Home Made

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Soup

Fall has arrived! Along with all the turning leaves, pumpkin spice, and the uncontrollable urge to don a sweater, it is officially the start of soup season. As the weather starts to cool, a comforting bowl of something warm and soothing really hits the spot. All the better if it’s easy to prepare and, hey, let’s keep the cleanup quick, too. 

Fill your kitchen with the comforting aroma of something home cooked. It’s wonderful when the heavenly smell of dinner draws everyone from their work space. This Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Soup is fast, easy and delicious. Add everything to your Instant Pot, set it, and in under 30 minutes you’ve got dinner. Puréed vegetables make this soup so creamy and thick you’d never guess that it’s healthy, or that it doesn’t have any cream or flour. They also give it a nutritional boost and keep it gluten-free. Use low-fat canned evaporated milk and reduced fat cheddar cheese to keep it on the lighter side. 

You can use chicken broth if you have some on hand, but I like to use Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base. It’s a great way to add flavor to soup, rice, potatoes, and casseroles, so I always keep a jar of this in my fridge.  Use chicken tenderloins for a lean source of protein. They speed up cooking and are faster to cube. You can use fresh broccoli and cauliflower in this recipe (about 6 cups total) if you happen to have some, but keeping frozen broccoli and cauliflower in your freezer means you can make this any time you need dinner in a hurry. Ladle into bowls and serve with warm bread. It’s a cozy, soothing dinner, just right for one night this week. 

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Soup

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 lb. chicken tenderloins 
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth (or 3 cups water plus 1 Tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Chicken Base) 
  • 1 10.8 ounce bag frozen broccoli florets
  • 1 12 ounce bag frozen cauliflower 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup evaporated low-fat milk
  • 1 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese 
  • kosher salt 
  • freshly ground black pepper

Set Instant Pot to sauté. Add olive oil and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add chicken tenderloins, chicken broth, broccoli, cauliflower, thyme, garlic and bay leaf. Seal cover, select manual setting and set time for 8 minutes. When finished cooking, use quick release. Remove and discard bay leaf. Transfer chicken tenderloins to a cutting board and cut into chunks. Use an immersion blender to purée vegetables in Instant Pot, leaving some chunkiness for consistency (or transfer to blender and process similarly; return to Instant Pot). Set Instant Pot to sauté. Add milk and cheese and cook, stirring occasionally until cheese has melted. Return chicken to pot; stir and continue to cook until warmed through. Taste and adjust with salt, if needed, and freshly ground black pepper.

Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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