Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Veg + Gluten-free)

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Made from leftover mashed potatoes, there are four good reasons to love this Broccoli cheddar soup recipe – it is gluten-free, vegetarian, tastes just like the Panera version, and needs only 20 minutes when you make it in an Instant Pot!

Disclosure: This Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup post was sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission. All opinions, as always, are my own. 

Two hands cupping a black bowl filled with cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

There is a reason that the Panera Broccoli cheddar soup is so popular – it is creamy, cheesy, comforting and is a perfect way to warm up during cold winters. But unfortunately for vegetarians, it is made from chicken stock. Also, it is not gluten-free. That is why you’ll love this copycat version because   

  • It uses a vegetarian broth. 
  • Uses leftover mashed potatoes instead of flour to thicken the soup.
  • It is healthy – no heavy cream needed.
  • It is super easy to make and comes together in 20 minutes! 

Ingredients to make broccoli cheese soup

  • Butter or olive oil
  • Onions
  • Bay leaf (optional)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Broccoli florets – fresh is best, frozen will work too.
  • Shredded carrots – buy the julienned ones from the grocery store to save time.
  • Vegetable broth (or water/chicken broth) 
  • Leftover mashed potatoes (secret ingredient) to make it thick and creamy. 
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • Sharp cheddar cheese 

How to make broccoli cheddar soup in an Instant Pot

This is probably the easiest recipe to make broccoli cheddar soup – all you need do is saute the onions, add the remaining ingredients and pressure cook :).  Add mashed potatoes, cheese and garnish!

Here are the steps – 

  1. Saute the bay leaf, onions, and garlic in butter or olive oil.
  2. Add broccoli, shredded carrots, and vegetable broth in the Instant Pot.
  3. Pressure cook for 5 minutes and let Instant Pot do its magic.
  4. When the cooking cycle is complete, do a quick release.
  5. Open the Instant pot and add the mashed potatoes and blend it in. 
  6. The cheese goes in next, 1/4 cup at a time so that it doesn’t become one clumpy mess. 
  7. Do a taste test and add salt and pepper if needed. The mashed potatoes have both salt and pepper so that’s why I save this step for the last. 
  8. If you love to garnish, use green onions or any green herbs of your choice.
  9. Serve it immediately with bread or have it as is. 
A collage of images showing how to make Broccoli Cheddar soup in an Instant Pot
Broccoli Cheddar soup – step by step

Variations

  1. This recipe calls for fresh broccoli but you can substitute it with frozen as well. Reduce the pressure cooking time to 2 minutes. 
  2. If you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, you can replace it with 2 medium-sized Idaho® potatoes. Dice them into cubes and add it along with the shredded carrots and broccoli. They will soften when pressure cooked for 5 minutes. Use the back of your ladle to mush them. 
  3. I have only used sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe, you could try white cheddar or parmesan cheese as well. 
  4. You can puree the soup if you would like, I prefer them chunky. 

Tips

  1. Get storebought julienned carrots to save time.

How to store broccoli cheddar soup

This broccoli cheddar soup stores well in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days. To reheat, add it to a saucepan and place it on a stovetop over medium-low heat. Don’t forget to stir frequently while reheating. Add broth to dilute it (if needed) and sprinkle cheddar cheese before serving. 

Can you freeze broccoli cheddar soup?

If you are making a big batch of broccoli cheddar soup for later, my recommendation would be to not add cheese. You could add it when you are warming it up. To freeze the soup, let it come to room temperature. Pour it in freezer-safe Ziploc bags, seal it properly and lay it flat for freezing. Consume it within a month. 

Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker - 
Broccoli Cheddar Soup served in a black bowl accompanied by baguettes
Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Other Instant Pot soup recipes you’ll love

  1. Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup – A warm, cozy bowl of Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup is just 30 minutes away with this easy vegan recipe. Packed with flavor, this creamy soup is not only healthy but also delicious!
  2. Chicken Soup – This warm, hearty chicken soup is filling to the last drop!
  3. Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder – If you love potatoes and the hearty feeling that comes with devouring them, you’ll love this quick recipe for Instant Pot potato corn chowder.
  4. Indo-Chinese Corn Soup – You will love making this Indo-Chinese corn soup in your Instant Pot as it takes only 10 minutes.
  5. One-Pot Tadka Dal – Make this lentil soup in an Instant Pot or a pressure cooker, for a quick and delicious meal ready in no time!


Got a new Instant Pot? Check out the links below to make the most of your pressure cooker -  
Two hands cupping a black bowl filled with cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

5 from 4 votes
Made from leftover mashed potatoes, there are four good reasons to love this Broccoli cheddar soup recipe - it is gluten-free, vegetarian, tastes just like the Panera version and needs only 20 minutes when you make it in an Instant Pot!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Pressure building time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Diet : Gluten-free, Nut-free, Vegetarian
Course : Entree
Method: Instant Pot
Cuisine : American

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 bay leaf, optional
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup julienned or shredded carrots
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth, [see note]
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or as needed
  • ground black pepper, as needed

For garnishing

  • green onions, as needed

Instructions
 

  • Set the Instant Pot to 'Sauté' mode and adjust the setting to ’Normal'. When the display reads 'Hot', add oil.
  • Add bay leaves, followed by chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté till the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add broccoli florets and carrots. Mix well.
  • Add vegetable broth and stir it in.
  • Cover the lid, move the vent to "sealing" and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, do a quick release i.e move the steam valve to "venting".
  • Open the lid.
  • Set the Instant Pot to use the Saute function and set it on 'Less'.
  • Add mashed potatoes to the soup and stir it in.
  • The cheese goes in next, 1/4 cup at a time so that it doesn't become one clumpy mess. 
  • Do a taste test and add salt and pepper if needed. The mashed potatoes have both salt and pepper so that's why I save this step for the last. 
  • To garnish, use green onions or any green herbs of your choice.
  • Serve it immediately with bread or have it as is. 

Notes

Notes/ Tips
  1. I used 3 cups of vegetable broth in all. I would recommend starting with 2.5 cups broth and adding more as needed.
  2. Use storebought julienned carrots to save time instead of shredding carrots at home.
  3. This soup can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days and upto a month in the freezer. Refer to the detailed instructions in the post. 
Stovetop instructions
  1. In a large saucepan kept over medium heat, add oil.
  2. Add bay leaves, followed by chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté till the onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add broccoli florets and shredded carrots. Mix well.
  4. Add vegetable broth and stir it in. Continue to cook till the broccoli florets have softened.
  5. Add mashed potatoes and blend them in. Reduce the heat to a simmer. 
  6. The cheese goes in next, 1/4 cup at a time so that it doesn't become one clumpy mess. 
  7. Do a taste test and add salt and pepper if needed. The mashed potatoes have both salt and pepper so that's why I save this step for the last. 
  8. If you love to garnish, use green onions or any green herbs of your choice.
  9. Serve it immediately with bread or have it as is. 
Variations
  1. This recipe calls for fresh broccoli but you can substitute it with frozen as well. Reduce the pressure cooking time to 2 minutes. 
  2. If you don’t have leftover mashed potatoes, you can replace it with 2 medium-sized Idaho® potatoes. Dice them into cubes and add it along with the shredded carrots and broccoli. They will soften when pressure cooked for 5 minutes. Use the back of your ladle to mush them. 
  3. I have only used sharp cheddar cheese in this recipe, you could try white cheddar or parmesan cheese as well. 
  4. You can puree the soup if you would like, I prefer them chunky. 

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 13gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 950mgPotassium: 514mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 4475IUVitamin C: 60mgCalcium: 314mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : easy, Thanksgiving, Under 30-minutes

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Mmmmm good!! I used half the cheese and almost twice the broth. That’s just the way I like it best. Very easy and delicious recipe. Thank you for this one!

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