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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

5 from 11 votes

posted: 01/15/20

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Broccoli Cheddar Soup is such an easy dinner recipe! Comforting and perfect, it is better than any bowl you will get at a restaurant.

small blue ceramic soup bowl full of broccoli cheddar soup garnished with more cheese and round orange crackers next to the bowl

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 stove-top version is a faster spin on that fantastic recipe and is perfect for a quick dinner. I love comfort food that doesn’t take all day to make. I’m obsessed with Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup, and I would argue that this is even better.

Reader Review

It’s a cold, windy, rainy day and what better menu for dinner than broccoli cheese soup. I made exactly as stated, elected to purée with my immersion blender. It is delicious, no changes, which for me is unusual.

How to make Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This is a brief overview of this delicious soup. For the full recipe with all of the measurements see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Sauté the vegetables. Start by melting some butter and sautéing carrots and onions in it.
  2. Make a roux. Whisk flour into the butter to create the thickening agent for the soup. You can read more about this below.
  3. Add the chicken stock. The key to this step is to do it slowly. You want to add about a tablespoon at a time to start and more as you go. While you are going t slowly, the whole process will take about a minute total.
  4. Simmer the soup and cook the broccoli. Once all the stock is added, bring the soup to a simmer and add the broccoli, cooking for 15 minutes or until tender.
  5. Finish off the soup. 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.
overhead view of a broccoli cheddar soup recipe in two small blue soup bowls on a wire cooling rack, with round orange crackers next to it and two spoons on the side

Cheese for Broccoli Cheddar Soup

You will notice that for this broccoli cheese soup recipe I use mild cheddar cheese. I find that it pairs really well with the other ingredients in the soup. It is delicious without over-powering the veggies. That being said, if you really crave that distinct cheddar flavor, use a medium or sharp cheddar cheese.

Making a Roux

The thing that keeps this soup so creamy and perfect is the roux we add. A roux is the combination of a fat, in this case butter, and flour. The fat coats the flour and keeps it suspended in the liquid.

After adding the flour to the fat, you slowly add the liquid. The key is to do this slowly, just a little at a time to start. The more you add the more quickly you can go on, and the whole process should only take about a minute total.

Making it Gluten-Free

This soup can be made gluten free by changing out the all purpose flour for a gluten free flour. I have found that while it works, the soup is just slightly less creamy than when you use all purpose flour. It is still absolutely delicious and a great way to enjoy this soup if you cannot eat gluten.

Make it Vegetarian

Chicken stock is a really simple way to add depth of flavor to a recipe. It gives soup a taste as though it has been simmering on the stovetop all day. That being said, you can absolutely make this recipe vegetarian by swapping the chicken stock for votable stock.

Shredding Cheese for Broccoli Soup

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. Pre-shredded cheese is great for tossing on top of a taco, but it is coated in preservatives that make it difficult to melt. If you want a cheese that will melt well, buy a block and take the extra two minutes to shred 2 cups.

Half and Half

Half and half is a product commonly used in the United States that is made up of half whole milk and halve heavy cream. In the UK, it is often known as half cream. I love using half and half in this recipe because you get all the creaminess of heavy cream with less of the fat.

overhead view of a blue dutch oven full of Panera broccoli cheddar soup, garnished with more shredded cheese on a brown surface


You can store this soup, once cooled, in an airtight 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.

An overhead photo of two bowls of Broccoli Cheddar Soup with cheddar cheese sprinkled on one side and Ritz Crackers next to the bowl

What to Serve with Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I think this broccoli cheddar soup recipe is great on its own, but if you are looking to round this out with sides, here are a few ideas:

If you make this or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

small blue ceramic soup bowl full of broccoli cheddar soup garnished with more cheese and round orange crackers next to the bowl
5 from 11 votes

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Serves: 6 cups
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Broccoli Cheddar Soup is such an easy dinner recipe! Comforting and perfect, it is better than any bowl you will get at a restaurant.


  • 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.
Serving: 1cup Calories: 338kcal (17%) Carbohydrates: 15g (5%) Protein: 17g (34%) Fat: 21g (32%) Saturated Fat: 14g (88%) Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 76mg (25%) Sodium: 472mg (21%) Potassium: 219mg (6%) Fiber: 3g (13%) Sugar: 4g (4%) Vitamin A: 347IU (7%) Vitamin C: 74mg (90%) Calcium: 46mg (5%) Iron: 2mg (11%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
small blue ceramic soup bowl full of broccoli cheddar soup garnished with more cheese and round orange crackers next to the bowl

did you make this

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Sherrie P Roberts says

    5 stars
    I jaust made this soup. It is great!

  2. Lynda Nollau says

    That’s what I’ve been doing wrong!! My husband complains my cheese soups taste “powdery”. I have been using pre-shredded cheese from a bag. Next time I’m following your advice. Thanks!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Oooo, interesting! I hope this recipe works better for you!

  3. Susan Currier says

    I just made this soup. It’s light colored and watery. Taste good but isn’t thick or yellow.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m really sorry this didn’t work out for you! The color of the cheddar cheese will impact the final color of the soup,and not all cheddar is the same dark color. As for the thickness, that is about the roux. You have to really make sure that you add in the broth slowly after whisking in the flour. If you rush this step you won’t have as thick of a soup at the end. Again, I’m really sorry it didn’t work for you.

  4. Michelle McCarron says

    5 stars
    I made this tonight! It was amazing! I did version 2. I let the roux boil a bit to thicken and I added the flour to the cold half and half and whisked it prior to adding to the butter. I did use shredded cheese to save time. I used Cabot brand which is what I use in my mac and cheese. It definitely matters which brand you use.

    • Lisa Longley says

      So happy you liked it Michelle!

  5. Christine says

    5 stars
    Just finished cooking. Perfect! Creamy and bright. Got rid of my other recipes. This is IT!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked it Christine! Thank you for taking the time to come back and tell me!

  6. Helene says

    Guess what’s for dinner? U got it broccoli cheddar soup thanks Lisa u da best

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you loved it Helene!

  7. Lu says

    What if I don’t have half & half? Is there a substitute?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Half and half is equal parts whole milk and heavy cream. So you could make some yourself. Or you could make it with just milk and it just won’t be quite as thick.

  8. Edina Robinson says

    5 stars
    Made this about a month ago and it was yummy. My husband suggested adding crumbled bacon on top upon serving. That really set this soup apart! Making it again now.

    • Lisa Longley says

      So glad to hear you liked it!

  9. sandee says

    Looking forward to making this. Can I use frozen broccoli in this recipe? Thanks in advance.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I haven’t tried this with frozen broccoli. I think it will be fine though.

  10. Penny Bingham says

    What is half & half?

    • Lisa Longley says

      It’s an American sold product that is made from half heavy cream and half whole milk.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners