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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup in 30 Minutes

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This Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup takes under thirty minutes to make. It’s a lightened up version of the classic, without losing any of the cheesy goodness of the original!

Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup in a yellow bowl with a green napkin against a wood background, top view

One of my husband’s favorite soups is Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

Warm, gooey, cheesy, rich – there are a lot of things to love about Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

What I don’t love is the fact that one tiny cup of the traditional recipe can run you over 400 calories and 18 grams of saturated fat! That’s because most versions of this recipe end up being more like “cheese soup with a tiny bit of broccoli” 🙂

This is version of Cheddar Broccoli Soup is comfort food at its best: delicious (thanks to the cheese and cream) but also nutritious (thanks to the fiber and phytochemicals from the broccoli – which have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties).

The husband loved this recipe and we managed to finish all of the soup between the two of us!

And the best part — this recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make! Serve it with some crusty bread and you’ve got yourself a delicious, light, dinner.

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need for This Recipe

ingredients for healthy broccoli cheese soup

How To Make This Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup 

Step 1:  Combine first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender.

broccoli in a pan

Step 2: Turn off the heat. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend the soup until it’s creamy. [Alternatively if you don’t have a hand blender you can use a regular blender: Pour soup into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return soup to pan.]

Step 3: Stir in 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup half-and-half and 2 ounces cheese. You don’t need to turn the stove back on again, the residual heat from the soup should melt the cheese.

cheese melting in a pot

Step 4: Top evenly with remaining 1 tbsp cheese per bowl and parsley.

Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup in a yellow bowl with a green napkin against a wood background and toast on the side

What makes this Cheddar Broccoli Soup healthy?

  • Low in Fat and Calories: This soup is heavy on the broccoli and light on the cheese and cream, making it a lightened up version of the original. With only 110 calories and 6 grams of fat per serving, this soup is satisfying while being heavy!
  • High in Fiber: Broccoli is an excellent source of fiber. One serving of this soup has 4 grams of fiber. Fiber is essential for healthy digestion, and can improve cholesterol and blood sugar.
  • Phytochemicals: Broccoli contains something called phytochemicals which help boost the immune system, and have anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Rich in Antioxidants: Broccoli is also an excellent source of antioxidants which helps with healthy cell and tissues throughout the body.
  • High in Vitamins and Minerals: Broccoli is an excellent source of Vitamin C, E, K, folate, and potassium. 

Will kids like this Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup?

Kids will love digging into this soup. Even if your kid is not a huge fan of big chunks of broccoli, they will likely enjoy this soup since the broccoli has been blended to create a smooth consistency. That coupled with the cheddar and cream, make for a flavorful kid friendly soup!

Is Cheddar Broccoli Soup vegetarian?

Most versions of this soup are not vegetarian because they are made with chicken stock. This healthy version is vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead. I also made this recipe healthier by increasing the broccoli and decreasing the cheddar and cream without losing any of the cheesiness that makes broccoli and cheddar soup such a favorite!

How do you add cheese to soup?

Add the cheese to the soup when the broccoli and stock is hot and blended. Add a little at a time, stirring gently until it is melted. Make sure that the cheese is melted and incorporated into the soup before adding more. The heat from the soup will melt the cheese as you add it a little at a time. 

What cheese melts easily in soup?

Cheddar is the perfect cheese to melt into soup as it creates a smooth creamy sauce. Other great cheeses for melting include Asiago, fontina, Colby, Gruyere, and Monterey Jack. You can mix it up and choose your favorite melty cheese for this soup, although cheddar is a classic!

What do you serve with Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup?

  • Crusty Wheat Bread
  • Garlic Bread
  • Whole wheat Pita and hummus
  • Light green salad with vinaigrette dressing
  • Whole wheat bread bowl

Top Tips for Making Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup

  • Ideally, use fresh organic broccoli since that will have the brightest broccoli flavor. But if you can’t find fresh broccoli, you can use frozen broccoli as a backup!
  • Use an Immersion Blender for easier clean-up, or a stand blender if you do not have one. I highly recommend getting an immersion blender for soups. It saves time and you still get a nice and creamy soup!
  • Add cheese a little at a time and be sure it is well incorporated before adding more.
  • Top with cheese and parsley.

Check-Out These Other Healthy and Delicious Soup Recipes!

If you have tried this Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Print Recipe
5 from 6 votes

Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup

This Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup takes under thirty minutes to make. It's a lightened up version of the classic, without losing any of the cheesy goodness of the original!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 110kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • 4 cups broccoli florets coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup half-and-half
  • 4 ounces shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves optional, garnish

Instructions

  • Combine first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
  • Turn off the heat. Using an immersion (hand) blender, blend the soup until it’s creamy. [Alternatively if you don’t have a hand blender you can use a regular blender: Pour soup into a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Return soup to pan.]
  • Stir in 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup half-and-half and 2 ounces cheese. You don’t need to turn the stove back on again, the residual heat from the soup should melt the cheese.
  • Top evenly with remaining 1 tbsp cheese per bowl and parsley.

Notes

Top Tips for Making Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup
  • Ideally, use fresh organic broccoli since that will have the brightest broccoli flavor. But if you can’t find fresh broccoli, you can use frozen broccoli as a backup!
  • Use an Immersion Blender for easier clean-up, or a stand blender if you do not have one. I highly recommend getting an immersion blender for soups. It saves time and you still get a nice and creamy soup!
  • Add cheese a little at a time and be sure it is well incorporated before adding more.
  • Top with cheese and parsley.
Adapted from Cooking Light

Nutrition

Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.6g | Protein: 7.7g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 458mg | Fiber: 3.9g | Sugar: 0.9g
skinny broccoli cheese soup. quick easy healthy recipes, healthy food for picky eaters kids, healthy delicious food recipes, healthy meal ideas for kids, healthy food recipes

Posted In…

Appetizers ·

Appetizers are the perfect complement to my favorite entrees and dinner party menus. You can also make a small batch for a snack, or turn them into a complete meal.

109 responses to “Healthy Cheddar Broccoli Soup in 30 Minutes”

  1. Made this last week on a cold night for picky eater hubby and me, and we both loved it! I pureed it in the Vitamix. Easy & delicious!

  2. Loved this recipe, I made it for my and myself. We both thought it was delicious, and the calorie savings made it even better. It is so simple to make too. Thank you for sharing it!

    • Hooray!! That is great to hear Erin! And yes – I love how easy this recipe is to make! It’s the perfect quick & healthy meal 🙂

  3. Tried this soup as my first time making a broccoli cheese soup. Amazing! Absolutely loved it! There was just the right balance of savory (onion, garlic, carrot), creaminess and broccoli flavor. Delish! Thank you!

  4. Wish the fat could be broken down – wondering about sat fat.
    Also I’ve heard instead if cream or 1/2 & 1/2 to use Greek Yogurt – what is your opinion of that ?

    • Hi! This recipe has 3.34g Saturated Fat per serving. I wouldn’t recommend using Greek Yogurt in this soup instead of the half and half — since the soup is hot I’m not confident the Greek Yogurt would mix in well (vs. coagulating). Greek Yogurt is usually a good substitution for sour cream (in recipes where it doesn’t require heating the Greek Yogurt). Hope that helps!

      • Oh thank you – that sat fat isn’t so bad per serving & with some sheepherders bread [no sat fat] and Benecol one has a delicious meal. And thanks for your opinion regarding the Greek Yogurt. Appreciate your help!

  5. I made this tonight and had to come to your blog to tell you it is one of the most delicious soups I’ve ever made or eaten (my Husband and I ate the whole pot.) I’ve already shared the recipe with 3 friends and am planning to make it again next week (seeing as how I have all that half/half left.) Thanks so much!!!!

    • Oh yayy!!! This is so wonderful to hear Kate!! I’m so glad you and your husband loved this recipe – sounds like it was as big a hit with him as it was with my husband 🙂 Thanks for letting me know!

  6. Hi! This sounds great but I’m terrible at measurements. Can you tell me approximately how many cups of broccoli, and of cheese, this is? Thanks!!

  7. I’ve been making a variation of this soup for a long time because I found it was a great way to serve broccoli to my children. They didn’t like broccoli much, but would always eat broccoli soup. I found if I added a peeled, chopped medium to large potato I could easily make the soup with low fat milk. It still has a creamy taste we all enjoyed.

    • Hi Deanna! Thanks so much for sharing — I LOVE the idea of adding a potato + low fat milk to the recipe (instead of the half and half)! I’ll definitely be trying that next time — I can totally see how it would give a creamy taste to the soup too. Thanks again!

    • Thanks Eisha! Awww hehe – Baby Picky Eater is doing really well! She’s kicking and I can feel her moving all over the place – it’s amazing! 🙂

    • Aw thank you so much Kendra!! I’m just like you – I mean, we always eat with our eyes first! 🙂 Hope you enjoy this when you try it!

    • Hi Priti! Thank you so much!! That’s actually a great question. I didn’t use fat free half and half because while it sounds healthy, it’s actually a highly processed ingredient. Regular half and half is exactly that: half cream and half milk (so it really should have just two ingredients). Fat free half and half is made by replacing butterfat (a mostly saturated fat) with corn syrup and adding chemicals and thickeners to simulate the texture and mouth-feel of fat.

      The ingredients list for fat free half and half is: skim milk, corn syrup, cream, and “less than 0.5 percent of the following: Carrageenan, Sodium Citrate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Mono and Diglycerides, Vitamin A Palmitate, Color Added (Ingredient not in regular half-and-half).” So I prefer to use regular half and half (which is closer to a whole food) and just use less of it, versus using more of the fat free version. Plus, a little bit of fat is good for you! 🙂 I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!!

    • Yes!! Exactly — which you know, tastes great but isn’t so great for your waistline 🙂 Hope you enjoy this made-over version!!

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