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!
4.93 from 14 votes
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Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4 - 6 servings
Calories: 600
Recipe Author The Chunky Chef

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.
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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

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32 comments on “Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup”

  1. 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.

  2. Did anyone try using frozen broccoli?

  3. 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? 

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

  5. 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!

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

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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. 

  10. 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.

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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.

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

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

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

  16. 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.

  17. These sound delicious! Dangerously good…

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

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

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

  21. 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. 

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

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

  24. 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!

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

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

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

  28. 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!

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