Nutritious, rich, and creamy, this is the best Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe! It’s ultra cheesy, comes together quickly, and is packed with veggies. Move over, Panera!
Why You’ll Love This Cheesy Broccoli Soup Recipe
- Feel Good Food. This healthy version of broccoli cheddar soup (and Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup and Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup) is inspired by the famous Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup recipe. However, this recipe is wholesome and loaded with good-for-you ingredients like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and onion.
- Comfort for the Whole Family. When it comes to family-friendly comfort food favorites, nothing satisfies like a cozy soup (Chicken Wild Rice Soup is another family favorite). This creamy broccoli cheddar soup is for toddlers, older kids, and adults. Anyone who loves cheese will enjoy it!
- Budget-Friendly. This is a copycat Panera broccoli cheddar soup that costs less than going out. This means that you can enjoy all the scrumptious broccoli cheddar flavor you love for a fraction of the cost right at home!
- EASY. This easy broccoli cheddar soup skips the fuss of making a roux. Instead, the creaminess comes from cauliflower, which thickens soups without adding many calories or carbs (try it in Cauliflower Chowder too). The other trick I borrowed from Cheese Fondue. Tossing the cheese shreds with cornstarch prior to adding them to the soup thickens it, without heavy cream.
How to Make the Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
- Melt the Butter. Cook the onion in it with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the Vegetables. Cook until the broccoli is bright green.
- Pour in the Broth. Bring to a simmer.
- Simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Puree. Puree to your desired consistency.
- Heat the Soup. Over low heat, stir in the milk, mustard, nutmeg, and cayenne (if using).
- Prepare the Cheese. Toss the cheddar with cornstarch.
- Add the Cheddar. Stir in the Parmesan. DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate soup in an airtight storage container for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze soup in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Up to 1 day in advance, shred the cheese and chop the vegetables. Refrigerate each ingredient in a separate airtight storage container until you’re ready to finish the recipe.
What to Serve With Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Bread. Crock Pot Bread, No Knead Focaccia, and Beer Bread would all be delicious dunked into this broccoli cauliflower cheese soup recipe.
- Salad. Pair this soup with Apple Walnut Salad, Arugula Salad, or Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad.
- Veggies. Serve this creamy broccoli cheddar soup with even more veggies. Try Air Fryer Asparagus, Sauteed Carrots, or Roasted Butternut Squash.
- Crackers. For those who prefer dipping crackers into their soup, try my Ranch Crackers.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Dutch Oven. Perfect for making this cheesy broccoli soup.
- Immersion Blender. Easily blend soups without having to transfer them from the pot.
- Cheese Grater. Use this tool to easily grate your own cheese for healthy broccoli cheddar soup.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Add the Cheese Slowly. As with Instant Pot Mac and Cheese, if you add too much cheese to this soup at once, it will curdle, lump up, and refuse to melt.
- Don’t Let the Soup Boil. To avoid that dreaded grainy broccoli cheese soup texture, don’t let it get too hot too fast once you’ve added the cheese.
- No Preshredded Cheese, Please. While convenient, pre-shredded, bagged cheeses contain a powdered coating to keep them from clumping. It also keeps them from melting. Grate the cheese yourself from the block. It’s worth it!
- Use Caution When Blending. Whether you’re using an immersion blender or transferring the soup to a blender, know that hot liquids and blenders love to splatter.
- Don’t Skip the Cauliflower. It gives the soup a nice, thick texture. Once you try it, you’ll want to make my Broccoli Cauliflower Soup next!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 carrots scrubbed and cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch pieces
- 8 cups broccoli florets about 2 heads
- 3 cups cauliflower florets about 12 ounces or 1 small head
- 2 cloves garlic minced, about 2 teaspoons
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup 2% milk whole milk, or half-and-half (the higher the fat, the richer the soup)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard to taste (I use 2)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch cayenne pepper optional
- 4 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded (about 1 cup), plus additional for serving, do not use pre-shredded cheese, which does not melt as smoothly
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- In a large Dutch oven or similar large, sturdy soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and black pepper. Cook until the onion softens and begins to turn translucent, adjusting the heat as needed so it becomes tender but does not brown, about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Add the carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, and garlic. Cook until the broccoli is very lightly sautéed and bright green, about 5 minutes.
- Add the broth. Bring to a simmer over medium-high.
- Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook, stirring periodically, until the vegetables are completely tender, about 15 minutes.
- Puree the soup, either in batches in a blender (be careful not to overfill it—blenders love to splatter) or directly in the pot with an immersion blender. Leave the soup as chunky or as tender as you like.
- Heat the pot over low. Stir in the milk (or half-and-half), mustard, nutmeg, and cayenne.
- Place the cheddar in a bowl and sprinkle the cornstarch over the top. With your fingers, toss to coat the shreds evenly.
- Working only 1 small handful at a time, add the cheese very slowly to the soup, stirring constantly and allowing the cheese to melt completely before the next addition. Stir in the Parmesan. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Enjoy warm with crusty bread and additional cheese sprinkled on top.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate soup in an airtight storage container for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze soup in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Join today and start saving your favorite recipes
Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.Sign Me Up