3-Ingredient Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe

A warm bowl of soup is one of the most comforting things anyone can enjoy, particularly when the weather turns colder and the nights become longer. Soup is quite possibly the perfect autumn and winter meal.

While some of us might raise an eyebrow at the thought of a three-ingredient soup (after all, most broccoli and cheese soup recipes have ingredient lists that can take up an entire grocery bag), recipe developer Sher Castellano's simple wonder has a secret hack. "The best part about this recipe is its rich flavor. Roasting the broccoli first is the key to this recipe. It gives it depth and more complexity than just simmering the broccoli. And the extra sharp cheddar gives it so much punch. It's simple — yet couldn't be easier," she says. 

If you're short on time, Castellano says you can think about buying pre-cut broccoli. That way, you can "save time, energy and because they come in the perfect size. But there's nothing wrong with buying heads of broccoli and cutting it on your own. Simply cut the crown away from the stalk and diced into bite-sized pieces," she says.

Gather ingredients for creamy broccoli cheddar soup

A great deal of the magic involved in this recipe has to do with the simplicity of its ingredients. You'll need just three to achieve soup magic. These would be broccoli florets, whole milk, and extra sharp cheddar cheese. When it comes to preparing the cheese, Castellano says there are two ways to go about this: "[using] pre-shredded cheese is a great option, and so is shredding it yourself. It is up to you and how much energy and time you have to spend on cheese." That said, really try to find the extra sharp stuff. "I do feel strongly that extra sharp cheddar is the way to go here," Castellano says. "However, you could get by with sharp cheddar instead if you prefer that."

You'll also need a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper to roast your broccoli and flavor the other ingredients throughout the process. Chances are pretty good that you already have these kitchen staples on hand. If you don't, you'll want to keep them around for many more recipe-making adventures after this one.

Roast the broccoli

Begin by preheating the oven to 450 F. If you haven't done so already, prep your broccoli by cutting it into florets. Then lay out your broccoli on a sheet pan. Drizzle it lightly with some olive oil, then season with a pinch of salt. Once the oven has come up to temperature, pop the pan into the oven and roast for 25 minutes. 

While this step might at first sound like one you can skip, but you'll want to think twice before you pass on roasting these green veggies. Veggies like broccoli can take on added flavors with a relatively short turn in a hot oven or pan, especially if cooked with a little bit of fat, as Serious Eats notes. So, take your time here and let the roasting add some complexity to your broccoli and the finished soup.

Warm the milk

While your broccoli is getting ready to star in the main soup event, it's time to warm your whole milk in a saucepan over low heat with a pinch of pepper. Remember, you're not looking to scald the milk, which can introduce some nasty burned flavors or simply alter the texture. Instead, you're just warming it up. 

To do this on a stovetop, heat your milk in a saucepan over a low flame until you see a layer of small bubbles along the edges of the liquid. At that point, it should also start to steam. Milk can develop a harmless but annoying film throughout this process, so you might want to stir the liquid regularly to keep that from happening.

Blend and serve

Once the milk is ready, add the roasted broccoli to the saucepan. Then, turn the heat up to medium-low and bring the mixture to a simmer. Again, take care not to boil the soup. 

At that point, remove the pan from the heat, and blend the mixture with a stick or immersion blender. You can potentially use a regular blender to do this if you're extra careful, though we really recommend finding an immersion blender to cut down on the risk of moving hot soup ingredients back and forth between the stove and a standard blender. 

When the soup is smooth, pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Add the shredded cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese melts and the ingredients are well combined. It might help to do the last step over a low flame, particularly if the milk mixture has begun to cool down.

Serve your finished soup with more salt, black pepper, and cheese if desired. This soup is great on its own, but you may also want to consider adding in a healthy side dish, a side salad, or some crusty French bread that would be perfect for dipping.

3-Ingredient Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup Recipe
5 from 37 ratings
This ultra-simple three-ingredient creamy broccoli soup is full of flavor with the help of just a few ingredients, a roasting pan, and a good helping of cheese.
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of broccoli cheese soup, top shot, medium frame
Total time: 35 minutes
  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  2. Add the broccoli florets to a sheet pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, warm the milk with a pinch of pepper in a saucepan over low heat. Add in the roasted broccoli, then turn the heat up to medium-low heat and bring to a simmer.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Blend the milk and broccoli mixture until smooth.
  5. Add in the cheese and stir until cheese is melted and fully combined.
  6. Serve with more salt, black pepper, and cheese, if desired.
Calories per Serving 290
Total Fat 19.3 g
Saturated Fat 9.4 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 47.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 15.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Total Sugars 9.3 g
Sodium 765.1 mg
Protein 16.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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