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Instant Pot Loaded Cauliflower Soup

Instant Pot Loaded Cauliflower Soup is incredibly creamy and full of savoury flavour. Customize it with your favourite toppings!

Instant Pot Loaded Cauliflower Soup in a white bowl next to garnishes and a blue linen.

This soup is such a crowd pleaser. It’s an amazing creamy base for all the toppings your heart desires. We suggest some simple toppings like bacon, green onion and grated cheese, but don’t let that limit your imagination! Sliced jalapeños, crispy fried onions and chives are also great options.

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I highly recommend doubling this recipe, if you tend to enjoy extra large bowls of soup or if you’d like to have leftovers. This soup reheats really nicely.

Ingredients

This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make Instant Pot Loaded Cauliflower Soup. Check out the recipe card below for the detailed quantities and instructions!

  • Butter – for sautéing
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Broth – chicken or vegetable
  • Dried dill
  • Cauliflower – a medium-sized head, so you have about 20 ounces of florets
  • Sharp cheddar – regular cheddar cheese works too, but the sharp cheddar flavour is more noticeable
  • Sour cream – or full-fat Greek yogurt for a lower fat/higher protein option
  • Half and half cream – the soup is fairly creamy without this, but adding a bit of cream takes it to the next level!
  • Salt and pepper – to taste
  • Suggested toppings – bacon bits or sliced cooked bacon, sour cream, grated cheese, sliced green onion and hot sauce.
Ingredients for loaded cauliflower soup viewed from overhead.

How to make it

First, use the Sauté function to melt the butter and sauté the onion and celery. Once these are softened, turn off the Sauté function and cook the garlic for about a minute in the residual heat.

Deglaze the pot with a bit of broth (if necessary), then add the rest of the broth and sprinkle in the dried dill. Layer the cauliflower florets on top.

Uncooked cauliflower florets in an Instant Pot viewed from overhead.

Pressure cook on High for 8 minutes. At the end of cooking time, quick release the pressure. I like to leave the keep warm setting on so that it’s easier to warm up the dairy ingredients.

Use an immersion blender right in the pot and blend until the soup is smooth and creamy. Then, stir in the grated cheddar, followed by the sour cream and half and half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with your favourite toppings and enjoy!

Cauliflower soup being blended with an immersion blender in an Instant Pot.

Tips and Variations

Use the keep warm setting. This helps keep the soup warm while you add the dairy ingredients.

Be efficient with prep. Grate the cheese and measure out the dairy ingredients while the soup is pressure cooking.

Taste and season after cooking. I tend to suggest seasoning with salt after pressure cooking because the saltiness depends a lot on the type of broth you use. The sharp cheddar also adds salt, so season after it’s mixed in.

Make it vegetarian. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and skip the bacon topping. You could use a vegan faux bacon, or add some other toppings like sliced olives, jalapeño or crispy fried onions.

A ladle of cauliflower soup being pulled out of an Instant Pot.

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Instant Pot Loaded Cauliflower Soup in a white bowl next to garnishes and a blue linen.

Instant Pot Loaded Cauliflower Soup

Laura Lawless, BASc
Instant Pot Loaded Cauliflower Soup is incredibly creamy and full of savoury flavour. Customize it with your favourite toppings!
5 from 1 vote
Servings 4
Calories 296
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Inactive time 18 mins
Total Time 43 mins

Ingredients

For the soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter (28g)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • ½ teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (83g; can sub regular cheddar)
  • ½ cup sour cream (or full-fat Greek yogurt)
  • ½ cup half and half cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste after cooking)

Toppings

  • bacon bits or sliced cooked bacon
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • sliced green onion
  • hot sauce

Instructions
 

  • Turn on the Sauté function. Melt the butter, then add the onion and celery and sauté until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Turn off the Sauté function, then add the minced garlic and sauté it for about a minute in the residual heat.
  • Pour in a small amount of broth and use a flat-bottomed turner to scrape up any food that's stuck to the bottom of the insert. This will help prevent a burn warning. There shouldn't be much to scrape up with this recipe.
  • Pour in the remaining broth, then sprinkle in the dried dill. Layer the cauliflower florets evenly on top.
  • Close the lid and set the vent to sealing. Pressure cook on Manual High pressure for 8 minutes with the keep warm setting on (your Instant Pot may have a "Pressure Cook" button rather than a "Manual" button, depending on the model). It will take up to 15 minutes to come to pressure.
  • At the end of cooking time, quick release the pressure. I like to use a wooden spoon in case there's splatter. You can let it out in short bursts to reduce splatter (this is called a controlled quick release). Leave the keep warm setting on so that the dairy ingredients can warm up more easily.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the soup right in the Instant Pot, until smooth and creamy.
  • Stir in the grated cheese, then the sour cream and half and half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately topped with your favourite garnishes. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days. Can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

  1. Inactive time indicates the time it takes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure. 
  2. This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot model. 
  3. Nutrition estimate does not include toppings (because this is variable based on how much you add!)
  4. Recipe can be doubled with the same cook time. 

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Equipment

Instant Pot (6qt)
Immersion Blender
Box Grater

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 813mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 682IU | Vitamin C: 73mg | Calcium: 284mg | Iron: 1mg
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Hey, I’m Laura!

Creator of The Recipe Well


I love food and cooking, but hate doing the dishes. I use my nutrition degree to create easy, approachable recipes that will help you find your happy place in the kitchen.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was delicious. So easy using the instant pot.

    1. Laura Lawless, BASc says:

      So happy you enjoyed it!