Grab your spoons! The weekday meal routine around here is entering its annual soup orbit, and if this healthy, creamy Cauliflower Chowder is any indication, we are likely to be happily stranded here for a good long time.

Healthy roasted cauliflower chowder recipe served in bowls with bread

This cauliflower chowder arrived in our kitchen a bit ahead of schedule.

I usually wait until the weather cools off more substantially to ease into my soup regimen, a highly unofficial but undeniably predictable series of months in which I cook a giant pot of soup on Sunday, reheat it every day for lunch until Friday, then repeat week after week until spring.

Soup is warm, comforting, filling, and healthy all at the same time. It’s easy to prep, tastes even better the day after you make it, and with all of the different healthy soup recipe options, I never grow weary of it.

This early arrival cauliflower chowder? I ate it outside on an 80-degree day and still didn’t regret a bite! It is that tasty.

This cauliflower chowder recipe isn’t like any other cauliflower soup you’ve had before.

The secret to its sublime flavor: roasting the cauliflower first.

Healthy roasted cauliflower for cheesy roasted cauliflower chowder recipe

The Best Cauliflower Chowder You’ll Ever Make

Roasting the cauliflower for this cauliflower chowder recipe gives it a deep, caramelized flavor. Roasted cauliflower is meltingly tender on the inside and golden on the outside. Similar to the day I made this roasted Cauliflower Casserole, it was a struggle for me not to inhale the entire batch off the pan and leave enough for the recipe itself!

Adding cauliflower to soups is not what made this recipe revolutionary to me. I’ve tossed it into many soups before, but raw and for a completely different reason.

Raw cauliflower is tasteless in soup. Rather than adding flavor, its purpose is to give the soup richness and body, allowing you to make a soup that tastes indulgent but is really made mostly of vegetables. This trick works wonders in my Broccoli Cauliflower Soup, Instant Pot Broccoli Soup, and Instant Pot Carrot Soup with Ginger.

ROASTED cauliflower chowder is a completely different tale. Here its flavor shines, as if it’s pleased to have been awarded its place in the soup spotlight at last.

This tasty technique comes from my friend Maria’s Two Peas and Their Pod Cookbook. Maria is a longtime blogging friend, and I’ve been waiting for her book to come out for ages. Like this roasted cauliflower chowder, it does not disappoint!

Cookbook with inspiration for healthy roasted cauliflower chowder recipe

Maria’s book touches on so much of what I value: recipes that are simple to make (she’s a busy mom of two), but still taste special. Maria and her husband are also big on food as a means to bring people together (yes! yes! me too!). Her book is filled with tips for fun and easy entertaining. The recipe collection is balanced between sweet and savory, and healthy and indulgent. I really feel like you could find something for any occasion!

As I was flipping through and deciding what to make, the roasted cauliflower chowder immediately caught my eye. Like many of you, my work days are hectic. I love having healthy leftovers in my refrigerator that I can warm up in a minute or two, enjoy and feel satisfied, then get back to my day. Hence my love of soup.

This rich and creamy roasted cauliflower chowder was so simple to make, and the taste is fantastic. I know it’s going to be on regular rotation around here.

If I loved it at 80-degrees, I can only imagine how much it’s going to hit the spot when the chilly Wisconsin winter moves in to stay.

Healthy roasted cauliflower chowder recipe served in bowls with bread

How to Make Cauliflower Chowder

Don’t be fooled by the simple ingredient line up. Remember, the roasting is transformative!

The Ingredients

  • Cauliflower. The star of the show. Cauliflower is high in fiber and low in calories, which is a desirable combination for weight loss. It’s also packed with numerous antioxidants that benefit overall health.* Roasting cauliflower is a great way to enjoy all these health benefits with the bonus of delicious flavor. For those looking for low carb recipes, cauliflower is a fantastic low carb option, and this soup turns out just as rich and creamy as if it were made starchier vegetables.
  • Celery, Carrot, and Onion. These three are staples in soup recipes ranging from Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup to Potato Leek Soup to Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup for a reason. They give it classic flavor and backbone.
  • Thyme. Its savory, earthy flavor is quintessential comfort.
  • Milk. I actually was out of regular dairy milk, so I made the cauliflower chowder with almond milk. Perfect! I’m fairly confident any neutral milk or even coconut milk would work well here.
  • Sharp Cheddar. Y-U-M. A handful of melty cheese gives the soup satisfying richness. I always recommend sharp cheeses, because their more robust flavor means you can get away with using less (and, they just taste better too!).
  • Butter. A few tablespoons are all you need, and they make all the difference.
  • Broth. If you’d like to keep the soup vegetarian, use vegetable broth. Otherwise, chicken broth works well too.
  • AllPurpose Flour. To thicken the soup. If you’d like the cauliflower chowder to be gluten free, you can swap a 1:1 GF baking blend like this one.

The Directions

Once you have your veggies chopped, this recipe is super straight forward. Here’s how to make it!

  • Grab a large baking sheet, and place your chopped cauliflower and garlic on it. Add just a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper, then toss until each piece is coated.
  • Now, place the baking sheet in the oven, and roast at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove it about halfway through to give it a good stir. Then, remove the baking sheet from the oven and set it aside to cool (this is when I start nibbling on the yummy roasted cauliflower). Once cool, it’s time to peel and chop the garlic.
  • Using a large pot, melt your butter over medium-high heat. Add in the onion until just softened. Then, add in the carrots and celery, and cook for about 5 minutes. Next, stir in the garlic, cauliflower, bay leaf, and thyme. Sprinkle flour over everything, and give it a good stir.
  • Once the flour disappears (about 2 minutes), stir in the broth, and bring everything to a simmer for 10 minutes. Then, it’s time to add your milk and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts and the chowder is perfectly creamy (about 2 minutes). Discard your bay leaf, ladle into bowls, and ENJOY!
  • My one change to the recipe was to puree a few ladlefuls of the soup in a blender to thicken it more, simply because I love my chowder extra super duper thick. You can keep this step or skip it. Totally up to you!

How to Store Cauliflower Chowder

The big question: Can you freeze cauliflower chowder?

ANSWER: YES! However, if you make the soup knowing you want to freeze all or some of it, I recommend omitting the milk and cheese from the portion you plan to freeze. Add them in when you reheat the soup. This is because soups with milk or cream can become grainy or separate when reheated.

  • To Refrigerate. Let the chowder cool completely, and place in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Pour your soup into a microwave-safe bowl, and heat gently until warmed through. You can also rewarm it on the stove with a splash of extra  milk or broth as needed to thin it out.
  • To Freeze. Place the chowder in an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag, and freeze for up to 6 months (if using a bag, freeze flat for easy storage). Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and reheat in the microwave or gently on the stove over medium-low heat (stirring in the milk and cheese, if you left it out before freezing).

Recipe Variations

We loved this cauliflower chowder recipe as written, but if you’d like to vary it up, here are a few ideas:

  • Cauliflower Chowder with Bacon. For an extra delicious twist, swap 4 slices of chopped bacon pieces for the butter in this recipe. Sauté the bacon in the pot until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon, and place of a plate lined with paper towel. Then, use the scrumptious bacon drippings to sauté your vegetables. Crumble the bacon pieces over the top of each bowl of chowder before serving.
  • Cauliflower Chowder with Corn. Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen corn at the same time as your milk and cheese. The corn pieces will warm and become tender in the final minutes of cooking. Yum yum!
  • Cauliflower Chowder with Leeks. For a more nuanced flavor, swap the onion for 3 washed and thinly sliced leeks. (For my fellow leek fans, don’t miss this Potato Leek Soup.)
  • Cauliflower Seafood Chowder. Shrimp pairs wonderfully with the flavors in this soup! Pat dry 1 pound of cooked, peeled, deveined, and tail-free shrimp (frozen or fresh; if frozen, let them thaw completely too). Add the shrimp to your chowder right before the milk and cheese. The shrimp will warm up perfectly in the final minutes of cooking. Also, don’t miss this Shrimp Corn Chowder, another fave around here.

What to Serve with Cauliflower Chowder

Healthy roasted cauliflower chowder recipe served in bowls with bread

Recommended Tools to Make Cauliflower Chowder

If this cauliflower chowder is any indicator, we are in for an especially delicious healthy comfort food (ahem, SOUP) season! If you try the recipe, be sure to let me know how it turned out for you in the comments section below. ♥

Two bowls of cauliflower chowder

Cauliflower Chowder

4.96 from 21 votes
Roasted cauliflower gives this rich, creamy Cauliflower Chowder's incredible flavor. Deliciously cheesy, low carb, and filling. Our favorite healthy soup!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 55 mins

Servings: 6 Servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large head cauliflower cored and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 dried bayleaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour or gluten-free flour
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cups milk nonfat milk or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese I used white cheddar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Arrange the chopped cauliflower and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread into a single layer. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove the garlic from its skin and finely chop.
  • In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until just beginning to soften. Add the carrots and celery, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chopped garlic, cauliflower, bay leaf, and thyme. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix to combine.
  • Cook until the flour disappears, about 2 minutes. Pour in the broth, stir, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the milk and cheese, and continue mixing until the cheese is melted and the chowder is creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. If you'd like your soup thicker or creamier, use an immersion blender to puree it until it reaches your desired consistency (Alternatively, you can ladle a few scoops into a blender and puree a few batches. Be careful not to fill your blender more than halfway, as hot liquids like to splatter). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the chowder into bowls, and serve warm.

Notes

  • Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod Cookbook by Maria Lichty
  • TO STORE: Let the chowder cool completely, and place in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • TO FREEZE: Place the chowder in an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag, and freeze for up to 6 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and reheat in the microwave or gently on the stove over medium-low heat (stirring in the milk and cheese, if you left it out before freezing).

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 201kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 6gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 30mgPotassium: 394mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 4016IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 167mgIron: 1mg

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*Health benefits of cauliflower mentioned in this article were sourced from Healthline and are meant to be for general information, not any kind of specific medical advice. For specific dietary needs, I always recommend contacting your doctor or seeking professional advice.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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54 Comments

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  1. Erin, I am excited for your upcoming soup recipes!  Like you I make it every Sunday and have readily available meals all week.  I love it.   I do this year round!   
    Thank you  for this delicious one ?

  2. Super comforting on a fall night. My husband said he could eat this on the regular. It was a lot of chopping, but definitely worth it. I paired it with a southern cornbread recipe I acquired – which isn’t by any means healthy, but you can’t win them all. :P Thank you so much for posting this veggie-friendly recipe at the right time.5 stars

    1. Hi Madelyn! Almond flour has a different texture than all-purpose flour, and this swap could affect the outcome of the dish. Since this dish is already low in carbs, I would not recommend this swap. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try!

  3. Just made the soup for myself on a chilly Saturday night while enjoying a glass of wine. Can’t wait to share the leftovers with my family who are all busy tonight. Overall, it’s a great healthy chowder. It was delicious with crusty sourdough bread. I do wish it had a bit more flavor though. Next time I might double the thyme, bay leaf and garlic and maybe roast the cauliflower a bit longer.  Love all your recipes Erin!4 stars

      1. You are most welcome! We were able to easily make it vegan with unsweetened almond milk, Melt plant based butter and Earth Island cheddar….delish!!!

  4. I am vegan. I tweaked a couple ingredients. I used white whole wheat flour and vegan cheddar cheese, which melts but not like regular cheese. I added some cubed white sweet potato. Added sprinkle of nutritional yeast (non processed with added b vitamins) to my individual serving as some cannot tolerate it. I didn’t thicken. Tastes very good. I’m goin to make crock pot bread next substituting whole wheat flour and brown rice syrup instead of honey. We’ll see how it goes5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed this recipe, Bobijan! Thank you for taking the time to share your customizations and this kind review!

  5. Just made this in what seemed like no time at all for company that is coming for lunch tomorrow. Recipe was easy & delicious! After tasting a bowl of this yummy soup I added a couple of items to fine tune it to my guests….a sprinkle of hot chilies for my son-in-law & a bit of extra cheddar for my little granddaughter! Perfect Fall recipe – thank you Erin!5 stars

  6. Like apparently everyone else, I tweaked it. I used chicken broth instead of veggie and cut out the onion, bay leaf, and thyme and it was still PACKED with flavor! Gunna have the leftovers for lunch today :-)
    Thanks so much for sharing another winner!5 stars

    1. Burton, soooo happy you enjoyed it. This is a new favorite of ours too. Thanks for sharing this wonderful review. It is so helpful!

  7. This chowder was absolutely amazing! My entire family loved the rich and heartiness. I will definitely be making it again.5 stars

  8. This chowder is so delicious! I used almond milk and some colby jack cheese because that was what I had on hand. It was perfect. Making it again today with the white sharp cheddar. I love that it’s just a small amount of cheese for the whole pot!5 stars

  9. This is a very good recipe. I made it for supper recently, and even the member of the family who claims not to like cauliflower loved it! Very hearty and satisfying, but not too heavy, my kind of meal!5 stars

  10. Delicious! I made it with evaporated milk because I was almost out of regular. It was creamy and super yum. Next time I’ll chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces and maybe even turn the heat up on the oven a little so they get a little more roasty toasty. Three of us adults polished off the pot 😱5 stars

        1. Hi J! I’ve never tried broccoli in this recipe, but you could experiment. I think you could stir it in with the chopped cauliflower. If you decide to play around, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  11. Really enjoyed this. The flavors take a while to come forth but after light simmering it was delicious. I didnt have cheddar cheese but a milder Mexican cheese…sharp cheese really matters here. I had to add grated parmesan to perk it up. Thanks for healthy recipe! 😀5 stars

  12. The high temperature was only 17 degrees today.  It was the perfect opportunity to make this cauliflower chowder.  I found it to take a bit of prep time(I made a double batch), but once all the veggies were chopped and the cauliflower roasted, it was easy to put together.  I did add the corn as well.  Definitely my new favorite soup/chowder.  It was so rich and delicious.  Thank you for sharing this recipe.5 stars

  13. A-Mazing!!  This is so delicious and rich with warm fall flavor that you forget it’s healthy!  I used unsweetened almond milk and a cheddar/gouda combo. We added some plain grilled chicken to the bowl to add some extra protein. Bowls were almost licked clean!  I’ll be keeping this recipe and making regularly!  5 stars

  14. Made this for the first time and it was fantastic! I like cauliflower fine but rarely cook with it because it doesn’t being much to the table besides bulk, but roasting it ahead of time made such a huge difference. I don’t have an immersion blender but using a food processor was simple and effective to add a little creaminess. The flavor is great, and this one will definitely go into the soup rotation!5 stars

  15. Erin,
    How you tried substituting chicken broth for the vegetable broth? And, if not, what do you think of that substitution?
    Thanks so much!

      1. Thanks so much for the reply, Erin. I gave the chicken broth a whirl and the soup is nothing short of delicious. A perfect recipe for the farmers’ market cauliflower and these cooler, darker days! Thanks, again!5 stars