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Broccoli Cheddar Soup is simple to make on the stove top with one pot and frozen broccoli. This creamy, warm, and comforting soup is perfect for cold weather. Serve inside bread bowls or with rolls to soak up all that cheesy cheddar goodness! Shredded sharp cheddar cheese really makes this broccoli soup delicious and the heavy cream makes it perfectly thick & creamy. 

If you want another version of broccoli cheese soup try my Broccoli Cheese Soup with Velveeta Cheese. It’s so creamy, silky smooth, and delicious. Or make my Creamy Broccoli Wild Rice Soup for a fun twist to the classic. 

A bowl of soup with broccoli and cheddar cheese.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

Warm up this winter to a bowl of this creamy & cheesy Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Made with frozen broccoli, freshly grated cheddar cheese, and heavy cream for lots of creaminess and thickness. It’s the perfect combination of flavors and so yummy served with bread to soak up all the cheesy goodness. 

It’s simple to make in one pot on the stove top. 

Horizontal photo of a bowl of soup with a spoon inside of it.

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter – You can use salted butter or unsalted butter. I usually always use salted butter because that is what I keep in my fridge. 
  • All-Purpose Flour – This is what provides that thick base for the soup when it’s mixed in with the melted butter. 
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – There really is no substitute for this. You need the fat from the heavy cream to help thicken the soup and give it that creamy & rich taste. No other milk will do that like heavy cream can. 
  • Frozen Broccoli Florets – Make sure to use the florets so you get the most pieces of the tree part of the broccoli. You also want to make sure that you thaw the frozen broccoli and then drain it before adding it into the soup. We want to thaw and drain it beforehand because it will cook faster and you will avoid all that extra water that happens when you use frozen broccoli inside soup recipes (as it thaws it gives off lots of water). 
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder – If wanted, substitute 1 small onion that has been finely chopped in place of the dried onion powder. My family prefers no onion chunks so I always use the onion powder. 
  • Kosher Salt – My preferred salt, especially for cooking, because it elevates the flavors without making it taste salty. 
  • Black Pepper
  • Sharp or Medium Cheddar Cheese – Buy a block of cheese and shred it yourself. I promise it’s worth it and tastes so much better in this soup. 

Ingredients needed for this soup recipe with each one labeled in text with what it is.

How To Make Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Cheddar Cheese

Learn how to make this one pot soup recipe with the easy steps below. Be sure and read to the bottom of the page where there is a printable recipe card, a pin it button so you can save this recipe for later, and a recipe card with all the details and all my tips.

  • Thaw & Drain Broccoli : Make sure that you place the bag of frozen broccoli out on the counter, at room temperature, 30-45 minutes before making the soup. Or you can also let it sit in the fridge all day. Dump the bag into a colander and let the excess water/liquid drain from the broccoli. You will just want to add the thawed and drained broccoli into the soup pot. 
  • Make the Roux : Melt the butter in a large saucepan, or soup pot, over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the flour and stir with a wire whisk until it forms a thick and smooth paste. This will only take about 30 seconds or so. While whisking constantly, add in the vegetable broth and heavy cream. 
  • Broccoli + Seasonings : Add in the thawed and drained broccoli plus all the dried seasonings. Stir to combine. 
  • Simmer : Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil it. If it starts to boil or get too hot, simply turn the heat down to medium-low or low heat. Cook and let simmer until the broccoli is softened to your preference and the soup is thicker in texture. 
  • Cheese : Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the shredded cheddar cheese until smooth and completely combined. 

How to make this recipe for broccoli cheddar soup with process photos for each step.

How to make this recipe for broccoli cheddar soup with process photos for each step.

How to make this recipe for broccoli cheddar soup with process photos for each step.

How to make this recipe for broccoli cheddar soup with process photos for each step.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup FAQ’s

  • How To Store Leftover Broccoli Cheddar Soup

    • Store leftovers inside an airtight container, in the fridge, for 3-4 days.
    • If leftovers are too thick, add some additional milk (does not have to be heavy cream), broth, or water to thin the soup out. 
    • You can reheat leftovers on the stove top inside a saucepan or in the microwave. 
  • Can I Freeze This Soup?

    • I do not recommend freezing this soup. It contains lots of cheese and once frozen and then thawed, the cheese will have a grainy and gritty texture, which will make the soup not smooth and creamy like when it’s fresh. 
    • But, freezing food is usually a personal thing and some may find that this soup freezes just fine. I don’t like freezing this soup so I never do, but you can always experiment and see if you like it. 
    • Freeze in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or container, for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge and then reheat on the stove top. 
  • Variation & Substitution Ideas

    • Diced Onion : Use 1 small onion (yellow or white onion) that is finely diced in place of the onion powder. My kids don’t like the onion chunks so I always use onion powder. 
    • Cheese : Sharp cheddar or medium cheddar are the preferred cheese to use but you could use any cheese you want. Mild cheddar would work well or try using a mix of cheese like parmesan cheese or Monterey Jack cheese. 
    • Chicken Broth : You can use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth if wanted. 
  • What Kind of Broccoli Should I Use for Broccoli Cheese Soup?

    • There are several different kinds of broccoli that you can use when making this soup. Most of them will have slightly different prep methods but they can all be used depending on what you prefer. 
      • Thawed & Drained Frozen Broccoli – This is my preferred broccoli to use in this recipe. Let the bag of frozen broccoli sit in the fridge for several hours, or you can set it out at room temperature for about 30 minutes beforehand, and then you will drain it using a colander to remove all the excess water from the thawed broccoli. 
      • Frozen Broccoli – You could just dump the bag of frozen broccoli directly into the soup. The simmer time will need to increase to help it soften and cook. I don’t like using frozen broccoli because it will give off lots of water as it thaws and cooks in the soup. 
      • Fresh Broccoli – You can use fresh broccoli that has been chopped into small bite-sized pieces. Just check the softness of the broccoli during the simmer time and adjust the time as necessary. 
      • Steamable Broccoli – Another option is to buy a bag of steamable broccoli and cook it according to package instructions. Add it into the soup and let it simmer according the recipe instructions below. I will also do it this way because you will end up with really soft broccoli, which is what my kids prefer, so this is a good way to get well softened and cooked broccoli in this soup. 
  • Serving Suggestions

    • I always make my One Hour Rolls to go with this broccoli cheese soup. Having something to soak up all that cheesy goodness is a must! So buy some at the store, buy frozen rolls that you heat in the oven, or make your own. 
    • It’s really delicious served inside a bread bowl. 
    • Serve this soup with saltine crackers and/or oyster crackers on the side. Kids love those oyster crackers so I always serve this soup with them along with some bread. 
    • Try making homemade French Bread. I’ve made this recipe several times and it’s always a hit. 

Soup inside a bowl with broccoli and crackers to the side of it.

Recipe Tips

Here are a few of my helpful tips so that you can have success recreating this recipe in your own kitchen ♥

  • Use a Block of Cheddar Cheese : Do not buy the bag of pre shredded cheddar cheese! Buy the small block of cheese (medium cheddar or sharp cheddar) and shred it yourself with a cheese grater. I promise that it is so worth it. I normally use medium cheddar cheese but if you want more of a bite of cheddar (a stronger flavor) then use sharp cheddar cheese. 
  • Thaw & Drain The Broccoli : It’s important to thaw the broccoli, at room temperature for about 30 minutes or in the fridge all day, before starting this soup recipe. Once the broccoli is thawed you want to drain it into a colander to get rid of all the excess water/liquid. If you add the frozen broccoli straight into the soup, it will give off lots of excess water as it cooks, which will dilute the soup and make it taste different. 
  • No Substitute for Heavy Cream : You need the high fat content from heavy cream to thicken the soup and make it rich and delicious. No other milk will give you the same results as heavy cream will. 
  • Broccoli Florets : I recommend buying the frozen broccoli florets rather than the broccoli cuts because the florets will have more of that green tree part of the broccoli rather than lots of stem pieces inside the bag. 

Overhead shot of broccoli soup with a spoon in the bowl.

A pot of soup with a wooden scoop holding some inside of it.

More Soup Recipes You’ll Love

Overhead shot of broccoli soup with a spoon in the bowl.
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Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Broccoli Cheddar Soup is simple to make on the stove top with one pot and frozen broccoli. Serve inside bread bowls or with rolls to soak up all that cheesy cheddar goodness! Shredded sharp cheddar cheese really makes this broccoli soup delicious and the heavy cream makes it perfectly thick & creamy. 

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bag (12 oz) frozen broccoli florets thawed & drained
  • teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 block (8 oz) sharp cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan or soup pot, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted add in the flour, while whisking constantly, and stir until a smooth paste forms.
    * This takes about 25-30 seconds of whisking for the paste to form.
    How to make this recipe for broccoli cheddar soup with process photos for each step.
  • Slowly pour in the vegetable broth and heavy whipping cream (while whisking constantly) and whisk until combined and smooth.
    How to make this recipe for broccoli cheddar soup with process photos for each step.
  • Add in the thawed & drained broccoli, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Stir to mix everything together.
  • Let simmer for 15 minutes. Do not let it boil, if it's getting too hot turn the heat down to medium low or low.
    * Let it simmer until it's nicely thickened and the broccoli is to your liking. I prefer the broccoli pretty soft, so I let it cook the full 15 minutes.
    How to make this recipe for broccoli cheddar soup with process photos for each step.
  • Remove the soup from the stove and add the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until it's mixed in smoothly and completely.
    How to make this recipe for broccoli cheddar soup with process photos for each step.
  • Serve with additional shredded cheddar cheese if wanted.

Notes

Thaw Frozen Broccoli : Let the frozen broccoli sit out on the counter, at room temperature, for about 30 minutes - 45 minutes before starting the recipe. You an also just leave it in the fridge all day to thaw. It's important to drain the thawed broccoli in a colander so you don't add all that extra water into the soup. 
Broccoli : You can use fresh broccoli if wanted, but the cook/simmer time will need to increase in order for it to cook thoroughly.
You can also just use a bag of steamable broccoli that is microwaved to package directions and then add it into the soup when it calls for broccoli. I do it this way because my family prefers soft broccoli in soup, and using the steamable cooked broccoli provides that soft texture.
I also recommend not using completely frozen broccoli, without thawing & draining it first, because frozen broccoli releases a lot of water once it thaws, which will dilute the soup and change the taste/texture slightly. 
Cheese : The recommended cheese to use is sharp cheddar cheese or medium cheddar cheese. Either one of those will provide the best cheddar flavor to this soup. Do not use the pre-shredded bags of shredded cheese. They won't melt smoothly into the soup and it leaves a gritty texture to it. Buy a small block of cheese, shred it yourself on a cheese grater, for best results. 
Vegetable Broth : Chicken broth can also be substituted. If using low-sodium broth you may want to add additional salt. Taste at the end and see. 
Salt : If using regular iodized table salt decrease the amount to 1/2 teaspoon and add from there if needed. 
Onion : Instead of the onion powder you can use 1 small onion (finely chopped). Use a yellow or white onion. We prefer the onion powder because it makes it so there are no onion chunks in the soup. 

Nutrition

Calories: 540kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 1206mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2382IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 353mg | Iron: 1mg

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Soup RrecBroccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe hero photo of a bowl of soup.

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