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Welcoming these chilly winter days with this Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup. It’s cozy, creamy, secretly full of vegetables, and totally delicious. This soup is made simply in one pot with puréed cauliflower (to make it creamy), sharp cheddar cheese, and plenty of broccoli. Plus a little bit of coconut milk gives this soup an even creamier texture. It’s such a delicious healthier take on my favorite broccoli cheddar soup.

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup |

I’ve definitely shared my love for broccoli cheddar soup many times over the years. It’s one of those soups that for me, brings back all the best memories. I’ve loved a bowl broccoli cheddar since the days of my mom taking me out for lunch, way back when we lived in Cleveland.

It wasn’t that often that we’d go out for lunch, but when I could convince my mom to take us to Panera, it was always the best. The boys would just get bagels, but mom and I would get soup. Either the broccoli cheddar or chicken noodle, but broccoli cheddar was the favorite.

I haven’t had Panera since probably 6th grade, but I remember it being creamy, cheesy, and so delicious. I’ve loved a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup ever since. I feel like a lot of you have similar stories. It’s such an all around loved soup.

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup |

The idea

I already have a good broccoli cheddar soup on HBH. But I wanted to create a healthier version that was still just a creamy and delicious.

I thought I could mix in a cauliflower purée to add creaminess, plus an extra serving of vegetables too. It worked perfectly, and you’d never know that cauliflower is even in the soup!

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup |


This soup is easy, but it does involve one extra step that a traditional broccoli cheddar soup doesn’t include, a double purée.

Start out simply with an onion, carrots, and broth. Add a head of cauliflower and let the soup simmer until the cauliflower is super tender. Purée this mix until it’s super creamy. You don’t want any chunks of cauliflower left over.

If you enjoy chunks of carrot in your soup, be sure to pull those out before puréing the cauliflower.

Return the creamy base to the stove, then in goes the broccoli. You’ll need to cook the broccoli until it’s tender too, then do another round of blending. This time, don’t blend the soup all the way. I love to leave some chunks of broccoli.

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup |

Next, add a little cheddar cheese. Then add a splash of canned coconut milk to make the soup perfectly creamy…but without any cream!

I’d highly recommend serving this soup with a side of crusty bread or pretzels. You need something for dipping!

Alright, and with that, I’m going to leave you all to it. If your week needs some warming soup, this is it. I’m actually beyond excited to make this again soon!

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup |

Looking for other soup recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup

Creamy Wild Rice Chicken Soup

Creamy French Onion and Mushroom Soup

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Instant Pot Pesto Zuppa Toscana

Healthier Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini Vegetable Soup

Lastly, if you make this lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 1116 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Melt together the olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and thyme, and cook until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, about 2 minutes, then gradually whisk in the broth. Add the cauliflower and bring to a boil. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender.
    2. Transfer the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the pot. If needed add 1-2 cups water, then the broccoli, bay leaves, paprika, cayenne, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, uncovered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.
    3. Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup in batches until the broccoli is finely chopped, but small chunks still remain.
    4. Return the soup to the stove and set over low heat. Stir in the coconut milk and cheese until melted and creamy. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. If the soup is thick, add broth to thin. Ladle into bowls and top with a little extra cheddar and fresh thyme. Enjoy!
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Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup |

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    1. That can’t possibly be right. I do it without flour, 1 cup cheese, almond milk instead of coconut cream and it’s about 250 cals per serving (6 servs).

  1. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! Super easy to make and such a cozy winter soup dish! I used an immersion blender instead of a regular blender and it worked great!

  2. Looking forward to making this week, love the use of cauliflower to thicken and keep calories down.

    Want to make ahead and finish next day. Would you go through step 3, and then do step 4 the next day, or would you stop day ahead prep earlier?

    Thinking of using whole milk instead of coconut, as wife doesn’t care for coconut flavor. Any thoughts?

    Rock on, Tieghan, have enjoyed following you for years and trying your recipes!

    1. Hey Dennis! 1- You can definitely use whole milk instead of coconut milk! 2- I would go through step three and then do step 4 and the following steps the next day! Have an awesome New Year! xT

      1. 5 stars
        Excellent. Cauliflower is great at keeping the calories down while providing creaminess. Works perfectly in potato soup as well.

        Substituted velveeta light (I know, blasphemy) for most of the cheese since it’s half the calories of cheddar and melts perfectly.

        Whole milk instead of coconut milk works fine as a substitution.

        Definitely make some garlic bread to accompany it.

        Now if we can just get Tieghan to come to Nashville so we can say hi and thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    This was excellent! I made the soup for a family lunch to rave reviews and have shared the recipe 3X so far. I used an immersion blender with frozen cauliflower and broccoli. No cayenne pepper because I forgot to buy some… but it didn’t matter to us. This recipe is a keeper!!

  4. 5 stars
    This was excellent and easy to make. I don’t know what’s going on with the calorie count, but I plugged it into the one I always use and it’s under 500 calories a bowl, and that’s after I added way more coconut milk since I don’t like having cans half empty after cooking.

  5. 5 stars
    Does this soup freeze well? Expecting a new bundle of joy soon and am hoping to stock up on some yummy faves before their arrival!

    1. Hi Amber! I haven’t ever frozen this soup before so I can’t say for sure! So exciting for you and your family! 🙂 xT