This Easy Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup is a classic recipe made in the Crock Pot with fresh broccoli, carrots, and creamy Cheddar cheese. Pair it with some crusty bread for a delicious weeknight meal.
The Best Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
If you like Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup, you’ll love how easy it is to make my homemade version. All it takes is fresh broccoli, carrots, chicken broth, and a few savory seasonings to toss into your Crock Pot and let it work its magic. This recipe is a family favorite, great for any season, and ideal for both lunch and dinner. Enjoy it alongside a fresh French baguette, crispy crackers, or some Easy Cheddar Bay Biscuits for a delicious meal.
- Broccoli– Fresh broccoli is the main ingredient in this soup. Using broccoli florets makes the best soup since the stems are rather tough and harder to soften. I ended up using 2 medium heads of broccoli, chopped off the florets, and pulled them apart into smaller pieces.
- Shredded Carrots– A little bit of carrot flavor brings some earthiness and a touch of sweetness to balance out the soup. If you don’t like them or have them on hand, you can leave them out.
- Half-and-Half– This helps make a thick and creamy base for the soup. Substitute with heavy whipping cream for an extra rich and thick base or milk for a thinner base.
- Cheddar Cheese– The best cheese to use is off-the-block shredded cheese- not the pre-shredded cheese. The pre-shredded cheese contains additives that can make the soup turn grainy or clumpy. Mild, Sharp, or Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese is good in this soup, depending on what you prefer.
- Chicken Broth
*See the recipe card at the bottom of the page for detailed instructions and a list of ingredients.
How to Make Broccoli Cheese Soup
This soup is easy to make. All you have to do is:
- Add ingredients to the slow cooker: Add the broccoli, carrots, onion, chicken broth, butter, garlic, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker and stir together.
- Cook: Turn the slow cooker to high and cook for around 3-4 hours or 6-8 hours on low.
- Add cornstarch slurry and cheese: Whisk together half-and-half into the cornstarch, a little at a time until combined together without lumps. Pour into the slow cooker and stir together.
- Cover and cook: If needed, add the lid and cover to cook an additional 10-15 minutes on high until the soup has thickened.
- Add the cheese: Turn the slow cooker off and remove the lid. Slowly add the cheese, stirring it together until the cheese fully melts. Serve and enjoy!
To refrigerate: store any leftovers in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
To freeze: I do not recommend freezing broccoli cheddar soup. The dairy in the soup will separate and cause it to change in texture.
This recipe is very easy to switch up to suit your taste. A few ideas to try:
- Make it especially cheesy with a variety of cheeses like Gouda, Colby Jack, or Havarti.
- Bulk it up with some meat like chicken or sausage.
- Spice it up with some minced garlic.
- Add a few more veggies like peas, green beans, or corn.
Frequently Asked Questions
One of the main to prevent your soup from becoming grainy is to be sure to use freshly shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese has a coating that can cause it to have difficulty melting in a hot soup.
To thicken the soup, use heavy whipping cream instead of half-and-half.
More Delicious Soup Recipes
Easy Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup
- 4 cups broccoli chopped
- 2 cups carrots shredded
- 1/2 small onion diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup half-and-half or milk or heavy cream
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 4 cups Cheddar cheese shredded
- Add broccoli, carrots, onion, chicken broth, butter, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to the bottom of a large slow cooker.
- Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
- In a small bowl, whisk half-and-half into the cornstarch a little at a time until there are no clumps. Slowly pour into the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook an additional 10-15 minutes on high or until thickened.
- Turn off the slow cooker and remove the lid. Add the cheese a little at a time constantly stirring until cheese has fully melted. Serve and enjoy!
- To prevent curdling of the cheese, remove the lid and turn off the slow cooker before adding the cheese. If the soup is too hot, the cheese could clump together.
- Do not use pre-shredded cheese. This cheese has additives that prevent it from melting smoothly in the soup.
- Reheat low and slow in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- The soup will thicken as it cools. Add a little milk or water to thin when reheating.
- Swap out the half-and-half with heavy cream for a thicker soup or milk for a thinner soup.