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March 12, 2024

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

A few easy tricks and tips make this wildly rich, cozy broccoli cheddar soup recipe feel like easy magic.


a bowl of homemade broccoli cheddar soup topped with croutons
Photography by Gayle McLeod

More Rich & Creamy Soup Recipes To Love

A Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe Worth Staying In For

Whether it’s ultra-basic Steamed Broccoli on a weeknight or vibrant Broccolini for a dinner party broccoli is usually thought of as the quintessential vegetable side dish. Here, though, it gets the superstar treatment that broccoli lovers like us feel it deserves. This cheddar-broccoli soup recipe yields a pot of soup that’s every bit as creamy, cheesy and indulgent as the infamously savory, rich Panera broccoli cheddar soup, but inherently better, fresher and (of course) more economical because homemade food always is. If you’re committed to broccoli tonight, but aren’t in a soup mood, check out this healthyish Broccoli Beef Soba Bowl, or this rich, cozy Baked Gnocchi with Broccoli.

butter, onion, carrot, garlic, flour, spices, milk, stock, broccoli, Parmesan and shredded cheddar in prep bowls

Homemade Broccoli Cheddar Soup Ingredients

  • Salted butter (if all you have is unsalted butter, that’s OK, just be sure to check the seasoning of the soup at the end. You may decide to add a bit more salt to taste.)

  • Onion

  • Carrot

  • Garlic

  • All-purpose flour

  • Sea salt

  • Mustard powder

  • Nutmeg

  • Whole milk or half-and-half

  • Stock (use vegetable stock, if you want to make this broccoli cheddar soup vegetarian)

  • Broccoli

  • Parmesan

  • Extra-sharp cheddar cheese (while you could opt for medium cheddar, the soup won’t be as richly flavored. If you can spring for it, we really recommend using extra-sharp cheddar.)

  • Black pepper

onion, carrot and garlic being cooked in butter in a pot
onion, carrot, garlic, butter, flour, salt, mustard powder, nutmeg and milk being cooked in a pot
chicken stock being poured into a pot with onion, carrot, garlic, butter, flour, salt, mustard powder, nutmeg and milk
broccoli cheddar soup being blended with an immersion blender in a soup pot
  1. Make the creamy soup base. You’ll warm the carrots and onions in butter in a large pot or Dutch oven, followed by garlic and spices. A dusting of flour turns that fragrant glory into a paste. Slowly pour in the milk or half-and-half, whisk it constantly, and voila — a viscous, creamy base that’s strong enough to play nicely with all the cheese you’re about to ask it to absorb.
  2. Soupify that base! If you have an immersion blender, it is your friend here, saving you the trouble of pouring hot liquid into a blender. Off the heat, blend the stock and creamy base together until smooth and cohesive.
  3. Add the broccoli and some heat. You’re half way to broccoli and cheddar cheese soup! Simmer gently until the broccoli is nice and fall-apart tender.
  4. Little by little, stir in the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Slower is better here.
  5. Dig in! While this soup is hearty all on its own for a simple, quick supper, we like to pair it with bread on the side for dipping and dunking. Try our Parker House Rolls, Herby Rhodes Rolls, or even these buttery Onion Chive Biscuits.
broccoli being added to a pot with blended soup to make broccoli cheddar soup
parmesan and cheddar being added to a pot of broccoli cheddar soup
parmesan and cheddar being added to a pot of broccoli cheddar soup
a bowl of homemade broccoli cheddar soup topped with croutons

How To Store + Tips For Making The Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • Why is my broccoli cheddar soup gritty? Did you stir the cheeses into the broccoli soup all at once? Did you use pre-shredded cheese? Stirring the cheddar into your soup all at once may result in a gritty or grainy texture, rather than the creamy luxurious texture you want your cheddar broccoli soup to have. Likewise, pre-shredded cheese sometimes has anti-caking additives to keep it from clumping in the bag and those very anti-caking additives (like potato starch or cellulose) will prevent it from melting into the soup.

  • Leftover cheddar and broccoli soup will keep, stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

  • Can I freeze broccoli cheddar soup? While you technically can freeze this soup, we don’t recommend it. Generally, soups with dairy — and this recipe has a lot of dairy — don’t reheat very well.

a pot of homemade broccoli cheddar soup being scooped with a ladle

More Easy Broccoli Recipes Everyone Will Love

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  35 min
  • Calories: 353


  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 small)
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli (from 1 large crown)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Croutons, store-bought or homemade, for serving (optional)


  1. Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, salt, mustard powder, and nutmeg. Cook, whisking, until a paste forms, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, whisking continuously, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then add the stock. Use an immersion blender to blend the liquid directly in the pot. (Alternatively, transfer the liquid to the base of a blender, let cool briefly, and blend until smooth. Then return it to the pot.)

  2. Stir in the broccoli. Return the pot over medium-low heat and simmer until the broccoli is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan and half of the cheddar until melted, then add the remaining cheddar and stir until the soup is creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

  3. Serve topped with croutons if using.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories353
  • Protein17 g
  • Carbohydrates20 g
  • Total Fat25 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol75 mg
  • sodium1080 mg
  • Total Sugars7 g

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Questions & Reviews

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  • Nevaeh

    It was really good

    Thanks, so glad you loved it!

  • Cheryl

    I'm not a very experienced cook so I was nervous but this turned out really good. I was very proud and am going to enjoy it for lunch the next couple of days.

    Great job Cheryl! We are so glad you loved it!