Inspired by the coziest meal at Panera, my gluten free broccoli cheddar soup is nourishing, warm and the best way to celebrate Soup Season.
Happy Soup Season, aka the only reason I'm excited for cold weather. Soup is one of my favorite meals because it's so cozy and you can load it up with nutritious ingredients. It's also a great vehicle for toppings like crispy chickpeas, croutons, sour cream or cheese- yum!
Broccoli cheddar soup is one of those soups that I loved as a child and still adore now. The Panera broccoli cheddar soup specifically will always be my #1, so I'm pumped that I can make it at home now.
Although inspired by the Panera broccoli cheddar soup, I did make some tweaks to make this gluten free. Yep, gluten free broccoli cheddar soup exists, and it's just as good as the original.
Why This Recipe Is Dietitian Approved
- Creamy texture without heavy cream. You'd never guess that I made this broccoli cheddar soup without cream. The secret is adding potatoes, for the dreamy smooth texture. This allows us to add a boost of vitamin C, potassium and fibre while decreasing overall fat content.
- No flour. I made this gluten free broccoli cheddar soup without flour to thicken.
- Serving of veggies. We're using the whole broccoli and tons of carrots. This is the best way to pack in your veggies!
Broccoli. I like to use fresh broccoli in this recipe as it’s a great way to use both the stem and the florets. If you are using pre-chopped broccoli that doesn’t have the stalks, simply substitute the stalks with 2 cups of additional broccoli florets.
Potato. The secret to skipping the cream is a potato broccoli cheddar soup! Yukon gold, or white potatoes work best in this recipe.
Onion. I recommend using a yellow onion.
Carrots. Use pre-shredded carrots or shred them yourself.
Vegetable broth. I like to use low-sodium vegetable broth so I can customize the sodium levels of the soup to my liking. You could use any broth you like, or even a bone broth for a protein boost.
Greek yogurt. This helps to provide creaminess in lieu of heavy cream. The higher the fat of the yogurt the creamier the texture will be. If you don't have Greek yogurt, swap for ½ cup cream.
Garlic. Fresh garlic gives the best flavour, but pre-peeled jarred garlic does fine in a pinch.
Spices. Keeping things simple with salt, pepper, and paprika.
Cheddar cheese. I opted for an old cheddar for the sharpest flavour.
The complete ingredient list with measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
In a large pot over medium heat, add butter. Once hot add onion and garlic and saute until onions are translucent and fragrant (about 3-4 minutes).
Add broccoli stalks, potato, salt, pepper and paprika and stir.
Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook until broccoli stalks and potato are tender enough to be pierced with a fork (about 8-10 minutes).
Once soft, pour soup into a high powered blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.
Add soup back into the pot, stir in Greek yogurt and add broccoli florets and carrots. Allow to simmer, stirring frequently until the broccoli is fully cooked.
Stir in the cheese and enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: This is a gluten free broccoli cheddar soup, just ensure the crackers you use are gluten free as well!.
To make vegan: I have not tested a vegan version, however you should be able to use a vegan cheddar and swap the Greek yogurt for a dairy-free cream. The butter can be swapped for a vegan butter or olive oil. For a vegan recipe, try my cauliflower chickpea tomato soup!
To make nut-free: This recipe is naturally nut-free.
Leftover soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
To freeze, allow soup to cool before pouring into airtight containers or Ziploc bags. Place in freezer for up to 3 months. You can defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat in the morning as normal.
If you have an immersion blender, this will be a one pot soup!
Frequently Asked Questions
This soup is a great source of veggies and carbs but I love rounding it out with extra protein like baked chicken.
I think so! This soup has tons of veggies, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin A. There's even some calcium too.
Most soups use flour to thicken. My recipe is a gluten free broccoli cheddar soup, suitable if you have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.
No you do not! You can replace the stalks with an additional 2 cups of broccoli florets.
Yes, just defrost first.
More Healthy Soup Recipes
Cozy up with these soups!
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make this gluten free broccoli soup, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Easy Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Gluten Free)
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 large head of broccoli including the stalks (about 1 lb)
- 1 yukon gold potato diced (about 1.5 cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 900 mL vegetable broth
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
- In a large pot over medium heat, add butter. Once hot add onion and garlic and saute until onions are translucent and fragrant (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add broccoli stalks, potato, salt, pepper and paprika and stir. Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and allow to cook until broccoli stalks and potato are tender enough to be pierced with a fork (about 8-10 minutes).
- Once soft, pour soup into a high powered blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.
- Add soup back into the pot, stir in Greek yogurt and add broccoli florets and carrots. Allow to simmer, stirring frequently until the broccoli is fully cooked.
- Stir in the cheese and enjoy! You may wish to top with crushed gluten free crackers if desired!