This Crockpot Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe is like a bowl filled with comfort after a busy day. Serve it with a side of crusty bread for dipping in the cheesy broth and call it a meal.
Easy Crockpot Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
Crockpot recipes are a lifesaver for busy families. I simply love broccoli cheese soup at Panera and this recipe hits the proverbial spot after a long day. Slow cookers and crockpots are essentially the same thing and the names are used interchangeably. Crock Pot is a brand that’s become synonymous with slow cooking. To make simple Crockpot Broccoli Cheddar Soup:
- Broccoli – One pound frozen broccoli florets, partially thawed.
- Vegetables – Celery ribs and yellow onion.
- Stock – Classic or low sodium chicken stock.
- Milk – Evaporated milk.
- Cheese – Chive and onion cream cheese (plus additional to thicken at the end of cooking, if needed) grated Parmesan cheese and shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
- Thickener – All purpose flour
- Seasonings – Chicken base, black pepper, ground nutmeg and fresh garlic.tional for serving
- Bread, crackers, or croutons for serving.
How to Make the Best Crockpot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Crockpot Broccoli Cheddar Soup: One pound broccoli florets, chicken stock, evaporated milk, chive and onion cream cheese, salt, black pepper, garlic, nutmeg, shredded sharp cheddar cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.
- Kitchen tools you’ll need: One 6 quart or similar size slow cooker, whisk, measuring cups and spoons, cheese grater and stand blender or immersion blender.
- The recipe can easily be doubled if you need more servings.
- There’s no need to cook the broccoli prior to adding it to the slow cooker. It’s fine if it’s still partially frozen.
- Chive and onion cream cheese comes in 8 ounce containers. Begin with half of the container reserving the remainder for thickening at the end of cooking.
- Another way you can thicken this soup is by mixing 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch and a small amount of cold water in a small bowl mixing until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. You would then use this and add it to the slow cooker toward the end of the cooking time. Mix well.
- I highly recommend using a sharp cheddar cheese for broccoli soup as it will give the most intense flavor.
- You can use vegetable base instead of chicken base for this soup.
- You can substitute 2% milk or whole milk for this recipe using around 1 ½ cups. We prefer the evaporated because it’s been reduced and in this instance seems to hold up better to the slow cooking process. We also tested this recipe using milk, and it is fine as long as the heat setting is on low.
- We added parmesan cheese for the flavor. It can be replaced with more shredded cheddar if preferred.
- I use chicken base, such as Better than Bouillon in soup recipes because it amps up the flavor. It will likely add enough salt to the recipe but you can always taste and add more, if desired.
- If you need a gluten-free alternative for the flour called for in the recipe, you can use the same amount of cornstarch.
- For a gluten-free soup base option use a base like Orrington Farm. Other soup bases are processed in plants that are not gluten-free.
- Slow cookers vary in their temperatures and heating abilities. That’s the reason a range for cooking time is given. We recommend checking the broccoli for doneness at the 3-hour mark and adjusting the time accordingly.
- The slow cooker version is a thinner soup (similar to the broccoli cheese soup from Panera.) It will thicken considerably upon standing and especially when refrigerated overnight.
- Why won’t my cheese melt in my broccoli cheese soup? In order to get super creamy soup, I recommend shredding your own cheddar cheese. Although pre-shredded cheese is a time-saver, it has anti-caking agents in it that prevent it from melting smoothly.
- How can I make my broccoli soup thicker? By nature, slow cooker soups are typically not as thick as their stovetop counterparts. This is due to the fact that there’s less evaporation which results in more liquid in the soup. One very easy way to thicken the soup is to add more shredded cheese and I’ve also allowed for extra chive and onion cream cheese to add at the end to thicken, as desired.
- This recipe easily double and freezes beautifully if you want to make a double batch. You can store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat.
- Store cooked Crockpot Broccoli Cheddar Soup chilled in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Reheat in a saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop or in single servings in the microwave.
More Easy Soup Recipes to Make
- Easy Cheese Tortellini Soup.
- Skip the bun and make this Cheeseburger Soup instead.
- Classic French Onion Soup topped with that cheesy bread is to die for.
- Easy Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup always hits the spot.
- This Lentil Soup recipe is packed with flavor.
- Rich and hearty Hamburger Soup.
- Slow Cooker Potato Soup is a tasty way to use leftover holiday ham.
- One Pot Chicken Noodle Soup will cure what ails ya!
- Gazpacho from The Pioneer Woman.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Crockpot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 1 16 oz package frozen broccoli florets roughly chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
- 4 oz softened chive and onion cream cheese plus additional to thicken at the end of cooking, if needed.
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp chicken base
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 large cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese plus additional for serving
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- To the crock of a 6 quart or similar size slow cooker add broccoli, celery, onion, chicken stock, evaporated milk, cream cheese, chicken base, flour, black pepper, garlic and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
- Place the lid firmly in place. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until broccoli is fork tender.
- Add shredded cheddar cheese and Parmesan stirring until melted. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Let stand uncovered for 10-15 minutes to allow the soup to thicken.
- To thicken the soup, Add one cup of soup to a stand blender and pulse. (Or directly in the slow cooker using an immersion blender.) Add back to the crockpot with additional chive and onion cream cheese one tablespoon at a time stirring until melted. Repeat adding cream cheese until desired thickness is reached. Likewise, you can thin the soup by adding additional stock or whole milk.
- Let stand uncovered for 10-15 minutes to allow the soup to thicken. Serve with additional shredded cheddar cheese on top, if desired.
- To thicken at the end of cooking you can use additional cream cheese or dissolve one tablespoon of flour or cornstarch in a small amount of chicken stock or water.
- The soup base likely has enough sodium for the entire dish. I recommend that you taste and add more salt according to your preference.