Broccoli Cheddar Soup! Rich, creamy, full-bodied cheddar soup loaded with broccoli tickles your taste buds and warms you from the inside out. Save time and the expense for a Panera soup when you create your own delectable broccoli and cheese soup in less than half an hour!

‘Tis the season for soup, and we have one for every day of the week! A few of our favorite go-to soup recipes: French Onion Soup, Old Fashioned Beef Vegetable Beef, Easy Roasted Tomato Soup, and phenomenal Lasagna Soup!

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a ladle full of cheese soup

Why Broccoli Cheddar Soup Rocks!

Warm and cozy broccoli cheese soup is just the thing for busy, cold, and blustery winter days! Our routines don’t get any shorter just because the daylight does. That’s what makes this quick and easy broccoli and cheese soup recipe a dinner dynamo around here! Roll with a simple salad, chewy Italian bread, and a relaxing Cranberry Cosmo hand-crafted with your own Cranberry Infused Vodka!

  • Dinner or Lunch – cheesy cozy comfort in a bowl
  • Simple to Make – layered with creamy, complex flavor
  • Fast and Easy – on the table in less than half an hour
  • Loaded with Veggies – high in fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients
  • Save more Time – prep veggies and cheese in advance
  • Share with Care  – broccoli soup recipe is easily doubled
ingredients for broccoli cheddar soup

What You Need For Broccoli And Cheese Soup

The beauty of a cheesy broccoli soup that is filling and full of flavor is the simplicity. No crazy ingredients or specialized prep, just dice and shred. (Who needs a Panera when you can make your own homemade broccoli cheese soup in less time than it takes to go pick it up?)

For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Mirepoix -Butter, Onion, Celery, and Carrots
  • Roux Mix – All-purpose Flour, Garlic Powder, Salt & Pepper
  • Liquids – Whole Milk, Vegetable Or Chicken Broth
  • Flavor Trio – Dijon Mustard, Sharp Cheddar, and Broccoli Florets

I usually get 1-2 large heads of broccoli for this soup recipe, using only the florets. Remove the stems and chop the crowns very small.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Ingredient Notes:

  • The mirepoix is diced for this cheesy broccoli soup recipe. If you prefer, you can prep larger pieces for a chunkier soup or use an immersion blender before adding the cheese and broccoli to have a velvety textured cheesy soup. 
  • Allow the roux mix to cook in and thoroughly blend with the mirepoix to avoid a raw flour aftertaste.
  • Bring the liquids to room temperature before slowly adding to the roux blend, breaking down any lumps.
  • Use sharp, freshly grated cheddar cheese to create a rich, intense broccoli cheddar soup flavor.

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How To Make Better Than Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup

All you need is a heavy-bottom stock pot or dutch oven, a sharp knife and a good whisk.

When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

  1. Saute the mirepoix in butter
  2. Stir in and cook the roux mix
  3. Simmer and thicken with stock, then milk
  4. Melt in cheese and mustard; add broccoli

Serve homemade broccoli cheddar soup with crusty bread for dipping, crackers, or Homemade Croutons.

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a warm bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with a piece of rustic bread

Cheesy Broccoli Soup Recipe Notes/Tips

  • Keep the heat medium to low when adding dairy to the broccoli soup. Too high heat will cause the cheese to become dehydrated and gritty. (curdled)
  • For the best texture and flavor in any creamy cheese soup, buy block cheese and grate it at home. Packaged shredded cheese is coated in anti-caking agents and does not melt as nicely as cheese without fillers.
  • Sharp (aged) cheddar is the preferred cheese for broccoli soup. The longer a cheddar ages, the deeper the flavor from increased “bitter” peptides for that “tangy” sweetness.
  • To thicken broccoli cheddar soup for dipping or smothering a baked potato, add one teaspoon of cornstarch slurry at a time to reach desired consistency.
  • Be sure to only use the broccoli crowns; you do not need the stems. Feel free to use more broccoli if you prefer.
  • Prepare for a busy week by prepping the mirepoix, broccoli, and cheese ahead of time. A terrific time saver.
close up of a bowl of soup with a spoon

Broccoli And Cheese Soup Recipe FAQs

What makes the broccoli cheese soup separate?

When the heat is too high, the dairy will curdle. This happens when the fat and moisture are released when the cheese proteins tighten up from the heat.

How do I stop the cheese from clumping in broccoli cheddar soup?

First, reduce the soup’s heat to a low simmer, or turn off the heat altogether before adding cheese. Next, be sure to sprinkle a small handful evenly over the surface of the hot mixture and stir gently until melted; continue adding one layer at a time. 

If you’ve turned off the heat, return the soup to a gentle simmer once the second or third layer of cheese is melted and incorporated. (The grated cheese will have lowered the temperature of the soup.) 

Also, avoid dumping thick pieces or heavy shreds of cheese, and don’t rush a good thing by throwing a globbed handful of cheese into your base.

How do you make broccoli and cheese soup thicker?

Depending on your dietary needs, there’s more than one option to thicken broccoli cheese soup. As noted above, a cornstarch slurry made with cold water or broth mixed into the heated soup is popular.
 
If you know you want a thicker soup from the start, increase the flour in the roux by an extra tablespoon, adding a bit more butter if needed.
 
Broccoli soup can always be thickened by slowly adding and stirring in more grated cheese.
 
The healthiest way to thicken broccoli cheese soup is to slice the leftover stems into discs and steam them until tender. Drain well, puree in the food processor, then add to the soup.

cheddar broccoli soup in a white bowl

How To Store Broccoli And Cheese Soup

Refrigerate/Leftovers

Leftover broccoli soup can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing broccoli cheddar soup because the milk and cheese can separate and become gritty.

Reheat the cheese and broccoli soup slowly on the stove or on reduced power in the microwave until heated through. Reheated broccoli soup is great slathered on a baked potato with crispy bacon bits.

ladle of broccoli cheese soup

Serving Ideas For Cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

It’s surprising how versatile broccoli and cheese soup can be for an easy dinner or yummy hot lunch. Easily paired up with crunchy veggies for dipping or serve broccoli soup with one of these options:

a hot bowl of broccoli cheese soup with a spoon

Additions To Homemade Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Panera has nothing on this homemade broccoli cheddar soup recipe! Nothing beats a classic soup recipe made from scratch, where you control the quality and the ingredients. Here are a few additional touches for the non-traditionalists to amp up the broccoli soup ingredients or the presentation!

  • Tabasco
  • Cauliflower
  • Squashes
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Rotisserie Chicken 
  • Cubed Ham
  • Bacon bits
  • Sour cream
  • Parmesan

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a bowl of soup with a ladle
a ladle full of cheese soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Panera Copycat Recipe)

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Broccoli Cheddar Soup! Rich, creamy, full-bodied cheddar soup loaded with broccoli warms you from the inside out. Skip Panera and create your own delectable broccoli and cheese soup in less than half an hour!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded (+ extra for garnish)
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli florets

Instructions

  1. Using a Dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot melt butter and saute onion, carrots and celery stirring often until vegetables become tender (about 5 minutes).
  2. Stir in the garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir continuously for about 1 minute until vegetables are coated and the flour thickens. 
  3. Slowly stir in the vegetable stock and simmer until soup thickens (about 5 minutes). Add milk and stir frequently while soup continues to simmer and thicken.
  4. Turn heat to low and add mustard then stir in shredded cheese ½ cup at a time until all of the cheese is melted.  Add broccoli and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
  5. Serve with crusty bread for dipping or crackers in soup bowls or bread bowls.

Notes

  • This soup does not freeze well, so I don’t recommend freezing the soup.
  • Be sure to only use broccoli florets (chopped pretty tiny), you do not need the stems. I usually get 1-2 large heads of broccoli, remove the stems and work with the remaining crowns, chopping pretty small for 3 cups. Feel free to use more broccoli if you prefer.
  • Sharp cheddar is recommended for the most flavor.
  • For the best texture and flavor, buy a block of sharp cheddar and grate the cheese at home. Pre-shredded cheese does not melt the same and can be grainy in texture.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 265Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 470mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 12g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

Broccoli cheddar soup in a white bowl and in a soup ladle