Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup -- rich, creamy, delicious, and lightened up with a few simple tweaks! |

The seasons they are a-changin’ right now in Kansas City.

And I’m trying reeeeeeally hard to be happy about it.

But argh, let’s be real.  I’m not happy about it.

Why?  It’s still August!  It’s supposed to be blazing, sunshine-y, flip-floppy, frozen-margarita-y, float-in-the-pool-y, fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk-y, gloriously HOT right now.  Instead, a surprise cool front has barreled through town, and everyone I know can’t stop raving about how wonderfully “crisp” and “cool” and “refreshing” it feels outside, and autumn has apparently decided to make an early arrival this year.  Gahhh.

Let me be clear — I have nothing against this next season, and can appreciate a crisp, cool, and refreshing evening spent out on the patio with friends as much as, well, my friends.  It’s just that the arrival of autumn always means that my absolute favorite season (by a landslide) has come to a sad end, and my least favorite season (that one we speak not of) is just around the corner, and the long wait must begin for the arrival of the most wonderful (summer)time of the year.

Le sigh.

Well, as must as I love a good lament about winter, my good friend, Maux, placed a moratorium on whining about unexpected weather in the Midwest awhile back.  So since she’s probably reading this, I’ll stop.  (I’ll stop!)  And instead, I’ll take a tiny bit of consolation in the fact that the cooler weather maybe at least somewhat justifies breaking out my favorite stock pot to make a big ol’ batch of broccoli cheese soup.  It’s comfort food at its best.  And since broccoli still happens to be in season, and my recipe is lightened up a bit with milk instead of cream, you can enjoy every last bite.  Even in August.  ;)

Broccoli Cheese Soup -- rich, creamy, delicious, and lightened up with a few simple tweaks! |

I’m quite proud to admit that I’ve been on quite the broccoli kick lately, which is A Very Big Deal in my world.  Those freakishly tiny trees and I have never regarded one another fondly in the past.  But I’ve been on a mission to grow up and Be An Adult and teach my tastebuds who’s boss — especially when it comes to a few certain cruciferous vegetables — and shockingly, success seems to be happening.  I’ve actually been enjoying broccoli more and more!  And — don’t fall off your chair — even occasionally craving it.

I know, almost as unbelievable as autumn arriving here in the middle of August.  Crazier things are happening lately in Kansas City.

But of course, after roasting and sauteing and salad-ing and doing all sorts of other healthy things with it, I suddenly started craving the traditionally less-healthy (yet oh-so-beloved) classic excuse for eating your greens.

Broccoli cheese soup, of course!
Broccoli Cheese Soup -- rich, creamy, delicious, and lightened up with a few simple tweaks! |

Or broccoli cheddar soup.

Whatever you want to call it, this delicious soup is always a crowd favorite and seems to show up on soup menus everywhere.  What can we say — people love their broccoli cheese soup!

But the problem with this soup in restaurants?!  It’s usually absolutely loaded with heavy cream, which I find highly unnecessary.  Similar to my favorite Potato Soup recipe, I prefer to make my creamy soups with a simple milk and stock and roux base, which is significantly lower in fat, yet still tastes ultra-rich, creamy, thick, and absolutely delicious.  And instead of throwing in an enormous amount of cheddar cheese?  Go for a single block of sharp cheddar cheese.  (Or even better, go with extra-sharp if it’s available.)  You get way more flavor per calorie, which allows you to use less cheese and still get plenty of flavor.  Win-win!

Broccoli Cheese Soup -- rich, creamy, delicious, and lightened up with a few simple tweaks! |

As far as the broccoli goes, you can puree it smooth or keep it as chunky as you’d like.  Just be sure and add lots and lots of it in, so that you can soak up all of its green good-for-you-ness, which is bound to help you make it through a cold winter…or a chilly August…or any time you want to tap into your inner Dana Carvey and get to work choppin’ broccoli.


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Broccoli Cheese Soup

This classic Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is simple to make, lightened up with milk instead of cream, and chocked full of the delicious broccoli and cheddar we all love!


  • 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2/3 cup diced carrots (about 1 large carrot, peeled)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups good-quality vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk (I used 2%, but any kind of milk will work)
  • 3-4 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 1 medium head of broccoli)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 ounces freshly-grated* part-skim sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for serving


Heat butter (or olive oil) in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until melted.  Add onion and carrots and saute for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until both are cooked through and the onion is translucent.  Stir in the garlic and saute for an additional 1 minute, then stir in the flour and saute for an additional 1 minute.

Whisk in the chicken stock until it is evenly combined.  Stir in the milk, broccoli, mustard, salt and black pepper until combined.  Continue cooking, stirring every few minutes, until the soup reaches a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer the soup for another 6-8 minutes, until the broccoli is cooked through and soft.  Stir in the freshly-grated cheddar cheese until it is completely melted and evenly mixed into the soup.

Serve immediately, topped with extra cheese if desired.

*Be sure to freshly-grate the cheddar (yourself) from a block of cheese for this recipe.  The store-bought shredded bagged cheeses have a coating on them that makes it difficult for the cheese to smoothly melt, so it’s better to grate the cheese yourself.  If you don’t have a grater, you can also just dice the cheese into small cubes which will also melt well.

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If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Broccoli Cheese Soup -- rich, creamy, delicious, and lightened up with a few simple tweaks! |

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185 comments on “Broccoli Cheese Soup”

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  1. Funny, I actually have been thinking about Broccoli Cheese Soup give the “crisp” weather we have been having. I think I will make it tonight. And no worries, hot weather is coming back for the weekend!

  2. YUM! I love broccoli cheese soup – it’s one of my guilty pleasures to get it in a bread bowl from Panera. But I am salivating over my computer right now this looks so good. May have to make it very soon as the weather seems to be cooling down in East TN as well! Thanks for sharing – always love a healthier spin on comfort recipes. :)

  3. Lovely post…yes the cold crispy weather is in, just like you I feel sad for the summer passing by & dread the season after Fall,though I love the Fall season & all the warmth & earth colors it bring in :) This is my most favorite vegetarian soup, though I did not know how to do it, always used to buy it from Costco to quench my “comfort food “feel. Thank you, for sharing the recipe & your pictures just made me drool ;).Will certainly try it soon, meanwhile do visit my site, when you find time, a newbie in blogosphere, would love to get some feedback about my set & share recipes too :)

  4. humm so this really sounds like something worth trying, and looks tasty, too!

  5. You’re KILLING me with these soup recipes, but in the best way possible. Broccoli cheese soup is a close runner up to potato soup in the fight for my favorite soup for this time of year. 

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  6. This soup looks delicious and comforting. It’s still very much summer in my neck of the woods, but I’m going to save this recipe for when the cooler weather starts to roll in. It won’t be long now.

  7. I use the same trick with roux! I have never tried it with broccoli cheese soup, though. This looks so yummy…pinning! And LOL at the Dana Carvey comment…I sing that to myself every time I happen to be chopping broccoli. :) The best era of SNL, in my humble opinion.

    • Awesome Marjorie, we hope you love this soup! And Dana Carvey “Choppin’ Broccoleeeee” forever! ;P

  8. I still remember when it was in the 80’s last year during Chopped Con!! It’s been chilly here too – crazy midwest weather. :)

  9. Yum! I am totally craving broccli cheese soup now. I love that you lightened it up. That’s a really good tip about using extra sharp cheddar cheese for more flavor and less chesse!  :)

  10. OMG this looks so delicious, I am definitely going to try this recipe next week! Can’t wait. Thanks for sharing.

    Believe it or not, here in Texas I would be happy about some cooler days.
    xo Kristina

  11. I’m planning on making this soup tonight. For some reason, lately I’ve been really craving broccoli and cheese soup! Must be the weather… 

    As always, love the recipe, and the pictures! :) I’ll let you know how it turns out for me.

    • Thanks so much Amanda, we hope you love it, and definitely let us know how it turned out! :)

  12. Broccoli Cheese Soup??! Um…that’s like my official fall food <3 yum!

  13. This soup looks amazing!

  14. I live in Lincoln, NE, and I feel EXACTLY the same way you do about summer and the recent cool weather (although I have thoroughly enjoyed having the windows open). This soup look amazing and I can’t wait to try it!

  15. My favorite soup!  This looks amazing! Reminds me that fall is coming !

  16. Soup looks great, pinned for fall/winter. I’m not ready to let go of summer either. I really dislike when everyone says, “labor day weekend is the end of summer.” I say, “No, please stay longer!” Fall is a lovely season, but I’m not ready for it yet ?

  17. By far, the very BEST broccoli cheese soup I’ve ever made. Incredibly easy to make and tasted just as decadent as the version I’ve made with heavy cream. Thank you!

  18. I completely agree: the oodles of heavy cream in most conventional broccoli cheese soup is unnecessary, and a turn-off for me. My broccoli cheddar soup recipe is very similar to this one, and it’s amazing! I like to add potatoes for a cross between creamy potato soup and broccoli cheddar–a must-try. I’m intrigued by the dijon in yours; does it add much flavor?

    • Thanks for sharing Margaret Ann! :) The Dijon isn’t that noticeable honestly, it just adds a little extra oomph to the overall dish. : )

  19. Great comfort food!

  20. Hi! This looks like a great recipe! Is there a specific reason that you use part skim cheese? I couldn’t find any at the store so can I just you regular cheese?

    • Thanks Samantha! We used part-skim cheese just to make the soup a little bit lighter, but you could totally use regular cheese! :)

  21. I’m new here but agree with you on the cool weather, as I’m from northern Iowa. Found your post thru bloglovin’. This recipe sounds delicious, especially without the cream. Stole your potato soup recipe too, since you listed Yukon Gold spuds as a main ingredient and milk, no cream. Thank you. Thank you. Now, off to make them. Have a great week. M

  22. I am not a big fan of broccoli, but this had a great balance of savory cheese to healthy greens. The only drawback is that I used purple carrots and they turned the soup lavender. It was a little weird and pretty.

    • Thanks for sharing Crystal, and that’s funny about the purple carrots – we bet that soup was pretty!

  23. I’ll be honest, I cannot WAIT for fall! It’s still way too hot in Utah. But I wish for hot weather in the winter. Funny how that works. I’ll save this recipe for colder days!

  24. Saw this recipe today, made it tonight. So, so good. I’ve always wanted to make broccoli soup but assumed it was complicated. Very simple, but I will impress my in-laws with it anyhow. My non soup-cooking parents will be amazed. Thanks for the recipe! 

    • Thanks Jessica, we’re happy you liked it — it’s always good to impress the in-laws! :D

  25. I didn’t like broccoli much when I was a kid, but now I love them! I’m going to make this soup for sure! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • We hope you’ll like the soup Pippa, thanks for stopping by! :) P.S. love your name!

  26. I read your blog for a quite of time  and I will definitely try this recipe no matter my husband hates broccoli :) Thank you very much for sharing it!

  27. I just made this and used skim milk and added in some celery. It turned out pretty yummy! I like that it’s lightened up so I can have a good sized bowl to enjoy.

  28. This soup was AWESOME! Very flavorful, my family loved it! Thanks for the recipe! And thanks for being from KC ;)

  29. Wow! This is a really good idea. I’ve done some similar soups, but the cheese really caught my eye! That would be something to try ASAP. Thank you for sharing!

  30. I made this recipe tonight for my family….delish!!! Everyone was stunned, for my family of 5 I added some Parmesan crusted chicken tenders and some garlic bread. It was absolutely fantastic. 

  31. I’m so excited to try this – love love love your cheesy chicken enchilada soup. It’s a staple for me! Does this freeze as well? A little worried about making a whole pot since I’m really the only soup eater in my house.

    • Thanks Margery, we hope you’ll enjoy it! Unfortunately we don’t recommend freezing this, as the amount of dairy will alter the texture, and likely cause the soup to separate.

  32. I love this recipe! I’ve made it twice and loved it. I added smoked Gouda because it’s my favorite cheese.! 

  33. Lovely recipe. And those pics are mesmerizing….I almost eat my screen. Anyways, I got one question – do you think it will be appropriate If I add blue cheese?

    • Thanks Sandra, we hope you enjoy! And yes, we think you could totally add blue cheese! :D

  34. This soup looks amazing! I want to take it to work for a food day. Can I prepare it the night before and transfer it to a crock pot to reheat the next day? Some soups lose their awesomeness when reheated. 

    • Hi Amanda! We think that should be fine! You might want to slightly undercook the broccoli though, just so it doesn’t get mushy when you reheat in the slow cooker.

  35. making this tonight! can I just say thank you for reiterating that bagged cheese and freshly grated cheese are not the same. I always mention that in my recipes and didn’t really know how to articulate why… but yes, it’s the coating. thanks for sharing!
    xx, lauren

  36. I made this tonight.  I accidentally bought the cheese from a bag, but it wasn’t too bad.  It was a little watery for my liking, but WAY healthier than regular brocoli cheddar soup.  It was about 875 calories for the WHOLE pot.  A single Big Mac has that many calories, haha.

    • We’re so glad you liked this Maddie! We’re not sure why it was on the watery side though. We wouldn’t think using store-bought shredded cheese would have caused that.

  37. Hello everyone,
    Such a wonderful recipe. This is my favorite meal. I am in love with this broccoli cheese soup <3
    Best wishes,

  38. I tried this soup last night and it was fantastic. I modified the recipe a little and added some corn and some pepper flakes and thyme for some extra flavour. Really yummy!

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed it Sarah, thanks for sharing! And the thyme and red pepper flakes sound like awesome additions! :)

  39. made this tonight I didn’t read the whole thing I used shredded cheddar from the bag but it came out just fine I had to add extra salt and pepper for my taste but it’s a great recipie

  40. Hi your post looks so delicious I want to make it for thanksgiving dinner.. Question is there a reason it says to serve immediately? As the dinner is an hr drive away then usually takes some time to get everyone settled ready to eat…  

    • Thanks Eveline! We think you should be fine to reheat it right before serving – an hour won’t make a huge difference. We hope you and your family enjoy this!

  41. I I made this soup today, on a very chilly day on London, England.  I also added celery and used almond milk, as I didn’t have any regular.  I also added a few dollops of mustard and used a strong Cheddar with lots of black pepper and vegetable stock.  It was extremely delicious, so thank you.  

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed this Cathy, thanks for sharing with us! That mustard and strong cheddar sound like amazing additions! :D

  42. Made the Broccoli Cheese Soup tonight!! OMG!!’ Absolutely delicious! Very easy!! Will definitely make again!!

  43. Would I be able to make this using frozen broccoli?

    • Hi Kelly! We think you would have best results with fresh broccoli. We hope you enjoy!

  44.  Hello, the recipe for “broccoli cheese soup” is good, but it is very important to find the good restaurant. In case that you decide to prepare the soup in your kitchen, you have to be a good cook. It is not easy for me to prepare this soup. :)

  45. I love broccoli! I love cheese! I love soups!!! And this is all in one! This is my new favorite recipe! Thanks!

  46. This is my favourite soup recipe ever! Thank for sharing!

  47. Hi!! I saw this delicious recipe and I want to know if can I do it in a slow cooker? 

    • Hi Claudia! Unfortunately because of the roux and the amount of dairy in this soup, this recipe doesn’t really translate well to the slow cooker. But we hope you can still make it and enjoy it!

  48. Love broccoli cheese soup! This looks like a great recipe. I will be adding it to my “to be tried” pile. I have  a tip that I use when I make broccoli cheddar soup, I roast the broccoli in the oven with a little Montreal Steak seasoning and olive oil (very little!) before adding it to my soup. Delicious!

    • Thanks Lisa, we hope you’ll enjoy this one (and roasting the broccoli sounds amazing), good call! :D

  49. How does this recipe turn out with using Almond milk instead of Cow’s milk? It looks so good!!

    • Hi Angie! We actually haven’t tried this with almond milk before, so we can’t really say. :/ We imagine it would be a little thinner, but if you used plain, unflavored almond milk, it shouldn’t be too terribly different!

  50. Made this last night.  It was delicious!  Thanks for sharing.