Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar and Zucchini Soup…that’s better than Panera! It’s cozy, but healthy, easy, and so delicious. Grab a couple heads of broccoli, some zucchini, and sharp cheddar cheese, add everything to your instant pot (or slow cooker), set the timer, and in under thirty minutes you’ll have the creamiest, most delicious bowl of cozy broccoli cheddar soup. Trust me, this will become a new fall favorite.
September rolls around and like clockwork, I’m making broccoli cheddar soup. Except this time I’m making it in the instant pot, and making it healthier (and creamier!) with all the end of summer zucchini. I might even dare to say that this is one of the better bowls of broccoli cheddar soup I’ve ever made.
And you guys, I LOVE broccoli cheddar soup.
I’m sure a lot of us have a similar story to tell, but as a kid, going to Panera Bread and getting the broccoli cheddar or chicken noodle soup served in a bread bowl was one of my favorite things that mom and I would do on a chilly, rain/snow Ohio day. It was always such a treat. I loved not only the soup, but also just the outing with my mom.
The struggle of getting mom one on one, with five brothers always lurking was real. So these girl’s day only outings were always extra special, and I think that’s another reason why I love broccoli cheddar soup so much.
In addition to soup, mom would also get a whole bunch of the cinnamon crunch bagels to bring home for the boys, which I kind of loved too. That crunchy topping was the best, right?!
Anyway, the point here is that I love a good bowl of broccoli cheddar soup. And while a bread bowl is nice, this soup is honestly the best ever, with or without the bread bowl…
But, I do have a bread bowl recipe (haven’t made these in SO long, but they are SO good, and easy) on HBH. So you know, if you’re feeling it, you should probably make a few bread bowls in addition to this soup. Wow, that’d be extra good.
Moving right along.
If you hadn’t noticed, I’m loving using my instant pot right now. It makes weeknight cooking so quick, easy, and stress free. Judging from the amount of people making and loving this corn chowder, it seems that you guys are into the instant pot too. Cool. This is good!
Many more instant pot (and slow cooker) recipes coming this fall!
This recipe includes most of the ingredients found in traditional broccoli cheddar soup, but I added zucchini for creaminess and opted out of using any flour or heavy cream. The zucchini breaks down while cooking, and later gets pureed. This leaves the soup lusciously creamy and thick without having to use any cream or flour. Which of course also makes the soup healthier and even gluten free.
As with most instant pot recipes, you’ll just be adding everything to the instant pot, setting it, and letting it do its thing. You do need to purée the soup, but if you have an immersion blender that’s very helpful here. If you make a lot of puréed soups, I recommend this immersion blender.
I finished the soup off with a few handfuls of sharp cheddar cheese and plenty of fresh thyme from our summer bounty of herbs. Perfection.
It’s a pretty simple and straight forward recipe, but I really can’t express enough just how delicious it is. If you love cheesy soup, that’s kind of healthy…ish, you have to make this. Perfect for all the chilly nights ahead.
And for those of you who do not own an instant pot, I’ve also included directions to make this in the slow cooker as well. Additionally, you could just as easily make this on the stove top in a large soup pot! As always, just do what works best for you!
If you make this instant pot broccoli cheddar soup, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every one of you. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram so I can see! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Watch the How To Video:
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar and Zucchini Soup
Calories Per Serving: 1141 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste
- kosher salt and pepper
- 3 cups low sodium veggie or chicken broth
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1. Set Instant pot to sauté. Add the butter, olive oil, and onion, cook 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add the carrots, zucchini, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Pour in the broth. Add the broccoli and bay leaves. Cover, select the manual setting, and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.2. Once done cooking, use the quick release function and release the steam. Carefully remove the bay leaves and discard. Transfer the soup to a blender and pulse until chunky smooth (not totally puréed). Return to the instant pot.3. Set the Instant pot to sauté. Stir in the milk and cheese, and cook 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 4. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with fresh thyme. Enjoy!
- 1. To the slow cooker, add the butter, olive oil, onion, carrots, zucchini, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne and large pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Pour in the broth. Add the broccoli and bay leaves. Cover, cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-6 hours. 2. Once done cooking, carefully remove the bay leaves and discard. Transfer the soup to a blender and pulse until chunky smooth (not totally pureed). Return to the slow cooker and turn the heat to high.3. Stir in the milk and cheese, and cook 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 4. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with fresh thyme. Enjoy!
- 1. In a large soup pot, melt together the butter and olive oil. Add the onion, cook 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add the carrots, zucchini, thyme, nutmeg, cayenne and a large pinch each of salt and pepper, cook another 5 minutes. Pour in the broth. Add the broccoli and bay leaves. Cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.2. Carefully remove the bay leaves and discard. Transfer the soup to a blender and pulse until chunky smooth (not totally puréed). Return to the pot. 3. Stir in the milk and cheese, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 4. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with fresh thyme. Enjoy!
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*Some people have had issues with their cheese not melting into the soup. This is because there is no flour in the soup. I don't have any issues with my cheese not melting into the soup or curdling, but if you are having trouble, add 2-3 tablespoons flour during the last minute of cooking the onion in the very first step. This will help to bind the soup together.