it’s melted in, then adding the next handful.
This is a lot of quick steps because everything goes so fast with the IP. Pretty much the same steps happen when making broccoli cheese soup without the IP, but there are more pans dirtied and it takes longer so much longer with longer times between the steps! In the Instant Pot, it is a flurry of activity. I don’t have a hand blender so I’m interested to hear how that works out if you do!
This really is the most exquisite Instant Broccoli Cheese Soup and so worth the 15 minutes! No Instant Pot? Try either Russel’s Cream of Broccoli Soup or for something quicker, Cream of Broccoli Soup (just add cheese at the end if I want it cheesy.)Print
15 Minute Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
The most delicious Broccoli Cheese Soup with chunks of broccoli in a creamy, Cheddar soup.
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 - 8 servings 1x
- Category: Soups
- Cuisine: American
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon tarragon (optional)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound broccoli, cut the long way into spears, 2 to 3 spears for each stalk
- 2 medium carrots, shredded (about a cup) (see note)
- 2 cups milk, whole highly recommended
- 1 cup cream
- salt to taste (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, amount varies depending on how salty chicken broth is)
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- 8 to 12 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated (2 to 3 cups grated cheese) (see note)
Press the Sauté button, High heat and as the pot heats, add the butter, onion, and garlic (and tarragon, if using.) Continue to cook until the onion slightly softens.
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir for a minute, until flour is incorporated and the mixture starts to look a little dry. Whisk in the broth until smooth. Take care to make certain the bottom of the pot has all residue scraped up and incorporated into the liquid. Do not bring to a boil, just whisk in. Turn off Instant Pot (or press Cancel) and add the broccoli.
Set the Instant Pot to Pressure, High heat, time 2 minutes. At the end of 2 minutes, immediately do a quick release of pressure. If anything other than steam comes out, stop the release, wait a minute and release in short bursts. Open the lid and turn the pot off. Remove broccoli and set aside. Add the shredded carrots to pot.
Reset Instant Pot to Saute, low heat. Add milk to the pot, whisking in. Return your attention to the broccoli that’s been set aside. Chop some into rough chunks (to be blended) and some into small ibite-sized pieces (to be returned to the soup when finished.) Blend the chunks with the cream. Add some of the liquid from the pot, if needed, to get blender going.
Turn off the pot and remove the soup in the liner (so the soup isn’t so hot when you add the cheese that the cheese “breaks” and the soup isn’t so hot that it cooks the broccoli any more when added back in.)
Add in the blended broccoli/cream mixture. Stir in salt and pepper, add a small pinch of nutmeg (be careful, it can be strong). Stir in the cheese, a small handful at a time, making sure each handful is melted and incorporated before adding the next. Return the chopped broccoli to the soup.
If the soup needs to be a bit warmer, replace it in the liner and set Instant Pot to Saute, low heat, stirring often. Do not overheat the soup or boil at this point, keeping in mind that even the low saute setting is very hot.
Taste and adjust seasoning and serve.
- If using the hard, pregrated packaged carrot rather than two carrots grated, you may wish to add them in with the broccoli. They will probably take longer to cook through.
- If you’d like, you can add even more cheese. 🙂
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Broccoli, broccoli soup, Carrots, cheddar, Cheese, Chicken Stock, Cream, Instant Pot, milk, Soup
I’ll be bringing this recipe to Fiesta Friday 201, hosted this week by Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook. Fiesta Friday’s already filling up with all kinds of holiday goodies & recipes, so be sure to stop by!
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