Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup


This hearty broccoli cheddar soup is loaded with mouthwatering flavors, yet uses everyday ingredients, and is ready in about 30 minutes!


No need to go out to a well known bread company, this copycat broccoli cheddar soup is incredibly smooth, rich, and full of great broccoli cheese flavors!  The best part, is that it’s made in just 30 minutes on your stovetop!

This copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup is SO hearty and rich, and made in just one pot on your stovetop!  Crockpot and Instant Pot directions too! #soup #copycatrecipe #broccolicheddar #broccolicheese #creamy #panera #souprecipe #comfortfood

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I’ve been tweaking this recipe for years you guys.  So. Many. Bowls. Of. Soup!  Some form of this recipe has been on the blog since 2014, and this version takes the cake!  Deliciously creamy, thick and rich, with the perfect mixture of smoothness and texture and loaded with broccoli cheddar flavors.  You simply can’t go wrong!

This broccoli cheddar soup is sort of a copycat recipe from Panera Bread, but I honestly haven’t had that soup from there in years, so I can’t say for absolute certain if the flavors are spot on or not.

Bowl of creamy broccoli cheddar soup

HOW CAN YOU MAKE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP THICKER?

I’ve found this soup thickens up very well with the roux created by the butter and flour, but if you’re wanting to thicken it up even more, you have a few options.

  1. You can mix equal parts butter and flour to form a thick paste, then stir that into the soup.
  2. You can whisk some cornstarch into cold water or broth until the cornstarch is dissolved, and stir that into the soup.
  3. You can add a bit more cheese.

HOW LONG DOES BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP LAST IN THE REFRIGERATOR?

If you have any leftovers, which doesn’t happen to us very often, they’ll keep in the refrigerator about 3 days.

Ladle of broccoli cheddar soup in soup pot

CAN BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP BE MADE IN THE SLOW COOKER?

Sure can!  You’ll want to wait to add the dairy until the end, to prevent any curdling though.  I’ll have the directions below the recipe below.  The Instant Pot directions will be there as well.

CAN BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP BE FROZEN?

Yes, but just like with the slow cooker, you’ll want to make this soup without adding the dairy, since dairy doesn’t generally freeze well.  Just wait and add the dairy when you’re reheating the soup.

Spoonful of broccoli cheddar soup

HOW DO YOU PUREE BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP?

Honestly you don’t even have to puree the soup if you like it chunkier, but if you like it smoother, again, you have a few options.  My personal favorite method is to use an immersion blender, which you can use right in the pot!  Or you can transfer some of the soup to a traditional blender, just be careful, since the soup is hot.

PRO TIPS FOR MAKING BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP:

  1. Make sure to chop the broccoli into small florets, otherwise they won’t be tender in time.  
  2. Alternatively, you can par-cook the broccoli (and the carrots) in the microwave for a few minutes, which will help them soften in less time in the soup.
  3. To prevent a grainy soup, add the cheese one handful at a time, mixing well between handfuls, and have the heat turned off when you’re adding the cheese.
  4. For best results, shred your own cheese.  Not only is it cheaper, it melts SO much better than the pre-shredded kind.
  5. Serve this broccoli cheese soup with some crusty bread, caesar salad, or some ham and cheese sliders!
  6. I like to garnish this soup with a sprinkle of black pepper, some extra cheddar cheese and sometimes some crunchy croutons.  Sounds weird, but croutons in soup are amazing!

Serving broccoli cheese soup from a white bowl

OTHER GREAT SOUP RECIPES:

SHOP THE RECIPE:

  • Immersion Blender – No need to transfer anything to another appliance, blend the soup right in the pot!
  • Traditional Blender – Sometimes the original is all you need!
  • Dutch Oven – Enameled cast iron is my favorite vessel to cook soup in!  LeCreuset is my favorite brand, but they’re pricey, so this Lodge is a good alternative!

This copycat Broccoli Cheddar Soup is SO hearty and rich, and made in just one pot on your stovetop!  Crockpot and Instant Pot directions too! #soup #copycatrecipe #broccolicheddar #broccolicheese #creamy #panera #souprecipe #comfortfood

Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This hearty broccoli cheddar soup is loaded with mouthwatering flavors, yet uses everyday ingredients and is ready in just 30 minutes!
4.9 from 47 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 - 6 servings
Calories 600

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli (I use a 12 oz bag of florets) - , roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard - (can substitute with about 1/2 tsp regular mustard)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese

Instructions
 

  • Add 1 Tbsp butter to dutch oven and heat over MED heat.  Add chopped onion and saute until onions are soft and translucent, about 2-3 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup butter to dutch oven, still over MED heat. When melted, add flour and whisk together. Cook mixture about 1 minute, whisking often.
  • Slowly pour in about a cup of chicken broth, whisking as you pour.  Continue with remaining chicken broth and half and half, pouring slowly and whisking as your pour.  
  • Let broth/half and half mixture cook for a minute or two, whisking often, making sure no flour lumps remain.
  • Add broccoli and carrots and stir to combine.  Add paprika, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper, stir.  Reduce heat to LOW/MED LOW and simmer about 10-15 minutes or until thickened and broccoli/carrots are fork tender.  If soup gets too thick for your liking, add a splash of chicken broth or half and half to loosen it up.
  • Blend soup until desired texture is reached, using either immersion blender or by transferring soup to traditional blender.  
  • Add grated cheddar cheese a handful at a time, stirring to melt the cheese into the soup after each handful.  Taste soup and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve hot with additional black pepper and shredded cheese on top if desired.

Video

Notes

 

SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Omit butter from the recipe, add onions, broccoli, carrots, salt, paprika, garlic powder, mustard powder, and black pepper to the slow cooker.
  2. Whisk flour and chicken broth together until no lumps remain, then add to slow cooker and stir to combine all ingredients.  
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  4. About 30 minutes before serving, add half and half and cheese, stirring well.
  5. Cover and continue cooking until cheese is melted.
  6. Blend to desired texture and serve.
 

INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Press Saute and cook butter and onion until onions are soft.
  2. Add additional butter and flour, then whisk.  Cook about 1 minute.
  3. Add broccoli, carrots, salt, paprika, garlic powder, mustard powder, and black pepper to pot.  Pour in chicken broth.
  4. Secure lid and move valve to the sealing position.  Set on Manual/Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes.
  5. Let the pressure release naturally, then stir in half and half and cheese until cheese is melted.
  6. Blend to desired texture and serve.
Author The Chunky Chef
Tried this recipe?Mention @the_chunky_chef or tag #thechunkychef!

 

 

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Recipe Rating




112 comments on “Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup”

  1. I grew up eating broccoli noodle soup and would love to try your recipe but add the noodles.  Do you happen to know how I could incorporate noodles into the instant pot version? When to add them and how long to cook? Your recipe sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

    • I think noodles would be yummy in this soup! Without testing it myself, I can’t say for certain, but I would probably cook the noodles separately, since the soup cooks for 8 minutes, which would be too long for most noodles.

  2. Excellent! Except for the broccoli, carrots and half and half, I had all the ingredients in my fridge and pantry. Made this in my dutch oven pot on the stove today. I planned on only blending half the carrots and broccoli so I should have cooked them longer in the beginning to really soften them more. Next time I’ll grate the carrot instead of chopping into small pieces. I used almost a cup of extra chicken broth to thin it out to how I like my soup. I used a large block of Sharp cheddar cheese and shredded it myself. Very good taste! Went great with the discount sourdough bread I bought last week. It’s a keeper!!

  3. I’ve tried other similar recipes and this one is definitely the best! I added extra cheese and a sprinkle more of the spices to taste and it was sooo delicious! Thank you so much! I used the instant pot method to cook. How convenient!

  4. Is the 600 calorie count for the entire pot of soup or per serving?

  5. I cooked mine in a pressure cooker. Im 13, and even this recipe was easy for me. Not very time consuming, and a great school lunch. Im definitely making this again!!!!

  6. This soup is perfection! I doubled up the spices (except for the salt) and grated my carrots, other than that I followed the recipe and it is DELISH! I’ve tried a few broccoli cheddar soup recipes but this is by far my fav! I added a few Texas Toast croutons and they were a nice addition.
    Thank you!

  7. This looks so good! Thinking of making it but I only have frozen broccoli florets and fat free half and half (I also have 1% milk) could I use these substitutions? Thanks!! 

  8. I made this last night. I subbed Pacific No-Chicken broth for the chicken broth. It was absolutely amazing. I will definitely make it again. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Hi! I am planning to make this doubled tomorrow but I was wondering what would be the best way to add chicken to the crockpot recipe? Should I use whole breasts? Or chopped? Should I cook chicken separate and add it in at the beginning or end? Any thoughts?

  10. How many calories are in one serving? 

  11. Why do I eliminate the butter and don’t sauté the onions when using your crockpot directions.  

  12. This soup was easy and awesome. Great flavor I would like to try adding a little more seasoning next time!

  13. I plan on making this tonight for dinner, I’m excited! I was wondering what’s the best type of cheddar to use for this soup??

  14. I think I would increase the amount of spices next time (there will definitely be a next time). I added additional salt, pepper, and paprika after it cooked because it seemed too bland for me. I used frozen chopped broccoli and shredded carrots chopped finely and didn’t need to use an immersion blender. The texture was very similar to Panera, with small pieces of broccoli and carrots. This is easy enough to make (I used an Instant Pot) on a week night. Serve with some bread and possibly a salad, and it’s an easy, tasty meal. 

  15. 3rd time making! my daughter asks for it now, she adds rice to her portion. Not sure why one lady said there is no flavor I think she made it wrong. This is an amazing soup!!!

  16. I loved this recipe! I gave some to my mom because she had been craving Panera since the quarantine. Thanks!

  17. Making this right now. My 4th time since quarantine. So yummy. Thank you!

  18. Turns out delicious every time!! Thanks for a yummy recipe!

  19. Was craving broccoli soup but had more cauliflower in the fridge than broccoli.    Delicious! Used evaporated milk   A potato masher instead o blending.  Will definitely make again 

  20. Have made this many times.. delicious. Making soup for potluck get together tonight for 14 adults social distancing outside on cool night. Brrrr. Would you recommend making 2 double batches or will it work if I quadruple the recipe? Plan on making in Dutch oven then transferring into large crockpot.

  21. Is it okay if i dont blend the soup or will that ruin it?

  22. Very easy to make and was delicious. I suggest adding extra cheese because it tastes more like broccoli and carrots than it does cheese. As well as adding extra seasonings. I’ve never left a recipe review but this was a good one.

  23. I want to try my this, but my hubby doesn’t eat soup without meat in it. Do you think adding some chicken would alter the flavor? I love brocolli cheddar soup, but looking to make it more robust for the hubby

  24. Easy And Very Good Recipe ! will follow your page for sure

  25. This was super yummy!
    Alterations: I didn’t have a yellow or white onion on hand so I used some scallions, I used minced garlic instead of garlic powder, and I cut up a yellow bell pepper and sautéd it with the scallion. I put the spices in with the flour to bring out the flavor some more, and added a dash of cayenne. I didn’t have half & half so I used some leftover sour cream (~1/3 c) and 1% milk.
    Despite all my alterations the recipe was forgiving and it is very rich and tasty!

  26. The soup didn’t have any flavor,   I followed the recipe exactly.  I wasted a lot of time and money on this recipe.  

  27. This soup turned out soo delicious😋 next time I crave for some Panera soup , I’m just gonna cook this. 

  28. Absolutely fantastic. Will make this again. Started with using Dutch oven. Was simmering on medium low per directions but was going to take too long so put in QuickPot for 8 min. Absolutely fantastic. Did not have half and half so used heavy whipping cream. Thank you. Will be making again.

  29. This soup was easy to make, takes little time and is delicious. It’s hearty enough to be a meal in itself.

  30. How long will this last in the fridge?

  31. This looks delicious! If I wanted to add potato would I do that the same time as the broccoli and carrots? Also will it be okay to use the immersion blender with the potatoes in it?

    • I think adding the potato when you add the broccoli and carrots would be good, although you might want to cut them pretty small to make sure they can get fork tender in the 10-15 minutes. The immersion blender should still be okay, but make sure you check the potatoes to be sure they’re tender first 🙂

  32. Delicious and so easy to follow. Love Panera broccoli cheddar soup and it came very close! Used the immersion blender. It was so good! Thanks for posting this recipe!

  33. this soup is soooo good! although change the spice ratio but my family loved it.

  34. My husband and I loved it, I couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch the very next day.

  35. thank you for the e book.fantastic recipes in it.thank you so much.

  36. Can I use Heavy cream I don’t have milk or half and half?

    • Just stumbled upon this recipe and made it tonight, it was good and super easy! I didn’t have mustard powder and the instructions said I could use regular mustard but I was sure if that legit meant mustard out of the fridge so I omitted it. I only had heavy whipping cream so I added 1.5 cups and 1/2 cup of regular milk because I was worried about the whipping cream making it too thick. It wasn’t thick at all (but not watery either!), totally could’ve just done all whipping cream and would have been just fine. Actually, I might even want it a tad thicker next time. I also accidentally added 1/2 tsp of garlic powder and salt but I’m glad I did, I think it would’ve been a bit too bland for my taste with only 1/4. Also added a bit of cayenne. I didn’t blend the entire soup, only about 1/3. I blended most of the larger broccoli pieces tho. Will make this again! 

  37. Excellent recipe!! I cooked It in the slow cooker for a total of 4 hours, used frozen broccoli, 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese and 1/2 mozzarella (because I didn’t have enough cheddar) and blended the soup. I would definitely make again!  Next time, I would increase the spices. 

  38. This recipe was such a huge hit with my family ! I did double the spices and only blended half the soup since we like big chunks of broccoli in our soup. Will be trying this again!

  39. This recipe was great! Even my picky eaters loved it.

  40. Love it!   This is my second time making it.  I did double the cheese😁.  This one is a definite keeper!

  41. Really REALLY good – definitely a keeper recipe, and super easy in the instant pot!

  42. Best recipe ever 👌

  43. Omg!! It turned out so good!! Thanks for sharing, even my picky eaters loved it🥰

  44. Whole family loved it! It’s a keeper, I didn’t have to change a thing with the recipe. 

  45. This woukd be awesome with avacado added!

  46. This broccoli cheddar soup surpasses Bread Co. by leaps!!

  47. Terrifically easy soup to make.  Made it the first time exactly as advised. The second time I doubled the seasonings and added fresh pepper.  Delicious!

  48. This recipe is a definite keeper! Every bit as good if not better than Panera :0

  49. My family loved it (and they’re not “creamy” soup eaters)! It was easy, quick and fun to make. I didn’t add the cheese at all – I was concerned about lumping and clumping when reheating later. Instead,  I set a bowl of grated cheese on the table so each member could take as little or as much as they wanted for their portion. Turned out great and reheating the soup was easier.

  50. Wonderful and decadent!  A huge hit with my family.  I was lazy and bought broccoli and carrots in a bag and microwaved them before adding to soup — Came together very quickly.  Also used 1/2 regular cheddar and 1/2 sharp..  Wonder if there is a way to lower the calories a bit?

  51. Made this last night and it was a hit! I will definitely be making this one again! Thank you for such a delicious soup recipe!

  52. This was amazing !!! I used milk I didn’t have half and half , I didn’t have mustard of any kind so didn’t use that but added a bit of poultry seasoning and that always adds a bit of coziness to a soup! This was fabulous I should of doubled it ! I will be making this many more times ! Def my new go to broccoli cheese soup recipe ! Thank you!!

  53. I’m definitely game to try this recipe out. Is there a way I can make this into a dip instead using my slowcooker? Would I just add more cheese?

    • Hmm, I’ve not tested the recipe that way, so I can’t say for certain… but here’s what I would try. I would use slightly less liquid, use more cheese, and mix a bit of cornstarch and half and half (around 3 Tbsp of half and half plus 2 Tbsp of cornstarch) in a bowl until the cornstarch is dissolved, then stir that into the “soup”. That should thicken it up nicely 🙂

  54. So good! I added more broccoli, ground pepper and more chicken broth. I didn’t use an immersion blender as I thought it was think enough with the added veggies. I will def be making this again and will use this recipe again as the base recipe. Thank you!!!

  55. Amazing. Love the flavors.  

  56. Very bland not good at all:(

  57. Has anyone tried using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth? Would this change the flavor too much?

  58. Made this last night with small variations. I began by making a roux with the flour and butter, then adding the onions and sweating/sauteing. At the same time I added carrots, garlic clove, salt, spices and mustard to the blender, along with about 3/4ths of the broccoli, and gave it about 30 seconds on the slowest setting – just enough to chop everything else. I added to the roux/onion, added the rest of the broccoli as small florets and brought to a simmer for about 15 minutes to fully cook the broccoli. Then I added the half and half and cheddar and, once the cheddar was melted, served. It was good, and easy.

  59. Did anyone try using frozen broccoli?

  60. Making this now in the slow cooker and the broth isn’t fully covering the veggies? Is that okay or should I add more broth? 

  61. Do you think if I used heavy cream or 2% milk that would work instead of half and half.?

  62. Made this soup this weekend for lunches this week…and i don’t think it’s going to last that long! Delicious! 🙂 I followed the recipe exactly and made it in the instant pot. Will be sharing…and making again!

  63. The best broccoli cheddar soup I have ever made!! THANK YOU

  64. The soup turned out very good, however; I did get a burn notice on my instant pot when cooking it. It may have been due to not enough liquid but i’m not sure.

    • I got the same reading. I had to add an additional 3+ cups of chicken broth so it can have enough liquid. A pinch or so of more salt.

  65. I have now made this recipe twice; slow cooker method. Absolutely outstanding each time! Thank you very much!

  66. This recipe is easy, foolproof and delicious. The only things I changed was using fresh garlic instead of powder and Velveeta for my cheese (just because I like it). Definitely a keeper and will be on my frequent meal rotation. 

  67. Absolutely Amazing! I love this soup and will definitely be making this again, very soon. This is a soup that will be perfect with a nice thick bread. I plan on trying it with different side options. I’ll be adding this to my favourites for sure.

  68. Mom is a really big fan of soups. She loves them most when they are thick and rich. I had been looking for a good recipe to make some at home, as opposed to buying the canned soups. I’ve never been really great at cooking (I’m only 23) and wanted to start learning to cook better. I love your site. everything is easy to make and absolutely delicious. She’s been in the hospital for 11 weeks and I have been bringing her fruits and veggies along with snacks and the one thing I make really well, Macaroni salad. I made this soup and brought it to her today, she LOVED it! Luckily I still have some at home because she was already asking for more. Thank you so much! I will be trying more of your soup recipes and hopefully venture into some meat dishes and ones a little more complex. I love your site and have shared it with friends, one has already tried your 3 bean chili and wants to make more dishes. Great food, easy to make and so very delicious 🙂

  69. Tried the crock pot way, one whole yellow onion was waaaayyyyy too much. I’m sure it would have been amazing if the onion didn’t over power it. It was good and I will definitely make it again, just less onion next time.

  70. My go to soup !! So creamy and so rich , I absolutely love this recipe !! Definitely would recommend this recipe ❤️

  71. I have made this recipe 3 times now and I absolutely love it! Thank you!!

  72. The best soup ever. I won’t make any other broccoli soup. 

  73. 2 thumbs up for you! Really great eating this delicious recipe. No need many ingredients to cook healthy food. Cheddar and broccoli are perfect combination. My daughter loves this recipe too.

  74. These sound delicious! Dangerously good…

  75. A family favorite for sure! Perfect for these cold days. Thanks for sharing!

  76. Nothing beats a warm and comforting soup this time of the year! This is in our future!

  77. This is so perfect for today’s cold weather. I’m craving a big bowl of this to warm up.

  78. Love how you gave all the options on making this! It looks amazing and now I can make it no matter how much time I have on my hands. 

  79. THIS IS THE BEST SOUP EVER!!!! I LOVE PANERA BREAD SOUP AND THIS TASTES EVEN BETTER!!!

  80. I love that you put veggies in this. With all of that cheesy yummy soup, this will get kids eating their veggies.

  81. I know my kids will love this! We’re definitely soup fans here and honestly, I make it year round! Can’t wait to try your copycat!

  82. We LOVE this soup at our house!! I can’t wait to try this recipe!! It looks and sounds incredible!

  83. Your photography skills have really improved! And I love that this version of the recipe is so quick and easy! Yum!

  84. One of my favorites soups and this version looks soooo yummy!

  85. I’m addicted to 30 quick and easy meals, so this soup looks perfect to me! I”m sad that soup season is almost over!

  86. This is one of my favorite copycats! So much better homemade!