Slow Cooker Broccoli, Cheddar and White Bean Soup
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Slow Cooker Broccoli, Cheddar and White Bean Soup is a creamy vegetarian soup recipe. It is fast and easy to make in your crock pot!
This post was sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to share recipes with you!
Is dinner time as crazy in your house as it is in mine right now? With a newborn who wants to eat nonstop in the evening, sports and activities, and tired kids who need lots of attention, it’s nearly impossible to cook dinner in the evenings.
What is saving me right now is my slow cooker! It’s not as difficult to find a few minutes earlier in the day to get dinner started in the crock pot. Many slow cooker recipes, including this soup recipe, are forgiving, in that you can adjust the cook time slightly and still have a successful recipe. If you’re a busy mom like me, I have a list of easy slow cooker dinners that take only a few minutes of prep time.
I’ve been cooking slow cooker dinners multiple times every week since Trevor was born, and this Slow Cooker Broccoli, Cheddar and White Bean Soup is one of our favorites! It takes just about 10 minutes to prep it for the slow cooker, and 5 minutes once it’s cooked to blend it up. It’s so easy and so delicious!
My 8-year-old especially loves this soup. She is in the middle of a picky eating phase, so I’m always happy when I find meals that she enjoys. Adding cheese to recipes is a great way to make them more kid-friendly, and this broccoli and white bean soup has cheese melted into it. I also serve it with more cheese on top. Yum!
I’ve added cannellini beans to this soup for extra protein. Sometimes when we have soup for dinner, I feel like the meal doesn’t have enough protein but that’s not the case with this Slow Cooker Broccoli, Cheddar and White Bean Soup. Each serving has 22 grams of protein. The white beans also add creaminess to this soup once it’s blended.
I’ve created this recipe in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada, to help spread the word about the nutrition benefits of pulses. What’s a pulse you ask? Pulses are the protein-packed, sustainable foods known as lentils, dry peas, chickpeas and beans. Not only are they nutritious and versatile (I even use them in baking!), pulses are also an affordable way to add protein to your family’s diet.
Pulses.org is a great resource for delicious recipes that feature pulses. I’ve bookmarked so many that I want to try! I’ve signed up for the Half-Cup Habit, a challenge to add pulses to your diet three times per week. When you sign up you’ll receive quick and healthy recipes, easy prep tips, and weekly chances to win prizes.
This Broccoli Kale Superfood Salad is another of my favorite healthy recipes that includes pulses. And stay tuned because I have a delicious recipe featuring lentils coming your way soon. It’s one of my family’s favorites!
I added a little fresh spinach to this Slow Cooker Broccoli, Cheddar and White Bean Soup before blending. The spinach brightens up the color of the soup so that it’s a fresh green color. If you don’t have spinach on hand, feel free to leave it out.
With winter almost here, we’ll be relying on this creamy broccoli and cannellini bean soup to warm us up on cold, rainy days. Pair it with some crusty bread or cornbread for a quick and easy dinner.
Tips for making this Slow Cooker Broccoli, Cheddar and White Bean Soup:
- You can get a head start on prepping this recipe by chopping the broccoli, onion and garlic the day before. Store them airtight in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
- When made with vegetable broth, this soup is vegetarian. I sometimes substitute chicken broth if that’s what I have on hand.
- For best results puree this soup in a regular countertop blender. That will produce a smoother soup than an immersion blender. I love my Vitamix!
- The 1/4 cup of half and half is optional. I tested this soup with and without it, and preferred it with the half and half. With the half and half the soup is slightly creamier and milder in flavor. Without the half and half there is more of a pronounced broccoli flavor.
- When I photographed the soup I added sharp white cheddar cheese. While I liked the soup with the white cheddar, I prefer the flavor of orange cheddar in this recipe. My kids do too.
Slow Cooker Broccoli, Cheddar and White Bean Soup
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 1 pound chopped broccoli crowns
- 15 ounce can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 ½ cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups loosely packed fresh spinach*
- 6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese white or yellow, divided
- ¼ cup half and half**
- Place onion, broccoli, cannellini beans, garlic, salt, pepper, and broth in slow cooker. (I use this 5 quart slow cooker.)
- Cook on low setting for about 5-6 hours, or on high setting for about 3 hours, until broccoli is tender.
- Add spinach and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
- Transfer soup to a countertop blender in batches and puree until smooth. Return soup to the slow cooker. Stir in 4 ounces of the shredded cheddar and the half and half. Spoon soup into bowls, top with remaining shredded cheddar and serve.
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