Broccoli Cheese Soup {The Best!}

September 14, 2020  ·  Published November 18, 2015

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Broccoli Cheese Soup is the ultimate comfort food! This is deliciously cheesy, amazingly rich and creamy, and it has plenty of fresh broccoli (cut into itty bitty pieces of course) dotted throughout.

Love this flavor combo? Also try my Cheddar Broccoli Potato Soup and Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup.

Single serving of broccoli cheese soup in a white bowl with crackers to the side.

The BEST Broccoli Cheese Soup

This truly is the best broccoli cheese soup I’ve ever had! Better than the local soup shops and chain restaurants (Panera Bread). And this recipe doesn’t have any of that strange, shelf stable processed cheese like some of those famous versions do.

It’s made with minimal ingredients, it’s incredibly hearty, brimming with fresh homemade flavor and it’s easy to make.

Chances are it will quickly become one of your go-to soup recipes! In other words, a staple on the fall and winter dinner menu.

Bring on the cold and sweater weather, we are ready! Ok well maybe not really, but warm and cozy soups makes it so much more bearable, right?

Cheers to soup season!

White pot full of broccoli cheese soup.

Broccoli Cheese Soup Ingredients

  • Fresh broccoli: You’ll only need the florets for this recipe, the tree-like ends. Reserve stalks for another use like coleslaw.
  • Butter: Stick with butter not olive oil here for best flavor.
  • Yellow onion: Onion is a critical ingredient to build of flavor of this soup. Additionally you can also add 1 carrot thinly diced too if you want to sneak in another vegetable.
  • Garlic: We only use 1 clove in this recipe so it doesn’t overwhelm the flavor of the cheese.
  • All-purpose flour: This is used to thicken the soup and it helps the cheese melt smoother.
  • Milk: I usually use low-fat milk here, but to make it richer you could use whole milk.
  • Chicken broth: Vegetable broth also works well.
  • Heavy cream: You’ll love how rich this makes the soup. We don’t need a whole lot, a little can go a long way.
  • Sharp cheddar cheese: Extra sharp is delicious too for a bolder cheese flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese: A secret ingredient that really makes it the best!
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper: Add to taste. Keep in mind the cheeses have quite a bit so careful not to overdue it.

Image of ingredients used to make broccoli cheese soup. Shows broccoli, sharp cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, butter, onion, garlic, flour, heavy cream, chicken broth, salt and pepper and milk.

How to Make Broccoli Cheese Soup

  1. Saute onion: Melt butter in pot over medium-high heat. Add in onions and cook, stirring frequently until nearly soft, about 4 – 5 minutes.
  2. Make roux: Add in garlic and flour, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add liquids: While whisking, slowly pour in milk then chicken broth. Stir in broccoli.
  4. Let thicken: Cook stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken.
  5. Let broccoli cook: Then reduce heat to low and allow to cook, stirring very frequently, until broccoli is tender, about 6 – 8 minutes.
  6. Add cream and cheeses: Stir in heavy cream, cheddar and parmesan cheese, mixing until melted.
  7. Season: Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with more cheddar if desired.

Collage of six images showing steps of making broccoli cheese soup. Shows making roux and bachamel sauce, adding broccoli and cooking, mixing in cream and finishing with shredded cheeses.Pot of finished broccoli cheese soup shown on the stove top.

Will Frozen Broccoli Work?

Yes. Keep in mind fresh is best and will also have the best texture but in a pinch frozen broccoli florets, thawed and diced smaller will work too.

Can I Use White Cheddar?

Yes. Sharp or extra sharp white cheddar works great too. Just keep in mind the soup will be white instead of tinted orange.

Can You Freeze this Soup?

No. Because of the milk and cheese in this soup, it will not freeze well. It’s best enjoyed within a few days of making it. But trust me, it will disappear quickly!

How to Store and Reheat

  • Leftover soup can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days.
  • Reheat over warm heat on the stovetop in a saucepan, stirring frequently.
  • Or reheat individual servings in a microwave safe bowl in the the microwave on 50% power, stir occasionally.
  • Keep in mind cheese may separate a little upon reheating it will still taste delicious though.

Ladle full of broccoli cheese soup lifted from a pot filled with soup.

What to Serve with Broccoli Cheese Soup

Baked Potatoes

1-Hour Homemade Bread or No Knead Bread

Homemade Bread Bowls

Tips for the Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • Cut broccoli into tiny pieces. That way they cook faster and the overall texture of the soup is better. No bitting into big chunks of broccoli.
  • Finley dice up the onions very small or they won’t cook through fast enough. No one wants crunchy onions in this soup.
  • Use plenty of cheese. And avoid mild or medium cheddar or soup won’t be very flavorful.
  • Add some parmesan in addition to cheddar. It adds lots of flavor.
  • Don’t overheat (boil) the béchamel sauce (flour-milk mixture) or it won’t have the same thickening properties.
  • Don’t use pre-shredded cheeses or the soup may end up grainy, plus the flavor won’t be as good. Start with a block and grate it fresh.
  • Stir in cheeses off heat so they don’t separate and curdle. You can even let the soup cool for a few minutes first.
  • Wait to season. I like to add salt at the end after salty cheeses are added, that way you won’t overdue it.

Image overhead of two servings of broccoli cheese soup in serving bowls. Crackers, broccoli, bread and cheese are shown to the side.

More Cozy Soup Recipes You’ll Love:

Single serving of broccoli cheese soup in a white bowl with crackers to the side.
5 from 33 votes

Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe

Truly the BEST Broccoli Cheese Soup! It's perfectly cheesy, hearty, rich, creamy, and it's super easy to make! Pair it with fresh bread for a delicious cozy dinner. Makes about 8 cups.
Servings: 6
Prep10 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Ready in: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp butter, cut into 1 Tbsp pieces
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/4 cups low-fat milk, then more to thin if desired
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups (packed) finely chopped fresh broccoli florets*
  • 10 oz (2 1/2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese or extra sharp cheddar cheese, plus more for serving**
  • 1 oz (1/3 cup) finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Melt butter in pot over medium-high heat. Add in onions and cook, stirring frequently until nearly soft, about 4 - 5 minutes. 
  • Add in garlic and flour, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
  • While whisking, slowly pour in milk then chicken broth. Stir in broccoli. 
  • Cook stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Then reduce heat to low and allow to cook, stirring very frequently, until broccoli is tender, about 6 - 8 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat. Stir in heavy cream then stir in cheddar and parmesan cheese, mixing until melted. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with more cheddar if desired.

Notes

  • *From about 2 heads of broccoli, use floret portion only. I began with about 1 lb broccoli crowns, chopped off majority of the stems, then chopped the florets into very small pieces about 1/2 inch. Sometimes I like extra broccoli so I use 4 cups.
  • **For milder flavor use sharp cheddar for bolder flavor use extra shape cheddar cheese.
  • **Use freshly shredded cheese from blocks of cheese for best flavor and texture.
Nutrition Facts
Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 541 Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value*
Fat 39g60%
Saturated Fat 24g150%
Cholesterol 121mg40%
Sodium 600mg26%
Potassium 739mg21%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 2024IU40%
Vitamin C 109mg132%
Calcium 634mg63%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.