Lightened Up Cheddar Cauliflower Broccoli Soup

Lately I’ve been watching The Great on Hulu, followed by The Bates Motel on Netflix; obviously two completely different shows but both quite wonderful. My favorite thing to do after I put my son to sleep, is cozy up with dinner on the couch. Just the other day I remade this INCREDIBLE cheddar cauliflower broccoli soup and couldn’t stop slurping it up.

My husband’s favorite soup is a tie between broccoli cheddar and french onion. Now that I’ve got a classic french onion recipe under my belt, I’ve moved onto a lightened up inspired version of broccoli cheddar soup.

First, I have to admit that this recipe was kind of a happy accident as I was intending to make a broccoli cheddar soup with potatoes, but didn’t have any in the cupboard. Instead, I found a head of cauliflower and decided I’d make it work. And it was freaking glorious.

bowl of cauliflower broccoli cheddar soup

What makes this cheddar cauliflower broccoli soup healthier?

Traditional broccoli cheddar soup is typically full of heavy cream, LOTS of cheese and butter. My version is a lightened up made with less cheese, less butter and less cream.

The cauliflower helps to thicken the broccoli cheese soup without needing to add extra cream. I say the more veggies, the better, don’t you?

Ingredients in cauliflower broccoli cheddar soup

  • Veggies & produce: you’ll need broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onion and some garlic as the veggie base to this delicious soup.
  • Butter: to cook down all of those veggies.
  • Spices: you’ll just need salt, pepper, garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne.
  • Cheddar cheese: for all of that cheesy broccoli cheddar flavor.
  • Vegetarian broth: feel free to use vegetarian broth or chicken broth (if not vegetarian) to help simmer and blend up all of the ingredients.
  • Flour of choice: use a bit of flour to perfectly thicken the cauliflower broccoli cheddar soup.
  • Half & Half or whole milk: you’ll also want to use half & half or whole milk to give the soup the right amount of creaminess. See my note below for alternatives if you’d like!

healthy broccoli cheddar soup ingredients on a board

The right milk to use for cheddar cauliflower broccoli soup

I prefer using half & half, whole or 2% milk in this cauliflower broccoli cheddar soup recipe for the ultimate creamy texture but there are other options! Here are my tips & suggestions:

  • You can also use skim, unsweetened coconut milk (from the can) or unsweetened almond milk.
  • If you use a different milk, I might recommend changing the broth to milk ratio because you’ll be using a less rich milk. I would suggest using 1 1/2 cups milk and 2 1/2 cups broth instead.
  • Please note that I can’t guarantee it would be as delicious though; using a more full fat milk is best!

How to make healthy broccoli cheddar soup

  1. Saute your crunchy veggies. You’ll start by cooking down that onion, garlic & carrot in a bit of butter to get them nice and soft.
  2. Cook the soup base. Next, add in all the rest of your ingredients except the cheese and simmer it until the veggies are tender.
  3. Cheese time. Stir in all of that delicious cheese and reduce the soup to low.
  4. Blend it, baby. You’ll then take about 3 cups of your soup and blend it in a blender until it’s nice and creamy. Add the blended soup back to your pot and stir everything together.
  5. Taste & serve. Adjust seasonings as you’d like and serve hot — maybe with some bacon on top? Yum!

cheddar cauliflower broccoli soup in a mug bowl

What to serve with cheddar cauliflower broccoli soup

Our favorite way to eat it is with some good seedy multigrain bread for dunking into the soup, or with a few crackers crushed on top.

You can add bacon on top if you want to add a little something extra. It’s going to be fantastic however you make it.

Storing & freezing tips

To store & reheat: let the cauliflower broccoli soup cool completely and place it in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.

To freeze & reheat: this soup should freeze well! Allow it to cool completely and place it in freezer safe containers in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To reheat, thaw the soup completely before reheating it in the microwave or on the stovetop.

a spoon pulling up broccoli cauliflower soup from the bowl

More soup recipes you’ll love

The Best Minestrone Soup

Homemade Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup (whole 30, dairy free)

Nourishing Asian Chicken Soup

Classic French Onion Soup

See how to make this cauliflower broccoli cheddar soup

I hope you love this easy lightened up cheddar cauliflower broccoli soup recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment & a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Lightened Up Cheddar Cauliflower Broccoli Soup

5 from 35 votes

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Deliciously creamy lightened up cheddar cauliflower broccoli soup packed with veggies and incredible, cheesy flavor! This low carb, healthy broccoli cheddar soup recipe is comfort food at its finest.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, julienned or cut into matchsticks
  • 3 tablespoons flour of choice (all purpose, whole wheat or gluten free flour)
  • 3 ½ cups low sodium vegetarian broth (or chicken broth if not vegetarian)
  • ½ cup half and half or whole milk (or heavy whipping cream)*
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets, very finely chopped (about 1 small head of cauliflower)
  • 3-4 cups broccoli florets, very finely chopped (about 1 medium head broccoli)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 ounces of cheese)
  • Toppings:
  • Extra shredded cheese
  • Chopped bacon, if not vegetarian
  1. In a large dutch oven or pot, add butter and place over medium high heat. Once butter is melted, add in garlic, onion, and carrot. Saute for 5 minute or until veggies are tender.

  2. Stir in the flour to coat the veggies, then slowly stir in the broth, stirring. Next add in milk, chopped cauliflower and broccoli, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and cayenne. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until broccoli and cauliflower are tender.

  3. Stir in cheese and reduce heat to low.

  4. Add about 1/2 of the soup to a blender (roughly 3 cups) and blend until smooth. You can blend more or less soup, depending on how creamy or chunky you like it. Be very careful while you blend the soup.

  5. Once done blending, return blended soup to the pot and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, such as adding additional salt and pepper. Serve immediately with extra shredded cheddar on top and chopped bacon, if desired.

*You can also use 2%, skim, unsweetened coconut milk (from the can) or unsweetened almond milk. I might recommend changing the broth to milk ratio because you’ll be using a less rich milk. I would suggest using 1 1/2 cups milk and 2 1/2 cups broth instead. I can’t guarantee it would be as delicious though; using a more full fat milk is best!


Servings: 4 servings

Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)

Calories: 339kcal

Fat: 18.9g

Saturated fat: 11.1g

Carbohydrates: 25.5g

Fiber: 7.3g

Sugar: 8.4g

Protein: 21g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by Eat Love Eat