Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe (Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup) is so easy to make at home. Literally dump and stir the ingredients in your Instant Pot, no making the roux separately and you will be surprised how creamy and delicious this soup turns out. Ready in less than 20 minutes from start to scratch this is a perfect for a weeknight meal. Meal Prep Idea. Freezer Friendly. Vegan and Gluten-free options included.
Thanks to the German Winter, that I have been craving for Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup. Too bad, that it’s a German company that own’s Panera chains in the Us but there isn’t any Panera Bread here in Germany. So I had no choice but to make my own copycat version of Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup.
Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup
If you are looking for a warm comforting bowl of soup, this is your go to soup recipe. Picky eater or not, love your broccoli or not, this soup will change your mind. Here is why?
- It’s delicious, thick, creamy and flavorful just like Panera’s Broccoli Cheese Soup.
- It’s easy to make with no fancy ingredients.
- It’s loaded with the goodness of lots of broccoli.
- It’s ready in less than 20 minutes, without any baby sitting.
- It’s a one pot recipe – no need to make the roux separately.
- Makes a perfect weeknight meal with minimal effort.
- Lighter on calories compared to Panera’s. Yay!!!
Are you ready to impress yourself with this delicious bowl of comfort? Let’s get started right away.
Ingredients for this Easy Broccoli and Cheese Soup
- Lots of Broccoli – If you are not a big fan fan or raw or steamed broccoli, don’t judge this soup as for all you know it will become your new favorite. Combine broccoli with the rest of the ingredients and you won’t even realize you have broccoli in your soup. However if you are a broccoli lover, you can enjoy the soft tender broccoli florets or blend the soup completely. I prefer to use fresh broccoli but you can use a frozen too.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese – The names says it all, it’s broccoli cheese soup so there is a good amount of cheese in the soup. It’s best to use a fresh block of sharp cheddar cheese and grate it yourself as the shredded cheddar cheese has a coating on it that prevents it from melting completely. Plus I think it more powdery. The sharper the cheese, more flavorful the soup. Vegan option use vegan sharp cheddar.
- Veggies – a couple carrots and an onion is all you need to throw in there with the broccoli.
- Vegetable Broth – I like a low sodium vegetable broth as the cheese will have some salt too.
- Butter – Although this is a dump and stir recipe and doesn’t require sauteing anything, yes not even the flour. The better prevents flour from burning.
- Garlic – I love adding garlic to my winter soups for it’s health benefits and ofcourse the flavors.
- Flour – I had freshly milled my whole wheat flour so I used that in the soup. However you can also use all purpose flour or an gluten-free option is cornstarch.
- Milk – I like to maintain a balance in my meals and try to keep them as healthy as I can. Since this soup already has enough cheese, I make this with 2% milk instead of the traditional half and half or cream. Cut down the calories where I can. For a vegan option you can use cashew or coconut milk too.
- Seasonings – Pepper or chilli flakes (optional)
How to make Broccoli and Cheese Soup in Instant Pot
Making this Broccoli Cheese soup in the Instant pot is a game changer. Just throw in all the ingredients into the pot and pressure cook them. No making the roux in a different pot and no cleaning and washing an extra pot. Everything in just this one pot for a delicious creamy soup. Here is just a gist of how to make this soup. You can find the detailed recipe in the recipe card below.
Step 1 – Prepare the ingredients – Clean the broccoli first. I typically clean it by soaking it completely in a pot full of water and 2 tbsp of vinegar. Keep the head submerged while you prepare the rest of the ingredients and then in the end give it a rinse and cut into florets.
Step 2 – Prepare the soup base – Throw in the butter, garlic, onions, carrots, broccoli, flour and broth. Cover the lid and seal the vent.
Step 3 – Pressure cook for 1 minute – Yes that’s all it takes to cook this soup. The time taken to build the pressure is enough to cook the broccoli. If you were steaming the broccoli you need the texture to be tender but in the soup you need the broccoli to be a little softer. Once the timer beeps off, allow the pressure to naturally release.
Step 4 – Throw in the cheese and milk – Carefully open the lid, and throw in the freshly grated cheddar and milk. Feel free to use half in half or alternate milks for vegan options like cashew or coconut milk. Stir until dissolved.
Step 5 – Garnish with pepper , chilli flakes and more cheese and serve with a warm artisan crusty bread or in a bread bowl.
Don’t I need to make the roux separately?
Not making the roux separately is the best part about this soup. Although you could make the roux seperately but you don’t need to as you didn’t see any difference in the texture or flavors. This recipe calls for directly dumping the flour into the pot and when the soup is done and you stir it all together, you will notice there are no lumps whatsoever.
Which cheese is best for this soup? Can I use pre-shredded cheese?
It’s best to use a fresh block of sharp cheddar cheese and grate it yourself. I am not a fan of using pre-shredded cheese as it has a coating on it that prevents it from melting.
My cheese isn’t melting, what to do?
The soup needs to be hot for the soup to melt. if the cheese doesn’t melt still, heat the soup for a couple minutes on saute and allow the cheese to melt.
How can I meal prep this soup?
It’s best to pack the broccoli florets, chopped onion and carrots & garlic in a containers. When you want to make the soup, just dump this pack along with flour, broth and butter. You can even pressure cook the soup base and pack the soup just before adding the dairy and cheese. then all you have to do is heat up the base and add in the cheese and diry and give it a stir.
How can I refrigerate or freeze this soup?
If you have left overs, you can refrigerate this soup for a couple days. However if you need to store it longer freezing is a better option. If you are freezing left overs don;t freeze for more than a week or it’s best to meal prep the soup base freeze it and then add the cheese and dairy.
How can I make this broccoli cheese soup recipe vegan?
Using a vegan cheddar cheese and cashew milk or coconut milk is a great alternative to this traditional soup. However this does change the flavors a little and you can;t call it a copycat soup anymore.
Is there a gluten-free alternative to make this Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe?
Instead of using all purpose or wheat flour, you can use corn starch in this soup.
Serve it with a warm artisan bread or if you are like me who loves bread bowls then that’s comforting too.
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- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 broccoli / 16 oz. broccoli florets
- 1 onions, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour / all purpose flour / corn starch
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup 2% milk / cashew milk / coconut milk
- 8.oz sharp cheddar cheese
Step 1 - Prepare the ingredients - Clean the broccoli first. I typically clean it by soaking it completely in a pot full of water and 2 tbsp of vinegar. Keep the head submerged while you prepare the rest of the ingredients and then in the end give it a rinse and cut into florets.
Step 2 - Prepare the soup base - Throw in the butter, garlic, onions, carrots, broccoli, flour and broth. Cover the lid and seal the vent.
Step 3 - Pressure cook for 1 minute - Yes that's all it takes to cook this soup. The time taken to build the pressure is enough to cook the broccoli. If you were steaming the broccoli you need the texture to be tender but in the soup you need the broccoli to be a little softer. Once the timer beeps off, allow the pressure to naturally release.
Step 4 - Throw in the cheese and milk - Carefully open the lid, and throw in the freshly grated cheddar and milk. Feel free to use half in half or alternate milks for vegan options like cashew or coconut milk. Stir until dissolved.
Step 5 - Garnish with pepper or chilli flakes and serve with a warm artisan crusty bread or in a bread bowl.
Frequently asked questions are addressed in the post.