Instant Pot Recipes from a Chef's Wife and IP Enthusiast

The Best Broccoli Cheddar Instant Pot Soup

Start to finish cook time: 40 minutes (5 prep + 15 pressure + 15 high pressure + 5 sauté)
Effort Level: Low
Servings: 8

Today was the perfect windy and cold Sunday to create a new soup recipe. I venture to say this was the best broccoli cheddar soup I've ever had and this was on our first attempt!! I like this better than Panera hands down, it's so good and so easy. I literally cleaned the house, while my IP did the work.

I consulted with Chef for a major overhaul on seasonings, to give this just the right amount of flavor but without being overpowering. My mom is coming to town, so I didn't make this spicy and honestly it turned out so good as is that I'm not sure I would make it spicy (something I so rarely say). I included options though to make it spicy, if you so choose.

The original recipe base I was using called for no cornstarch, saying the cream cheese was the only needed thickener. Chef quickly debunked this as invalid, apparently you have to use a LOT more cream cheese to have that work out.  So to my dismay, we decided it needed a good amount of cornstarch. I questioned if it was too much cornstarch, I hate when things have that too thick texture, however the texture came out perfectly you would never know cornstarch was even in it (not sure why I question him lol).

One thing I would never have thought to garnish with is a dash of oil, he suggested it and I looked at him like "you're a weirdo". But of course it was amazing. It gives a little extra body and looks so pretty for presentation (although honestly not at all necessary if you are cutting calories).

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

Source: Inspired by

Soup Ingredients 
  • 8 oz block cheddar cheese, shredded (don't buy pre-shredded, the chemicals it's coated with alter the melting capabilities and frankly you should never buy due to chemicals)
  • 8 oz block light cream cheese
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 3 heads broccoli, chopped into small chunks (roughly 4-5 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cup matchstix carrots
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 tsp chicken better than bouillon or 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch 
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Creole Seasoning or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, do only if you like spicy)

Optional Garnish Ingredients
  • Pinch of extra shredded cheese
  • Dash of olive oil or nub of butter

  • Chop broccoli into florets and remove the stems. Rough chop broccoli heads. I like a mix of small broccoli chunks and almost shredded florets, I personally wouldn't go as far pureeing them because I like body but you certainly could (Chef likes it that way).  Add to IP.
  • Chop your onion into small squares and add to pot.
  • Add bouillon, water, carrots, cream cheese, and all seasoning EXCEPT cornstarch. DO NOT ADD MILK OR SHREDDED CHEESE YET EITHER.
  • Seal and set to high pressure for 15 minutes. Be sure to make sure the steam vent is sealed. It will take 15 minutes to pressurize, in addition to the 15 minute actual cook time. 
  • Once it beeps that it's done, quick release steam.
  • Set to saute for 10 minutes and leave lid off, stirring frequently using a wooden spoon you want to let it come to a boil (if you don't stir frequently cheese will stick to bottom of pot and wooden spoon is more gently to scrape bottom).
  • In a separate bowl or measuring cup add 4 tablespoons to cornstarch with 2 cups milk and whisk (you can use a fork if you don't have a whisk). You want to make sure it's fully mixed and not clumpy.
  • Once it starts almost boiling, add shredded cheese. Add your milk cornstarch mixture stirring as you add. It's important you do this when the soup is hot, otherwise it will chunk. 
  • Once fully mixed, turn pot off and serve.
  • If desired, garnish with a bit of extra shredded cheese and dash of olive oil.
    Shred block of cheese.

    Chop broccoli into very small bits, also removing stems. 
    Chop onions.

    Add broccoli, onions, carrots, cream cheese, bouillon cubes,
    water, and all seasoning EXCEPT cornstarch. Do
    NOT add milk yet.

    Pressure cook for 15 minutes, once done quick
     release. Saute until boiling, add a premixed
     cornstarch and milk mixture stirring until mixed.