Warm up with a hearty bowl of Gluten-free Broccoli Cheddar Soup! Make the best broccoli cheese soup, that is flavorful and healthy, from scratch in about 30 minutes!
- Why This Is the Best Recipe
- Ingredients in Gluten-free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- A Note on Thickeners
- Making the Soup
- Top Tip For Success
- Storage Instructions
- Other Cooking Methods
- What to Serve with Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheese Soup
- More Gluten-Free Recipes
- Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Comments and Ratings
Why This Is the Best Recipe
Spring does not seem to be showing its face any time soon. Cold winter days have seemingly set in for good, so a warm and comforting bowl of soup is the perfect fit! Of all the gluten-free soup, this gluten-free broccoli cheddar soup is as much of a classic to me as gluten-free chicken noodle soup or gluten-free potato soup.
This cheesy soup is healthy, flavorful, and filling! If you like Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup, you will love this copycat! This version is just as creamy and delicious. Even better, it's gluten-free!
This soup is perfect for busy weeknight dinners, it's made with minimal ingredients and it comes together in about 30 minutes!
Get even more soup recipes in this roundup of the best gluten-free soup recipes!
Ingredients in Gluten-free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
If you've got a few pantry staples and a head of fresh broccoli, you're well on your way to making this delicious soup from scratch!
- Broccoli Florets: Use fresh broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces. A 12oz bag of frozen broccoli will also work.
- Mild Cheddar Cheese: I love using freshly grated cheese, but you can also use pre-shredded cheese. If you like it extra tangy, use sharp cheddar cheese. You can even add a little Velveeta cheese if you'd like to make the soup extra smooth and velvety.
- Carrots, Onion, & Garlic: I like to use shredded carrots in this soup. You can buy pre-shredded carrots if you like a time saver. Although, I prefer to shred the carrots and the onion at the same time in my food processor. Then I will also use the same attachment to grate the cheese. Each batch takes about 5 seconds to process. A julienne peeler or a box grater is another quick and easy way to shred carrots.
- Vegetable or Chicken Broth: I prefer the flavor of vegetable broth but either is just fine! Always read labels on broth and stock! They are not all chicken broth is gluten-free! I try to find stocks/broths without natural flavorings or yeast extracts and a simple list of only a few ingredients.
- Brown Rice Flour or Sweet Rice Flour to thicken the soup, as seen in this gluten-free béchamel. (Read the note below.)
- Half & Half: Half & Half is not quite as indulgent as using heavy cream but still creamier than whole milk. You could use whatever you have on hand, milk, cream, or half & half, just note that using milk may not make your soup quite as creamy as either half & half or heavy cream would.
A Note on Thickeners
I've made this soup many times, the only times it has failed was with cornstarch as a thickener. Cornstarch can lose its thickening power if it is stirred too much or overheated, causing the soup to return to a thin, unappealing consistency.
For this reason, I stick with sweet rice flour! Sweet rice flour gives the most consistent results, comparable to wheat flour.
You may also have an all purpose gluten-free flour blend in your pantry. This can be used but preferably use one without xanthan gum. The gums in these blends can give soups a weird consistency. The flour may not thicken as well as sweet rice flour either.
Making the Soup
- Step 1: Heat the butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté the onions, carrots, and garlic.
- Step 2: Sprinkle the rice flour over the veggies and cook an additional minute or two, cooking flour in fat is called a roux.
- Step 3: Gradually stir in the broth and water.
- Step 4: Add in the broccoli. Simmer until the broccoli is fork-tender. About 10-15 minutes.
- Step 5: When the broccoli is tender, turn off the heat. Allow the soup to cool for a couple of minutes so that it is not boiling.
- Step 6: Use an immersion blender, if desired, to make the soup smoother and bites of broccoli smaller.
- Step 7: With the pan still off the heat, stir in the cheddar cheese.
- Step 8: Stir in the milk or cream. Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if needed.
- Serve immediately or leave over low heat to keep warm, stir occasionally.
Top Tip For Success
Remember to take care that the soup is not too hot when you add the cheese. Some cheeses, especially cheddar, can separate and become grainy under temperatures that are too high. This is why I instruct to remove the soup from heat before adding the cheese.
- Refrigerator: Leftovers will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
- Freezer: Freeze soup in airtight containers. You can do this in individual servings or in one big freezer bag. Make a double-batch so you can plan to freeze some for an even easier dinner down the road!
- Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Other Cooking Methods
- Instant Pot: I do not recommend making this soup in the Instant Pot. I tried it and the broccoli gets too mushy, even at a 1 minute cook time. Using the Instant Pot would not save you much time or yield better results compared to stovetop in this situation.
- Slow Cooker: You can use the slow cooker to keep the soup warm for serving later. I would still recommend using the stovetop cooking instructions for preparing the soup initially.
What to Serve with Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheese Soup
This creamy broccoli cheddar soup is a meal all on it's own, but it's nice to have some accompaniments! Some of these you can easily find at the grocery store.
- Bread: You can make small homemade bread bowls with this gluten-free artisan bread rolls recipe, or buy crusty gluten-free french bread. I like the Udi's frozen dinner rolls or Bread SRSLY gluten-free sourdough. These gluten-free Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits are also delicious to serve with this soup!
- Crackers: There are several delicious gluten-free crackers that are perfect for soup! I like Schar table crackers, they're similar to saltines, or Milton's Craft Bakery gluten-free crackers.
More Gluten-Free Recipes
I hope you enjoy this easy broccoli cheddar soup recipe! Especially if you used to love Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup, I know you'll love this recipe! For another simple soup, check out my gluten-free tortellini soup! It's also easy to make and perfect for a cold winter day!
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Gluten-Free Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 4 Tablespoons butter, or olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 small carrots, shredded, about 1 cup
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 Tablespoons sweet rice flour
- 4 cups vegetable stock or broth, or chicken
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound broccoli florets, chopped into small, bite-size pieces
- 1 cup half and half, or ¼ cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a large pot. Sauté the onions, carrots, and garlic in the butter until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle sweet rice flour over the softened vegetables, stir to cook for about 1-2 minutes.
- Gradually stir in the vegetable or chicken stock and water. Add in the broccoli. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until broccoli stems are fork-tender.
- When the broccoli is tender, remove the pan from heat and allow to cool for a minute or two. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup a bit, if desired.
- Stir in the cream and then the shredded cheese. Serve immediately or keep warm on the stovetop over low heat.
- Take care that the soup is not too hot when you add the cheese. Cheddar cheese can separate and become grainy under temperatures that are too high. Remove the soup from heat before adding the cheese.
- Leftovers last 3-4 days in the fridge or can be frozen for longer periods.
- Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- The Instant Pot is not recommended for this recipe. The broccoli gets too mushy.