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, keeping it more on the crisp side of 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 19 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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201 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. (http://selfrisingflower.blogspot.com/2016/02/pizza-night.html)

    • 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!

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

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

  50. 5 stars
    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. 😊