Creamy and delicious broccoli and cheese soup that’s ready to go in just 30 minutes! An easy Panera copycat recipe that tastes amazing served in a homemade bread bowl.
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Best Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe
This broccoli cheese soup is rich, creamy, and perfect for a cold winter day. Heck, I’d even eat it on a hot summer day! It’s just that good. We served it in homemade bread bowls and my whole family absolutely loved it. We can’t wait to make this recipe again!
This broccoli cheese soup recipe was inspired by a little bakery that I visited in NYC. Their broccoli cheddar soup was served in a bread bowl and was my absolute favorite! So creamy, cheesy and delicious.
It also reminds me of the Panera broccoli cheddar soup. I’ve tried making it numerous times and have never seemed to get the ingredients right. But I finally perfected it and the recipe is SO delicious!
You can’t go wrong with a creamy, rich, cheesy soup when the weather is cold! Easy broccoli cheese soup has everything you need to have a healthy and hearty soup ready in minutes. From fresh vegetables, the perfect blend of seasonings, to pantry staples, create the best soup with the best ingredients!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Butter and flour: Used to make the roux, which helps thicken the soup and make it hearty.
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic will give you the best flavor. Learning how to mince garlic is an easy skill that will come in handy many times in the kitchen!
- Stock: Chicken or vegetable stock both work great. Stock is a bit thicker than broth, which is why I prefer it over chicken broth or vegetable broth.
- Half and half: Adds a creamy richness, as well as helps thicken the soup.
- Seasonings: Kosher salt, white pepper (more mild than black pepper) and wait for it….nutmeg! It may sound strange, but adding a small hint of nutmeg is the perfect finishing touch on this broccoli & cheese soup.
- Broccoli: Wash and cut the broccoli into small florets for the perfect bite-size pieces.
- Carrots: You can grate or shred your own carrots, or buy a bag of shredded carrots from the grocery store.
- Cheese: Freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese gives the soup a bold flavor and the perfect cheesy texture.
For a more subtle taste, feel free to use regular cheddar cheese. Fresh parmesan also tastes delicious mixed in. You can also add in some chopped onion while you sauté the garlic with the butter for even more flavor.
How to Make Homemade Broccoli and Cheese Soup
This cheesy broccoli soup is simple to make and comes together in four easy steps. Making the roux is the most important part to insure the soup is going to be thick and creamy. Your family is going to love this savory soup when you make it!
- Make roux. Melt butter in a large pot over medium to low heat, then add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in flour and cook until golden brown. Add in chicken stock, half and half, salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir. Cook for 5-10 minutes (stirring occasionally).
- Simmer. Then add broccoli and carrots. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Combine. Mix in cheese and stir until just combined. Serve in bread bowls or with rolls.
- Cheese. The key to the best broccoli cheese soup is grating your own cheese! It makes it super melty and delicious. If you buy the pre-shredded bags, the cheese won’t melt as well. I like to use sharp cheddar cheese because it gives it adds a bolder flavor.
- Veggies. To make this recipe even quicker, you can steam the veggies separately until tender while you make the roux. Then just mix in the cooked veggies and cheese and it’ll be ready to go. You can always add in extra broccoli and carrots if you want your soup to be more veggie forward.
- Thickening the soup. The soup is already super thick and creamy, but you can make it even thicker by adding in an extra tablespoon or so of flour or cornstarch.
5 star review
I made this for a family party and everyone agreed it was the best broccoli cheese soup ever! My mom even took some to her elderly neighbor who agreed it was the best she ever had and she’s in her 90’s!-Melissa
Because of the creamy base, it doesn’t hold up that well in the freezer. The dairy included in the soup can cause separation, which will affect the consistency.
I’d recommend making this recipe on a week where you know you’ll be able to get through the leftovers in 3 to 4 days.
I wouldn’t say that this is the healthiest soup recipe in my arsenal. The full fat ingredients like heavy cream, butter and cheese are what gives this broccoli and cheese soup it’s rich and creamy flavor, so I don’t recommend using lighter alternatives. It’s worth the indulgence though!
Freshly grated cheese! The store-bought pre-shredded bags include extra additives that make it more difficult to melt. I recommend buying a fresh block of sharp cheddar cheese and grating it yourself for the best results.
Frozen broccoli tends to get a bit mushy, so I recommend using fresh broccoli florets for the best texture and flavor.
How to Store and Reheat
This cheesy broccoli soup will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 3-4 days. The leftovers make the perfect comforting lunch or dinner and are even better the next day! You can reheat the soup in the microwave or on the stove top until it’s warmed throughout.
Make this soup into a complete meal! This broccoli and cheese soup is perfect with a fluffy, soft potato rolls and a side salad. Finish with a slice of dutch apple pie or caramel butter bars to share with family and friends.
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Broccoli Cheese Soup
- ¼ cup butter , melted
- 1-2 cloves garlic , minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken stock , or vegetable stock
- 2 cups half and half
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1-2 cups steamed broccoli , cut into small pieces
- ¾ cup shredded carrots , steamed
- 2-2 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese
- In a large pan, begin to melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic and let cook for about a minute. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes, just until golden brown.
- Slowly add in chicken stock, half-and-half, kosher salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Stir together and let cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the broccoli and carrots and let simmer for another 15-20 minutes.
- Mix in the cheese and stir until just combined. Serve in bread bowls or with rolls.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
This turned out SO good! One of my favorite soups ever and such a great recipe :)
Glad to hear it, Erin. Thanks for the feedback.
We loved the bit of sweetness that the shredded carrots add. Oh so yummy served in bread bowls!
Thanks for sharing, Kara. That sounds like a fantastic idea!
This is one of my all time favorite soups! Creamy, cheesy, and delicious! Next time I will try it in a bread ball!
So glad you liked it, Diana. A bread bowl would be a great addition!
Is the nutrition on this per serving?
I made this for a family party and everyone agreed it was the best broccoli cheese soup ever! My mom even took some to her elderly neighbor who agreed it was the best she ever had and she’s in her 90’s! I can always count on this blog to for the best recipes! 💕
I love to hear this, thank you so much for sharing Melissa! :)
Delicious, I used skim milk instead of half and half. Just because I didn’t want it so rich. I added a dash of onion powder and used an extra clove of garlic. I love garlic. I used the Tuscan seasoned broccoli from green giant. I also made some instant rice to go along with the soup.
Your additions sound delicious, Melissa! Glad you were able to make the recipe your own :)
Made this soup last night for dinner, it was so good on a cold night. I Will be making it again for sure, maybe even double the portion 😊 Thanks for sharing!
Yummy! This is soon to be our family favorite! So excited to give this a try! Looks so delicious and full of flavor!
I’ve had a lot of broccoli cheese soups from lots of different places and lots of different recipes. this one is fantastic! Love it!
Super delicious! I did add a little more steamed broccoli at the request of my husband and we both loved it! Steaming the broccoli and carrots really cuts the time too. Thanks for sharing this Jamielyn, I can’t wait to try more of your recipes 😁
I’m so glad you and your husband enjoyed it! Thank you for your comment Joanne.