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.


5 / 5 (6 Reviews)
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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”

  1. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. My husband kept saying “Wow!” after each bite. the children enjoyed it too. I definitely recommend this easy and delicious recipe. 

    • Thank you, what a nice compliment — we’re so glad this was a hit with your family! :)

  2. Can cheese be substituted with velveeta?

  3. This looks delicious! Would I be able to use frozen broccoli instead? Thanks!

  4. I found this this morning on Pinteret. Made it for dinner just now….and it was awesome. Followed the recipe and it turned out great. Panera better watch out. Thanks so much!!

  5. This was delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. 

  6. So yummy!!! Can the leftovers be frozen?

    • Hi Nicole, unfortunately this soup does not freeze well because of its high dairy content (it will separate).

  7. Making this for Sunday dinner. Thx for sharing recipe!

  8. Hi, 
    Would frozen broccoli work in this recipe?

    • Yes, we think that would be fine! You just won’t need to add it until towards the end, since it will cook pretty quickly. We hope you enjoy!

  9. Does this taste better with or without the Dijon mustard? Since it says optional I can’t decide if I want to put it in there or not. 

    • We think it adds a nice zip to the soup, so we like it, but it’s totally up to you and how much you like Dijon! :)

  10. Could this broccoli/cheese soup be made day before?

  11. I made it the day before then served it to my card club for lunch. It was a hit!!  Have you calculated the the calories and nutritional info?

  12. Absolutely delicious , I made it for dinner today and my family really enjoyed it . I am a new cook so when I poured the stock inside I was getting anxious because it didn’t look right lol but eventually it thicken , Would definitely make this again ♥

  13. Hi Ali! Love your site! For this recipie is it ok to use heavy whipping cream in place of 1 of the 2 glasses of milk? I have some that will go bad. Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah! Yes, you can definitely use whipping cream instead of the milk (it will be richer, but super yummy)! :)

  14. Thanks for your wonderful recipe! I’m a newbie in the kitchen and learning as I go and I”m grateful for access to delicious meals available like this for me to try like these. (

    • You’re very welcome Ava! Thanks for giving the recipe a try, and for sharing with us! We’re so happy you loved it! :D

  15. Delicious and easy! Was looking for a broccoli soup with texture~not pureed. Added thyme with salt and pepper. Had half and half so used that instead of milk (just less) .  Also topped off with croutons. Will make again.

  16. I made it last night a dbl batch because I have a hungry teen. I added a little nutmeg . It was really good, everyone loved it.

    • Awesome Sherry — we’re so glad it was a hit (and that nutmeg sounds like a great addition)! :D

  17. Holy deliciousness batman! Love this soup! And actually quite easy. Thank you!

  18. Can you make it and have it the next day, I see that it says serve  immediately 

    • You sure can! We’d recommend you re-heat it on the stove. We hope you enjoy! :)

  19. Just wanted to let you know I just made this and it’s wonderful. So creamy and rich and flavourful and healthy. It’s hard to get my husband interested in soup but he liked this one.

  20. Hello fellow KC friend. I have a head of broccoli on the chopping block tonight and I think this recipe is the winner! I’m going to add a cup of rice, too, since I’m not serving any other carb with dinner. Cannot wait to dig into this!

    • Hi Joy! Awesome, we hope you enjoy it! And we think the rice sounds like a yummy addition! :)

  21. Hi! I just made this soup and it is delicious! I was so excited to find a recipe without cream, I did change the cheese though because I live in Egypt and my selections are limited (I used a mature cheddar, full fat).
    Thank you for this recipe! And I finally understand how flour helps with dishes like this (I used to be apprehensive of using flour because I didn’t want to buy it)

    • Hey Melissa! We’re so glad you enjoyed it — thanks for giving the recipe a try! :)

  22. My young boys love broccoli and cheese soup from Earth Fare but it is so expensive and not homemade so I wanted to try to make it at home.  I found your recipe online and I loved that you had garlic and the directions seemed pretty simple.  The first time that I made this, it was a hit with my youngest who loves loves loves your soup.  My oldest didn’t like the onions and carrots.  I made it again tonight for the second time and it is still a great treat.  My oldest was a little bit better this time with the carrots and onions, but he prefers most of his vegetables raw rather than cooked so he still isn’t in to the cooked carrots.  I substituted almond meal for the flour this time around and it turned out the same as the first time that I made it.  I did stick with the milk because I didn’t want to make too many changes at one time.  I’m happy with this treat and am glad that this rainy spring day made for a perfect time to cook it.  I will save this recipe for the next year as a top of the list for a cold winter night.

    Also, just to mention, I did freeze this recipe when I made it the first time b/c it made so much soup and we had a lot left over.  It didn’t do too bad because it already separates after it cools anyway.  We ate it over some rice for dinner one night and it was still very tasty.  

    Thanks for the recipe! Marcia

    • Thanks for sharing all of this with us Marcia — we’re glad you enjoyed the recipe! :)

  23. I found this recipe and was really excited to make it, as we love Panera’s. The flavor was amazing but it was not really creamy – more broth-like. I followed the recipe to a T and used 2% milk…any suggestions to make this a little thicker?

    • Hi Liz! We’re sorry to hear that! We wonder if the soup just needed to cook and reduce a little longer — that should help, and you can also add more of a roux to help thicken it more. We hope this is helpful for next time!

  24. Absolutely delicious! I ended up using a bit more cheese because I grated too much (sorry, not sorry). I also used lactose-free milk as my daughter has a dietary restriction. Love this!!

  25. This soup was so easy to make and absolutely delicious! I will make this often for sure!

  26. First time leaving a comment on a recipe before, but just wanted to say that this soup/recipe is fabulous! It has now become a regular dinner for me and I am about to make it for about the 5th time! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thanks for your comment Jessie! We’re so glad to hear your enjoyed this!

  27. I have been following your website for a while now and I want to say thank you for all you’ve posted. You have no idea how much you’ve changed my life in the kitchen. I have made a lot of your dishes & today i decided to make this soup. My 2yr old absolutely loved it. First bite & he was hooked. Please don’t ever stop doing & posted what your doing. Your amazing & am excited to try more recipes from you 

  28. Very chilly, rainy August day, and this soup seemed to fit the bill! Thanks for the very easy recipe. enjoyed by all!

  29. I just wanted to let you know I made this recipe today for my 3 very hungry guys for the football games. Two words…ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!!! I doubled the recipe and added 1/2 cup of parmesean cheese. I have to admit I was a little hesitant about the dijon mustard. But so glad I added it. It gave it a very flavorful kick.

  30. This looks amazing. Could you sub the milk with almond or coconut milk?  Also have you tried this in the slow cooker

    • Thanks, Liz! We haven’t tried that ourselves, but we think either one should work — we hope you enjoy! Also, we haven’t tried this in the slow cooker, but you definitely can! If so, we’d suggest using evaporated milk instead of regular milk (it will hold up much better in the slow cooker), and make sure you don’t add the cheese until the last 15-20 minutes of cooking. We hope this helps! :)

  31. So I think I have found my new go to recipe blog! This is the second soup I have made from here and it was SO GOOD! The chicken stock i used was store bought and lacking flavor so I ended up adding a bit of chicken bouillon, as well as about an extra half a cup of cheese. My boyfriend absolutely loved it!! Also, i couldn’t believe how quick and easy this was to throw together. Thank again for another great recipe!

    • That’s awesome, Deserie! We’re so happy you and your boyfriend loved the recipe! :)

  32. I made this tonight and it was delicious! Thanks for this recipe, will be trying many this fall/winter. This soup was perfect for a crisp fall evening in the mountains! 

  33. Hi Ali!

    This was delicious! I am so picky about broccoli cheddar soup and this was perfect and so easy to make. I am a fellow food blogger as well and want to say that I very much appreciate your authentic writing style!

    Allie :)

    • We’re so happy you loved it, Allie, and thanks for your sweet words about the blog! :)

  34. turned out delicious, even after i made an oops and added too much flour. i added extra stock to compensate, and went ahead and used the whole pound of cheese in the soup. i have three boys ages 2, 4, and 9 and they all loved it- so that is a big win for me! hubby loved it too. easy and delicious :) thank you!

  35. This is delicious!! Told my 21 year old to always look for good recipes on your website!! They have not failed me yet!!!

  36. Hey! I was wondering if it would be as good as it sounds if I puréed it. My son is a picky eater and won’t eat broccoli if he can ‘see’ it, if you know what I mean. 

  37. Sounds delicious!! Could this be done in the slow cooker? Thanks!

  38. Rather than using the roux to make this creamy, finely chop (or grate) a large, peeled, baking potato.
    The smaller it’s chopped the more starch gets added, the thicker and creamier the soup.
    Less fat. More filling carbs.
    You can even roast the potato peelings in the oven for some nice , crunchy but healthy, ‘croutons’.

  39. YUM! 4 out of 4 family members loved it and want me to make it again.

  40. I made this twice, it was amazing both times!! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipie! 

  41. I LOVE THIS SOUP!!!!! I’ve been craving Broccoli Cheddar soup for a while and looked up your recipe and it just hit the spot with a couple of slices of crusty Italian bread…….my tummy thanks you!

  42. Just made your  soup today.  I will  be  serving  it for  dinner  if I can  stop  tasting  it.  Sooooo delicious  ☺☺

  43. Just made your soup! Can’t wait for dinner now.! I keep on sneaking a spoonful can’t help myself. Tee hee.  Thank you! 

    • Thanks for giving the recipe a try, JJ, we hope you enjoyed it! :)

  44. This was so yummy! I didn’t add the cheese and it was still delicious! I added some celery too since it was needing to be used up. 

  45. Just made this recipe but pureed the broccoli. Didn’t have onions however, it was fantastic. Simple to the point, excellent. Thank You.

  46. OMG! Totally love your site. Great recipes & fab writing. You are  absolutely hilarious! Thanks so much for the Dana Carvey reference. I actually sing this song out loud when the occasion arises. Keep on chopping!

    • Thanks for your sweet words, we’re so happy to hear you enjoy the blog! :)

  47. Wow, this super turned out fantastic. I used Monterey jack and some parmesan because that’s all I had on hand, and it was so yummy. Broccoli soup is my all-time fave. Thanks for a great recipe, I will def be making this again and again.

  48. It turned out amazing! This is a must save recipe. Delicious! Just wish I had some crusty bread :)

    Rating: 5
  49. This turned out great! I did use more like 3.5-4 cups of broth, also added more carrot and celery. Thx!!

    Rating: 5
  50. This is one of the best soups I’ve made! I’ve made it twice, the first time followed to a “T”, today I made it with broccoli and cauliflower. Both were delicious!! This will be a regular at our house. 😊

    Rating: 5