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Broccoli Cheese Soup

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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 Cheese Soup Recipe | 1-Minute Video

How To Cut Broccoli | 1-Minute Video

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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Broccoli Cheese Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 72 reviews
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 -8 servings 1x


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.


  • 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


  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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272 comments on “Broccoli Cheese Soup”

  1. Taste really good. Was a little reserved at first but after tasting it, I’m pleased. My son is gobbling it up right now!

  2. This is a very good Broccoli Cheddar soup! Better than I have ever had in a restaurant. Really no need to grate your own sharp cheddar cheese, I used the bagged shredded and it melted just fine. Try it you will like it!!

  3. This recipe was SO GOOD! I followed the exact recipe and it was really easy to make and the flavour was phenomenal. Move aside, Panera Bread!

  4. This is super good! I was wondering if you think it would turn out the same with almond milk? I want to make it again but all I have is almond milk right now and I’m lazy lol

  5. I had 1/2 bag of broccoli flowerettes, from Sam’s, and saw your recipe on Pinterest. I also had all the other ingredients, so I made it. It is amazing! And so easy! My husband loved it! I will definitely be making it again, and again! I used my immersion blender to mix it all up. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • In the recipe it notes that it does not freeze well and I would like to know your opinion on that if you don’t mind sharing?

      Also, I bought the whole bag of fresh broccoli florets at Sam’s for this dish in particular – would you say once cooked (before blended of course) that the broccoli is an okay size?

      I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t want to cut each 1 into 4th and they look kind of big to me – I know you used an immersion blender but I don’t have one! But the sides of the broccoli is the only reason I’m considering blending it – I also bought precut onions and Matchstick carrots, so I will have carrots like Panera Bread (I guess) instead of chopped. Since I’m sick I figure the least I handle the food the better!

      I have considered getting it to the point before cheese and milk and freezing that- but I have not yet made the recipe at all yet, I just bought all the stuff. I also bought real bacon bits from Sam’s which are usually pretty good if you just throw them on anything! Also, I plan on cooking quinoa on the side for the first time -then adding it to the soup if I like how they taste together in a sample! That way it has all of the essential amino acids in protein that we need to have… so if you have thoughts on that, I would love to hear it also.

      I do add quinoa to a lot of soups, chili, casseroles, stuffed bell peppers – basically anything that you could put rice or pasta in – trying to get my disabled dad’s cholesterol down I’m making him eat meals that don’t include red meat!

      I also thought if I had too much soup then I could make broccoli quinoa cheese casserole instead of broccoli rice and cheese casserole – to be served on side of something else! Since I tended to cook too much at once I always like to have a meal I can make out of the leftovers! (Or make a side from!)

  6. This was delicious. I love the milk instead of whipping cream or half and half like most recipes use. I forgot the mustard but used a little cayenne instead to add a little spice and it was amazing! Thanks for the recipe.

  7. Threw in a potato chopped and then puréed it some once cooked. Hubs doesn’t care for broccoli chunks and loved it! Top with bacon for nice little crunch too.

  8. I made this soup tonight on this crazy cold December night and… wow! This was amazing from the first bite! Oh my gosh so good!! I am tempted to get another bowl. I added chicken to fill me up a little more and it came out great.

  9. So good and healthier and easier than a lot of broccoli cheese soup recipes!

  10. Yummy eeeee came out very good light and yet creamy. Used the 2% milk as suggested and reduced fat chedder cheese. Extra cheese for serving and two twists of fresh ground pepper. Very good.

    • In my experience the reason that people recommend grating cheese yourself it’s only when it’s a featured ingredient and that is the cuz grated cheese from the store as a powdered coating on each piece so that you can pour it out and it doesn’t stick together – it melts fine usually it just can make a dish taste like you didn’t cook the flour out of a roux or like there’s sand or something in it.

      It does depend in my experience if you buy store and cheese or a higher-quality cheese that’s already created, but my family is really sensitive to texture so it might not be something that matters to everyone!

  11. Hi!! Love your recipes, so much so that you’re my “go to” index?. I have one question—can I use lactose free milk in this recipe??? Thx!

  12. Garden is bursting with Broccoli , now I either freeze the Broccoli or make something and freeze that, Saw your recipe and thought perfect, even though its July and 80 some degrees out. I can always freeze soup, well that is If there will be any left after supper tonight. So very good almost not enough to freeze. Cheese and Broccoli just seem to go together. Good to have a soup without meat for a change.

  13. My family LOVES this soup! I like it too and I don’t even like broccoli!
    Sometimes I add a couple of chopped potatoes and add them with the carrots or I add a couple cups of ham or cooked chicken or even turkey kielbasa to make it more of a meal. :)

  14. This soup is delicious. Once again, another successful recipe from you. I have prepared several of your recipes, they never disappoint. Followed recipe pretty closely, will make again.

  15. Delightful and light, but hearty . . . a quandry in that way, but delicious completely! Thank you!

  16. Great flavor! My frustration is when I use shredded cheese. I used Colby jack, as I did not have anything else. It clumped (as always). I did not use preshredded cheese. I ended up pureeing the soup and still yummy! Could you address the whole thing with cheese and not melting way? Totally want to stay away from the processed fake cheese! Thanks!

    • Try adding the cheese a handful at a time, stirring and allowing to melt before you add more cheese. Took me a long time to figure this trick out (pre internet days).

  17. This was amazing.

  18. Tried this soup and everyone loved it. I did it without cheese and tasted great.

  19. I made this today and it was outstanding. I followed the recipe exactly except that I used half and half instead of milk. It was quick and easy to pull together. Great flavor and a satisfying meal. I will be making this again soon.

  20. Another Family Favourite for the books! Thanks, Ali <3

  21. I wish I would have cooked the broccoli in the chicken broth before adding the cheese. The cheese cannot simmer, it separates and gets grainy. Otherwise, nice recipe.

  22. Yummy, thank you. Perfect for a cold Minnesota Saturday.

  23. I just tried this recipe tonight for the first time. My husband ran to the store to pick up the ingredients, I told him to just buy the 16oz block of $4.99 cheese and he instead found 7 year aged white cheddar cheese that was $12 for 16oz…yikes! However, as much as I think this would have tasted amazing with $4.99 cheese, the higher quality cheese just to this recipe to the next level!! So if you can splurge, I would recommend it, however I think it still would have tasted amazing with $4.99 cheese.

    I have 3 kids and my eldest (16) and youngest (3) will eat anything in front of them, however my middle child (9) is such a picky eater. My rule is, he must try everything I make but he always says yuck and refuses to eat 99% of what I make!

    So when I made this I had already resigned to the fact that he wouldn’t like it, however he tried it and said he loved it and even asked for seconds! I’m seriously in a state of shock at the moment. He loved the broccoli AND carrots!

    I made the recipe with butter and vegetable stock and used 1 tsp of powdered mustard instead of Dijon. It turned out fabulous and I will be making this again and again! It will definitely be in our dinner rotation.

    Thank you for this marvelous recipe that even got my picky eater to love vegetables!

  24. Whole family loves it

  25. The best soup I’ve ever had! This was so good!! Love it and will make it again and again. It was so comforting and delicious, thank you for the yums.

  26. This soup looks so hearty! I can’t wait to try it! Thanks, Ali!

  27. Made this soup today on a cold and blustery afternoon. It was amazing! I used mild cheddar cuz that’s what I had and topped it with shredded Parmesan. Later I threw in cut up, leftover roasted chicken-still amazing! :) two thumbs up!

  28. This is delicious. I had more broccoli that needed to be used to added a cup extra of milk and water each. I did also cook bacon and then sautéed the onions in the bacon grease instead of the butter. It’s just a personal preference of mine when making soup.
    I’ll be making this again, thanks for the recipe!

  29. Yes, this is a delicious recipe! Easy too. Dinner is served! Thank you for this recipe!

  30. Excellent recipe and just what I was craving in a broccoli cheese soup. I used frozen broccoli and added 2 cups of cooked red lentils to boost the protein/fiber. Maybe next time would only add 1-1.5 cups as it changes the texture to be a little more grainy, but super satisfying. Thanks for sharing!

  31. This is my go to recipe and have been making it since it first appeared on the site. I usually add a few more spices, like Trader Joe’s everything and umami seasoning. I also use mustard power instead. Nutritional yeast is great in this too for added vitamins and reduced cheese. Thanks Ali for this great staple in my rotation!

  32. Delicious! Easy! Does this Freeze well?

  33. I was trying to find a way to eat broccoli (not a fan) because I know it’s good for me. This soup was great. I will be making again. Thank you!

  34. Great and easy.

  35. Delicious Broccoli soup ?

  36. Delicious. Used half Manchego as i run out of cheddar.. So Good, Thank you!

  37. Hi! Is there a particular reason, ingredient, technique that makes is soup not good for the freezer?

  38. I made this last night and it turned out perfect. I am one who can’t follow a recipe to the T. I added two dashes of Cayenne Pepper and used bacon in place of the butter. (I’m from the South – so no explanation needed on my choice of ingredients!). I will make this again and soon since I have all the ingredients in the house during the COVID19 Shelter in Place order.

  39. We made this the other day because poor communication regarding grocery needs made it appear we were hoarding broccoli. This truly is awesome. I used half and half because that’s what I had..otherwise it would have been almond milk and wasn’t sure that would taste good. Therefore, it was very creamy, forcing me to increase the amount of broth. No matter…it was still very tasty. I think it needs a tad more mustard..but I chose to add that as an additional condiment at the table so as not to overpower the flavors. Thanks…we will make this again.

  40. Believe it or not this is my first time to ever make a cream soup. It was easy, no lumps. I used whole milk and chicken broth, frozen broccoli, bagged matchstick carrots (the only part I don’t like) and Zatarain’s Creole Mustard. I enjoy cooking more than eating what I made so now I’m thinking of other soups to make with this simple cream base.

  41. PS I used Tillamook Sharp White Cheddar with Black Pepper.

  42. This soup was a nice change in the other types of soups I make that take forever. It was easy, quick and delicious. I did puree half of the soup and added frozen peas. The consistency came out smoother and the peas were a nice added texture and flavor to the barch…

    Thank you as I am enjoying this website of recipes…

  43. Honestly, this didn’t send me when I read it because I try to limit dairy as my husband is sensitive to it but, with all of this quaran-cooking I have been called on to do, I just happened to have everything called for. Oh My Gosh, this is incredibly good. The only modifications I made was a 1 tsp of cumin because I include it in almost every soup I make (please try it!), a little Old Bay Seasoning and thyme…probably not enough of enough of any of these change the taste). I used my immersion blender to puree about half. It was so good I had it for breakfast. Thank you!!

  44. I made this soup exactly as stated but didn’t have enough cheese. It was still super yummy. I’m making a second batch right now and I’m going to leave out the flour and once again do less cheese. Love the simplicity of this recipe and I think it’s really versatile too.

  45. Just made this, it turned out great. I used frozen broccoli. I had to add extra dijon and I added a dash of oregano.

  46. This was a delicious soup. My husband went back for seconds. Thank you!

  47. Delicious! I added jalapeños!

  48. Made this for dinner tonight and we ate the whole pot! So good, you won’t be disappointed.

  49. Followed the recipe exactly, except I ended up using heavy whipping cream instead of milk, and I think I messed it up… Or is there too much flour? Something is off, so I tired to salvage the soup by adding garlic salt. My husband liked it a little more with added salt, but requested less onions next time. UGH. I gave this 4 stars because the mistake could have been my fault, but for taste overall, I would give it 3 stars. I’ll try again in the future with actual milk and less onion and let you know how it goes! I loved how easy it was!