Return to top
featured in… The Huffington Post Cooking Light Reader's Digest Women's Health BuzzFeed Glamour Whole Foods Oprah Winfrey Network CNN Food Network

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

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
Share This:

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 5 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.

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

    • Hi Holly! Honestly I’m not sure how it would freeze — I’ve never tried it with this recipe! The only ingredient in this soup that might not freeze well is the half and half – but it’s worth a shot to try freezing it and seeing what happens. If it freezes well let me know! 🙂

  1. Hi. I tried a few of your Italian recipes and love them.

    I am so looking forward to making this soup. But I don’t like the cheese flavour. Could you suggest any alternative for this please.

    • Hi Guna! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my recipes! If you don’t like cheese, you could just leave it out of the soup and try it without the cheese altogether. Let me know how that works for you!

  2. Loved this soup. Couldn’t wait to make it so it had to be tonight. Had an abundance of broccoli in my first crop and had to make this soup. Awesome, delicious, healthy and best of all…so quick! Ready to try it with potato and soy milk and lactose free cheese. Thank you soooo much!

    • That’s so great Bron! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe. Let me know how it goes with the soy milk and lactose free cheese – I’d be curious to see if it tastes any differently!

    • I think that could probably work – coconut milk does pretty well in soups and warm dishes. Try it out and let me know how it works out for you!

    • Hi Amy! That just means you want 1/4 cup half and half and also 1/8 cup half and half. 3/8 of a cup (the total amount you need) is hard to measure, which is why I broke it down that way. Hope that helps!

      • Hi Lisa! Regarding the almond milk, it’s a 1:1 substitution. But honestly, I’m not sure how almond milk will taste in this recipe. I feel like it wont give you the same consistency or mouthfeel as the half & half – and I’m also not sure if it’ll coagulate in the soup. It’s worth a shot though – let me know how it goes!

  3. Hi,

    I was wondering why my cheese never fully integrated into the soup. I like my soup chunky so I did NOT blend it but when I added the cheese it just basically suck to the broccoli. Is it a requirement to blend?

    Also, I see the ingredients call for 4 oz of cheese but I only see where you use 2 oz. Is the rest just for topping?

    • Hi Caroline! Yes – I do think you need to blend this soup, because otherwise the cheese won’t be able to melt directly into the soup and combine with the rest of the ingredients. It’ll melt on one of the ingredients and just stick to it (like you experienced with the broccoli). And yes, the remaining 2oz is for topping the soup. Hope that helps!

  4. A wonderful skinny soup that does not taste skinny and so quick and easy I can make it after work. Looking forward to enjoying this again soon, thanks for the delicious update on Broccoli Cheese Soup.

  5. This is absolutely delicious! I don’t eat broccoli, neither does my 4 year old or my 2 year old nephew. We made this tonight, I added a few more carrots and about 3 more oz of cheese, which honestly was probably a little too much. lol Although the kids loved the extra cheesiness. 🙂 I added 2 small shredded chicken breasts per request of my daughter. It was great. We all love it and it will now be a regular in our household. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Oh wow!! That’s so great that you and your kids loved this recipe! Thanks so much for letting me know!! 🙂

  6. This is very kid-friendly. My 7 year old son ate 3 bowls! We all loved it was tasty and healthy. <3

  7. Made this today. Extremely easy to make and tasty. I love garlic so I added three extra cloves, used sea salt instead of reg salt, and subbed in an ounce of mozzarella for the sharp cheddar. Thanks so much for this

    • Oh great!! So glad you liked this recipe Aaron – and thanks for sharing your modifications!

  8. Just made this and it was absolutely gorgeous!!! Only difference I made was to use skimmed milk as I’m not even sure we get half n half in the UK. Couldn’t believe how yummy it was – it’s a keeper, and I’ll be making more soon.

    • Oh nice! I feel like skim milk would taste great in this recipe too! So glad you liked it Rebecca 🙂

  9. Hi i’m in England and want to make this soup so wondered how many grams or oz of broccoli is in 4 cups? and is 1 cup of onion equivalent to a whole onion? I have no problem with converting cups of liquid but i am struggling with solid weight. Hope you can help as i LOVE broccoli and cheese soup so a skinny version would be perfect! Thanks.

    • Hi Jenny! 4 cups is 32 oz, or about 946 grams. Depending on the size of your onion, 1 cup of onion could be a whole onion. 1 cup is about 236 grams. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions and I hope you enjoy the soup!

      • Thank you! although i was impatient and made the soup already by guesstimating! i used about 600g of broccoli and it turned out fab 🙂 Thank you x

      • Haha! Well I’m glad it turned out so well 🙂 Thanks for letting me know Jenny!

  10. Have you made this soup yet with just the stalks? I’m looking for a way to use up the stalks instead of waste them after my family eats the florets. Just curious if you’ve seen any variation… Thanks!

    • Hi Tituba! I actually haven’t seen this soup made with just the stalks and haven’t tried it that way myself. I’m not sure how it would taste since the florets generally have more “broccoli flavor” than the stalks do. Although you could try making this with the florets and the stalks — just make sure you get the stalks soft enough so they puree well. Hope that helps! If you end up trying this with the stalks, let me know how it turns out!

  11. I’m so glad to find this recipe. I just went to the grocery to pick up some lunch and they had a broccoli cheddar soup with nearly 800 mg of sodium and 22 grams of fat! Guess what I’m cooking tonight?

    • Omg that is crazy!! It’s much easier, cheaper and healthier to make this recipe at home 🙂 Hope you enjoy it Nancy!

  12. I tried to make this but my vegetable stock (Fresh Market brand) is brown so made everything brown and yucky looking. Can you tell which stock you used, please? What about just using water instead of stock? Thanks!

    • Hi Jan! Aw that’s too bad about the stock you used! I use Pacific Organic Low Sodium — it has a beige-clear-yellow color to it so it doesn’t discolor the soup. I wouldn’t just use water instead of stock — the stock has so much flavor in it, the soup would definitely taste different without it! Hope that helps!

  13. I am reading all of these reviews saying it was delicious. However, I followed the directions directly, and it smelled like I was preparing a chinese dish, and I could not taste the cheese in it at all. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t taste like broccoli cheese soup to me.

    What did I do wrong?

    • Hi Randy! Thanks so much for your comment and your question! I’m glad you though the soup wasn’t bad, but I can’t figure out why it smelled like a Chinese dish, since there are no Chinese flavors in this recipe! I’d need more information from you to figure out exactly what happened. Do you want to email me at pickyeats@gmail.com and we can figure it out together? Happy to help in any way I can!

  14. Absolutely glorious soup!
    The Honey had some dental work done yesterday and I was looking around for something yummy-but-not-chewy. Lo and behold, I found your recipe and could not be happier with the results; The Honey adds his appreciation as well.

    • Hehe yay!! So happy to hear that Lizzie! And yes, this is a great recipe if you’re looking for something that’s filling but not hard to chew! I wish I had made this recipe when I had my wisdom teeth out — it would have been a nice break from jello and yogurt 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






Subscribe to newsletter

Copyright 2020 The Picky Eater. All rights reserved.