Slow-Cooker Cheesy Broccoli Soup Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

Total Time
Prep: 15 min. Cook: 3 hours
This homemade Crockpot broccoli cheese soup tastes even better than your favorite restaurant's version. Creamy, cheesy and loaded with comfort-food flavors, it's bound to become your go-to recipe. 

Updated: Jun. 14, 2024

When it comes to comfort-food winners, there’s no beating cheesy broccoli soup. Right up there with creamy tomato soup and French onion soup, broccoli cheddar is one of the most popular soups, for good reason. With a velvety broth, a blend of umami-laced cheeses and a handful of verdant green broccoli florets, it’s decadent, delicious and the tiniest bit healthy, thanks to the antioxidant-rich and fiber-packed veggie.

The best part about our reader-loved recipe is that it practically makes itself in the slow cooker, so you can set it and forget it on your way out the door, then come home to a delicious dinner waiting for you. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or making a comforting bowl for yourself, this Crockpot broccoli and cheese soup promises to become a go-to recipe in your repertoire.

Ingredients for Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • Butter: Even though the slow cooker does most of the heavy lifting in this recipe, you’ll need a couple of pats of butter to caramelize your onions. This small ingredient makes a world of difference when it comes to the flavor of this soup.
  • Onion: A small yellow or white onion will do the job here. Be sure to give it a rough chop rather than slicing it so the onion bits are similar in size to the broccoli florets.
  • Broccoli: Loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, this superfood is the star of the show. You could use frozen broccoli, but why would you when fresh is available everywhere, affordable and a thousand times better?
  • Chicken broth: Homemade chicken broth imparts lots of deep flavor to the base of this soup. Look for reduced-sodium if you go the store-bought route. With all the cheese in this recipe, you don’t want to run the risk of your soup being too salty.
  • Evaporated milk: Evaporated milk is the key to a super smooth, creamy soup.
  • Velveeta cheese: Velveeta is what gives the mac and cheese of our childhood that unmistakable color and taste, so we tapped into that for our best-ever cheesy broccoli soup. There’s just no topping this bright orange brick of cheese, which you’ll discover after one bite.
  • Cheddar cheese: Cheesy broccoli soup recipes can differ in terms of which cheeses are used, but cheddar is a classic that works so well with broccoli. We like extra sharp cheddar for a bold tangy flavor, both in the soup and grated on top when you’re ready to serve.
  • Parmesan cheese: Parm rounds out the three-cheese blend in this soup.

Directions

Step 1: Caramelize the onions

In a small skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook until they’re brown and slightly caramelized, three to four minutes or until tender.

Step 2: Add ingredients to the slow cooker

Transfer the onions to a 3- or 4-quart slow cooker, then add the broccoli, chicken broth, milk and pepper. Cook, covered, on low for three to four hours or until broccoli is tender.

Step 3: Add the cheeses

Stir in the Velveeta until it’s melted, then add the cheddar and Parmesan, continuing to stir until everything is melted.

Step 4: Garnish and serve

Just before serving, stir the soup once more to combine, then transfer to bowls and top with additional cheddar cheese and garnishes, as desired.

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup Variations

  • Add protein: Panko-crusted chicken cubes would be a power move here, along with crispy bacon strips. You could even use shredded chicken or turkey.
  • Adjust the seasonings: If you like your soup flavor packed or with a kick, try adding more spices and seasonings. Red pepper flakes will bring the heat, roasted garlic (or garlic powder) will intensify the caramelized onions and slow-cooked broccoli, and fresh herbs will give this soup an herbaceous quality. A dollop of Dijon mustard is another idea for a tangier soup.
  • Try fun toppings: There are so many soup-and-sandwich combos you can create with broccoli cheddar soup, but we love using grilled cheese or garlic bread bites as soup toppings for a fun presentation.
  • Make it vegan: This soup can also be made vegan by using a blend of vegan cheeses, vegetable or vegan broth and butter, plus plant-based milk.

How to Store Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

The brilliance of the slow cooker is that it has a built-in base with a lid that can go from the Crockpot to the fridge without getting storage containers involved. If you want to divvy up the soup for lunches during the week, however, you can fill a few travel mugs with the soup and place those in the refrigerator until you’re ready for leftovers.

How long does Crockpot broccoli cheddar soup last?

This soup will last for a week in the fridge, but if you want to savor it at its prime, we recommend consuming leftovers within three days.

Can you freeze Crockpot broccoli cheddar soup?

The sad truth is, not really. Soups with cheese don’t freeze that well, and the fact that ours has Velveeta? Forget it. Have you ever tried freezing Velveeta macaroni and cheese? Didn’t think so.

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup Tips

Why won’t my cheese melt?

Pro tip: Grate your own cheese for this soup instead of relying on bags of pre-shredded cheese, which can be filled with questionable anticaking agents, preventing them from melting in your soup.

Should you blanche the broccoli before adding it to the slow cooker?

This is a personal preference. You don’t need to. The broth and milk will soften the broccoli while it’s simmering away in the slow cooker, but if you like that bright green color you get from blanching broccoli, then by all means, blanch away before adding your florets to the Crockpot.

How do you keep broccoli cheddar soup from breaking?

Whisk in a roux. Combine a few tablespoons of flour or cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl, then whisk it into the soup. This will thicken the consistency and stop the cheeses from separating.

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

Prep Time 15 min
Yield 4 servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh broccoli
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package (8 ounces) Velveeta, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Additional shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. In a small skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a 3- or 4-qt. slow cooker. Add broccoli, broth, milk and pepper.
  2. Cook, covered, on low 3-4 hours or until broccoli is tender. Stir in Velveeta until melted. Add next 2 ingredients; stir until melted. Just before serving, stir soup to combine. Top servings with additional cheddar cheese.

Nutrition Facts

1-3/4 cups: 675 calories, 49g fat (30g saturated fat), 165mg cholesterol, 1964mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (15g sugars, 2g fiber), 39g protein.

When I want soup at a restaurant, it’s broccoli-cheese all the way. When I make it at home it’s creamy cheesy, exactly how I like it. —Kristen Hills, Layton, UT