This easy broccoli cheddar soup recipe is just like your favorite restaurant version, but you can make it at home whenever you like! It’s loaded with cheese, perfectly creamy, and super satisfying.
Even if you’re not usually a “soup person,” you probably like broccoli cheddar soup. It’s the soup that eats like a meal—plus it’s pretty much impossible to resist that combination of creamy, cheesy broth and tender florets of broccoli.
Serve broccoli cheese soup with a thick slice of sourdough or French bread and you have a filling lunch or dinner perfect for those chilly fall days when you’re craving something warm and hearty.
Easy Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
Now, there are a lot of broccoli cheddar soups out there in the world, and not all of them are created equal. Some are kind of thick and… gloppy? Not exactly the texture you want for a soup! Other recipes leave you with a thin broth and cheese that never quite melts into it, which is super disappointing when you’re eagerly awaiting that perfect bowl of cheesy broccoli soup.
Well, friends, this is the broccoli cheddar soup recipe that has the perfect consistency—thick without being too thick, and all that cheese melts into a velvety smooth broth. If you like Panera broccoli cheddar soup, this version is very similar. (It even has the grated carrot in it like the Panera one does!)
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Unsalted butter – You can use salted butter instead, but you’ll just need to add less salt later in the recipe.
- Onion – Yellow or white both work here.
- All-purpose flour – Essential for thickening the broth.
- Chicken or vegetable stock – Use store-bought or homemade stock.
- Broccoli – Chop this into bite-size pieces so it fits on a spoon!
- Paprika – If you have smoked paprika, you can use that if you’d like.
- Half & half – Whole milk is a bit too thin, while heavy cream is too thick in my opinion. Half & half hits that sweet spot!
- Cheddar cheese – Mild cheddar freshly shredded off-the-block.
- Kosher salt & black pepper
How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup
1. Cook the Aromatics and Flour
Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until they’re soft and fragrant, or for about 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, or until it’s golden brown.
Tip: Cooking the butter until it’s lightly browned will improve the flavor of the soup, so broth doesn’t taste like raw flour.
Slowly pour in the stock, constantly whisking to ensure the liquid is smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the broccoli florets, carrot, and paprika. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the half & half to the pot and return the soup to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the cheese until the soup is creamy and all of the cheese is melted. Season to taste and then serve.
How to Store Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Leftover broccoli cheddar soup can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for 3 to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months. If you freeze the soup, thaw it in the fridge before reheating.
Reheat leftovers on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of half & half or milk to thin it out, as it will thicken a bit when refrigerated.
If your cheese isn’t melting, it’s likely because the soup is too hot. If your soup is still boiling vigorously when you add the cheese, it won’t incorporate smoothly. Additionally, make sure you’re using freshly grated or shredded cheese—pre-shredded cheese has anti-caking additives that prevent it from melting properly.
This recipe is loaded with vegetables, so you’ll get lots of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which are some valuable health benefits! That said, broccoli cheddar soup isn’t exactly a low-calorie recipe, so be sure to watch your portion sizes.
If your broccoli cheddar soup is not creamy, it’s likely because the cheese hasn’t fully melted into the soup. Follow the tips above to make sure the cheese can melt smoothly. Another reason for broccoli cheddar soup being too thin is if you’ve substituted the half & half for milk, or skipped the flour for making the roux.
The best cheese for melting in broccoli cheddar soup is freshly grated cheese—not the store-bought shredded cheese, as discussed above. In addition, you’ll want to choose a mild cheddar, rather than sharp cheddar cheese or aged cheese, as they don’t melt as well. If you like the taste of sharp or aged cheddar, you can use them for garnish and sprinkle them on top of the soup after you ladle it into bowls.
More Favorite Soup Recipes
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 large head of broccoli finely chopped
- 1 carrot grated
- ¼ tsp paprika
- 2 cups half & half
- 3 cups cheddar cheese grated or shredded
- kosher salt & black pepper to taste
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the stock and whisk to combine. Continue whisking, being sure to break up any flour clumps. Bring to a boil and add the broccoli, carrot, and paprika. Reduce the heat to low and cook the vegetables for 20 minutes.
- Add the half & half and bring to a simmer. Slowly add the cheese, whisking in a handful at a time, until soup is creamy and well incorporated. Season to taste.