Instant Pot Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup —Ditch the Drive-Thru, Embrace the Comfort: Instant Pot Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Creamy, Cozy, and Ready in a Flash! ❄️

Instant Pot Copycat Panera's Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
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Craving that warm, cheesy hug in a bowl from Panera’s iconic Broccoli Cheddar Soup, but without the long lines and hefty price tag? We’ve got you covered! This Instant Pot recipe unlocks the secrets to achieving that creamy, comforting goodness right in your kitchen, **faster than you can say ‘bread bowl!'”

You will be amazed at how much this soup tastes like Panera.


Instant Pot Copycat Panera's Broccoli and Cheddar Soup (1)

Easy Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

Creating a copycat version of Panera Bread’s beloved Broccoli Cheddar Soup at home is easier than you might think, bringing the comforting flavors of this favorite into your kitchen with minimal fuss. This recipe captures the creamy, cheesy essence of the soup with tender broccoli and carrot pieces enveloped in a rich and velvety broth that’s both satisfying and heartwarming. Start with sautéing onions and carrots in butter until soft. Then, add flour to create a roux, thickening the soup to its iconic consistency. Gradually whisking in chicken or vegetable broth followed by heavy cream sets the stage for the star ingredients: fresh broccoli and sharp cheddar cheese. Simmering everything together allows the flavors to meld beautifully, resulting in a perfect soup for any day of the year.

The key to this easy copycat recipe lies in its simplicity and the ingredients’ quality. Opting for fresh broccoli and high-quality cheddar cheese makes all the difference in achieving that signature Panera taste. Additionally, adjustments can be made to suit dietary preferences, such as using gluten-free flour for thickening or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian. Whether enjoyed as a cozy meal on its own or paired with a crusty piece of bread, this Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe offers a slice of comfort food heaven that’s both accessible and delightful, ensuring that your homemade version hits all the right notes of the original Panera classic.

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Why You Will Love This Recipe

The Instant Pot Copycat Panera’s Broccoli and Cheddar Soup recipe is a game-changer for anyone looking to recreate this cafe favorite easily and quickly at home. Here’s why you’ll fall in love with making this comforting soup in your Instant Pot:

  • Effortless Cooking: The Instant Pot simplifies the cooking process, combining all the steps into one pot for easy preparation and cleanup. This means you can enjoy your favorite soup without the hassle of monitoring multiple pots and pans.

  • Time-Saving: What traditionally takes hours to simmer on the stove, the Instant Pot achieves in minutes, perfectly preserving the flavors and textures. This is ideal for busy weeknights when time is of the essence, but you’re craving something warm and comforting.

  • Flavorful Results: Cooking under pressure not only speeds up the cooking process but also intensifies the flavors, infusing the broth with the essence of broccoli, carrots, and onions more effectively. The result is a rich, intensely flavorful soup that tastes like it’s been simmering all day.

  • Consistent Texture: The Instant Pot allows precise control over cooking times and temperatures, ensuring the vegetables are cooked to perfection – tender but not mushy – and the cheese melts smoothly into the broth, avoiding graininess.

  • Versatility: This recipe can be easily adapted to suit various dietary preferences. Vegetarians can opt for vegetable broth, and those looking for a lighter version can substitute lower-fat dairy options without compromising the soup’s creamy texture.

  • Comfort in a Bowl: There’s something inherently comforting about a bowl of creamy broccoli cheddar soup. This Instant Pot version brings all the soothing warmth of Panera’s classic right to your table, making it a perfect meal for any day.

  • Crowd-Pleaser: Loved by both adults and children, this soup is a guaranteed hit for family meals or gatherings. Its familiar flavors and creamy consistency make it a universally appealing dish that will satisfy everyone at the table.

Adopting the Instant Pot method for this copycat Panera Broccoli and Cheddar Soup recipe offers a blend of convenience, speed, and deliciousness, making it a must-try for any soup lover. Whether you’re seeking the comfort of a well-loved dish or need a quick and satisfying meal, this recipe promises to deliver on all fronts.

Ingredients Needed For Instant Pot Copycat Panera’s Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Whipping up an Instant Pot Copycat of Panera’s Broccoli and Cheddar Soup brings the cozy café experience into the comfort of your home with a simple pressure cook button. This recipe calls for a collection of wholesome and simple ingredients that meld together in the pressure cooker to create a creamy, flavorful soup that’s both nourishing and satisfying. Here’s a closer look at the key components that make this soup a beloved favorite.

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Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Shredded Carrots: Julienned or finely chopped carrots add a subtle sweetness and vibrant color to the soup, enhancing its visual appeal and nutritional value.

  • Onion: Diced onion forms the flavor base of the soup, offering a savory depth that complements the broccoli and cheese beautifully.

  • Broccoli: Fresh broccoli florets are the star of this soup, providing a hearty texture and loads of nutrients. They’re cut into bite-sized pieces to ensure each spoonful is filled with green goodness
  • Chicken or Vegetable Broth: The choice of broth can tailor the soup to fit dietary preferences, with chicken broth for a deep, savory flavor or vegetable broth for a vegetarian option
  • Cream Cheese and Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is added to achieve the luxuriously creamy texture that indulges this soup. For a lighter version, half-and-half or whole milk can be substituted.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Grated sharp cheddar cheese gives the soup its iconic creamy texture and rich taste. Opt for high-quality cheese for the best flavor.

How To Make Panera’s Broccoli and Cheddar Soup In Instant Pot

Making an instant pot broccoli cheddar soup recipe transforms this café favorite into an easy, at-home comfort food delight. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating this creamy, cheesy, and veggie-packed soup with the convenience and speed of a pressure cooker.

Instant Pot Copycat Panera's Broccoli and Cheddar Soup (4)

Add Your Ingredients:

  • In your Instant Pot bowl, add the onions, shredded carrots, broccoli florets, chicken broth, and cream cheese.
  • Mix well.

Instant Pot Copycat Panera's Broccoli and Cheddar Soup (1)

Pressure Cook:

  • Add the pressure cooker lid, making sure that the vent is in the sealed position.
  • Cook on manual (high pressure) for a cooking time of  5 minutes. Once done, quickly release the pressure by turning the valve to venting, being careful of the steam.

Add Cheese:

  • Pour in the heavy cream and shredded cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.

Adjust Seasonings and Serve:

  • Taste the soup and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve hot, garnished with extra shredded cheddar cheese on top if desired.

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Recipe Variations

Experimenting with Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe variations can add exciting twists to this comforting classic. Here are some creative takes to keep the recipe fresh and adaptable to different tastes and dietary needs:

  • Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Substitute dairy ingredients with plant-based alternatives. Use vegan butter, unsweetened almond or oat milk in place of heavy cream, and good quality vegan cheddar cheese. For the broth, ensure you’re using vegetable stock.
  • Spicy Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Add a kick to the soup with some spice. Include a diced jalapeño when sautéing the onions or stir in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes before pressure cooking. This variation is perfect for those who enjoy a little heat.
  • Broccoli and Stilton Soup: For a British twist, replace cheddar cheese with Stilton or another blue cheese. This will give the soup a distinctive, strong flavor that’s particularly comforting during the colder months.
  • Chunky Vegetable Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Incorporate more vegetables such as diced bell peppers, celery, and zucchini for added texture and nutrition. Add these extra veggies in with the broccoli and carrots for a hearty vegetable-packed bowl.
  • Low-Carb/Keto Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Make the soup keto-friendly by using heavy cream and omitting the flour or replacing it with a keto-approved thickener like xanthan gum. The high-fat content from the cream and cheese fits well within a ketogenic diet.
  • Curried Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Introduce a teaspoon of curry powder or garam masala to the onions as they sauté to infuse the soup with Indian-inspired flavors, adding a unique and aromatic twist to the classic recipe.
  • Broccoli Cheddar and Bacon Soup: Add crispy bacon bits into the soup for a smoky flavor. Cook the bacon separately until crispy, then crumble and add to the soup after blending. Reserve some bacon for garnishing the top as well.
  • Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Ensure the recipe is gluten-free by using a gluten-free flour blend or cornstarch mixed with water as a thickener instead of regular flour. Always check the labels on store-bought broth and cheese to ensure they’re gluten-free.
  • Roasted Garlic Broccoli Cheddar Soup: Add a head of roasted garlic to the soup for a deep, caramelized garlic flavor. Roast a head of garlic in the oven, squeeze out the cloves, and add them to the pot before blending.
  • Lightened-Up Broccoli Cheddar Soup: For a lighter version, use low-fat milk instead of heavy cream and reduce the cheese, or opt for a low-fat cheddar. You can also thicken the soup with pureed white beans for added fiber and protein without the need for flour.

Each of these variations on the Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe offers a new way to enjoy this beloved dish, whether you want to change the flavor profile, accommodate dietary restrictions, or try something new.

Instant Pot Copycat Panera's Broccoli and Cheddar Soup


Pro Tips For Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Creating a homemade version of Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup that rivals the original requires a few pro tips and tricks. Here’s how to elevate your soup to quality:

  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Opt for Fresh Broccoli: Fresh broccoli tastes better and provides a better texture to the soup. It should be cut into small, bite-sized florets to ensure it cooks evenly and integrates well with the soup.
  • Cheese Matters: Choose Quality Cheese: The soup’s flavor relies heavily on cheddar cheese. Opt for a sharp or extra-sharp cheddar for a more intense flavor. Grating the cheese from a block rather than buying pre-shredded cheese can also make a difference, as pre-shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents that can affect the smoothness of your soup.
  • Perfect the Base: Sauté Vegetables Until Soft: Take your time sautéing the onion and carrots until they’re soft. This brings out their natural sweetness and ensures they blend well into the soup without any crunchy bits.
  • Thickening Technique: Roux is Key: Making a roux (a mixture of flour and fat) is essential for thickening the soup and giving it a creamy texture. Cook the roux until it’s golden and has a slightly nutty aroma before adding liquids to prevent raw flour taste.
  • Blend to Your Liking: Blend for Texture: Use an immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the pot to your desired consistency. Blend all of it for a completely smooth soup, or leave some chunks for a more textured soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully transfer to a blender in batches.
  • Balance the Flavors: Season Well: Don’t forget to season your soup adequately with salt and pepper. Start with a little and taste as you go; you can always add more, but you can’t take it away. A pinch of nutmeg can also add depth to the soup.
  • Low and Slow: Avoid Boiling After Adding Cheese: To prevent the cheese from separating and becoming grainy, add it to the soup off the heat or on very low heat, stirring until just melted.
  • Garnish and Serve: Garnish for an Extra Touch: Serve the soup with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese on top, some fresh cracked pepper, and a warm piece of crusty bread for dipping. For an extra touch of color and freshness, a little chopped parsley can go a long way.

By following these pro tips, you’ll create a Broccoli Cheddar Soup that’s not only comforting and delicious but also worthy of being a Panera copycat. Enjoy making this beloved soup at home, knowing each bowl will be rich, creamy, and flavorful.

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Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh? Yes, frozen broccoli can be used as a convenient alternative to fresh broccoli. There’s no need to thaw it first; add it directly to the Instant Pot. Remember that frozen broccoli may result in a slightly softer texture than fresh.

How can I make the soup thicker or thinner? To thicken the soup, use a cornstarch slurry (mix equal parts corn starch and water) and stir it in at the end, letting it simmer for a few minutes until thickening. To thin the soup, add more broth until you reach your desired consistency.

Can I make this soup vegetarian? Absolutely! To make this soup vegetarian, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. The rest of the ingredients are already vegetarian-friendly.

Is it possible to make this soup vegan? Converting this soup to a vegan version involves a few substitutions. Use plant-based butter, a dairy-free milk alternative instead of heavy cream, and a vegan cheese substitute for the cheddar cheese. Always check the ingredients to ensure they’re compatible with a vegan diet.

Can I use pre-shredded cheese? While pre-shredded cheese is convenient, it often contains anti-caking agents that can affect the smoothness of your soup. For the best texture, grating the cheese from a block yourself is recommended.

How do I store leftover soup? Store leftover broccoli cheddar soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stove top or microwave, stirring frequently to maintain a smooth texture. Add about 1/2 cup of whole milk or cream for a creamy soup.

Can this soup be frozen? Cream-based soups like broccoli cheddar can separate when frozen and reheated, affecting their texture. If you don’t mind a change in texture, you can freeze the soup in airtight containers for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

My soup is grainy. What went wrong? Graininess can occur if the cheese is added to the soup when it’s too hot or not stirred in gradually. To avoid this, add the cheese slowly to just-simmering (not boiling) soup, stirring constantly until it’s completely melted.

Can I add other vegetables to this soup? Certainly! Feel free to add other vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, or potatoes. Just chop them into small, bite-sized pieces and add them to the pot with the broccoli to ensure they cook evenly.


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Instant Pot Copycat Panera's Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Instant Pot Copycat Panera’s Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

3.88 from 32 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
10 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


Instant Pot Copycat Panera's Broccoli and Cheddar Soup — Everyone's favorite soup is now made in minutes. Today, I made the copycat version of Panera's Broccoli and Cheddar Soup, and my family loved it! Today I am giving you one of my favorite Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipes.


  • 1/2 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese


  • In your Instant Pot bowl, pour the onions, shredded carrots, broccoli florets, chicken broth, and cream cheese.
  • Mix well.
  • Then add the lid, making sure that the vent is in the sealed position.
  • Set manual high pressure for 4 minutes.
  • When the time is up, do a quick release.
  • Pour in the heavy cream and shredded cheese, and keep on stirring until the cheese is melted.
  • Plate, serve and enjoy!


  • Instant Pot


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 903kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 24gFat: 82gSaturated Fat: 50gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 248mgSodium: 1346mgPotassium: 721mgFiber: 4gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 9507IUVitamin C: 105mgCalcium: 603mgIron: 1mg

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Panera’s Copycat Broccoli and Cheddar Instant Pot Soup