5 from 2 votes
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Best Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup Recipe

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Whip up a batch of the best broccoli cheese soup recipe for dinner this week. Made with fresh broccoli, carrots, sharp cheddar cheese, onion, heavy cream, and more. This delicious soup takes no time to make and is a dish the whole family can enjoy. Serve your soup in a bread bowl for a total comfort food dinner.

Two bowls of Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

This broccoli cheddar soup recipe is similar to Panera Bread’s broccoli cheddar soup. The creamy texture will tickle your tastebuds. Feel free to make an extra batch and reheat a hot soup for your lunches throughout the week.

Also, make sure to check out some of my easy soup recipes: Tuscan sausage soupsweet corn chowder, or even this southwest chicken soup.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe…

  • Simple to Make: You’ll love that this broccoli cheddar soup requires minimal effort to prepare on busy weeknights, with most ingredients likely already in your pantry.
  • Comfort in a Bowl: Nothing is quite as comforting as a warm bowl of creamy soup, especially on those chilly evenings when you crave something hearty.
  • Family Favorite: This crowd-pleaser is not only kid-friendly but also a guaranteed hit for adults, making family dinner times a delightful experience.
  • Versatile: The soup is easily customizable, allowing for variations like adding extra vegetables or adjusting the cheese for different flavor profiles.

Ingredients For Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Ingredients for Broccoli Cheddar Soup including parmesan cheese, butter, and heavy whipping cream.
  • Butter – I recommend using real butter, not margarine, in the recipe.
  • Onion – Yellow or white onion is what you will need for this soup recipe. The red onion is going to overpower the soup.
  • Garlic Clove
  • Shredded Carrots – I like to use large carrots that I shred by hand. You can buy pre-shredded carrots if you want.
  • Broccoli – Fresh broccoli florets or even frozen florets will work for this soup. Just dice up the broccoli into small pieces.
  • All Purpose Flour – The thickening agent to make this a creamy soup.
  • Chicken Broth – If you want to make a vegetarian soup, you can use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.
  • Salt
  • Italian Seasoning, Mustard Powder, Paprika – Spices used to flavor your soup to perfection.
  • Cheddar Cheese – Creamy, cheesy goodness is what you get with this soup.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Adds a nice tangy component to the soup.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – The whipping cream is going to add a richness to the soup that you won’t have otherwise. Plus it helps to thicken it even more.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

Substitutions and Variations

  • You can use whole milk if you don’t have heavy whipping cream.
  • If you don’t want to use heavy cream, you can add cream cheese to flavor the soup as well.
  • Add half of the cheese as pepper jack cheese to add a bit more spice to the soup.
  • For a gluten-free option, thicken the soup with cornstarch instead of all-purpose flour—mix one tablespoon of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water to create a slurry, which you can stir into the soup to reach your desired consistency. 
  • If broccoli isn’t your favorite or you’re looking to add more greens, consider swapping it out for cauliflower or adding spinach for an extra nutrient boost. 
  • For those looking to reduce the dairy, unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk can be good alternatives for the heavy cream, though the flavor profile will change slightly.

How To Make Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Collage of assembling broccoli cheese soup.
  1. Begin by heating butter in a pan or Dutch oven over medium heat until it melts. Proceed to add onion and garlic, sautéing them together for approximately 3 minutes. (Photo 1) 
  2. Continue by incorporating the carrots and broccoli into the pan, sautéing them for an additional 2-3 minutes until the broccoli begins to soften. (Photo 2) 
  3. Follow this by evenly sprinkling flour over the vegetables, stirring constantly for a few minutes to cook off the raw flour taste. (Photo 3)
  4. Next, pour in the broth, add all the spices, and gradually combine the cheese, stirring the mixture until the cheese is completely melted and evenly distributed throughout the soup. (Photo 4) 
Collage of cooking broccoli cheese soup.
  1. Gently mix in the heavy whipping cream, then let the soup simmer, making sure to stir it frequently to prevent burning. (Photos 5 & 6)
  2. For a final touch, you have the option to blend a portion of the vegetables to create a smoother texture. Either transfer some soup to a blender or use an immersion blender directly in the pot. (Photos 7 & 8)
Broccoli cheese soup in two black bowls sitting on a red and white tablecloth.

Expert Tips 

Here are some tips on making this easy broccoli cheese soup recipe. You will be all set for soup season in no time.

  • Broccoli Stalks: I prefer to cut off most of the broccoli stalks. I find that it can be a bit chewy if you leave them in.
  • Add More Cheese: Add in extra cheese or additional salt or black pepper to taste.
  • Cheese Tips: Always add cheese to the soup gradually, making sure it’s at a lower temperature to avoid curdling. For best results, shred your cheese off the block instead of using pre-shredded cheese, as it will melt more smoothly.
  • Vegetable Prep: Dice the vegetables into uniform sizes to ensure they cook evenly and provide a pleasant texture in every spoonful.
  • Garnish Options: For an added touch, garnish your soup with more shredded cheese, freshly cracked black pepper, chopped parsley, or croutons for added crunch.
  • Blender Safety: When transferring hot soup into a blender, do so in batches, and don’t fill the blender too full to avoid spills and burns. Always allow steam to escape from the blender to prevent pressure buildup.
  • Non-Dairy Alternatives: If using a non-dairy milk alternative, choose unsweetened and unflavored options to maintain the intended flavor of the soup.
  • Flavor Depth: For an even more profound flavor, consider roasting the garlic and onions before adding them to the soup; this caramelization adds a rich, savory note.

Alternative Cooking Methods

For those who love the convenience of set-it-and-forget-it cooking, this Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe adapts beautifully to both an Instant Pot and a slow cooker. 

To use an Instant Pot, first set it to the ‘Sauté’ function to cook the onions, garlic, carrots, and broccoli as instructed. After adding the flour and broth, secure the lid, set the valve to ‘Sealing’, and cook on ‘Manual’ or ‘Pressure Cook’ high settings for 1 minute. Quick release the pressure, open the lid cautiously, and then stir in the cheese and heavy cream until well combined.

For the slow cooker, sauté your vegetables in a separate pan before adding them to the cooker to ensure they’re nicely softened. Then, add the flour-coated vegetables, broth, and spices to the crockpot, cooking on low for 2-3 hours. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cheeses and heavy whipping cream to the slow cooker, stirring until the cheeses are fully melted and the soup reaches creamy perfection.

Storing Tips 

To store any leftover soup, allow it to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. This great soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. 

When ready to enjoy again, reheat the soup gently on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. If the soup is too thick upon reheating, you can thin it with a little broth or water until your desired consistency is reached. 

Freezing is not recommended as the dairy in the soup may separate and affect the texture when thawed.

What To Serve With Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Broccoli Cheese Soup pairs wonderfully with a variety of accompaniments that complement its rich and creamy texture. For instance, a loaf of crusty bread or cheesy garlic bread is perfect for dipping and scooping up every last bite. 

Additionally, easy sandwiches recipes, particularly those with a melted cheese element like a classic grilled cheese or a Mini BLT Bagel Sandwich, create a heartwarming and satisfying meal. 

For a lower carb option, consider roasted vegetables such as Roasted Brussels Sprouts or a side of seasoned, toasted nuts to add crunch and flavor.

Recipe FAQs

Why is my broccoli cheddar soup not creamy?

If you find your broccoli cheese soup is not creamy, you could have elevated the heat too high. The proteins in cheese can tighten, which can then cause your soup to become grainy a bit in texture.

How can I make my soup thicker?

If your Broccoli Cheese Soup is too thin for your liking, you can make it thicker without compromising taste. A simple method is to create a cornstarch slurry (a mixture of cornstarch and cold water) and stir it into the soup to thicken it. Alternatively, you can blend more of the vegetables into the soup, which naturally adds body.

Is it possible to use frozen broccoli instead of fresh?

Certainly, frozen broccoli is a convenient substitute when fresh is not available. There’s no need to thaw it; just add it directly to the soup and cook until tender. The final dish might be slightly different in texture, but it will still taste delicious.

My cheese has clumped together in the soup; what did I do wrong?

Cheese can clump if it’s added to the soup too quickly, all at once, or if the soup is too hot. To prevent this, add the cheese in increments, allowing each batch to fully melt before adding the next. It’s also important to have the soup on low heat when adding cheese to avoid overheating.

Can I add other vegetables to this soup?

Absolutely! This soup is quite versatile, and many other vegetables can be added to it. Consider tossing in cauliflower, potatoes, or spinach for variety and additional nutrition. Just keep an eye on cooking times, as different veggies may require more or less time to cook thoroughly.

A Spoon full of broccoli cheese soup.

More Comforting Soups

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Bowl of Broccoli Cheddar Soup topped with shredded cheese.
5 from 2 votes

Best Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup Recipe


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Soups & Chowder
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Whip up a batch of the best broccoli cheese soup recipe for dinner this week. Made with fresh broccoli, carrots, sharp cheddar cheese, onion, heavy cream, and more. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Small Onion diced
  • 1 Garlic Clove minced
  • 1 cup (128 g) Shredded Carrots approximately 1 large carrot
  • 3 cups (264 g) Chopped Broccoli approximately 1 head
  • 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 cups (709 ¾ ml) Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon Mustard Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 cup (113 g) Grated Cheddar Cheese or to taste
  • cup (33 ⅓ g) Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup (236 ⅗ ml) Heavy Whipping Cream 35%

Instructions

  • Begin by heating butter in a pan or Dutch oven over medium heat until it melts. Proceed to add onion and garlic, sautéing them together for approximately 3 minutes.
  • Continue by incorporating the carrots and broccoli into the pan, sautéing them for an additional 2-3 minutes until the broccoli begins to soften.
  • Follow this by evenly sprinkling flour over the vegetables, stirring constantly for a few minutes to cook off the raw flour taste.
  • Next, pour in the broth, add all the spices, and gradually combine the cheese, stirring the mixture until the cheese is completely melted and evenly distributed throughout the soup.
  • Gently mix in the heavy whipping cream, then let the soup simmer, making sure to stir it frequently to prevent burning.
  • For a final touch, you have the option to blend a portion of the vegetables to create a smoother texture. Either transfer some soup to a blender or use an immersion blender directly in the pot.

Notes

Here are some tips on making this easy broccoli cheese soup recipe. You will be all set for soup season in no time.
  • Broccoli Stalks: I prefer to cut off most of the broccoli stalks. I find that it can be a bit chewy if you leave them in.
  • Add More Cheese: Add in extra cheese or additional salt or black pepper to taste.
  • Cheese Tips: Always add cheese to the soup gradually, making sure it’s at a lower temperature to avoid curdling. For best results, shred your cheese off the block instead of using pre-shredded cheese, as it will melt more smoothly.
  • Vegetable Prep: Dice the vegetables into uniform sizes to ensure they cook evenly and provide a pleasant texture in every spoonful.
  • Garnish Options: For an added touch, garnish your soup with more shredded cheese, freshly cracked black pepper, chopped parsley, or croutons for added crunch.
  • Blender Safety: When transferring hot soup into a blender, do so in batches, and don’t fill the blender too full to avoid spills and burns. Always allow steam to escape from the blender to prevent pressure buildup.
  • Non-Dairy Alternatives: If using a non-dairy milk alternative, choose unsweetened and unflavored options to maintain the intended flavor of the soup.
  • Flavor Depth: For an even more profound flavor, consider roasting the garlic and onions before adding them to the soup; this caramelization adds a rich, savory note.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1g Calories: 238kcal (12%) Carbohydrates: 10g (3%) Protein: 7g (14%) Fat: 20g (31%) Saturated Fat: 12g (75%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 59mg (20%) Sodium: 862mg (37%) Potassium: 235mg (7%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 4g (4%) Vitamin A: 3790IU (76%) Vitamin C: 33mg (40%) Vitamin D: 1µg (7%) Calcium: 187mg (19%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

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