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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.

close up image of a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup

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.

top down image of a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup

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!) 

ingredients to make broccoli cheddar soup

Ingredients

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.
  • Garlic
  • 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!
  • Carrot
  • 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 
steps to make broccoli cheddar soup

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.

2. Simmer

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.

3. Finish

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.

bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with a silver spoon sitting on a burnt orange kitchen towel

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.

bowl and spoonful of broccoli cheddar soup

FAQs

Why won’t my cheese melt in my broccoli cheddar soup?

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.

How healthy is broccoli cheddar soup?

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.

Why is my broccoli cheddar soup not creamy?

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.

What is the best cheese for melting in soup?

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

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.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Kasey Schwartz
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 793kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 61g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 188mg | Sodium: 720mg | Potassium: 892mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 5246IU | Vitamin C: 141mg | Calcium: 824mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: broccoli cheddar soup, broccoli cheese soup
Did you make this recipe?Mention @kasey_allthingsmamma or tag #allthingsmamma!

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About Kasey Schwartz

Hi, I’m Kasey, Founder of All Things Mamma – where I am dishing up family favorite recipes that are easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients. Plus – tips and tricks for living your best life!

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