This 21 Day Fix broccoli cheese soup is made without any milk or cream and is still creamy, velvety, and deliciously healthy comfort in a bowl. It’s also gluten free! Now with Instant Pot directions for a quick and easy dinner!
Originally published 11/15/2015, updated on 12/26/2017 to include Instant Pot Directions for a quick, easy and delicious meal that everyone will love!
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If I had to guess, I would say that broccoli cheese is probably America’s second favorite soup (right underneath the ubiquitous chicken noodle, of course) and it’s definitely my family’s favorite. Believe me, I’ve made more than a pot or two of this yummy stuff, but I had yet to make any since starting the 21 Day Fix. I’d say it was about time that I addressed this absolutely appalling oversight.
One of the main reasons that this soup was on my mind was because Thanksgiving is right around the corner and each and every year, my grandma makes her broccoli cheese soup (which is grandma-amazing*, btw) for us to enjoy on Wednesday while we chit chat and get things ready for the next day. I’ll be honest and say that it’s my favorite part of the holiday. You know, before everything gets crazy and all of the people show up. When it’s just a few of us, a couple bottles of wine and plenty of laughter and conversation. Truly though, it’s so great to make a huge pot of this wonderful stuff to eat prior to the big day. It’s so easy, and then you don’t have to think about what’s for dinner for a couple of days while you’re planning, prepping and readying for guests.
As many of you know, when making creamy soups for the Fix, the issue to overcome is the milk and/or cream used as the base, because nobody but nobody wants to waste a yellow (or two!) on a bowl of soup no matter how freaking delicious it is. Well, of course I went to my favorite all-purpose ingredient, the glorious cauliflower to make this soup taste and feel just as creamy and wonderful as the original. In fact, my husband told me that this recipe tasted exactly the same as the one that I used to make (using half and half!) – not too shabby, plus it’s lower in fat and calories! Boom.
I’m not going to lie, this one took me a couple of tries to get just right, but I really think it’s perfect and if Broccoli Cheese soup is something that you haven’t eaten in awhile either, then you are not going to want to miss out on some amazing 21 Day Fix Broccoli Cheese Soup! You truly won’t miss the milk or cream. The best part is, because there’s no milk or cream (meaning no yellows) you can serve this bowl of yum with a great piece of whole wheat bread from the bakery. I like to call that perfection.
The trick to make this recipe similar to Panera Bread’s is to cook some broccoli that’s been chopped into small pieces separately from the other veggies and add them in at the end. This is optional and up to you. If you want your soup to be completely smooth, just leave out the extra broccoli. I swear, I won’t even be mad. I love the way Panera Bread (and my grandma!) makes theirs, so I wanted some small pieces of broccoli in mine. Yum 🙂
*Grandma-amazing is a term used to describe a dish that is better than anyone else’s. Period.
Hope you guys love this one as much as we do!
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- 2 tsp butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium)
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (1 (32 oz) box)
- 4 cups broccoli, roughly chopped (about 1/2 lb)
- 2 cups cauliflower, roughly chopped (about 6 oz)
- 1/2 tsp salt & pepper, to taste
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped into small pieces (about 1/4 lb)
- 1 1/3 cups shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
Instant Pot Directions:
- Turn on the saute function, melt the butter in your pot and cook the onions and carrots in the butter until they start to soften (no need to cook all the way, the IP will do the rest!).
- Next, add the roughly chopped broccoli (DO NOT add the broccoli that you chopped into small pieces yet!), the cauliflower, 1/2 tsp salt and the broth. Put the lid on and set on manual for 3 minutes, quick release when it's finished.
- You can either use an immersion blender to blend everything right in the pot, or blend in batches in a regular blender.
- Add in the finely chopped broccoli, put back on saute mode and cook until the broccoli has softened (should just take a few minutes). Stir in the cheese, add pepper to taste and serve!
Instant Pot note: I was able to do a double batch of this in my 6 qt and it fit perfectly!
Stove Top Directions:
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the onions and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally until they start to soften (they will finish cooking later, so don't worry about trying to make them super soft).
- Next, add the roughly chopped broccoli (DO NOT add the broccoli that you chopped into small pieces yet!), the cauliflower, 1/2 tsp salt and the broth. Cover and simmer until veggies are all VERY soft. You should be able to mash them against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon.
- Meanwhile, cook the broccoli that's been chopped small in the microwave. I put them in a glass casserole dish with a lid and a couple of tablespoons of water, then cooked until very soft. It took about 5 minutes or so, but all microwaves are different so keep an eye on yours the first time you make this.
- Once veggies from the pot (with the chicken broth) are soft, puree the mixture in the blender in batches until all of the contents of the pot are pureed. Return to pot.
- Heat pot on low heat. Stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and the cooked finely chopped broccoli until all of the cheese is melted. Add pepper to taste. Serve!
- *Just a little note - this makes a pretty thick soup, that's how my family likes it, but if your family likes it thinner, by all means, add some extra broth until it's the way you want. 🙂
21 Day Fix Container Equivalents: 2 1/2 GREEN, 1 BLUE, 1/2 TSP
Weight Watchers Freestyle Points: 7
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 253 Total Fat: 15g
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