This homemade broccoli cheddar soup is both delicious and easy to make!

It has a rich and cheesy flavor, and it is ready in just 30 minutes, making the perfect weeknight dinner.

Serve it with a chunk of crusty bread for dipping.

a pot of broccoli cheddar soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

If you enjoy Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup, you will love this homemade version.

  • Classic comfort food, creamy, cheesy, and hearty.
  • It’s made with simple, easy ingredients you likely have on hand.
  • This soup recipe can be adapted to your preference or needs.
  • It’s a budget-friendly meal, and perfect as a meatless choice.

Ingredients

BroccoliThis recipe uses fresh broccoli florets to add flavor and texture to the soup. Frozen broccoli florets may also be used (without thawing). For added texture, set aside a portion of the cooked broccoli before pureeing the soup.

Cheese  This recipe uses 3 kinds of cheese: cream cheese for creaminess, sharp cheddar, and parmesan for flavor. Using pre-shredded cheese is not recommended because it doesn’t melt as well.

Soup Base The soup base is made with broth, cream, and a little cornstarch to thicken it. The broccoli is blended for texture and to thicken the soup a bit further.

How to Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

The best homemade broccoli cheese soup needs just a few fresh ingredients!

  1. Sauté onions and garlic in a pot per the recipe below.
  2. Add broccoli, broth, and seasonings. Simmer until tender.
  3. Remove some of the broccoli, chop, and set aside. Blend the remaining soup.
  4. Stir in cream and cream cheese, then add in cheeses and chopped broccoli.

Get a Perfect Consistency

Cream cheese should be added while the soup is on the stove so it can melt smoothly.

Shredded cheese can separate and curdle if overheated. Just like with cheese sauce or mac and cheeseremove the soup from the heat before stirring in the cheese. The heat from the soup will melt the cheese, and the soup will be smooth and creamy.

adding final ingredients to pot to make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Tips & Variations

  • I prefer the flavor of chicken stock, but vegetable broth will work too.
  • Substitute the cheese for your favorite; we love sharp cheddar. A milder cheese will result in less cheesy flavor.
  • You can add a diced potato, cauliflower, or asparagus along with the broccoli.
  • For a lighter version, you can use evaporated milk instead of cream. Regular milk may need extra cornstarch to thicken the soup. For an extra creamy option, use heavy cream.
  • Serve this soup in a bread bowl for a fun and yummy presentation.
2 bowls of broccoli cheddar soup

Leftover Broccoli Cheese Soup

Keep this broccoli cheddar soup in the fridge for up to 4 days.  To reheat, microwave, stirring occasionally, or heat on the stove over medium-low.

Avoid the freezer with this soup. Diary doesn’t tend to freeze well, and it can sometimes become grainy, or the texture can change slightly. 

More Great Soups

a pot of broccoli cheddar soup
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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This hearty and belly-warming broccoli cheddar soup is easy to make and has lots of cheesy broccoli flavor.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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Ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 4 cups broccoli florets fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cups light cream or evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • cup fresh parmesan cheese shredded

Instructions 

  • In a saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in butter over medium heat until tender.
  • Add broccoli, chicken broth, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 6 minutes. Add cream cheese and cook for 2 minutes more to soften.
  • Remove 1 cup of the cooked broccoli, chop it coarsely and set it aside. Use an immersion blender to blend the remaining soup.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together cream and cornstarch.
  • Bring the soup to a boil and whisk in the cream mixture. Simmer until thickened (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and stir in 1 ¾ cups of cheddar cheese, all of the parmesan cheese, and the reserved chopped vegetables.
  • Garnish with additional cheese and serve immediately.

Notes

Cream: Light cream is about 10-12% MF. You can use any kind of light cream like half and half.   Cream can be substituted for evaporated or milk. If using milk, you may need extra cornstarch for thickening.
Cheese:  For a stronger cheese flavor, use sharper cheddar cheese. Avoid using pre-shredded cheese, as it does not melt as smoothly and can make the soup grainy.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
5 from 63 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 331 | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 710mg | Potassium: 507mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1152IU | Vitamin C: 62mg | Calcium: 473mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American
Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a bowl with a title
plated Broccoli Cheddar Soup with croutons and a title
cooked Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a pot with writing
Broccoli Cheddar Soup in a pot and plated with writing

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Great soup! I added a little more cheese than the directions listed but other than that I made as per directions. Thank you for fhe recipe!5 stars

    1. We have only ever reheated this soup on low on the stovetop, but it should work to reheat in the crockpot as long as it’s on low. I would check it and stir after an hour and every half hour after that. Let us know how it goes, Janet!

  2. I was excited to see a quick soup recipe. It took me longer than projected to make this after prepping all the ingredients. However, the taste of the finished soup, though fine, was very unremarkable. I think blanching the broccoli makes for a tastier and visually more appealing, if not less speedy soup. I also don’t think the carrots helped. It’s likely just my preference. I don’t care for sweetness at all in savory dishes.

  3. Was really good for a Sunday night early dinner using pantry items and produce that was not used up by the end of the week! The only substitutes I used was 4 slices of cheese instead of shredded, (had no grater) did half butter (low butter) and half bacon grease, and used powdered coconut milk cos I didn’t have any half and half, milk or evaporated milk. Cured my Panera craving!5 stars