This Instant Pot Panera broccoli cheddar soup is even better than the original. Rich, creamy, and loaded with broccoli, carrots, and cheese, it's the perfect dish for the cold weather.
I love the broccoli cheddar soup from Panera, and I love making homemade versions of my favorite restaurant dishes. I decided to try my hand and Panera's creamy broccoli cheddar soup, and I must say, it came out wonderfully.
Instant Pot Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this delicious soup. They're all kitchen staples, so you probably won't even have to shop!
- chicken broth
- cheddar cheese
See the recipe card at the end of the post for quantities.
How to make Instant Pot Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Making this recipe is just as easy as gathering up the ingredients for it. If you've used an Instant Pot before, this will be old hat. If you haven't, get ready for something amazing.
Step 1: Prep
Measure out all of your ingredients and chop your vegetables.
Step 2: Cook the Vegetables
Set your Instant Pot to "saute" and add the butter. When it's melted, add the diced onions and celery, sauteing for a few minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Step 3: Add the Remaining Vegetables and Broth
Add the chicken broth, broccoli, and carrots to the cooked onions, garlic, and celery. Then, lock the lid into place. Ensure that the valve is set to "sealing" and set the manual button to 2 minutes.
After the timer beeps, let the pot sit and allow the pressure to vent naturally.
Step 4: Combine Butter, Milk, and Flour
You can do this step in two ways - in the microwave or on the stove. Here are both methods.
Add the butter to a microwavable dish and melt it in the microwave. Then, slowly whisk the flour into the butter until it's creamy.
Melt the butter in a pan and whisk in the flour until thoroughly combined and smooth. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly until smooth and thick.
Step 5: Add the Mixture to the Soup
Again, this step can be done in two ways, depending on your chosen method. Here are both.
If You Microwaved the Flour and Butter:
Set the Instant Pot to "saute" again and whisk one cup of the broth from the soup into the butter and flour mixture. Then, add the remaining butter and flour mixture to the Instant Pot, stirring until the soup is thickened.
Next, stir in the milk. Slightly warm it up in the microwave first to prevent curdling.
If Using the Stovetop Method:
If you combine the flour, butter, and milk on the stovetop, set the Instant Pot to "saute" and whisk one cup of the soup broth into the milk, butter, and flour mixture. Then, add the remaining mixture to the Instant Pot, stirring until the soup is thickened.
After either of these methods, add the cheese and stir until melted, then add the salt and pepper.
Step 6: Blend the Soup
Using a blender or immersion blender, give the soup a few pulses until it's somewhat creamy but not completely smooth.
Serve the soup with crusty bread or in a bread bowl and enjoy!
Hint: If you use the microwave method for the butter, flour, and milk be sure you heat the milk a little in the microwave. Adding cold milk to the hot liquid can cause the milk to curdle.
Don't have the correct ingredients on hand or want to change something up? Here are some helpful tips for you to change this Instant Pot Panera broccoli cheddar soup.
- Frozen Broccoli - If you don't have fresh broccoli, you can use frozen broccoli florets.
- Low Sodium - If you're watching your sodium intake, use low sodium chicken broth and use less salt.
Want to personalize this Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup recipe? Here are some of my tried and true tips for changing up this recipe.
- Spicy - Add some chili pepper flakes for a kick of heat.
- Bell Pepper - Adding bell pepper to the soup gives an extra depth of flavor and a little sweetness.
If you love recipes like this, you may also enjoy this cream of potato and leek soup.
You can store this soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. For longer storage, you can freeze it for up to 2 months.
What To Serve With Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
You can never have too many options when it comes to finding the perfect side dish for this soup. You can mix it up when you like and create an entirely different meal each time you make it. A great way to amp your meal up a notch or two is to add the finishing touch...wonton crisps. Once you add them to your soup, people will be in love at first bite!
Serve this meal with a side dish to take it to the next level. For ideas, go to What to Serve With Chicken and Dumplings.
This is an exceptionally easy recipe to make. That being said, I have some tips here to ensure that your soup is the best it can possibly be.
- Use the stovetop method for your roux whenever possible. Then, cook the flour and butter until it has a nutty aroma. This gets rid of the raw flour flavor.
- Be sure to add the soup liquid to the roux first. If you skip that step, you'll end up with a giant dumpling in your soup.
- When blenidng your soup, don't make it completely smooth. You want a bit of texture.
More Broccoli Recipes
Do you like broccoli? Here are some recipes you may also like to try
Do you have questions about Instant Pot broccoli cheddar soup? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Instant Pot Panera broccoli cheddar soup.
You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Let the soup chill completely and then transfer it to several small, freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
Leave the soup in the refrigerator overnight to defrost.
Pour the defrosted soup into a pot and reheat it over medium-low heat until bubbly.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Ready to get cooking? Remember that you can print this recipe if you would like.
Instant Pot Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Instant Pot
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup flour or cornstarch will easily substitute
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups broccoli chopped
- 1 cup carrots matchsticks, or chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Get out and measure your ingredients.
- Turn your Instant Pot to the sauté function and add 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter melted, add the diced onion and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are tender.
- Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add chicken broth to the cooked onions, garlic, and celery.
- Add broccoli and carrots to the Instant Pot.
- Lock your lid in place and make sure your vent or valve is sealed. Set the timer and pressure cook for 2 minutes.
- When the time is up release the pressure and allow the steam to vent until you can open the lid.
- In the meantime, melt ½ cup of butter in a small bowl and microwave or melt it in a pot on the stove.
- Slowly whisk in flour until blended and creamy. Set aside.
- Turn your Instant Pot back to the sauté function. Add a cup of the hot broth from your instant pot to your butter mixture and continue to whisk until blended. Next, add the remaining mixture to your instant pot. Whisk or stir until soup thickens.
- Heat up your milk on your stove or in microwave UNTIL VERY WARM. DO NOT BOIL. Never add cold milk to anything hot or it will curdle. Once warm, slowly add milk to instant pot stirring frequently. Mixture will be creamy and thickened.
- Add the shredded cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place half of the soup in a blender and give it a few quick pulses before returning to instant pot, or use an immersion blender or even a potato masher to break up broccoli and smooth soup, if desired. You can skip this blender part if you are short on time, but pureeing some of the vegetable chunks really gives this soup that smooth Panera texture.
- Ladle into bowls and serve.
- Serve with a side of bread or in a bread bowl for a classic Panera style meal.
- Enjoy every sip!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week
- Freezing soup may not work well because of cheese and dairy
Reheat soup in microwave or on stove top, stirring constantly
- Use matchstick carrots or slice carrots thinly to ensure even cooking
- Make low salt by skipping salt and using low sodium chicken broth
- For serving blanch or steam a few small broccoli florets to place in middle of soup as a garnish and a pinch of shredded cheese and maybe some black pepper too