Broccoli Cheese Soup

This Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is easy to make in less than 30 minutes and lightened up a bit with no heavy cream, yet still tastes just as cozy and comforting and delicious as ever.

Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Soup season has officially returned.  And I, for one, am here for it.

I already have a list a mile long on my phone of new soup recipes that I’m hoping to share on the blog this winter.  (Stay tuned!)  But for our very first soup recipe of the season today, I thought we could return to a cozy classic that I’ve been craving for months — classic broccoli cheese soup.

Oh my goodness, I absolutely adore a good bowl of broccoli cheddar soup.  It always feels so cozy and comforting during the wintertime, especially served up in a bread bowl or with a nice crusty baguette.  And I have to say that I’m especially partial to this particular broccoli cheese soup recipe, because when I’m the one cooking it from scratch, I get to control the ingredients.

For example, by contrast to most restaurant broccoli cheddar soups, this recipe is lightened-up with milk instead of lots of heavy cream.  I also love making it with a good, aged, sharp white cheddar cheese, in order to add a big kick of flavor (and avoid those unnecessary orange food colorings).  This recipe also allows you to control the tenderness of the broccoli, either keeping it more on the crisp side or simmering it until it’s super-soft (or pureeing the soup until it’s completely creamy).  Most of all, though, I just love this recipe because it tastes super fresh and flavorful, and is made with so much broccoli.

And it’s easy to make in just 30 minutes!  Soup time!

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Ingredients:

To make this easy broccoli cheddar soup recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Butter or olive oil: We will use these to sauté the veggies and form part of our roux.
  • Broccoli: 1 large head of broccoli, chopped into bite-sized florets.
  • Veggies: Onions and carrots, nice and diced.
  • Seasonings: Garlic, a touch of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
  • Flour: To make a roux and thicken the soup.  (Feel free to use gluten-free flour if preferred.)
  • Veggie stock: Or chicken stock would also work.
  • Milk: I typically make this soup with 2% milk, but feel free to sub in your preferred kind of cow’s milk or a plain non-dairy milk.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: The type of cheese you use will really make a difference in this soup, so I recommend springing for a good one!  I’m partial to aged sharp white cheddar myself.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

How To Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup:

To make this broccoli cheese soup recipe, simply…

  1. Sauté the veggies. Cook the onion, carrots and garlic in butter (or oil) until softened.
  2. Make the roux.  Stir in the flour and give it a minute or so to cook.  Then stir in the chicken stock, milk and mustard until combined.
  3. Simmer.  Let the soup continue to cook until it reaches a simmer.  Then reduce the heat to maintain the simmer.
  4. Add remaining ingredients.  Stir in the broccoli and cheddar until combined, then continue to cook the soup until the broccoli reaches your desired level of tenderness.  (I like mine to stay fairly crisp, so I don’t cook mine very long.)
  5. Serve warm.  Garnished with extra cheese if you’d like!

Any leftover broccoli and cheese soup can be stored in sealed containers (affiliate link) for up to 3 days.  Unfortunately, this soup does not freeze well, so I don’t recommend it.

Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Possible Recipe Variations:

Want some more options for how to customize your own broccoli soup recipe?  Feel free to:

  • Purée the soup: If you would like to make more of a cream of broccoli soup, just use an immersion blender to puree half or all of the soup until smooth.  Or you can puree cheesy broccoli soup in a traditional blender — just be sure, as always when blending hot liquids, to blend the soup in small batches so that the hot soup doesn’t expand and explode out of the top of your blender.  (I always tent the cap on my blender lid open a bit, too, and cover it with a towel to let any extra hot air escape.)
  • Add cauliflower: To make broccoli cauliflower soup, feel free to use half broccoli and half cauliflower.
  • Add extra veggies: Feel free to toss any other soup-friendly diced veggies into this soup as well.  You will just either need to sauté them along with the onions, or simmer the broth a bit longer (before adding the broccoli and cheddar) to be sure that they have time to fully cook.
  • Make it gluten-free: To make gluten-free broccoli cheese soup, just be sure to use a certified GF flour blend in place of the all-purpose flour.
  • Make it vegan: Use olive oil or vegan butter (in place of the butter), plain dairy-free milk (such as almond or oat milk), and either vegan cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (in place of the cheese).
  • Use a different kind of cheese: If cheddar isn’t your thing, this soup would also taste delicious with smoked gouda, Pepperjack, gruyere or even mozzarella cheese.
  • Make Panera-style broccoli cheddar soup: The famous Panera broccoli cheddar soup recipe is a bit more indulgent, made with a mixture of heavy cream and milk.  Panera also uses shredded carrots (instead of diced) and adds a pinch of white pepper to the soup, which I highly recommend if you have some on hand.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

More Creamy Soup Recipes:

If you’re looking for more creamy, cozy, comforting soup recipes, here are a few of my faves!

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5 from 20 reviews

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 -8 servings 1x

Description

This Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe is quick and easy to make in less than 30 minutes, lightened up a bit, yet it still just as cozy and comforting and flavorful as ever.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) freshly-grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for serving
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli florets (about 1 large head of broccoli)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat butter (or oil) in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until melted.  Add onion and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.  Stir in the garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.  Stir in the flour and sauté for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the chicken stock until it is evenly combined.  Stir in the milk and mustard until combined.  Continue cooking until the soup, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add in the broccoli and cheddar, and stir until combined.  Continue cooking for 2-4 more minutes, or until the broccoli reaches your desired level of tenderness.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with extra shredded cheese if desired.

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Broccoli Cheese Soup

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202 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 stirringmyspicysoul.com, 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
    http://thekentuckygent.com

  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
    http://www.laurensparkle.com

  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,
    Lina

  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.