Instant Pot Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Everyone knows that the best Panera soup is their broccoli cheese soup (their French Onion is pretty good too). This Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe in the Instant Pot makes the delicious, comforting and hearty soup an easy weeknight dinner.

white bowl of creamy cheddar soup with broccoli


 

Easy recipes are my go to; and when I’m looking to feed the whole family and not spend a ton of money on eating out, a good copycat recipe is always nice to have on hand.

If you like a panera broccoli cheddar soup cup as much as I do, this recipe is for you. This thick soup features a creamy cheesy base, chock full of veggies and select seasonings. It’s one of those craveable meals that you’ll be making over and over again, any time of day.

ladling soup out of an instant pot

Panera Soup

My order at Panera is the same, every time – a big, steaming bowl of Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup with crusty bread. Sometimes I’ll get it as a side with a sandwich but usually, especially in the winter, I just go all-in and get only soup.

I’m a big soup person. My favorites include chicken noodle soup, butternut squash bisque, beef stew, crab soup, minestrone and of course, this broccoli and carrot mixture. The ultimate of vegetable soups without it just being floating pieces of veg.

Velvety smooth cheese sauce with chunks of broccoli and carrots, you just can’t go wrong. And making it at home means no artificial preservatives or ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Why This Broccoli Cheddar Soup is Different

While being a copycat recipe, this soup is also different in it’s own way. You’ll love it just as much as I do!

  • Secret ingredient – I add nutmeg to my broccoli soup. Now hear me out- it adds a warmth and a little oomph to this easy dinner that’s just to die for.
  • No whisking required – A lot of soups made on the stovetop require constant whisking- not here! You let the Instant Pot do all the work for you.
  • Great texture – This soup is the perfect blend of creamy and crunchy. Veggies like carrots and broccoli add some texture, while the cream and cheese make is creamy.
overhead bowl of creamy broccoli cheddar soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Ingredients

What makes this one of the best instant pot soup recipes? Well, first and foremost, because it’s easy. Just a handful of ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand is all you need to make this creamy soup.

  • Unsalted butter – I always opt to use unsalted butter when cooking and baking. It allows me to control the amount of salt.
  • Diced onion – Onion gives this soup a lot of flavor, but also adds another veggie into the mix. You can use yellow onion or white onion.
  • Flour – Because this is a cream soup, we need some sort of thickening agent. The flour does just that. Corn starch can also work if you wish to keep it gluten-free.
  • Garlic – You can never have too much garlic- that’s my motto! It’s one of my favorite ways to add flavor to a dish. Even though we are saving time, use fresh garlic instead of jarred.
  • Carrot – Panera’s soup includes carrots. If you aren’t a fan of them, feel free to substitute with more fresh broccoli florets, or leave them out all together. It does balance the savory flavors with a hint of sweet.
  • Broccoli – You can’t have a broccoli cheese soup recipe without broccoli! It gives flavor and substance to this delicious soup.
  • Nutmeg – This is the secret ingredient to this copycat panera broccoli cheddar soup! We add just a pinch of nutmeg to provide a unique and distinct flavor. Buy whole nutmeg and grate it yourself for maximum flavor.
  • Vegetable broth or chicken broth – I also like to use unsalted chicken stock or vegetable stock so that I control the amount of salt, but whatever you have on hand works great too! To keep it vegetarian, don’t use the chicken base.
  • Heavy cream – To get a creamy broccoli soup, we need a little cream!
  • Cheddar cheese – If you really like the cheesy flavor in this soup, feel free to use a sharp cheddar cheese. I always prefer using freshly grated cheese, which means grating my own cheese. It melts better and has better flavor.
  • Salt and black pepper – Add this to taste, or even let each person add their own.
ingredients for broccoli cheddar soup

How to Make the Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The Instant Pot makes this recipe as simple as 1, 2, 3!

  1. Sauté butter and onion. First, use your Instant Pot on the sauté function, adding the butter and onion. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Make roux. Next add the flour and garlic, sautéing that for an additional 2 minutes until it makes a paste.
  3. Add veggies and stock. Next, add the carrots, broccoli, nutmeg and stock (or whichever you’re using.)
  4. Set to high pressure. Change the setting on your Instant Pot to manual, high pressure and set for 15 minutes. Use the quick release method.
  5. Add cream and cheese. Stir in the cream and cheddar cheese. Now is when you season the soup to your liking with fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper and enjoy!
  6. Serve. Bread is optional, but always welcome.

If you’re feeling in need of an additional dose of comfort food, try serving this in a bread bowl. Or at least with a few crusty slices of sourdough bread. Delicious. And if you want it hot, add some red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper.

Oh, and for those of you with kids, this soup is a great way to sneak in an extra serving of veggies! Though, really, that’s a good trick for adults too! And if you need more that do this, check out my meatball soup too!

Double the Recipe, Double the Fun!

Want to make a big batch? Please note that you can easily double this soup by doubling the amount of ingredients, but you do not need to change the cooking time.

However, this depends on the size of your pressure cooker. This fits perfectly into a 6 quart IP, use a larger IP to double up.

Generally speaking, never fill your pressure cooker more than 1/2 to 2/3 full, although with raw broccoli, there is a ton of air between, so this is hard to judge. You should be fine in a 6qt or larger pressure cooker.

broccoli cheddar soup in a ladle

Slow Cooker & Stove Top Instructions

You can make this cream of broccoli soup in the slow cooker too! Follow the directions, but instead of putting it on manual pressure for 15 minutes, put it on high for 2-3 hours and then resume the instructions.

If you’d rather make it on the stovetop, you can do that too. You can follow the same directions, but in a Dutch oven or large stock pot over medium heat. Allow to simmer for about 1 hour.

white bowl of creamy cheddar soup with broccoli

Storage & Freezing

This soup is easily stored and frozen.

How to Store Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Just like freezing any leftover soup, store leftovers in an airtight container or plastic bag. Soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

How to Freeze Broccoli Cheddar Soup

It will stay in the freezer for up to 3-4 months. Reheat in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave. You can also use a microwavable cup or microwave soup cup.

close up of broccoli cheddar soup in the instant pot

More Instant Pot Recipes

The Instant Pot has quickly become one of my favorite kitchen appliances. Check out some of my favorite recipes to use it with.

Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli is a quick, easy and healthy alternative to your favorite Chinese takeout dish. Ready in just 30 minutes! #beefandbroccoli #instantpotrecipes www.savoryexperiments.com

Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli

If Beef and Broccoli is one of your go-to takeout dishes, you will LOVE this Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli! It’s easy to make and will be ready faster than your takeout could be delivered!
See The Recipe!
Quick and easy meals - instant pot short ribs

Instant Pot Short Ribs

These Instant Pot Short Ribs are fork tender, flavorful and so good you’ll make them again and again. Pressure cooker short ribs take considerably less time to make than typical braised short ribs!
See The Recipe!
white bowl of creamy cheddar soup with broccoli

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

4.73 from 126 votes
An easy instant pot recipe that tastes even better than the original Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Ready in just 30 minutes! 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Pressure Building: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Set the Instant Pot to the saute function. Add the butter and onion, saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the flour and garlic, saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add the carrots, broccoli, nutmeg and vegetable stock.
  • Change setting to manual, high pressure and set for 15 minutes.
  • Use quick release method. Stir in the cream and cheddar cheese. Season to your liking with salt and pepper. Broccoli should easily break into small pieces. Serve hot.
  • If you've tried this recipe, make sure to come back and let us know how you liked it! 

Video

Notes

Please note that you can easily double this soup by doubling the amount of ingredients, but you do not need to change the cooking time. However, this depends on the size of your pressure cooker.
Generally speaking, never fill your pressure cooker more than 1/2 to 2/3 full, although with raw broccoli, there is a ton of air between, so this is hard to judge. You should be fine in a 6qt or larger pressure cooker. 

Nutrition

Calories: 516 kcal, Carbohydrates: 18 g, Protein: 14 g, Fat: 44 g, Saturated Fat: 27 g, Cholesterol: 153 mg, Sodium: 643 mg, Potassium: 504 mg, Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 4 g, Vitamin A: 5965 IU, Vitamin C: 93.4 mg, Calcium: 383 mg, Iron: 1.3 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 516
Course: Main Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: broccoli cheddar soup, panera soup
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of broccoli cheddar soup with text overlay

 

Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.73 from 126 votes (81 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

    1. Good question! And I think that would depend on the size of your IP! If you have a 6 quart- I would say it would probably fit. If you have a smaller version, no. Larger, go for it!

  1. 5 stars
    Super Easy to make and tastes great. I did a blend of white and yellow chaser and got some sourdough bread for the side. DELISH!

  2. 5 stars
    This soup is fantastic. Made it in instant pot while on vacation in RV. Everyone loved it. And so quick and easy I didn’t miss any of the fun.

    1. Thank you for coming back to let us know and so glad you were able to enjoy your vacation and not spend too much time in the kitchen!

  3. Glad to have stumbled upon this recipe..i recently got an instapot and have been looking for recipes to make in it, ever since. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I am so jealous! Now I just HAVE to get an instapot! Panera broccoli cheddar is my all-time favorite soup! And I don’t have an instapot!!

  5. 5 stars
    This sounds like a hearty soup. I love panera, but usually end up with their chicken noodle. I’ve never tried broccoli cheddar before.

  6. 5 stars
    Panera’s BrOccoli cheddar soup is one of my favorites and I make it quite often. So great you can now prepare it in instant pot.