Broccoli Cheddar Soup
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Broccoli Cheddar Soup is creamy, healthy and easy to make! When you’re craving comfort food on a chilly day, a pot of this flavorful soup is the perfect way to warm up.
We’ve been on a soup kick this winter, and this broccoli cheddar soup recipe is one of our favorites. This hearty soup is quick and easy to make on the stove, and the result is a cheesy, comforting soup that the whole family can enjoy. My kids love this one, so we’ve been making it on repeat for the past few weeks. It’s such a delicious way to sneak in some healthy veggies!
Instead of the milk or cream that you’ll find in many broccoli cheddar soup recipes (including the popular Panera version), this broccoli soup recipe gets its creaminess from potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes have a naturally creamy texture and, combined with a bit of butter and cheddar cheese, blend up to make the soup rich and creamy.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe Ingredients
You’ll need just a few simple ingredients to make this easy broccoli cheddar soup.
- Butter & Olive Oil: I like to sauté the vegetables in a combination of butter and olive oil. The butter adds richness while the olive oil lightens things up.
- Onion & Garlic: Yellow onion and garlic add a base of flavor.
- Carrots: For flavor complexity and added veggies.
- Potatoes: Yukon gold potatoes are my secret ingredient for giving the soup a creamy texture without using cream or milk. You can use russet potatoes if that’s all you have, but gold potatoes will give a creamier texture.
- Vegetable Broth: I recommend using low sodium vegetable broth so that you can better control the amount of salt in the soup. Chicken broth also works here.
- Broccoli: You will need about 1 1/2 pounds of fresh broccoli crowns, chopped into florets.
- Salt, Pepper & Thyme: To season the soup. I usually use fresh thyme in this recipe, but feel free to use dried thyme if that is what you have on hand.
- Cheddar Cheese: Sharp cheddar cheese will give you the best cheesy flavor.
Find the full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions in the recipe card below.
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- In a Dutch oven or other large pot, heat the butter and olive oil.
- Sauté the onion and carrot until softened.
- Add the potatoes and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Then stir in the garlic.
- Stir in the broth, broccoli, salt, pepper and thyme.
- Simmer the soup, covered, for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
- Remove and discard the thyme stems. Remove about 1 cup of broccoli pieces and set aside.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your desired consistency.
- Stir in the removed broccoli pieces and the shredded cheddar cheese. Serve and enjoy!
- Use those broccoli stems! You can chop them into 1/2-inch pieces and add them to the soup. They will become tender as the soup simmers. If the outside of the stems seems tough, use a small paring knife to trim off the outer layer.
- Using an immersion blender is a quick and easy way to puree the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can puree it in a counter top blender.
- You can blend the soup more or less, to your desired consistency. I like to leave a bit of texture rather than blending it completely smooth.
Storage and Reheating Tips
We love to enjoy leftovers of this soup for lunch. It’s sometimes even more flavorful on the second day.
- Refrigerator: Store this broccoli cheese soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: Let soup cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw the soup overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To Reheat: Reheat soup in a pot on the stove over low heat or reheat gently in the microwave. Since the soup has dairy (cheese) in it, you need to be especially careful when reheating the soup after freezing. Heating it over low heat and stirring it often can help to prevent the soup from curdling or separating as it reheats.
What to Serve with Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This comforting soup pairs perfectly with these Honey Yeast Rolls. The sweet honey flavor of the rolls is a nice counterpart to the savory soup. It’s also delicious with these Dinner Rolls or Biscuits. If you’d like to add a salad to the meal, I recommend a Kale Salad, Butternut Squash Salad or this simple Green Salad Recipe.
More Cozy Soup Recipes
- Vegetable Soup
- Crockpot Potato Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Tomato Soup Recipe
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Cabbage Soup
- Split Pea Soup
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 medium carrots, sliced into ⅛-inch thick half rounds
- ¾ pound Yukon gold potatoes, about 2 medium, chopped into ½-inch pieces, no need to peel
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 ½ pounds broccoli crowns, chopped into florets*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, about 1½ cups
- In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat.
- Once the butter has melted, add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the potatoes to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the vegetable broth, broccoli, salt, pepper and thyme sprigs.
- Increase the heat to medium high and bring the pot to a boil. Then reduce the heat to a medium simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender.
- Remove and discard the thyme stems (most of the leaves will have fallen off into the soup).
- If you want some larger pieces of broccoli left in the soup after pureeing, you can remove a few and chop them into bite-sized pieces if large. Set aside until after pureeing the soup.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your desired consistency. I like to leave a few larger pieces of vegetables, rather than pureeing it smooth. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can transfer the soup to a countertop blender and pulse to puree it.) If you removed some broccoli, stir it back in after pureeing the soup.
- Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese, until melted. Serve.
- You can also add the broccoli stems to the soup. Chop them into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Soup may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Cool completely before freezing.
- Reheat soup in a pot on the stove over low heat or reheat gently in the microwave. Since the soup has dairy (cheese) in it, you need to be especially careful when reheating the soup after freezing. Heating it over low heat and stirring it often can help to prevent previously frozen soup from curdling or separating as it reheats.
Can i use chicken broth?
Yes, chicken broth will work great if you don’t need the soup to be vegetarian. Enjoy!
Where does all the sodium come from? The recipe looks pretty good with low sodium broth & unsalted butter. Thinking that the sodium: 1247mg. Is high.
Would like to try it, but not sure how to reduce sodium.
Some of the sodium comes from the cheese, but it primarily comes from the broth. Even low sodium broths contain a fair amount of sodium. However, the nutrition information is an estimate and will depend on the brand of broth that you use.