Broccoli Cheddar Soup is easy to make on the stove top or instant pot! Learn how to make broccoli cheese soup with a couple of secret ingredients that make it the best!

broccoli cheddar soup in a bowl

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

My all time favorite, could eat every single day soup!  I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to share this soup with you guys! Not only because it’s my fave but because it has been tested and perfected and you’re going to love it.  It is so easy to make at home, and this is not a copy cat recipe, it’s ten times better than any local or chain restaurant broccoli soup!  I have a couple of “secret ingredients” that I’m going to tell you about that make this the most cheesy, indulgent broccoli cheese soup you have ever had!  If you’re looking  for some more of our best soup recipes try out this amazing Crockpot Potato Soup and creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup and our indulgent Creamy Corn Chowder!

Ingredients for Broccoli Cheddar Soup:

  1. Veggies:  To start, you will need a medium to large yellow onion diced pretty finely.  Carrots, you can use shredded or diced, I prefer to dice mine.  Garlic, we go with four cloves, use it all it helps the flavor!  You’re going to sweat these veggies in butter on medium-low heat for about 7-8 minutes, and you don’t want to skip this part, it adds amazing flavor to the soup!
  2. Chicken Broth/Stock.  So, I like to use Better than Bouillon roasted chicken base and make my own broth because I can control the flavor.  Any good quality broth or stock will do, and if you’re sensitive to salt, use low sodium.
  3. BROCCOLI!  You will want 4 cups of chopped broccoli florets total.  For be this was about 3 medium broccoli crowns.  Save yourself time and purchase pre-cut broccoli if you wish, you can always still cut it down to your preferred size.
  4. SECRET INGREDIENTS!!  This is the best part.  The standard heavy cream gets mixed in a bowl with a bit of sour cream, dijon mustard, and hot sauce!  Now, you “can” make the soup without the mustard and hot sauce, but, please don’t!  After testing and testing, I found out that this really makes the soup the most flavorful.  It doesn’t taste like mustard, and it’s not spicy, it just brings out the flavor of the cheese!

broccoli cheese soup in a large pot

What Goes Good With Broccoli Cheddar Soup?

This is a very rich, cheesy soup, so sometimes it’s nice to serve it with a salad.  I’d recommend a simple green salad with a light vinaigrette of your choice.  We also love serving this with a loaf of Garlic Bread (my favorite choice), or these Easy Homemade Drop Biscuits.  If you’re a big cheese lover, you could even pair it up with some Cheesy Garlic Skillet Bread!

Why is my Broccoli Cheese Soup Grainy?

This is a huge problem for people when they make creamy soups, but, guess what?  There is a super simple answer to the problem!  First, please, whatever you do, don’t use pre-shredded bagged cheese!  It doesn’t melt down the same and will make your soup grainy, fresh cheese off the block is the way to go here.  Next, another issue is that the temp is too high when you add the cheese to the pot.  That’s why as you see in the directions I say to REMOVE the pan from the heat before adding the cheese, there’s a definite reason, your cheese will be grainy or curdle if you leave the pan on the heat!


bowl of broccoli cheddar cheese soup




5 from 22 votes

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup is easy to make on the stove top or instant pot! Learn how to make broccoli cheese soup with a couple of secret ingredients that make it the best!
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 30 minutes
Servings 6


  • 5 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion Diced
  • 1 Cup Diced Carrots
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth or Stock
  • 4 Cups Broccoli Florets
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream or half & half
  • 1/3 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard, OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hot Sauce, OPTIONAL
  • 2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese



  • Melt the butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat.
  • Add the diced onion, carrots, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan and stir.
  • Cover the pot and allow the vegetables to cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn the heat up to medium. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, whisking constantly for 2 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the chicken stock until smooth
  • Add the broccoli florets to the pot. Simmer for 5-6 minutes, until broccoli is tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the heavy cream, sour cream, dijon mustard, and hot sauce.
  • Add 1 ladle full (about 1/2 cuof the broth from the soup to the cream mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the heavy cream mix into the soup while whisking constantly. Taste the soup at this point, add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese in 3-4 handfuls until fully melted and smooth.
  • OPTIONAL FOR A SMOOTHER SOUP: Remove 1 ladle full (about 1 cup) of the soup from the pot into a bowl. Use a hand held immersion blender to carefully puree the soup to desired consistency. Return the reserved soup the the pot. OR, puree the soup in 2-3 batches in your blender until smooth.


  • Turn the instant pot on to saute mode. Add the butter to the pot.
  • Once the butter is melted, add in the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle the flour into the pot and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth slowly while whisking constantly. Turn the pot off.
  • Add the broccoli to the pot. Place the lid on the pot and set the valve to sealing. Cook on Manual, high pressure for 4 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 2 minutes before doing a quick release.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together the cream, sour cream, mustard and hot sauce. Whisk one ladle full of the soup into the sour cream mixture, then whisk into the soup. Add the shredded cheese to the soup in 3 additions, stirring well after each. Follow the directions above for blending if you want a smoother broccoli cheddar soup.
  • Serve immediately. Store leftover soup in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.



  1. This soup is best when using freshly shredded cheese right off the block.  I do not recommend using pre-shredded cheese for this soup, as it can be grainy.
  2. You MUST remove your pan from the heat before you add your cheese.  If you do not, the soup will curdle and become grainy.
  3.  Leftover soup, once cooled can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.  This soup is cream/cheese based and does not freeze well.  
  4. Don't skip the dijon mustard and hot sauce unless you absolutely must.  This soup does not taste like mustard, and it's not spicy.  These ingredients simply enhance the cheese flavor.


Serving: 1.5Cups, Calories: 431kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 42g, Saturated Fat: 26g, Cholesterol: 140mg, Sodium: 162mg, Potassium: 283mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1915IU, Vitamin C: 55mg, Calcium: 100mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Like this? Rate & review this recipe below!



Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. 5 stars
    I just made this soup and it is quite nice! My husband and I both enjoyed it. The only thing I did different was add celery and some of the broccoli stalks (diced) in with the initial veggie mixture. It didn’t come up very thick but good just the same! Thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this for Christmas lunch and my grown son who loves broccoli Cheddar soup said this was by far the best soup he’s ever had! He had 4 bowls. I didn’t skip any ingredients! Already in my cookbook! FANTASTIC

  3. 5 stars
    The seasoning of this soup is absolute perfection. I occasionally add a cup of cooked jasmine rice or cooked, diced potatoes, adding a bit of extra broth if necessary. Either addition makes a tasty, hearty variation, but this soup is great prepared as written. Thank you, Nichole, for developing an heirloom recipe for home cooks. I would be proud to serve this soup to anyone, anywhere.

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve made this soup many times now and it’s always amazing! Sometimes I’ll add cauliflower and potatoes to the mix (if I need to use up), and that also tastes great. Thanks for this wonderful, easy recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    This soup is amazing! I’ve made it before as is and regret nothing. I’ve got cauliflower today and looked at a bunch of cauliflower soup recipes but decided none would be as good as this one.

  6. Hi Nicole. I just made this using all fresh ingredients (not frozen) in my Dutch Oven exactly as the recipe stated. The taste is great; but my vegetables are still too crispy. Any suggestions for more cooking without scorching? Next time I’ll cook the veggies longer in the first stages. Thank.

  7. 5 stars
    Super delicious. I did use half a cup of Asiago because I was using up extra cheese, and shredded my carrots plus added extra because I like them.