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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. 5 stars
    Quick, easy, and the bay leaves add a wonderful flavor. I highly recommend it for a cool Fall evening. As always, big thanks to your creative creations.

  2. 5 stars
    I love broccoli cheddar soup but don’t choose it for the calories, but this has all the good in a healthier option. Delicious!

  3. Because the online reviews were somewhat mixed, I wasn’t sure how this would turn out. But the instructions were excellent, the end result is tasty, and a treat on a chilly fall night!

  4. I’ve made this recipe a few times and always enjoy it. As other reviewers have mentioned, use an immersion blender if you have. I add a pinch of mustard powder and nutmeg for a little more flavor. I also find this soup tastes even better the next day. I like how it’s lighter than most broccoli cheddar soups that contain heavy cream and abundance of cheese.

  5. 5 stars
    Yummmm. I just made the peanut 30min ramen and it was incredible. I was looking for another good fall soup, and am so glad I found this recipe! I sent it to two of my friends as well. Highly recommend using an immersion blender if you have one, it will make things easier! But, I tried both ways (blender for 1st blend, immersion for 2nd) and they both work great! A comforting recipe without mountains of cheese, whole milk, etc. Thank you!!

  6. This has become an absolute staple in my home. My 5 children love it! I found it very easy to make, flavorful and love the amount of veggies I can pack into it.

  7. 3 stars
    Although I typically like most HH recipes, this recipe is definitely not worth the effort. I added extra cheese and extra coconut milk for creaminess and the flavor is still flat. For the amount of time, amount of ingredients, and the double blending process, I would expect this to be a home run.

    1. Hi Emily! I’m so sorry about that, thank you for letting me know! Is there anything else you did differently? xT

  8. 1 star
    Do not be fooled by the title of lighter cheddar broccoli soup. It may be lighter in some ways but not in calories. If you are looking for a low calorie soup this is not for you. This comes in at over 1,000 calories per serving!

  9. 3 stars
    Was looking forward to trying this recipe but I don’t think I got it quite right. I definitely over blended the soup so while it’s perfectly smooth, it took on a funky green color and I taste mostly cauliflower. Kinda looks like split pea soup which I happen to love anyway! Lol! I also used all frozen veggies because I already had a ton of frozen cauliflower/broccoli mix on hand. In the end I couldn’t really taste the cheese (used reduced fat) so I just kept adding a little more until I could taste it better. I used white rice flour and it thickened up quite nicely. Overall it turned out ok. Gonna eat it anyway because it’s still a great, healthier recipe with lots of good-for-me ingredients. 🙂

    1. Hi Thea,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback! So sorry to hear it wasn’t a fave! Please let me know if you have any questions or anything that I can help with! xx

  10. 1 star
    This did not bode well for me. ):
    The consistency of the soup is just off – perhaps an immersion blender would have been better? If you’re craving Panera’s – this is not the way to go. Sad I wasted all those ingredients and it made way more than I needed/will be able to eat. Hoping I can try to make something else out of it.

    1. Hi Farah,
      Thanks for trying this recipe and sharing your feedback, sorry to hear it was not enjoyed. Please let me know if there is anything that I can help with! xT

  11. I made tonight for my mom recovering from surgery. I substituted the stock for chicken bone broth (more protein!). Omg!!! I’m floored at how delicious it is. I kept saying it was so good and asking if everyone could believe there was only a few cups of cheese for the dairy. I’m lactose intolerant too so it was nice to be able to relax and enjoy a cup of broccoli cheddar soup! Thanks so much for this awesome recipe. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow.

    1. Hey Liz,
      Wonderful!! I appreciate you making this recipe, I’m so glad it turned out well for you! Have a great weekend:)

      1. 1 star
        Really not good. If you’re craving panera-style broccoli cheese soup, this will not satisfy you. I’m not really sure what the cauliflower and coconut milk are doing in here, but they’re not doing anybody any favors. There needs to be about half the broccoli and triple the cheese. Probably some heavy cream too.

        I do not recommend.

        1. This is the second time I’ve made this incredible soup. Super flavorful, tons of veggie goodness and delicious. The only thing I’m confused by is the calories per serving…. 1116? I can’t believe that is accurate. Everything else….. PERFECTION.

          1. Hey Genevieve,
            Fantastic!!🌻 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for trying it out!I always recommend that if the nutritional information is important to you, you use your own personal calculator. Ours is automatic and controlled by google. It’s not something we’d prefer to be using. We are required to. I’m sorry for the trouble, we do our best! xT

    1. Hey there,
      Sure, I bet potatoes would be delicious! Let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope it turns out well for you! xT

      1. Hi Denise,
        Totally, that would be just fine for you to do! Let me know if I can help in any other way, I hope you love this recipe! xT

  12. Looks yummy! Do you recommend a particular type of vegetable broth? I have one vegetarian in the family and I get worried about replacing chicken broth or stock with vegetable. Some seem to be tomato based, which wouldn’t make sense in this recipe, right? Thanks!

    1. Hey Cece,
      Hmmm I would just make sure you get one that isn’t tomato based, Kettle and Fire is a great brand! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT

  13. Hot soup in a blender should not be recommended in this recipe – left me with a burned arm and huge kitchen mess. Sorry this one didn’t work out better.

    1. Hi Linda,
      So sorry to hear this. You need to make sure your blender is a brand that is built for high temps, Vitamix is one of those. Again, sorry to hear you had trouble with this! xx

      1. Hi~ I use my handheld immersion blender right in the pot…no need to transfer hot soup and came out perfect!

    1. Hey Ellen,
      Happy Monday!! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it turned out well for you! xx