This cheesy soup tastes amazing and is full of healthy ingredients!
Broccoli cheddar soup ranks high on our list of favorite comfort foods. With each bowl chock-full of rich and creamy goodness, the soup is simply irresistible. Problem is, most recipes don’t go too easy on the waistline. Many conventional recipes call for high-fat ingredients like butter and cream. Likewise, store-bought versions usually carry a boatload of preservatives and sodium. Well lucky for you, here at Skinny Ms. we’ve brought you a full-flavored, lightened up version of the real thing. Our Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup is nothing short of 100% decadence, and better yet, it won’t sabotage your waistline!
A Slimmer Version of the Savory Classic
The main focus of all of our recipes is to cook with whole foods, and this one is no different. Our lightened-up broccoli cheddar soup features fresh broccoli and other “real” ingredients. This differs from the to-go packages or canned soups you’d find in grocery stores.
Our revamped soup packs in all of that cheesy flavor you dream about, without weighing you down with fat and calories. Nothing beats curling up with a big bowl of this belly-warming soup. Plus, knowing that it contains nothing but quality ingredients only makes things better.
The Magical Wonders of the Slow Cooker
You’ll need a slow cooker for this recipe, and we must admit that this awesome appliance is a real game-changer. Slow cookers use long, low-temperature cooking, ultimately bringing out the richest version of each ingredient’s flavor. Not to mention, many cooking methods destroy the nutrients in ingredients due to rapid cooking on high heat, but using a slow cooker actually preserves them! Lower cooking temperatures and a more gradual heating process helps maintain all those feel-good vitamins and minerals your body wants!
The Stars of This Scrumptious Soup
Our clean-eating recipe proves that healthy soups can still taste irresistibly indulgent if they contain fresh ingredients, free of preservatives. Of course this recipe spotlights broccoli. It recommends using an entire pound of frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped.
One of the world’s healthiest superfoods plays such a big role in this recipe. That said, our savory soup certainly delivers a bunch of feel-good health benefits. We could honestly go on and on about the health powers of broccoli, but for time’s sake, we’ll just comment briefly on its nutrient-rich profile.
The nutrient-powerhouse is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and bioactive compounds. It contains potent antioxidants to boost immunity and fight off disease. Meanwhile, its bioactive compounds can reduce inflammation and defend your body against cancer. If that’s not a reason to savor each and every delicious bite of this soup, we don’t know what is!
Related: 12 Ways to Prepare Broccoli
Next, our recipe calls for whole-wheat flour, just a few tablespoons. Nutrition-wise, this ingredient beats regular flour because it contains four-times more fiber than all-purpose flour. Meanwhile, it packs in more potassium, zinc, and magnesium than its counterpart.
Our recipe subs low-fat milk, organic preferred, in for regular milk. With its lower fat content, this alternative shaves off a chunk of calories while still creating that creamy consistency. Our savory slow cooker soup calls for a few more clean-eating ingredients you can feel good about. These include olive oil, chicken or vegetable broth, and of course, shredded cheese.
Your Waistline Will Thank You!
All in all, our healthy broccoli cheddar soup delivers all of the mouthwatering goodness you crave, but its lighter ingredient list and leaner nutritional profile wont wreck your diet or health goals! This yummy recipe makes a wonderful lunch, or a filling main course for dinner. If you want a healthier version of a classic favorite, look no further than this cozy, comforting soup!
Best Creamy Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour or white whole wheat
- 1 cup low-fat milk organic preferred
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth, low sodium preferred
- 1 pound broccoli frozen, thawed and chopped
- 3 cups cheddar cheese shredded, skim not recommended for this recipe, please buy the block and shred yourself to avoid waxes
- 1 garlic clove minced
- In a frying pan, heat your oil, but don't let it get so hot it smokes. Using a whisk, whisk in the flour a little at a time so that the flour and oil mix well and start to bubble, and become golden in color and fragrant.
- Slowly pour in the milk in a steady slow stream, whisking the whole time until a cream is formed. Follow with the chicken or vegetable broth until fully incorporated and then remove from heat.
- Pour the mixture into your slow cooker and add the thawed broccoli. We use the frozen broccoli because it seems to hold up better in a slow cooker than the fresh variety. But you can certainly use fresh broccoli florets as well. Add salt to taste, black pepper and garlic, stir to combine.
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until the broccoli is completely cooked. Stir in the cheese, 1 cup at a time, allowing it to melt completely before adding the next cup of cheese.
- Puree the soup in the blender in batches, filling halfway each time. A hand blender (immersion blender) will also work. Be sure to scrape any of the remaining cheese from the bottom of the slow cooker into the soup to blend well. Blend as little or as much as you like until desired consistency is achieved, i.e. some prefer a smoother and some prefer a chunkier soup .
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If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to check out these 15 Cozy Soup Recipes for Fall!
And for more fantastic slow cooker recipes, make sure to check out this list of slow-cooker dishes: 15 Spring Slow Cooker Favorites!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 3, 2012.
I may have the dumbest question ever – if I were to substitute the flour listed for white whole wheat flour, is that bad? Is it roughly the same?
This recipe looks yummy!
Crystal – In this particular recipe, it would be fine. Enjoy!
You could make this with vegan cheese and cut out all the cholesterol. It only has 90 calories for a quarter cup. It does have sodium, but when you want cheese soups it's a great alternative. We have our favorite kinds. We only use vegan cheese now, and you can't tell the difference.
Peggye, Thanks for the vegan tips!
Great on a cool day or when you just don't want something heavy to eat.
What if you don't have whole wheat pastry flour, is there something else I could use?
Charna, Cornstarch, whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour will all work in place of the pastry flour.
What could I replace the flour with to make this recipe gluten free? Would brown rice flour work?
Robyn, I think brown rice flour should work fine.
Cornstarch is gluten free
If you use an extra sharp cheese, you can get by with using less. I also use Cabots reduced fat sharp and extra sharp cheeses in recipes such as these.
Thanks Shannon for the tip!
What would 2% cheddar do to this point-wise? I’m on the new WW Points Plus system.
Karen, We used 2% when calculating the data.
Could you use fresh broccoli in this recipe or is frozen the better way to go?
Amanda, Fresh is even better! 🙂
Using the points plus recipt calculator on the Weight Watchers website, this is actually 5 PointsPlus points per 1/2 a cup. Wouldn't be bad for a serving, but I think most people would eat at least 2-3 times for a meal.
This is not so skinny…how many folks eat 4 oz of soup? The calories are on 1/2 cup size. Secondly, I have never needed to use flour to thicken my "cream" soups. A bit of pre-cooked mashed potato (no butter necessary) will thicken the soup. You can also use canned milk (not sweetened condensed!) or real cream, or regular milk.
Lynne, Thanks for the tips!
Thanks. I think I will add some chicken to get some protein in there!!
I made this recipe and it was a disaster! The cheese became one huge ” blob ” although I tried to stir it in slowly as directed. I was very disappointed 🙁
I make a soup similar to this, but I use shredded Parmesan cheese for some of the cheddar. The stronger flavor of Parmesan lets me cut back on the amount cheese and still get lots of cheesy flavor.
Thank you for the wholesome recipe. All ingredients you can pronounce and no fake cheeses or canned milks or soups. The only thing I did different is use butter instead of olive oil. Yummm.
Do you have recipes for kidney patients?
Pat, Kidney patients?
Could you use Almond Flour in place of regular or Whole Wheat flour?
Angela, If almond flour helps to thicken it would work fine. I’ve never used it for this purpose so I’m not certain of its thickening qualities.
I made this soup to the letter and the cheese is sitting on the bottom of the crock pot. I used high quality block cheese!
Does this soup freeze well?
I've never frozen it and probably wouldn't recommend it.
Actually, I have made this soup and once cooled I put it in muffin tins. I then freeze the muffin tins. Once frozen, let thaw just a couple minutes till 'muffins' pop out with a butter knife. I then freeze the soup muffins in a freezer baggie and voila! You have 1/2 cup servings ready to go. It's the easiest way to have homemade soup at the ready…and I usually have two portions at a time because it's so delicious 🙂 Happy freezing!
I made this tonight and just didn't think it was very good.
This looks wonderful! Can I sub the white or wheat flour with coconut flour? Thanks!! 🙂
Alison, Yes you can use coconut flour instead of wheat.
Could I let it cook overnight and then reheat it?
Katie, Yes you could do that, but add the cheese when you reheat it.
This turned out really well!
I made some modifications: added some sauted onions, chopped garlic, celery, leek, and corn, and some dehydrated mashed potato flakes to thicken it at the end. I also put less cheese.
However I think the base recipe would have turned out really well without my changes!
I freeze this all the time. I actually make double batches and measure out the 1 cup into containers. once cooled, throw them in the freezer. I defrost and nuke them all the time for lunches and it's quite delicious and filling for a lunch! My freezer is always stocked with this and I'm planning on making a double batch again this weekend.
I may make this recipe but as I read through the comments, a couple of people have mentioned the serving size as half cup. The info at the top says 4 servings, 1 cup each, is this correct?
Lisa, The data reflects 1 cup serving size.
Could I make this in an instant pot? If so, how would you recommend I do this? I’m thinking use the sauté feature on the IP until I add the frozen broccoli and then cook on manual high pressure for 15 minutes?
You got it, Leigh! Saute, add frozen broccoli, and high pressure for 15min should be perfect!
I have made this and added onions ,celery ,carrots . I thickened it by using frozen mashed cauliflower.Delicious!