If you love Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup but don’t have hours to devote to in the kitchen?
You don’t have to.
You’ll totally love this quicker, healthier, cheesier broccoli cheddar soup recipe.
Best of all, all you need is 3 ingredients.
It’s the easiest and cheesiest way to make your favorite broccoli cheddar soup.
And this comes together in 20 minutes or less.
There is no roasting the broccoli in the oven or complicated steps that keep you in the kitchen for hours.
This is a no-frills way to make your dream soup in minutes with minimal ingredients.
Whether you are a budget cook or a busy parent with a hangry family to feed, this is the perfect soup for you.
All you need is broccoli, half and half, and cheddar cheese.
If you don’t have half and half, you can sub with milk, but it’ll be thinner. So be sure to supplement with heavy cream or more cheese!
Want to add more to the soup? It’s so easy to add your own twists and ‘umami’ ingredients. Here are some of my favorite ways to dress up this soup.
1. Add chicken broth for more flavors
To add an extra layer of flavors, you can do 1 cup of chicken broth with 2 cups of heavy cream. This is to sub the half and half.
2. Enhance the flavors with more cheese ‘umami’
For cheese connoisseurs, try mixing up your own blend of cheese.
This will help add more complex flavors and ‘umami’ to this soup.
Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and parmesan are my top picks.
If you are looking for a more mature taste, you can also try Gruyere or smoked gouda.
Also, additional cheese helps make this soup thicker. If you are looking for a heavier and creamier soup, add more cheese!
3. Add secret flavor enhancers
A little bit of addition goes a long way in cooking. If you have additional ingredients like butter, onion, and an extra can of cream on hand, feel free to add those.
4. Add toppings
One of the best things about a warm cup of soup is the fun toppings you get to put on top. Whether it’s the crunchy bacon bits or crispy croutons, they definitely add some fun to the soup.
I love chopped scallions, additional sprinkles of cheese, and some bacon bits on mine. Feel free to add your toppings to enjoy this soup even more.
Here is how to make this easy broccoli cheddar soup in minutes.
- 3 cups of half and half
- 12 oz fresh broccoli, chopped
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon Cooking oil
- Crispy bacon bits (optional topping)
- In a 2-3 qt saucepan over medium heat, add a tablespoon of cooking oil of your choice. If you'd like, you can add butter in place of cooking oil.
- Add the chopped broccoli and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the broccoli for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the half and half and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for additional 10 minutes until broccoli is cooked and tender.
- Remove 1/2 of the broccoli florets and set them aside. Puree the soup using a hand-held blender or regular blender.
- Gradually add 1/4 of cheese and stir constantly until fully melted. Repeat the process until all cheese is added and reaches the desired consistency.
- Add the broccoli you set aside early back to the soup. Stir several times and season it with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and serve warm.
This is one of the easiest 3-ingredient broccoli cheddar soups. This soup comes together in under 20 minutes with minimum cooking.
If you don’t have a blender, you can also skip pureeing the soup. You’ll have a thinner soup with more chunks of broccoli florets, but it’s equally delicious!
It’s a great family favorite recipe and perfect for lunch and dinner.
Did you try this recipe? Let us know how yours came out!
This goes well with our grilled cheese sandwich.