Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup – Calling all Panera broccoli cheese soup lovers! I’m popping in with a healthy recipe for an easy Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup that takes less than 10 minutes to prep. This is one of the best crock pot recipes to make you feel just as warm and toasty as the Panera original.
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This easy slow cooker broccoli cheese soup recipe is perfect when you are in need of a healthy meal but have zero time to cook it, a position I find myself in often, and I suspect you do too.
A Quicker, Easier Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup
Nearly every broccoli and cheese soup recipe I’ve found calls for the initial step of making a base cheese sauce on the stove, including recipes designed for the crock pot.
Because I know we don’t always have time to fuss with this kind of prep, I decided to see if I could create a slow cooker broccoli and cheese soup entirely via the “dump and go” method: dump the ingredients into your crock pot; walk away; return hours later to a dinner that’s ready to serve.
I almost made it.
Although you can skip the cheese sauce, and I’d still bet my last spoonful that this is the easiest broccoli and cheese soup recipe you’ll find, you do need to blend the soup with an immersion blender or food processor prior to serving.
It’s a small extra step that’s well worth the effort for the texture and body it provides.
The flavor of this soup is a dead-ringer for Panera’s broccoli cheese soup, and although its texture is a bit thinner than I’d originally envisioned (a result of skipping that fussy cheese sauce base), I still found it to be plenty cheesy and satisfying.
If you love broccoli cheese soups like this, make sure to try this Broccoli Cauliflower Soup too!
More Comforting Slow Cooker Soup Recipes
- Crockpot Lentil Soup
- Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup
- Crockpot Beef Stew
- Crockpot Butternut Squash Soup
- And all these crockpot soups!
Recommended Tools to Make Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup
- 6-quart programmable slow cooker
- Immersion blender: it makes pureeing soups like this one easier (and safer) than transferring the piping hot soup mixture to a blender or food processor in batches.
- If you prefer a food processor, or are in the market for a new one, I have used and loved this one for almost nine years.
Slow Cooker Broccoli and Cheese Soup
- 5 cups chopped broccoli florets about 16 ounces
- 1 cup grated carrots, you can grate yourself or use bagged, pre-cut julienne carrots
- 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese do not use fat free
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 can 2% evaporated milk (12 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated* (1 block)
- Place the broccoli, carrots, onion, and garlic in the bottom of 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. Top with the cream cheese, oregano, nutmeg, and chicken broth. Stir to evenly distribute the ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4-6 hours, until the broccoli is tender.
- Remove the lid and stir in the evaporated milk. With an immersion blender, puree about 3/4 of the soup, so that it is mostly smooth but still has a few chunks of broccoli remaining. Alternatively, you can puree the soup in 1 cup-sized batches in a food processor or blender. (Be careful—it’s hot and prone to splatter!)
- Recover the soup and let cook on low for 10 minutes until warmed through. Stir the salt, pepper, and grated cheese. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired. Recover and cook on high until the cheese is fully melted and the soup is hot, about 5 additional minutes. Serve warm.
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