Healthy broccoli cheddar soup packed with carrots, broccoli, garlic, and cheese. This creamy velvety soup is much better than Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup and can be made in under 30 minutes for a fraction of the price! Soup is an essential winter meal and when it comes to picking our absolute favorite soup, this cheddar broccoli soup has earned the #1 spot. It’s a favorite of kids because of it’s creamy texture and cheesy flavor, and loved by parents because it’s secretly loaded with a ton of nutritious veggies.
If you’ve ever had Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup then you will LOVE this soup. It’s almost a copycat version of it except with much more flavor and texture.
The soup is made with an almost caramelized onion and garlic-based and thickened with a roux (butter and flour mixture) then simmered with veggie stock, broccoli, and carrots. At the very end, half & half and freshly grated cheddar cheese are added to give it a velvety smooth texture.
The result is a deliciously rich, thick and creamy broccoli soup that is loaded with the comforting flavors of broccoli and cheddar.
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP (BETTER THAN PANERA’S)
To make this delicious cheddar cheese you will only need a handful of ingredients, a large pot, and 30 minutes. Gather all your ingredients and let’s get cooking!
Broccoli: Fresh broccoli florets along with the stems chopped into small bite-size pieces. A 12oz bag of frozen broccoli will also work. The instructions and cooking time are exactly the same.
Carrots: You will need about 1 cup of grated, finely minced, or julienned carrots. It is about 1 large carrot or 2 small carrots. This ingredient is optional and can be adjusted to your taste preference.
Cheddar: To get the best possible flavor, we like to use an 8oz block of mild or medium cheddar cheese. You can also use 2 cups of pre-grated cheddar cheese.
Half & Half: Half and half will yield a texture that is not too thick or too thin. It can also be replaced with milk for a light soup or heavy cream for keto dieters.
Stock: Veggie or chicken stock will work great and if you don’t have any on hand, replace the stock with water and add a bouillon cube.
You will also need a chopped onion, minced garlic, butter, flour, salt pepper and paprika (can be subbed with nutmeg if desired).
Scroll down for the full recipe, video, and nutritional facts. Please don’t forget to rate the recipe below and tag us on Instagram @gimmedelicious!
CAN YOU FREEZE BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP?
To refrigerate: Place any leftover soup in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove-top over medium-low heat.
To freeze: Place in freezer-safe zip bags and freeze flat or in freezer-safe containers. To reheat, thaw completely then warm on low heat to prevent curdling.
HOW TO SERVE BROCOLLI CHEDDAR SOUP
This delicious soup is packed full of veggies and texture and can be perfectly eaten stand-alone and will make a filling meal. It can also be served in a bread bowl (like in Panera) or with crusty bread for dipping or topped with croutons! If you’re a meat-eater, you can top it with chopped grilled or shredded chicken or mix them in.
30 Minute Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Better than Panera!)
- 4 tablespoons butter ½ stick
- ½ medium onion chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tablespoon AP flour
- 2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp paprika or ground nutmeg, optional
- 3 cups broccoli florets or 1 large head, cut into small pieces
- 1 large carrot grated, julienned or finely chopped
- 2 cups half & half or milk or light or heavy cream
- 8 oz block grated cheddar cheese or 2 cups (mild, medium, or sharp )
- Melt butter in a large dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 3-4 minutes or until softened and light gold. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
- Add flour and whisk for 1-2 minutes or until the flour begins to turn golden in color. Pour in the chicken stock, broccoli florets, carrots, and seasoning. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the broccoli and carrots are cooked through.
- Stir in half & half and cheddar cheese and simmer for another minute. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Serve with toasted crusty bread or in a bread bowl if desired.
This recipe was pretty easy and came out good. I’m not a huge fan of super creamy soups, so I tweaked it a little. I eyeballed the broccoli florets, so I might have used too much, which led to me needing to add 2 and 1/2 cups of chicken broth to make sure there was enough liquid to boil the veggies. I decided to throw this in my Vitamix before I returned it to the pot, and added a cup and a half of half and half. I also only used 6oz of cheese. For me personally, I think it turned out great.
The soup came out awesome and it’s really good
My 93 yr. Mom really liked it,I did not have carrots, I also omitted the flour, came out GREAT,VERY TASTY.
Great recipe! Everyone loved it!
Excellent! Followed recipe exactly and indeed, it was better than Panera!
Once.you got.the recipe loaded…put.your phone.on airplane mode
Elizabeth Burnham says
Yummy! I used a Qt of stock and half whole milk and half heavy cream. Next time I’d add a little more onion, carrot and brocolli.
For those who have made it with whole milk or 2%, does it actually taste good? I really, really don’t want to use light cream or fat free light cream. What about non dairy milk like oat? I have that in my fridge.
Christina Forzani says
I can’t tell what year or month this recipe or comments were published, but I made it tonight (November 2022) and it is SOOOOO good! Use organic grass-fed 2% milk and Tillamok cheddar. It’s for a friend who has cancer and requested milk, but if it were for me I would use unsweetened full-fat soy milk, my preference for non-dairy savory recipes. You could even try it totally vegan with Follow Your Heart cheddar, which I think would be the best brand for this recipe. That’s my two cents!
Jen J says
WOW. I usually hate broccoli cheddar soup. Made this for my husband in bread bowls because he was feeling under the weather. Between him, me, and the kids we were scraping the bowl for more. Delicious! Made it as written with fresh broccoli and got compliments from all.
Hands down the best recipe for broccoli cheddar soup. Thank you!
This recipe was amazing. I added 1 extra cup of stock and topped it with home-made croutons. DELICIOUS! There was non leftover. Ate it all. Whole family loved it. ❤️
Delicious! Thank you!
I make this a lot. Typically I use a combination of evaporated and whole milk and it is so smooth. Tonight I used cauliflower in place of the broccoli. Delicious. I did partially cook the cauliflower ahead of time. I always add a little mustard and a few sprinkles of Parmesan for added sharpness. It is so good.
Not sure why there are a few complaints about this lacking flavour, as it turned out excellent. However, I changed it a bit and made double the amount so we have enough to feed about 8 people. The key things are to use FRESH ground pepper and Himalayan salt or some type of salt with extra flavor… not that cheap mass produced table salt.
For chicken broth use the Organic Chicken Base Better Than Bouillon. This stuff is made from chickens and is the best you will buy, we used this in a restaurant that I worked in. Just boil your 1 Quart of water (32 oz) and add 4 teaspoons of the Better Than Bouillon base to the hot water and use a hand whisk so that it dissolves well.
Full stick of butter
2 whole medium onion chopped/diced
2 ounces of minced garlic
8 tablespoon AP flour (I use the King Arthur Flour Unbleached All-Purpose/ don’t use that bleached trash)
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 tsp Himalayan Salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp of Hungarian Paprika
3 large heads, cut into small pieces
1 large carrot grated
4 cups (1-quart container) half & half (I use fat-free because otherwise, this soup will be EXTREMELY fattening)
12 oz block sharp cheddar cheese (buy a whole block and just cut into like 20 cubes so it melts better)
This is how I make it and dang is it good. My 10-year-old son wanted Broccoli Cheddar Soup and I was not going to get that can stuff, because as we all know, that stuff is completely loaded in salt… and fresh is always best.
Anyways, this is my second time making it and this is how I made it. I shared some with a neighbor and she LOVED IT….
Best thing is to make this soup along with fresh sourdough bread that you just baked about 1 hour ago. A bowl of this soup with Sourdough bread is divine!!!!
Amazing! And so easy! I live overseas and was craving this soup. I was skeptical of how it would turn out because I’m partial to Panera Bread’s. This was spot on, so easy to make, and hit the spot. I added a little more onions and garlic based on some comments, but even if you felt it needed more at the end, you could season with onion and garlic powder if need be. Other recipes say to add the milk /cream early on which would curdle or separate. This recipe has the correct order and works seamlessly. This will be a regular in our household now! Thank you so much!
Not impressed. I followed the recipe to a T. If I make it again I would add a lot more onions & garlic. It does not have a lot of flavor even with more cheese.
Sally King says
You did gimmedeliciuos. This was so good. Thank you.
Jill Peterson says
This recipe was very good, my husband scarfed it down and complimented me on the soup. I added a bit of provolone and a good dose of Cajun seasoning
It was excellent
Excellent recipe and can be made very quickly.
Very good recipe. I doubled it, added the carrots with the onions and let them soften, added plenty of salt and pepper, and used nutmeg. I did use sharp cheddar and half and half. Definitely a keeper.
I didn’t cook the broccoli long enough, my fault, but the flavor lacked something. Needed more zing.
Shaina B. says
The base recipe is good, but I’m one of those cook with your heart kinda people, I add more onion and more garlic, also I add ginger powder, extra on all the listed spices, slap ya momma seasoning, a tiny dash of chili powder, a dash of clove, and just a splash of soy sauce. I also use sharp cheddar and I’m telling yall my family can’t get enough. Better than Perera 100%.
I was really impressed with how easy the recipe was to follow and how easy the ingredients were to get together. If I made this again I would probably add a little more broth and less cheese but honestly the soup came out silky, flavorful and delicious! I have no real complaints !!!!
Waaaay too much salt in the original recipe, it’s overwhelming. I made this a second time without adding the extra salt and it turned out wonderful!
Love this recipe! I used paprika instead of nutmeg. I added two slices of provolone and parmesan. Closest tasting recipe to Panera bread.
It turned out to be yummy.. my son loved it
Not 4 servings as it says up the top. I had to at least triple liquid and then use cornflour to thicken to get enough for 5 small bowls. Yummy though. Kids liked it, but would have liked it smooth. I was too lazy to blend it.
Served with some parmesan toasts.
Janet Warr says
Delicious! I followed recipe to a T and it turned out very well!
Lynne White says
This was delicious! Made exactly as written. I had a 2# bag of pre washed and trimmed broccoli, so I made one batch tonight. To use the rest of the broccoli I started the recipe cooking the onions ten added the broccoli and carrots and 1 cup of chicken broth. I cooked for 8 minutes. At this point I am going to freeze the mixture. When ready to make the soup I’ll make the roux, add the additional 1cup of broth and 2 cups of half and half and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the broccoli vegetable mixture and cook for another 5 minutes and add the salt and spices. Then I’ll blend with stick blender and, off heat, add the cheese. I think it should work.
Debbie Bump says
followed this recipe pretty much “to a ‘t’ “, but the cheese seemed to curdle, rather than melt into the soup, smoothly… is the cheese supposed to curdle??? anyone else have that issue? thanks.
Your cheese probably broke. Next time when you add the cheese do it a little at a time and make sure your soup is off burner or on low. Temp below 150 f. If soup is too hot it causes the cheese to separate 🙂
In addition to adding cheese while burner is off. Do not cut corners and by any preshredded cheeses they have an anti clumping agent which also causes that.
Janet Ammitzboll says
It did the same thing for me. Wasted a whole lot of food making this. 😩
Cheese curdles when it gets cooked in too hot and or too quickly
Did your cheese have enough fat in it ? If you followed the recipe to a T it should have came out pretty smooth and silky . Good luck next time!
This was so good and easy! I didn’t have carrots and I used GF AP flour, and vegetable broth and decided to add potatoes to help make it more filling and it came out great! My picky family loved it! Plus I added some diced ham as a garnish. Lol
Soup Is Magic says
I love the ham garnish. Hahhaa
I made this soup very much it was very good very quick easy to make. I did keto-friendly with one cup of half and half and 1 cup of heavy cream though. Negativity I wish you had a barcode that you can scam because I keep track of my calories on my phone.
Made this today. Yummy but a tad bland. I jazzes do it up a bit by adding a pinch of cayenne….just like I do with mac n cheese. That did the trick!
Tastes EXACTLY like the Panera soup! Don’t be nervous when the onion, broccoli, carrots and stock are cooking. I kept thinking how is this going to turn into a soup?! Trust the process. It looks like a small amount of liquid but you’ll be adding heavy cream/milk later so don’t worry! It turned out so yummy. Thank you for the recipe!
How can I thicken the broccoli soup without adding flour ?
Debbie Bump says
oh, goodness, i just bought some smoked paprika awhile back, and didn’t think to add a pinch! thanks for that suggestion!
This looks decadent and delicious as an occasional splurge, but seriously, how can you call this “healthy” with a straight face? At 28g of SATURATED fat per bowl (45g of regular old fat), this is so very far from healthy it’s laughable. Yes, there are some healthy elements, but that’s like calling mocha almond fudge ice cream healthy because almonds are good for you. Maybe consider removing that labeling?
Laurie Larkin says
We’ve been duped for years by the medical/diet community. Fat does not make you fat, sugar and carbs do as they are stored as fat. So your laughable comment is grossly inaccurate. The mocha fudge ice cream comment (as the ice cream is a major unhealthy food) is about on target.
Holly S says
You are way behind on nutritional science, hon. Fat is not unhealthy and saturated fats don’t mean what you think they mean. Do some research, you’re embarrassing yourself.
Debbie Bump says
ummm…..someone i know was very proud to have lost 80 pounds going “keto”, but when she had a heart attack, she found out her cholesterol numbers were through the roof!
“Keto” isn’t eating a bunch of fat. It’s eating low carbs. Sorry to hear about your friend and I hope they have since recovered, however this is also why diets in general should be consulted/monitored.
My husband is the one usually cooking but I saw this recipe and was eager to try it. Having everything prepped in the beginning before starting is really helpful (I don’t alway do that, not sure if everyone does either) since the recipe moves pretty quick. I’ve made it 4 times already! I added a bit of smoked paprika and It goes so well! The first time I made it we added more broth to cover the broccoli and carrots and the soup came out more watery but still tasted great. The rest of the times I added just the two cups and even though it didn’t cover the veggies they cooked well and the soup came out thick the way I like it!!
This is the best broccoli cheddar soup I’ve ever tried and so easy to make. I did add a little extra stock and my kids don’t like onions so I used onion powder instead.
Made this tonight. I don’t usually follow recipes but I did with this one. It was delicious.
Comes out yummy, but I doubled the recipe and had to add more stock as it wasn’t enough to add all my brocoli and carrots. Feeding a bigger family so I needed more to make. It isn’t as thick but still just as yummy.
Amazing!! Somehow didn’t have nutmeg, but paprika worked just fine. Delicious, fast and easy. Second time, used romanesco & broccoli. Also used the stems, sautéed with onion and celery/carrot mix before adding broth. Outstanding!!
Donna Moon says
Loved it. I used a little less butter. I used gluten free flour. I used the entire 32 oz of vegetable broth. It came out great. Used the Braun stick just a bit to thicken but left lots of broccoli pieces. The broccoli was from our garden.
I made this recipe for dinner tonight & it was so delicious. Everyone enjoyed it with fresh Cuban bread.
Tastes amazing and so easy to make!
Great recipe, but add more chicken stock. Otherwise, it comes out more like a thick stew than a soup. 🙂
Sara S says
Tastes just like Panera’s, but better! Truly one of the best soups I’ve ever made. The prep takes a bit of time, but once you have everything chopped the soup comes together very quickly. Doesn’t need to simmer for hours like most other soups.
This is my go-to on a cold day! I’ve made it several times now. Even the pickiest eaters in the house LOVE this soup. My step dad says it’s the best soup he’s ever had!
You can be generous with the broccoli and it turns out just fine. I always use half/half for the cream, nutmeg, and shred a Tillamook cheese block. Thank you for the recipe 🙂
Overall this was very good! I did have to add 4 cups of vegetable stock instead of two. Now I will be honest, I did not measure out the broccoli and carrots so I most likely added more than what the recipe called for 🙂 but adding the extra vegetable stock did the trick! It was extremely good!
This was absolutely delicious and so easy. Yum!
I’ve made this creamy soup several times as written.. This is delicious and as good or better than Panera’s..
Easy and delicious! I added a little more broccoli, otherwise, followed the recipe.
M. Swazer says
If you can read, and follow directions, you will have the best soup of your life! It’s so creamy and decadent and well balanced. I did add celery (2 stalks chopped) at the same time as the onions and skipped carrots only because I was out. Man, this recipe is amazing and I whipped it up in half and hour then had to stop myself from standing over the stove and eating from the pot…
My family loves meat with each meal so I pan seared a ham steak and served sliced ham on the side. My husband chopped up his pieces and put it in the soup. Delicious!!
My family also has to have meat. This soup definitely doesn’t need it , but thry are carnivores!!! I only had deli ham so i added a little to each of their bowls. Such a great soup!!!
Cindy Lamb says
I followed this exactly and it was fabulous.
Miranda Murillo says
Just tried this soup today and was so easy and delicious! I myself added a bit more of cheddar cheese for the flavor and to make it a bit creamier, would reccommend to people who are learning how to cook
Absolutely delicious 🤤 and true to timing this was quick and superb!