Broccoli Cheddar Soup is such an easy dinner recipe! Comforting and perfect, it is better than any bowl you will get at a restaurant.
The most popular recipe on this website is my Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Since first publishing it in the fall of 2016, it has been viewed several million times and has so many 5 star reviews.
It is a winner for sure!
This stovetop version has been around for a few years, but it is new and improved today! I tweaked it a little so that it would replicate the taste of its slow cooker cousin.
I love crock pot meals, but sometimes when you forget to put the ingredients in, you need a stovetop version to whip up fast.
This is your quick broccoli cheddar answer!
I’m obsessed with Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup, and I would argue that this is even better.
What Makes it so Good
There are a few things that make this soup boss.
- It has a perfect roux (the combination of a fat and a flour to thicken things) that gives this soup the perfect texture.
- This soup has an amazing balance of flavors.
- Finally, it has just the right amount of cheese. Enough to be creamy and delicious, but not so much that you wonder if you are eating cheese dip.
How to make Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Start by melting some butter and sautéing carrots and onions in it.
- Whisk in a little flour.
- Slowly (slow is the key) whisk in chicken stock.
- Once all the stock is added, bring the soup to a simmer and add the broccoli, cooking for 15 minutes or until tender.
- If you want a less chunky soup, remove a little at this point (one or two cups) and blend it.
- Stir in the half and half, and let the soup heat through.
- Add in the cheddar cheese.
Replacing Chicken Stock with Vegetable Stock
I really like the flavor that the chicken stock brings to this soup.
That said, you can easily replace it with vegetable stock to make this a vegetarian dish.
The Importance of Block Cheese
I’m going to hop right up on my soap box again and urge you to buy a block of cheddar cheese to make this recipe.
Cheese that is pre-shredded is great for tossing on top of a taco. But if you want a cheese that will melt well, buy a block and take the extra two minutes to shred 2 cups.
You can store this soup, once cooled, in an air tight container in your refrigerator. It will keep for four days.
You can freeze this broccoli cheddar soup. I recommend freezing it in individual portions in containers that allow for it to expand as it freezes.
While it can be frozen, you will likely face a little bit of separation when it thaws and reheats. It will still taste delicious and will be safe to eat.
This soup reheats best in a small saucepan over low heat, while you stir it intermittently.
If you chose to microwave it, do so at half power. Stir it after about a minute and a half and then put it back in for short intervals until warmed through.
What to Serve with Broccoli Cheddar Soup
I think broccoli cheddar soup is great on its own, but if you are looking to round this out with sides, here are a few ideas:
These Dinner Rolls would be great to dip in it. I love that they only take an hour.
If you are hosting a lunch, Greek Quinoa Salad would be a great option to put out with this soup.
And we always love my Roasted Baby Potatoes.
If you make this or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups shredded carrot about two medium carrots
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 6 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (see note in the post)
- 4 cups broccoli florets (I needed about 1 1/2 pounds of broccoli heads to get four cups)
- 2 cups mild cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Sauté for three to four minutes or until the onions are tender.
- Whisk in the flour, and cook for about 30 seconds
- Very slowly pour in the chicken stock. Add about two tablespoons at a time, fully whisking it in and combining it before adding more. As you add more, you will be able to add it more quickly.
- Stir in the broccoli, bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes or until the broccoli is soft and tender.
- Optional: Remove some of the soup and blend it for a less chunky soup.
- Stir in the half and half and allow the soup to warm through.
- Stir in the cheddar cheese until it is fully melted and combined into the soup.