This gluten-free broccoli cheddar soup is full of broccoli and cheese; it's even better than Panera, all made at home in under 30 minutes. Warm with this creamy, flavorful, and hearty soup on a cold winter day!
Soup season is here, and that means I am making all the gluten-free soups for my family. This gluten-free broccoli cheddar soup is on repeat because it's one of their favorites.
I love that they love it and that I can make it in no time at all. Just be warned, you might want to make a double batch if you want any leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day.
Is Broccoli Cheddar Soup Gluten-Free?
Panera's version of their broccoli cheddar soup does contain wheat; therefore, it's not gluten-free. The same goes for Campbell's version of their canned broccoli cheese soup. The Trader Joe's and Costco broccoli cheddar soup also contains gluten.
Don't worry if you love this soup; this version of my gluten-free broccoli cheddar soup is, and you still end up with the perfectly creamy, delicious soup that the whole family will love!
This gluten-free broccoli cheese soup recipe comes together fast and with only a few ingredients.
- Broccoli - I think fresh broccoli works best for this soup. When I use frozen, the soup does not tend to thicken as much, and I like my broccoli cheese soup thick. If you are using frozen, I highly suggest letting it thaw and drain before using it in this recipe.
- Carrots - I tend to do a thick shred, or you can also julienne your carrots, depending on preference.
- Onion - I prefer a yellow onion in this broccoli cheddar soup for a little extra texture and a bit of sweetness.
- Cheese - Using a mixture in this recipe is my preference, but you can sub in all cheddar if you prefer. I would suggest using a good cheddar cheese like Tillamook medium sharp cheese. Cheeses vary by flavor; some lack it, which can lead to needing more seasonings.
- Cream Cheese - Adding just a little bit of cream cheese to the soup helps to make it extra creamy.
- Half and Half - This helps to yield a soup that is not too thick or too thin. You can use milk or heavy cream, but you might need to watch the thickness of your soup and adjust it to your liking.
- Stock - I prefer the flavor of chicken stock in this recipe, but it's still delicious with vegetable stock subbed in if you want to make this a vegetarian broccoli cheddar soup.
- Spices - You'll need salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You can replace garlic powder with 4 cloves of freshly minced garlic for extra flavor.
How to Make?
- Add the onion and butter to a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat, and cook until the onion is tender and beginning to turn a light golden color.
- Add the broccoli, carrots, stock, and spices, and then bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and let the mixture cook on medium-low for about 15 minutes or until the carrots and broccoli are fully cooked.
- If you like, you can use an immersion blender to make the soup smooth.
- After that, add in the cream cheese and half-and-half.
- Continue to stir until there are no longer any clumps of cream cheese.
- Add the cheese shreds and mix them in until the cheese melts.
7. Add salt and pepper to flavor if necessary, allow to cool slightly, and enjoy!
I prefer this soup as is, but if you want your base to be a little bit thicker, you can use a gluten-free thickener.
For soup, I don't actually prefer something like cornstarch, which can actually lose its thickening capabilities with a lot of heat or stirring. Instead, I suggest using something like arrowroot or potato starch. You can even use a little bit of sweet rice flour. If you are going to use a gluten-free flour blend, look for one without xanthan gum.
- To thicken the soup, you can either add the thickener to the onions once they are cooked. Or you can mix it with some of the stock before adding it and letting it simmer.
- If you want a thicker soup without a thickener, you can blend the broccoli and carrots into the soup with either an immersion blender or pull some of the soup out and blend it in a blender before returning it to the pot.
Tips and Tricks
- Use fresh broccoli for the best texture and flavor.
- Chop the broccoli into small florets so they cook evenly.
- Help keep your soup from getting grainy by adding the cheese a bit at a time and ensuring it melts before adding more.
- Hand shreds your cheese. Many pre-packaged kinds of cheese have anti-caking ingredients, which can prevent the cheese from fully incorporating into the soup.
Alternate Cooking Methods
- Since this gluten-free soup has dairy in it, I don't recommend using the slow cooker to make it. If you want to use the slow cooker, I would say use it for keeping the soup warm, but make it on the stove so you don't end up with curdled soup.
- If you want to use the instant pot, that works well. You can use this recipe for instant pot broccoli cheese soup. Make a roux with rice flour in place of all-purpose flour.
How to Store?
This gluten-free broccoli cheddar soup is delicious the same day, but it will keep in the fridge for up to three days once it's made.
Freezing: I suggest storing this soup in individual portions if you plan to freeze it for later. To defrost stick it straight into a pot on the stove to help prevent excess curdling from the dairy in the soup as it warms up.
Soup for a Crowd
This gluten-free broccoli cheddar soup recipe makes 4-6 decent-sized bowls of soup. You can just as easily double the batch if you have extra hungry family members you are feeding or you want to serve it for a larger crowd.
My kids love it when I make some gluten-free brioche and turn it into paninis for dipping. There is no wrong way to serve this easy gluten-free soup.
More Gluten-Free Soups
Easy Gluten-free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Small Yellow Onion Diced
- 1 Large Head of Broccoli Chopped, about 6 Cups
- 1 Cup Carrot Shredded
- 8 Ounces Cheddar Cheese Shredded
- 4 Ounces Asiago Cheese Shredded
- 4 Ounces Cream Cheese Soft
- 2 Cups Half & Half
- 2 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- In a large Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat, add the butter and onion and let it cook until the onions have softened and started to turn slightly golden in color.4 Tablespoons Butter, 1 Small Yellow Onion
- Pour in the stock, broccoli, carrots, salt, and pepper, and bring it to a boil.1 Large Head of Broccoli, 1 Cup Carrot, 2 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock, 1 Teaspoon Salt, 1 Teaspoon Pepper, 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until the broccoli and carrots are cooked through.
- Next, stir in the half and half and cream cheese. Keep stirring until the cream cheese is incorporated and no clumps remain.4 Ounces Cream Cheese, 2 Cups Half & Half
- Add in the shredded cheese and stir until it is melted.8 Ounces Cheddar Cheese, 4 Ounces Asiago Cheese
- Add additional salt and pepper to taste if needed, let it slightly cool and enjoy!