Keto Instant Pot “Cheesy” Zucchini Soup (dairy-free, nut-free, Whole30)
Even though it’s dairy-free and Whole30-friendly, you won’t believe how “cheesy” this Instant Pot Cheesy Zucchini Soup is! This nourishing Instant Pot soup recipe is picky eater-approved, nut-free, vegan, vegetarian, and keto/low-carb, too!
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Last modified October 11, 2020.
Y’all, I’ve got zucchini coming out my ears.
Back in July, I was talking to my 4 zucchini plants, coaxing those flowers to turn into zukes.
Now? Let’s just say if the Zombie Apocalypse happens, I’ve gotcha covered on zucchini.
In hindsight, maybe 4 zucchini plants was 3 too many… 😉
When I have an abundance of produce that I just can’t figure out how to use any other way, I turn to Instant Pot blended soup!
Why I Love Instant Pot Blended Soup
I loooooove Instant Pot blended soups! (You literally cannot make a soup on the stove in less time than in your Instant Pot!)
Not only are they super easy and quick to make, you can literally use any veggie — even the veggies you don’t particularly like.
When it comes to blended soups, any spices or seasonings are fair game, any veggies can be disguised from picky eaters, and you can rest assured that your family is getting an abundance of easily digested vegetables — as long as they’re willing to eat blended soup.
Actually, I have a formula: How to Make Any Blended Soup in the Instant Pot! Use that to mix and match veggies to create any kind of blended soup you want.
So, for this Instant Pot Cheesy Zucchini Soup, I turned to my trusty formula. Then, I made sure this zucchini soup was suitable for all the eating styles: dairy-free, nut-free, Whole30, low-carb, keto, Trim Healthy Mama, vegetarian, vegan.
Heck, by omitting the paprika and cayenne pepper, this is an AIP recipe, too.
Did I leave anyone out?
This is also just a really nourishing and digestible soup that is perfect for anyone who’s sick or recovering from illness. 🙂
How We Make “Cheesy” Instant Pot Zucchini Soup
Notice that word “cheesy” in quotes?
That’s because there isn’t any cheese in this recipe. It’s dairy-free and Whole30 and vegan/vegetarian, remember?
I accomplished a cheesy flavor with my favorite non-fortified nutritional yeast (alias: Nooch). Getting non-fortified Nooch is important.
The fortified stuff (from brands like Bob’s Red Mill, Braggs, Frontier, and most bulk aisles at the health food store) is just that: fortified with synthetic B vitamins.
This can be problematic for a couple of reasons:
- If you have or even suspect you have any variant of the MTHFR genetic mutations, you need B vitamins in their real form because your body has trouble or simply can’t convert the synthetic B vitamins into bioavailable B vitamins — which leads to B vitamin deficiencies.
- Why eat synthetic vitamins when you can just give your body the real deal?
Non-fortified nutritional yeast is a lifesaver for me since I don’t eat dairy. I love it on popcorn, on top of spaghetti and meatballs as a parmesan replacement, and to create the cheesy flavor of my Instant Pot Vegan Queso.
Perhaps you’ve also noticed that dairy-free soups are thickened with blended cashews? Not that I have a problem with cashews, but… they’re expensive and they’re not friendly for people who can’t have nuts or are AIP.
Remember, I try to make my uncomplicated Real Food recipes as friendly as possible for a variety of eating styles.
Would I serve this as a main dish?
It’s hella packed with veggies, a little bit of bone broth, and some nourishing fat from the avocado oil. But, it’s lacking in the protein department.
Protein is important to maintain a stable blood sugar and keep you satiated until your next meal.
If you’ve got shredded chicken (from cooking a whole chicken), you could add it on top of your soup. I’ve also cut up sausage and stirred it into my bowl of Instant Pot Cheesy Zucchini Soup to make it a main dish.
For packing in kids’ lunches, warm the soup on the stove, then pour into a Thermos food jar. A meat sandwich or other protein goes into the lunchbox, and there’s a nourishing school lunch for ya!
How to Make Instant Pot Cheesy Zucchini Soup
This is sooooo easy!
First, add some avocado oil to your Instant Pot and press the Saute button. I like to do this because it heats up the pot, which helps it come to pressure more quickly.
While the pot heats up, roughly chop about 2 cups of yellow onion and about 8 cups of zucchini. You don’t need to chop anything small here because it’s all getting blended in the end!
Add the veggies, about a cup of broth, garlic, and salt to the Instant Pot.
Press “Keep Warm/Cancel”. Then, press the “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” button. Adjust the time to 3 minutes on high pressure, seal the vent, and let ‘er cook.
When your Instant Pot beeps, letting you know that cooking time is finished, immediately release the pressure and remove the lid.
Now, it’s time to blend!
I highly recommend investing in an immersion blender if you don’t already have one. This makes blending right in the pot possible.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can carefully transfer the hot soup to a high-speed blender and blend. But, you will have to do this in stages, as it’s unlikely that all of the soup will fit into the blender at once.
Once your soup is as smooth as you’d like it to be, stir in the remaining seasonings (cayenne, if using), nutritional yeast, and a bit of apple cider vinegar. The ACV really helps mimic the acidity of cheese, but doesn’t impart a vinegar taste to the soup at all.
You can serve right away, store in the fridge, or portion it into zip-top bags once cooled and freeze for later!
Here’s the full recipe for this yummy Instant Pot Cheesy Zucchini Soup!
Keto Instant Pot "Cheesy" Zucchini Soup (dairy-free, nut-free, Whole30, vegan)
Even though it's dairy-free and Whole30-friendly, you won't believe how "cheesy" this Instant Pot Cheesy Zucchini Soup is! This nourishing Instant Pot soup recipe is picky eater-approved, nut-free, vegan, vegetarian, and keto/low-carb, too!
- 1/4cupavocado oil(or lard, ghee, or tallow)
- 2cupsroughly chopped yellow onion
- 8cupszucchini (about 4 large zucchini)sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced into half-circles about 1/2" thick
- 4clovesgarlicleft whole
- 1cupbone broth(may need more after cooking if soup is too thick -- use veggie broth or water for vegan)
- 1teaspoongarlic powder
- 1/2cupnon-fortified nutritional yeast
- 1tablespoonapple cider vinegar
- 1/4teaspooncayenne pepperoptional
Press the Saute button on your Instant Pot and add the avocado oil or your fat of choice.
When the fat is hot, add in the roughly chopped onion, zucchini, and garlic.
Add the bone broth, salt, paprika, and garlic powder.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot, checking to be sure the seal is in place. Seal the vent. Press Keep Warm/Cancel. Then press Manual and adjust the time to 3 minutes on high pressure.
When it beeps, immediately release pressure.
Add in the nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, and cayenne (if using).
Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to your desired thickness. (We prefer a completely smooth, blended soup.
Serve immediately or allow to cool, then place in zip-top bags and freeze.
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Do you use non-fortified nutritional yeast to achieve a cheesy flavor in your dairy-free recipes? How are you using up extra zucchini?
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